4.5 Travel by Institution-Owned, Rental or Personal Vehicles
Employees are encouraged to utilize institution-owned vehicles, if available, for travel within the state of Georgia, and, when appropriate, for travel outside the state. However, if institution-owned vehicles are not available, employees may choose between using a rental vehicle or personal vehicle. Institutions may reimburse employees for the mileage incurred during the employee’s use of a personal vehicle. The employee and supervisor must determine if mileage reimbursement should be made using Tier 1 or Tier 2 rates, enabling the traveler to successfully execute travel requirements at the lowest reasonable costs, thus resulting in the best value for the State.
4.5.1 Rental Vehicles
The State has entered into mandatory statewide contracts with specified car rental vendors. Employees should rent vehicles from one of these vendors when the use of a rental vehicle is the desired form of travel. Renting outside the statewide vendor contracts requires an approved waiver. The waiver form can be found on the Department of Administrative Services (DOAS) website. Approved waivers must be attached to the travel statement. Section 2.2 of the Statewide Travel Policy states as follows:
a. Approved car rental sizes are Compact, Intermediate or Full Size. Other vehicle sizes require a business-related justification. Vans may be rented when there are more than 4 travelers.
b. Reimbursement will be made for reasonable fuel charges. (This excludes renters who pick up cars from the Capitol Hill location and are furnished a fuel card and are billed based on a specific calculation for that location.) Travelers must decline optional fuel offerings offered by the car rental vendor. Maintenance and oil changes are the responsibility of the rental company and will not be reimbursed by the State.
c. Rental cars under the Statewide Car Rental Vendor Contract should be returned with the same amount of gas that it had when it was picked up. Travelers should pay close attention to the fuel amount when they pick up the vehicle to ensure there are no overcharges for gas upon return of the rental car.
d. Employees traveling on State business inside the Continental U.S. in any rented motor vehicle are covered by the State’s liability policy; therefore, liability coverage should be declined when renting a motor vehicle. Loss Damage and Collision Damage are also covered for vehicles rented under the Statewide Car Rental Vendor Contract. When traveling to destinations outside the Continental U.S. (OCONUS), with the exception of Canada, the State Risk Management Department recommends that travelers accept collision insurance when renting cars. Contact the DOAS Risk Management Services Department regarding any other questions related to rental car insurance coverage.
e. NOTE: The State liability policy is only in effect while the employee is using the rented vehicle for official State business. For this reason, personal use of the vehicle, including allowing friends or family members to ride in a State rented vehicle, is prohibited.
f. NOTE: For any exceptions to the policy with regard to Rental Cars please contact Department of Administrative Services.
g. In the event of an accident while driving a rental vehicle, contact the Risk Management Office at 1-877-656-7475, as well as the appropriate car rental vendor, for claims handling.
4.5.2 Use of Personal Vehicles
Section 2.3 of Statewide Travel Policy governs the business use of personally-owned vehicles. Guidance is provided on the following:
- Appropriate use of Tier 1 and Tier 2 reimbursement rates. See Mileage Reimbursement Rates Policy tab at https://sao.georgia.gov/state-travel-policy for authorized Tier 1 and Tier 2 reimbursement rates.
- Proper methodology for calculating reimbursable business miles versus normal commuting miles: Commuting miles are the miles traveled on a regular basis from an employee’s residence to the primary work station. This should be a standard distance that does not change from one reimbursement request to the next. The primary work station is the location to which an employee regularly reports to for work. Examples are provided in Appendix A of the Statewide Travel Policy.
- Allowability of reimbursement for tolls or other parking fees or charges.
- Extent of State insurance coverage.
4.5.3 Use of Institution-Owned Vehicles
Institutions maintaining a fleet of vehicles should establish the necessary policies and procedures consistent with the state fleet management policy for employees to request, utilize, and maintain the vehicles. If the vehicle should break down while traveling, the institution responsible for maintaining the vehicle should provide for repairs and roadside assistance to the driver.