Vehicle Use Policy

Title:                           Using Vehicles for College Business Policy
Effective Date:        04/01/2015
Issuing Authority:   Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Contact:                    Rose Brown at or 507-786-3016
Last Updated:          08/08/2018

Purpose of Policy
This policy has been established to ensure safe and cost-effective methods of vehicle travel while on College business.

Who Needs to Know This Policy
This policy applies to all St. Olaf faculty, staff and students who drive vehicles while on College business. 

Anyone using a vehicle while on St. Olaf business must operate the vehicle in a safe and responsible manner, with respect for other drivers and with awareness that they are acting as a representative of the College.  The driver and all passengers must wear seat belts.  The driver must abstain from using a cell phone for voice or texting while driving.  The College has zero tolerance on the use of alcohol and recreational drugs when used in conjunction with the operation of a College vehicle.   The driver is personally responsible for all traffic offense fines, violations, etc., incurred.  The driver is responsible for compliance with all Minnesota Department of Public Safety child passenger restraint laws when transporting K-12 students.  All accidents that occur during travel for St. Olaf business must be reported immediately to the Executive Administrative Assistant in the Office of the Vice President & Chief Financial Officer (x3016).

St. Olaf College’s insurance provider requires that all St. Olaf employees and students pass the campus driving program prior to driving campus owned or leased vehicles.  In order to remain current, the class must be repeated every two years. During this two year period, any citation or ticket you receive must be reported to the Executive Administrative Assistant in the Office of the Vice President & Chief Financial Officer (x3016).

In order to qualify as a St. Olaf College driver, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • you must be 18+ years old,
  • you are required to have a valid U.S. driver’s license,
  • you must be an employee of or student at St. Olaf College,
  • you must complete the St. Olaf College required driver safety training program,
  • you must successfully pass a motor vehicle background check.

Once you have been cleared to drive (allow up to 48 hours after completing the online training program for clearance), your name will be added to the list of authorized campus drivers for up to a period of two years.

St. Olaf College has selected SafeColleges’ web-based training as our driver safety training program. This course is designed to help keep you safe behind the wheel.  Should you decide to continue driving College owned or leased vehicles you must  renew using the on-line driver safety course prior to your expiration date.

Use of College Vehicles
St. Olaf has a fleet of vehicles which are available for official business of the College. These are available to faculty, staff and recognized student organizations.  Vehicles in the fleet include:

  • 8 Minivans (7 passengers total) – $0.50 a mile
  • 1 Chevy Traverse with all-wheel drive and 5,200 pound towing capacity (8 passengers total) – $0.65 a mile

There is a minimum charge of $25 per vehicle rental as well as a $25 cancellation fee if you fail to cancel the van and not pick up your keys.

Anyone driving a college vehicle must be on the approved drivers list, which includes passing a motor-vehicle background check and maintaining the online SafeColleges safety training program certification that must be renewed every two year.  Vehicles will not be reserved/checked out without a college account number.  To reserve a vehicle, contact the Buntrock Commons Office at x3017. Key packets can be picked up at:

  • Buntrock Information Desk – during the academic year.
  • Buntrock Office – Summer

Trip forms are included in the key packets and need to be completed.  The driver should perform a pre-trip inspection as well as record starting mileage.   Be sure headlights, taillights, and windows are clean before operating the vehicle.  A post trip inspection is to be completed upon return; note any damage, needed maintenance, and ending mileage.

Employees are prohibited from all personal use of College vehicles, including commuting, with the following exceptions:

  • utility repair vehicles that are considered qualified non-personal use vehicles per IRC section 274(i) are allowed to be used for commuting to the employee’s home if the employee is on-call, and
  • approved cases where mileage is tracked and personal use is recorded as income to the employee.

Travel groups of 15 or more are encouraged to utilize a chartered bus if the distance is greater than 50 miles one way.  Northfield Lines is a trusted, local, transportation vendor.  Click here to request a free quote or you may contact Northfield Lines at #651-203-8888.

Smoking is not allowed in College vehicles.  All accidents involving College vehicles must be reported to the Executive Administrative Assistant in the Office of the Vice President & Chief Financial Officer (x3016).

Use of a Rented or Leased Vehicle for College Business
If it is necessary to rent or lease a vehicle, departments are encouraged to arrange car rental by calling our preferred rental car vendor, Enterprise Rent-a-Car or by using an on-line booking if the rates are more cost-effective than the College’s contracted rates with Enterprise Rent-a-Car.  Enterprise requires drivers to be 21 years of age.  You must be on the current “approved” driver list in order to rent a vehicle for College business.  Please use your St. Olaf purchase card to pay for the car rental.  The College disallows the rentals of 12+ passenger vans through Enterprise or other car rental companies.

To receive special Enterprise Rent-a-Car rates in Minnesota, you can do one of three things: book on the Internet at, call 1-800-rent-a-car, or contact the branch directly.  Their local address is: 150 Water Street S, Northfield, and their phone number is (507) 664-9944.  Make sure to provide your Business Rental ID number 19A3109 and if booking online your 3 digit pin is MNS.

When you rent outside of the Minnesota group you can also receive this rate plan by using business rental account XZ19113 and if booking online your 3 digit pin is STA.

In many cases, it is preferable to rent a car at our discounted Enterprise Rent-a-Car rate over driving a personal vehicle.  In some cases the rental fee and gas may amount to less than a mileage reimbursement.  This Trip Mileage Calculator  is customized for St. Olaf and will help you determine travel costs.  The College’s contracted rates with Enterprise Rent-a-Car include full collision insurance and $2 million in liability coverage.  There is also insurance coverage through Visa Commercial Card Services if the vehicle is rented on the St. Olaf purchase card.

Please keep in mind when renting a vehicle:

  • The College recommends that travelers use economy or compact models when rental cars are necessary. For domestic travel, do not accept the Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and Personal Accident insurance (PAI), since the College provides adequate insurance. The College will NOT reimburse additional insurance coverage. Contact the Office of the Vice President & Chief Financial Officer (x3016) to obtain a proof of insurance card prior to travel.
  • When renting a vehicle for international travel, coverage MUST ALWAYS BE PURCHASED from the rental company to comply with individual countries’ legal requirements.
  • Before leaving the rental lot, the traveler should inspect the vehicle for pre-existing damage to avoid unwarranted additional charges when the vehicle is returned.
  • Return the rental car to the agency (same location) with a full tank of gas to avoid additional charges.
  • Attach a copy of the rental agreement as well as the receipt to your purchase card statement or travel expense report.
  • The Office of the Vice President & Chief Financial Officer (x3016) must be contacted upon return should an accident occur while driving a rental car. 

Use of Enterprise CarShare for College Business
Employees may use the Enterprise CarShare program for official College business and charge it to their purchase card or be reimbursed.  The application fee and membership fees are waived and full collision insurance is included in the rate when using the CarShare business link.  Please note that the business link may only be used for official College business by employees on the current approved drivers list.  If using the CarShare program for personal use, the employee must use the personal use link, where there is an application and membership fee and insurance is not included.   Join now!

Use of Personal Vehicle for College Business
The College strongly discourages faculty and administrators from using personal vehicles for College business (including transporting students) because employees assume liability in their own personal vehicle.  Employees using their own cars for college business are obligated for damage to their car and liability for injury/damage sustained by third parties. The College’s insurance is secondary to the vehicle owner’s insurance.

  • The College 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.
  • A College accident report must be filed if there are personal injuries to anyone involved in an accident or if non-College property is damaged, other than the driver’s vehicle.
  • The College does not reimburse employees for insurance or auto club memberships.
  • Accident deductibles, tickets, violations, etc. incurred by faculty, staff or students while using a personal vehicle for College business are the responsibility of the driver.

Mileage Calculations:  The College reimburses mileage at the IRS approved rate, becoming effective January 1, subject to the approval of the College’s Chief Financial Officer.  Receipts for actual fuel charges will not be accepted unless the expense was for a College vehicle or if it is documented that the amount for fuel would be less than the mileage calculation reimbursement.  Direct trips between the employee’s residence and the College at any time are considered commuting miles and are not reimbursable.  Mileage reimbursement is meant to cover only those miles incurred above and beyond the employee’s normal commute to the College.  For example, if the normal commuting round trip is 40 miles, and the employee goes on a business trip leaving directly from home that covers 75 miles, then only the incremental 35 miles are reimbursable.   Mileage Reimbursement For Commuters Form

Use of a Rented or Leased Vehicle for Personal Business
Enterprise offers a discount for personal rentals.  For all “personal use” or leisure rentals you may use discount code EHSB19A and online three-digit pin of ENT.  The discount code for personal use does not include the insurance coverage that is included on our business account.