Rental Vehicle Policy

Responsibility for policy: Director of Property Services
Approving authority: Vice-Chancellor
Last reviewed: September 2016
Next review date: September 2021

Print Version


  1. This policy applies to all staff of the University.


  1. The purpose of this policy is to ensure appropriate, equitable and cost-effective use of rental vehicles by staff for University business.

Related documents

  1. The following documents set out further information relevant to this policy:


  1. In this policy:
  2. domestic means within New Zealand
    overseas means outside New Zealand
    travel management company (TMC) means the University's travel management company which has been awarded the status of preferred supplier for travel and accommodation services  following a competitive tender process
    University business means any activity that a staff member is expected to undertake during the course of their work
    University pool vehicle means a University vehicle that is available for short-term loan to authorised drivers for the purpose of conducting University business.


  1. This policy does not apply to the rental of vehicles by staff on study leave, which is subject to the Study Leave Policy.


  1. Staff travelling on University business must use the most cost-effective, safe, mode of transportation (ensuring business requirements are met) available; this may include use of rental vehicles, shuttles or public transport (bus, train, taxi etc.) or University pool vehicles.
  2. Personal preference is not in itself an acceptable reason for renting a vehicle rather than using public transport.

University pool vehicles

  1. Staff who are required to travel on University business commencing and ending at a University of Waikato campus, must use a University pool vehicle whenever one is available, rather than using a rental or private vehicle; University pool vehicles must be booked through the University Fleet Management website. Further information may be obtained by emailing: [email protected].

Approval and use of rental vehicles for University business

  1. Use of a rental vehicle is subject to the approval of the relevant line manager, who is responsible for ensuring that appropriate consideration has been given to alternative forms of transport.

Smoking in rental vehicles

  1. Smoking in rental vehicles is prohibited under the Smoke Free Policy.

Preferred suppliers and insurance for domestic vehicle rentals

  1. The University is a party to an all-of-government agreement with preferred suppliers of domestic rental vehicles (Thrifty, Hertz and Avis), details of which are available from the Orbit Resource Centre, or directly from the University's TMC (Orbit).
  2. Use of a domestic rental vehicle company other than a preferred supplier will be approved only if a preferred supplier is unable to provide a suitable vehicle.
  3. If the use of a domestic rental vehicle is to be a one-way trip, e.g. from Hamilton to Auckland Airport, preference must be given to a preferred supplier who will waive one-way charges.
  4. Unless approved otherwise under section 12 of this policy or in such exceptional circumstances as set out in clause 15 of this policy, staff must book domestic rental vehicles in advance from a preferred supplier through either Unimarket or the University's TMC in order that the TMC can fulfil its duty of care responsibilities; under no circumstances may staff make bookings directly with a preferred rental vehicle company.
  5. Only in exceptional circumstances where approved travel plans have been unavoidably disrupted may staff book domestic rental vehicles directly with a preferred rental vehicle company or a rental vehicle company other than a preferred supplier if a preferred supplier is unable to provide a suitable vehicle; in such cases the staff member must notify the University's TMC as soon as practicable in order that the TMC can continue to fulfil its duty of care responsibilities.
  6. Staff may not rent a vehicle above class CCAR (Compact, Auto, e.g. Toyota Corolla) unless the nature of the business being undertaken is such that a people-mover, van or 4-wheel drive vehicle is necessary and prior approval has been given by the relevant line manager.
  7. The University's insurance covers domestic rental vehicles, which means that no additional insurance cover is necessary.

Preferred suppliers and insurance for overseas vehicle rentals

  1. Staff who wish to book rental vehicles internationally must do so in advance through the University's TMC and must first obtain authorisation from the relevant line manager; staff may not rent a vehicle of more than 2000cc or a 'luxury' vehicle.
  2. Staff renting vehicles overseas must purchase the mandatory insurance cover offered by the relevant company but, because the University's travel insurance policy includes cover for rental vehicle excesses up to $5,000, must decline any excess waiver option if offered.

Methods of payment

  1. The preferred payment method for rental vehicles is University of Waikato PCard - this ensures that any additional charges associated with the rental are met; where a staff member does not hold a University PCard, the payment method for rental vehicles must be through a purchase order raised in conjunction with the rental vehicle booking through Unimarket; staff should ensure that purchase orders take into account any additional costs that may be incurred with the rental.
  2. Wherever practicable, rental vehicles must be refuelled before being returned to the rental company to avoid further charges being incurred by the University; payment methods should be used in the following order of priority:
    1. school fuel card
    2. University PCard
    3. where a staff member does not hold a University PCard, the cost of refuelling must be met personally and the staff member should seek reimbursement through staff claims.
  3. Staff members must personally meet the cost of any tolls and seek reimbursement through staff claims.
  4. Staff members must retain all receipts for costs to enable reconciliation of PCard charges or reimbursements.


  1. Staff are personally responsible for any parking fines, speeding tickets and other infringement notices; under no circumstances may such charges be claimed back from the University or charged to the rental company.
  2. Line managers are responsible for ensuring that staff who report to them comply with this policy.

Responsibility for monitoring compliance

  1. The Director of Property Services is responsible for monitoring compliance with this policy and reporting any breaches to the Vice-Chancellor.
  2. Breaches of this policy may result in disciplinary action under the Staff Code of Conduct.

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