Auto / Rental

Automobile

The College has a limited number of vehicles that may be used by employees to drive to a business destination.  Employees should contact the Transportation Coordinator (x2302) to determine how their business transportation needs can best be met.  Depending on the circumstances employees may either:

  1. Rent a college vehicle (minivans or 12 passenger vans)
  2. Be driven in a college vehicle by a driver
  3. Use a local limo service
  4. Rent a vehicle through a local commercial agency
  5. Use their own vehicle.

Please see the facilities website for more details.

The College will reimburse transportation costs to the extent such costs exceed the normal daily cost to commute to their office.  Employees are encouraged to use a College owned vehicle for business travel by auto.  If a College vehicle is not available, the employee can either rent a car through a local agency or the College will reimburse for business miles driven in a personal vehicle at a rate determined by the Provost’s Office.  See below for important auto insurance information.  The current IRS mileage reimbursement rate is 53.5 cents per mile.  To obtain mileage reimbursement, a travel voucher must be completed stating the destination and actual mileage traveled.  A Map Quest, Google map or similar printout stating the mileage of the trip is required as documentation.  Mileage reimbursement may never exceed the cost of available alternate transportation, i.e. the reimbursement for mileage cannot exceed the lowest train or airfare available.  In cases where the employee elects to drive rather than travel by plane or train, the lower of the available alternatives will be reimbursed to the employee. Employees cannot request mileage reimbursement and charge for gas…the IRS mileage rate includes compensation for gas and depreciation.

Roadside assistance

The cost is $20 for Roadside Assistance to come out to a vehicle plus whatever costs are incurred. Typical Roadside Assistance calls are for a locksmith or gas or a flat tire.  The Roadside Assistance toll free number can be found on a card in all College Car key packets. The toll free number can also be found on the top of the trip ticket received whenever a car is checked out from Facilities.

Auto Insurance – Personal Vehicle

It is important for employees to be aware that the College’s commercial automobile insurance policy provides liability coverage on a secondary basis only when the employee uses a personal vehicle while traveling on College business.  Since the vehicle owner’s insurance policy always will provide the primary liability coverage, the College’s policy will provide coverage only after the limits of the primary insurance policy are exhausted.  The College will not provide reimbursement for the deductibles associated with the primary insurance under these circumstances.

The College’s commercial automobile policy cannot provide collision or comprehensive coverage when an employee’s vehicle is used for business travel.  The vehicle owner’s policy will provide the only coverage for these types of claims.  The College will not reimburse for these losses.

Any employee involved in an accident while on College business should contact Dave Waynick,  Director of Administrative Services, X4020, as soon as possible.

Rental Car

Employees should rent a car only when it is required for daily use at the business destination or there is no other less expensive means of transportation from the airport/train station to the business destination.   If an employee rents a car for one week and uses the car partially for business and partially for personal use, the weekly cost of the car must be prorated.  Employees should rent a car of an appropriate size based on the number of employees traveling. You are advised to investigate the fuel policy of the rental agency to avoid excessive refueling charges upon return of the automobile.   The cost to include a navigation system in your rental car is approved when your out of town business travel involves locating several locations during a trip.

The College has an agreement with Enterprise for local rentals.  In order to reserve a vehicle, call the Pittsfield Enterprise branch at 443-6600.  Vehicles can be picked up and returned at the Facilities building. Please see the facilities website for more details.

Zipcar Memberships

Zipcar is a car-sharing program where members may rent a vehicle by the hour for personal or College business. In order to sign up for an individual membership, please click here to create or log-in to your membership. There is an annual $35 membership fee for an individual membership.

Emerald Club Membership/Avis Corporate Awards Program

Williams College employees are eligible to become Emerald Club (National Car Rental) members or enroll in the Avis Corporate Awards Program.  You can enroll to be an Emerald Club or Avis Preferred Service member by clicking on our
Travel Services website and then click Ground Transportation.  Membership in the Program will automatically terminate at the end of any calendar year for any member who has not completed at least one vehicle rental with National Car Rental during that calendar year.

Auto Insurance – Rental Cars

Automobiles should always be rented using a College corporate credit card (purchasing card).  If you expect to be renting a car either in Williamstown or out of town and do not have a corporate credit card please call x4413 to discuss obtaining a card or go to the Controller’s Office website to fill out the online application. If you rent a car using a College corporate card you should:

  • Decline the physical damage waiver (also known as collision damage waiver)
  • Decline the waiver of liability for damage
  • Adhere to ALL conditions of the rental agreement for operating the vehicle.

Note:  The cardholder needs to be the primary driver.  You may not rent a car for another individual with the college’s credit card.  The vehicle rented needs to be driven either by the cardholder or an “additional driver” identified/listed on the rental agreement.  If this does not happen then the physical damage coverage by the credit card will be voided.

If you are not using a college credit card:   Accept the physical damage waiver only.  The College’s commercial automobile policy will provide liability coverage.

The maximum length of coverage for daily and/or weekly rates and the maximum coverage per claim should be discussed with each rental agency.    All claims must be reported within 30 days of the accident.

Employees should be aware that only listed drivers are covered by insurance and there are additional charges for additional drivers to be eligible to drive rental cars.  Employees must make sure that all potential drivers are listed and be aware that if those additional drivers are not employees the additional cost is not reimbursable.

Employees need to be aware of the rental car company’s policy on gasoline and make provisions to either return the car with a full or empty tank as the policy dictates.

Insurance coverage is not available on 15-passenger vans rented with the Bank of America Purchasing Card.

Any employee involved in an automobile accident while on College business must contact the Director of Administrative Services, x4020 as soon as possible.   Also contact the Director of Administrative Services, x4020 regarding insurance questions.

Questions regarding automobile rental should be directed to Assistant Director for Administrative Services, x2301.