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Use of Automobiles


Provide instruction for using automobiles in the course of University business.

Applies to: 

All departments and offices on the Lawrence campus and its reporting units.

Juniper Gardens
Policy Statement: 

In compliance with state rules and regulations, “only state employees and persons reasonably engaged in ‘official state business’ are allowed to ride in a state vehicle.”  Non-employees are prohibited from driving University owned vehicles under any circumstances. This prohibition includes vehicles rented under University vehicle rental contracts. Family members and friends of employees may not ride in state vehicles. Pets are not to be transported in state vehicles.

If a student is a state employee, the student may drive a state vehicle to perform assigned “official state business” functions for which the renting department has hired the student.

No state-owned vehicle may be parked more than two days (one day for pool cars) in a nearby city or air terminal while the traveler is on an extended trip to a still more distant city.

Actual expenses incurred in the operation of a state-owned vehicle are reimbursable and will include parking fees, purchase of gasoline, oil, grease, minor repairs, and turnpike tolls. Minor repairs should be made when and where necessary to insure safe and efficient operation of the vehicle, but all major repairs should be handled by the department responsible for the vehicle.  Receipts must be obtained for actual expenses.

Departments with University owned vehicles should obtain an automotive P-Card for the purchase of fuel and related items for the vehicle.  This will relieve the driver of the vehicle from using personal funds and seeking reimbursement.  This will also allow the University to be reimbursed the federal excise tax.  The driver must save and submit receipts to their department upon return.

The University is authorized by the State of Kansas to carry public liability, property damage, and medical payment insurance on state-owned vehicles. Cost of this insurance coverage is charged to departments that have state-owned vehicles assigned to them. Coverage is effective only when the vehicle is used for official business and the driver has been authorized to operate the vehicle.

Individuals involved in a vehible accident in a state-owned vehicle:

  • The driver should immediately contact the local police or sheriff's department to report the accident.
  • If another party is involved, exchange information. Make sure to get the other party's name, address, phone number and their insurance company's name, phone number and policy number.
  • The driver should attempt to get a copy of the police report to establish responsibility for the accident.
  • If a state-owned vehicle is involved in an accident in which no other vehicle is involved, and property of others is damaged, the property owners should be contacted in addition to the police or sheriff.
  • In every circumstance, a telephone report should be made to the Risck Management Office within forty-eight (48) hours of the accident.
  • If practicable, the telephone report should be followed by a written report on the insurance forms which are carried in the state vehicle. This insurance does not necessarily remove the need for individual "drive other car" insurance for operators of state-owned vehicles. The cost of personal insurance endorsements may be reduced, however, because of the University's insurance.
  • University employees are also required to report all accidents involving state-owned vehicles to their supervisor and/or manager as soon possible.
  • Additional information regarding accident reporting is available on State of Kansas' Accident Reporting Information website.


Use of a private vehicle for official University business within the state is permissible. Private vehicle mileage can be paid for the most direct route between destinations, plus any detours necessarily traveled at the exisiting mileage reimbursement rate for private vehicles ($0.58 as of FY2020).

Mileage is claimed from the center of one city to the center of the city visited. No vicinity driving is allowed unless you go on the turnpike, or go to more than one place in the visited city. Any claim for vicinity mileage must be shown on the travel voucher as a separate item.

Repairs, gas, and oil must be paid by the traveler. List the trip out and the return trip as separate entries on the travel reimbursement voucher. When turnpike tolls are claimed, mileage must be shown in accordance with the turnpike mileage chart. Parking will be reimbursed if it is incurred in connection with an authorized out-of-state trip and supported by a receipt or indicated to be unattended and no receipt available. Travel vouchers requesting reimbursement for private car mileage must be filed monthly.

An authorized traveler may elect to drive a private car out-of-state and reimbursement shall be allowed for the lesser of:
(a) actual mileage traveled from traveler's domicile or official station whichever is less, to the lodging establishment at the destination, plus turnpike tolls and parking charges, or
(b) airfare in lieu of mileage, which is mileage from domicile or official station whichever is less, to the airport, plus economy airfare from the nearest air terminal to the air terminal at the destination plus mileage to place of lodging.

In addition to reimbursement allowed in (a) or (b) travelers shall be allowed mileage incurred from the lodging establishment to the meeting place. No terminal expense, such as limousines or taxis, can be claimed. Out-of-state subsistence will be paid only for the number of meal allowances that would have been necessary that the traveler used the fastest available public transportation instead of a private car. However, when a privately owned car is clearly required for field work, or when two or more authorized travelers undertake a trip in one privately owned vehicle, reimbursement to the owner or driver only will be at the existing privately owned vehicle rate for the most direct route. Subsistence will be paid to each traveler for the time necessary to complete the trip.

Approvals Required for Justification for Rental Car

The approval for rental cars should be:  Use of rental vehicle must be more economical or advantageous than using public transportation (including taxis and shuttles).  The comparison or reason is to be included with the payment or reimbursement.


Financial Services - Property Accounting

Approved by: 
Approved on: 
Monday, January 7, 2002
Effective on: 
Monday, January 7, 2002
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
Motor pool, accident, police report, mileage reimbursement, gasoline, oil, car repair
Change History: 

05/11/2023: Updated Risk Management phone number to email address.
02/17/2023: Updated contact section.
04/16/2021: Updated Approver, Contact, and Unit from Comptroller to Financial Services. 
07/03/2019: Updated to clarify accident reporting requirements.
07/11/2016: Updated to remove gendered pronouns.
07/15/2014: Updated to reflect a new 2015 mileage update to $0.56 per mile. 
03/2014: Updated to clarify that non-employees are prohibited from driving KU vehicles.
08/2011: Updated.

Financial Categories: 
Equipment & Inventory
Financial Oversight
Operational Categories: 

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