Washington State University

Revision 3-13
Travel Services

Rental Cars

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University employees may be authorized to use rental cars when:


WSU employees may use rental cars when use of the rental car has been approved in advance by the authorizing official. (See 95.01 and 95.05.)

The University must be able to justify each use of a rental car. The alternatives to using a rental car may not be as convenient or attractively advertised; therefore, good judgment and discretion must be used when approving rental car use.

There are circumstances which may require the unanticipated use of a rental car. See "Unanticipated Use" below.

Incidental Personal Use

If personal use of the rental vehicle is more than incidental, the traveler is to keep track of personal time a rental vehicle is used. The traveler deducts the dollar amount of personal use from any amount owed the traveler. If the traveler charged the rental car expense on a rental car credit card, the traveler reimburses the University for the personal use by attaching a check to the Travel Expense Voucher. The traveler is to make the check out to Washington State University. (SAAM 10.50.35.e)

State Contract

The preferred sources for rental cars are Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental at a state contract rate, which includes full insurance coverage for collision/loss or damage. This coverage is often referred to as a loss damage waiver in rental agreements. See below.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car and/or National Car Rental are located at the main terminal at most airports. Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental provide rental services at most domestic locations.

The Enterprise/National Corporate Discount/Contract ID number for state contract services is 45WA000.

Before First Rental

To obtain state contract rates and other benefits, Travel Services advises employees to enroll in the National/Enterprise Emerald Club prior to making rental car reservations. To enroll, go to:



See below.

Additional Information

Refer to the Travel Services Enterprise / National Rent-A-Car website for further information, at:


Other Rental Firms

The traveler may rent vehicles from any other rental firm if:

When renting from another firm, request the corporate rate. (University personnel should be prepared to display University identification cards when requesting the corporate rate.) See below.

The department determines whether or not to purchase loss damage waiver coverage (collision insurance) when renting a vehicle through a company not included in the state's rental car contract. If the department does not obtain this coverage, the department may be liable for damage to the rental car.

If the department does not obtain liability coverage for a rental vehicle, the Washington Self-Insurance Liability Fund provides excess coverage for third-party liability claims, but does not cover damage to the vehicle. The department is responsible for all repair costs for a rented vehicle if loss damage waiver coverage is not acquired on the vehicle.

Unanticipated Use

When need for a rental car could not have been anticipated, reimbursement for the cost of the rental car, plus the cost of collision insurance, may be allowed, provided:

It is clear that the need could not have reasonably been anticipated, and no feasible alternative existed as evidenced by a statement in Travel Details on the Travel Expense Voucher.

A copy of the rental agreement is attached to the Travel Expense Voucher. (Also attach any gas receipts over $25, if gas is not included in the rental agreement.)


University departments and travelers use the following methods, as appropriate, to rent automobiles:

University Travel Charge Card

A University traveler holding a University travel charge card (see 95.03) may use the card to rent cars from Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental for official business. The traveler seeks reimbursement on the Travel Expense Voucher submitted after the trip.

The University travel charge card includes full comprehensive and collision damage insurance coverage for rental cars. If the traveler pays for the rental car with the University travel charge card, he or she is to decline the loss damage waiver insurance.

Personal Resources

A traveler may use his or her own personal resources to purchase the use of a rental car. See also "Unanticipated Use" above.

If the traveler pays for the rental car with his or her personal resources, and does not rent from Enterprise Rent-A-Car or National Car Rental, he or she should purchase the loss damage waiver insurance offered by rental car company. Unless full insurance is purchased, renters may be held personally liable for any loss or damage that occurs to the rental vehicle.


The traveler may use any method for reserving rental cars as long as it is cost effective and efficient. Make reservations:

Billing Code

When making reservations with Enterprise Rent-A-Car or National Car Rental, provide the Corporate Discount/Contract ID number 45WA000 or log in with an Emerald Club member number to ensure proper billing.

Guaranteed Vehicle

The state contract requires that Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental provide a vehicle if reservations are made at least 24 hours in advance.


Vans and mini-vans may be rented from Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental, subject to availability.

One-Way Drop Charges

Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental require at least a seven-day advance reservation for rentals not returned to the point of origin.

One-way drop charges for Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental are as follows:


Charge Per Mile


$ 0.00


$ 0.00


$ 0.00


$ 0.50


$ 0.50


$ 0.25


$ 0.15

Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental do not assess drop charges for one-way rentals, either direction, between the following pairs of cities:


A rental car agreement is prepared by the agency clerk.

Insurance Coverage

Contract Rentals (Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental)

The Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental contract includes comprehensive and collision, bodily injury, and property damage liability coverage. Do not request any additional insurance coverage when renting from Enterprise Rent-A-Car or National Car Rental.

Non-Contract Rentals

The rental company is required to include bodily injury and property damage liability coverage for the rental vehicle. Usually, the rental company does not provide comprehensive and collision coverage for damage to the rented vehicle.

Renters should obtain full comprehensive and collision coverage from the rental company if the rental is not being paid for using a University travel charge card. Unless full insurance is purchased, renters may be held personally liable for any loss or damage that occurs to the rental vehicle.

Supporting Account

The departmental budget pays for the comprehensive and collision coverage.

Driver's License

Show a valid driver's license and provide a home address.

Minimum Age

Under the terms of the state contract, drivers must be at least 18 years of age to avoid additional fees.


Only passengers related to the official business of the travel are permitted to ride in cars rented by the University. If the traveler makes a personal decision to transport an unofficial passenger, the state of Washington does not provide excess liability protection to the unofficial passenger in the event of an accident. (SAAM 10.50.35.c)


Under the state contract the rental vehicle may not be used:


Be sure the gas tank is full. Do not accept a rental car with a partially empty gas tank.

The traveler should fill the gas tank before returning the vehicle in order to avoid additional charges.

To obtain reimbursement for gas purchased for rental cars, return the receipts to WSU with the Travel Expense Voucher.



Paid in full by the car rental agency.

Towing Charges

Paid in full by the car rental agency (includes starting and tire changing).

Other Charges

Reimbursement by the car rental agency for other such services is allowed if the service is included in the rental agreement.


Refer to SPPM 7.20 for WSU reporting requirements.