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Rental Vehicles

The most economical means of transportation should be used when traveling on university business. This is determined based upon the total cost of the travel, efficient use of staff time, and appropriate approvals. The most practical vehicle should be rented, but generally nothing above a standard/intermediate car should be rented unless there is a business reason for the larger vehicle.

An important message from Risk Management regarding Insurance Coverage

Purdue is self insured for damage exposure on vehicles used by staff traveling on university business. Therefore, the waiver offered by the rental company should not be purchased. National Car Rental whenever possible since, under the Big Ten Agreement, they provide coverage for damage to the rental vehicle and auto liability at no extra charge to the customer.However, for international rentals, it is recommended that full insurance coverage be secured from the rental agency.

For domestic rentals, simply advise the rental car company that Purdue University self insures rental vehicle collision damage or ask your department about the wallet card detailing insurance information available from Risk Management. We suggest that travelers use another car rental vendor if the agent insists insurance charges are mandatory.
Collision (CDW), Liability (LDW), Personal Accident Insurance (PAI), Supplemental Liability and Personal Effects (PEC) coverage is NOT reimbursable.

Renting A Vehicle in Canada

Click here for Risk Management information on renting vehicles in Canada.

Receipt Requirements
The itemized receipt obtained from the rental agency must accompany the travel expense voucher if it is $75 or over.

Parking and gasoline charges are reimbursable expenses.

If it is necessary for a student employee to drive a university vehicle as part of an approved trip, the student must obtain special permission. Permission can be obtained by submitting a Form RM 01D or RM01S (Departmental Request for Driver Authorization-Student/Volunteer or Student Org. Request for Driver Authorization-Student/Volunteer) to Risk Management. This form should be submitted at least 3 days prior to the trip to ensure adequate processing time. Once approved, a copy of the approved form will be forwarded by Risk Management to Transportation Service.

If the traveler extends the stay for personal reasons, the weekly rate will be pro-rated and only the amount directly related to University business will be reimbursed.

Weekly Rates / Personal Travel

Vehicle rental reimbursement is limited to the amount directly related to University business. If the traveler opts for a weekly rate because the total cost is less than if rented at the daily rate for the number of business days, the weekly rate amount will be reimbursed, unless the traveler stays on for personal reasons and keeps the vehicle.

If the traveler extends the stay for personal reasons, the weekly rate will be pro-rated and only the amount directly related to University business will be reimbursed.

Example: Traveler has a 4-day business event. Vehicle rental is $35/day or $125/5-day week. The traveler opts to rent the vehicle at the weekly rate to save the University money.
Allowable reimbursement is as follows:

A. In the case of not extending the business trip for personal business, the reimbursable amount for 4 business days is $125.

Alternatively, renting at the daily rate for 4 days would cost the University $140, all of which would be reimbursable. The weekly rental option provides a $15 savings and is encouraged.

B. In the case the traveler combines personal travel with business travel and extends the stay beyond the last (or prior to the first) business day keeping the rental vehicle for the additional day, the reimbursable amount for 4 business days is $100 calculated as follows:

$125 weekly rate/5 rental days = $25/day times 4 days = $100
$25 of the cost is the traveler's personal expense

Employee Discounts

Currently, Purdue has a Big 10 special contract with National Rental Car for preferred rates and special shuttle arrangements between major airports and Big 10 cities.

Visit our employee discount list to find the unique identification number provided for other car rental companies when making reservations. Be sure to ask about specials and off-season rates, which may be lower than corporate rates.


  • Accidents should be reported to the police immediately. Obtain the name and departmental affiliation of the investigating officer.
  • Exchange information with the other driver(s) involved including: names, addresses, phone numbers and descriptions of vehicles.
  • Report this information immediately to Risk Management. Call 765-494-7695 collect. Prompt reporting will minimize your inconvenience.
  • You will need the complete rental agreement and approved Form 17.
  • For rentals in the United States and outside of the Big Ten National Car Rental agreement, advise the rental car company that Purdue University self insures rental vehicle collision damage.
  • United States rental agencies may demand that you provide to them a credit card so they may charge any damage from an accident. This expense will be reimbursed to you by Risk Management, upon receipt of approved Form 17, the rental agreement, and your credit card statement.
  • For international rentals, notify the rental car agency directly and they will handle processing the claim.