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Travel Policies: Ground Transport/Car Rental

Using ground transportation/renting a car

Car Rental

A mid-size sedan is the college standard; a full-size vehicle is booked only when three or more travelers are traveling together in the same vehicle. Larger vehicles, such as vans, are booked only when there is a specific need.

Defensive Driver's Training Course Required

  • Calvin College has been mandated to require all operators of any (including your own) motor vehicles used for Calvin business/activities to complete a defensive drivers training course. Every driver (instructors and students) must submit a completed Motor Vehicle Driving Release Form to the physical plant office in order to be registered for the online training course. The release form is included in the Instructor's Packet on the Web site. Additional online courses are required if you need authorization to drive a van. Please mark the driver's release accordingly.

Once enrolled, you will receive an email from a company called AlertDriving. They will give you a user name and password to use at their website to take the courses and pass the tests. The physical plant office will be notified of your successful completion of the course and will send you an endorsement sticker to put on the back of your Calvin ID card authorizing you to drive for Calvin College. The college's Transportation Policy may be found on the physical plant Web page under “Policies”.

Renting Vehicles for Use in the U.S.

  • All persons driving rented vehicles in the U.S. need to have a copy of Calvin's insurance and accident report form with them when traveling. Copies are available from the physical plant office.
  • Arrangements for renting vehicles for groups departing from Grand Rapids must be made via the physical plant and reservations can be made on the physical plant Web site. Bus arrangements should be made by contacting Nola Nielsen at extension 67154.
  • Arrangements for “non-local” rentals (vehicles to be available at your destination—not in Grand Rapids ) should be made by contacting the Calvin travel service office.
  • In Canada or U.S. territories or possessions, do not pay additional fees for any type of insurance coverage. Be sure to carry the insurance and accident report forms with you while traveling.
  • Do not refuel a rental vehicle before returning it to Calvin's physical plant service building . Calvin can refuel the vehicle at a lower cost than retail.

Renting Vehicles and Insurance for outside the U.S.

  • In countries other than the U.S. , primary liability coverage must be purchased from the rental agency. Collision damage insurance is triggered by the use of Calvin's American Express card (for a fee of $4.00). Be sure to pay for it with your college American Express Card. If you have questions regarding this policy, please contact Nola Nielsen.
  • Use the American Express Card to pay the rental fees for all international rentals.
  • Rental companies are increasingly asking for the names of drivers and driver's license numbers that will be driving the vehicle.
  • Refuel a rental vehicle before returning it to a rental agency. Rental agency refueling fees are significantly higher than retail cost.

Taxis/Bus/Limo/Shuttle services

The cost of taxi, bus, or airport shuttle service incurred by travelers when traveling on college business is reimbursable. Travelers are expected to choose the most cost-effective mode of transportation available. A 10% tip is recommended for taxi drivers or shuttle drivers. Receipts should be obtained for this expense.

Rail travel

Rail travel is considered a viable travel option.

Driving Personal Car

Airline transportation should be used for long distance travel, except when suitable arrangements cannot be made, there is substantial cost savings, and/or the traveler wishes to drive. If a traveler elects to drive for long-distance college travel, the mileage/car rental reimbursement should not exceed the average cost of an airline ticket to that destination.

  • Travelers are strongly encouraged to use a college fleet car or a rental car for trips that can exceed the day and mileage limits as shown in the accompanying chart, as it is more cost-effective for the college. If you use your personal vehicle, mileage for college travel is reimbursed at the prevailing Internal Revenue Service rate. This information must be submitted for reimbursement on an approved Travel Expense Report.
  • Renting a vehicle is the most cost-effective option for the college if the number of days traveling and the total mileage is at least:
Days 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Miles 125 251 377 502 628 753 879 1,004 1,130 1,255 1,381 1,506 1,631
  • All receipts as well as beginning and ending locations must be documented for all mileage reimbursements and attached to the Expense Report.
  • In addition to mileage, travelers are reimbursed for parking fees, road tolls and any other expenses directly related to the trip. Travelers are not reimbursed for car repairs, parking tickets, traffic violations or insurance claims.
  • Anyone using a personal vehicle at any time for college-related travel must carry the following as minimum insurance coverage on their personal vehicles:
    • Liability: $100,000 per person, $300,000 per occurrence, and
    • Collision: standard, with $500 deductible liability insurance on their personal vehicles.

The above are minimum levels you must have on your policy. Since you have primary responsibility in case of an accident, you may wish to review your coverage with your insurance agent and consider having a higher liability with a broad form deductible. Calvin maintains only secondary liability coverage to protect the college in case of accidents involving faculty and staff members traveling on college business.