University of Minnesota  FAQ

Using Vehicles for University Business


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Please use the contact section in the governing policy.

  1. Where can I rent a vehicle for University business?

    Fleet Services maintains a pool of rental vehicles. Please refer to the Vehicle Rental website for details on renting within the Twin Cities area. For renting at other system campuses see “Additional Contacts” in Administrative Policy: Using Vehicles for University Business or Duluth Fleet website.

  2. Where can I rent a vehicle for business outside of the state?

    For outstate locations, please refer to the University Wide Agreements website.

  3. Are there any restrictions on renting a vehicle from Fleet Services?

    Rented vehicles may be used for University business only. Drivers must be at least 18 years of age and have a valid Canadian or US driver's license (Including all US territories) Driver's licenses from all other countries are not allowed.

    Drivers must possess a valid UCard or signed Sponsored Driver Form (PDF)

  4. May I use my own car for University business?

    Yes, provided you have prior approval from your department. See Administrative Procedure: Use of Personal Vehicle for University Business.

    Please see Administrative Policies Traveling on University Business or Business Expenses for an explanation of applicable reimbursements. You will not be reimbursed for fuel and maintenance.

    If you have an accident, your personal auto liability policy will respond on a primary basis until the policy limits are exhausted; the University's auto insurance is excess. The University is not responsible for any physical damage to an employee's vehicle. The driver/vehicle's personal auto insurance provides primary insurance with minimum liability coverage of $100,000 per person/$300,000 per incident. Employees should have their own collision and comprehensive physical damage coverage. The employee bears the expense of any personal auto policy deductibles.

  5. Our department has not used Fleet Services in the past and is happy with the supplier we use. Do we need to change?

    You should use either Fleet Services or a supplier with whom the University has a contract. Please see Administrative Procedure: Renting or Leasing a Vehicle for University Business.

  6. What if I need to pick up a vehicle away from the Twin Cities Campus?

    You should rent from a supplier with whom the University has a contract, if possible. Please see the U Wide Agreement website for information.

  7. Are there any other options if that company does not have a vehicle available or there is no agency in the destination city?

    Rentals from non University-contracted suppliers are discouraged. Please see Administrative Procedure: Renting or Leasing a Vehicle for University Business.

  8. When using a non-university vehicle, is the University exempt from the taxes and fees?


  9. Can I get the contract rates if I need a rental car for my personal use?

    Please see the U Wide Agreement website for Car Rental program details.

  10. Can I rent a vehicle long-term?

    If you need a vehicle for more than 6 months out of the year, it is less expensive to lease a vehicle. The minimum lease term is one year with a 90-day notice to turn in the vehicle. Contact Fleet Services to lease a vehicle.

  11. Can I transport passengers who are not on University business in a University vehicle?


    Exceptions may be provided in appendix: Rules for Permanently Assigned University Vehicles.

  12. What happens if I receive a fine (tickets or fines from unpaid tolls) while driving a University vehicle?

    All tickets and fines are the personal responsibility of the driver.  If a driver is unable to be determined  and/or violations are issued via mail to the vehicle and not the driver, the department will be charged the monetary cost. 

  13. If I have an accident while driving a University Vehicle, can it affect my personal insurance premium?

    The University’s Fleet Services does not report accidents involving University vehicles to any government entity. If police are called and write a report involving an accident, it may or may not be reported to the governing state. However if a citation was issued, this will automatically be reported to the governing state by way of the citation. 

  14. What is the first step if a department wants a long-term vehicle to either lease or own, whether new or used?

    Please contact Fleet Services for assistance. The University strongly discourages purchasing used vehicles from outside the University, however, Fleet Services can assist in guiding the department through the process to ensure purchasing requirements are met.  To initiate the purchase of a new vehicle, send a completed New Vehicle Request Form (PDF) signed by the department head/authorized signer to Fleet Services.

  15. What should I do if my University vehicle breaks down and I'm not in the Twin Cities area?

    If using a University vehicle, contact the supplier and phone number listed on the fuel credit card for roadside assistance and vehicle repairs.

  16. Why is the use of 12- and 15-passenger vans prohibited?

    The increased risk of rollover crashes associated with 12- and 15-passenger vans is well documented. The National Highway Traffic & Safety Administration has also issued a warning of the rollover risks of 15-passenger vans. 

    As of January 1, 2010, the State of Minnesota prohibits the use of all 15-passenger vans in compliance with the State of Minnesota's Model Fleet Safety Management Standards.

  17. Can I rent a 12- or 15-passenger van from a non-University supplier?


  18. What are Safe Driving practices?

    Examples (PDF) would include keeping the vehicle dashboard clear of debris (including passenger’s feet), properly sitting in seats with seatbelts fastened as designed to be used.

  19. Can I use a mobile cell phone device while operating a University Vehicle?

    Drivers are prohibited from handheld use of mobile devices in a University-owned vehicle, as outlined in Administrative Policy: Using Vehicles for University Business. A No Buzz Bag is available for every University vehicle (this bag blocks cell signals when a phone is placed inside of it).

Note: Public Safety vehicles are exempt when the use of a communication device is an essential function of the operator's official duties. Two-way radios are permitted when used in an official University capacity.