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About this Policy


Policy Number: 24006

Effective Date:

Last Updated:

Responsible Office:
Risk & Insurance Management

Responsible Administrator:
AVP Management Services Director of Risk & Insurance Management

Policy Contact:

Risk & Insurance Management


  • Finance

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To all University employees, faculty, staff, and students who operate a University owned, loaned, rented, or leased vehicle for Official University Business.

Reason for Policy

To ensure that University Vehicles are acquired, assigned, utilized, maintained, and replaced appropriately and all vehicles operated on Official University Business are done so in a safe manner.

Policy Statement

University Vehicles shall only be used for Official University Business and not for Personal Use except when authorized as compensation and its value is recognized as income or when assigned to the Chief of Police.  For purposes of this policy, rental vehicles are considered University Vehicles when rented by an authorized employee and while used for Official University Business.

Under special circumstances a non-University owned vehicle may be provided by a supplier and permanently assigned to a University employee.  The operation of these vehicles shall be consistent with the section entitled “Operation of Vehicles”.

Choice of Rental, Personal or University Vehicle
When planning a business trip, supervisors or administrative heads of departments and travelers should determine the most cost effective travel option for trips, taking into consideration the following options:  vehicle rental from an outside agency, using a University owned vehicle, and mileage reimbursement for the use of a personal vehicle.  The University's Trip Optimizer tool can be used to calculate travel costs and aid employees in selecting the most cost effective option for each trip.  All relevant factors such as employee time and effort, proximity to rental or University Vehicles, length of trip, and other administrative costs should be considered when selecting the most cost effective method of travel.

Purchase or Lease of University Vehicles
All purchases or leases of University Vehicles shall be handled through Supply Chain.  Acquisition from state contracts, or other existing contracts that offer exceptional value is strongly encouraged.  Purchase of used vehicles should be considered, but should include total life cycle cost rather than initial acquisition cost.  The vehicle type, size and accessories specified must be appropriate for the intended use.

Before any new or replacement vehicle is purchased or leased, a review of both the overall need for the vehicle and a cost-benefit analysis of purchasing/leasing a vehicle should be completed.  Departments should evaluate the cost per mile to operate the vehicles taking into consideration acquisition costs, expected retail or trade-in value, and operating costs such as fuel, maintenance and other administrative expenses.  When University Vehicles are purchased or leased, an individual designated by each campus will be responsible for completing the appropriate documents for the titles and license plates for new or used vehicles.  Titles for University Vehicles will be maintained and filed in a location designated by each campus.

If anticipated annual mileage of a Non-Exempt vehicle is fewer than 10,000 miles, the administrative head of the department should consider use of fleet vehicles, rental vehicles or encourage employees to use their personal vehicle instead of purchasing/leasing a vehicle.  Written justification for purchase/lease of a Non-Exempt vehicle that is expected to be driven fewer than 10,000 miles each year must be approved by the division head and provided to the department fiscal officer.  Vehicles used on a daily basis, for example mail delivery vehicles, are exempt from this requirement.

Purchases or leases of Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and four-wheel drive vehicles must be demonstrated in writing, to the satisfaction of the division head, that the vehicle is required to perform an essential function.  If it is so demonstrated, priority consideration shall be given to the purchase or lease of an alternative fuel or hybrid SUV or four-wheel drive vehicle.

Due to safety issues, all 15 passenger van acquisitions must be approved by the Director of Risk Management. Consult the Risk and Insurance Management website for the Safety Guidelines for use of passenger vans.

Seventy percent (70%) of Non-Exempt fleet vehicle purchases/leases must be Alternative Fuel Vehicles (AFV).  Bid specifications must include requests for bids for both standard fuel vehicles and alternative fuel vehicles.  Based on anticipated usage information provided by the department, Supply Chain shall calculate life cycle costs based on bids for each.  When the life cycle costs for the alternative fuel vehicle are less than, or exceed the life cycle costs of a standard fuel vehicle by no more than 10% (17% in Kansas City and St. Louis) the alternative fuel vehicle must be purchased/leased.  However, state legislation requires at least 30 percent of all fuel used in alternative fuel vehicles be the designated alternative fuel.

Prior to achievement of the percentage of AFV purchases, the requirement to purchase or lease AFVs may be waived by a Vice Chancellor or Vice President in exceptional circumstances when justification is provided in writing.  Justification may include:

  • The department’s vehicles will be operating primarily in an area in which alternative fuel is not reasonably available; or
  • The University is unable to acquire or operate vehicles within the life cycle cost limitations cited above.

After a campus has achieved the required percentage of AFV purchases in a biennial period, Supply Chain may waive this requirement, so long as it does not jeopardize the attainment of this goal for the campus.

When a vehicle is unsafe, unreliable, uneconomical to operate, or when annual maintenance cost exceeds 30% of the value of the vehicle, consideration should be given to replacing the vehicle.  Departments should strive to replace vehicles before operating costs become prohibitive.  The suggested replacement cycle for standard passenger vehicles is 100,000 miles or seven years. 

Operation of Vehicles
Vehicles driven on Official University Business shall only be operated by authorized employees or when to the advantage of the University, by non-employees.  All individuals who drive any vehicle on Official University Business must abide by the following:

  • Operators must have a valid driver’s license for the type of vehicle operated.  When golf carts are driven on roads and highways, they are considered motor vehicles under Missouri law, and shall follow all state and local traffic laws and ordinances.  Therefore, the applicable driver’s license would be required.
  • Passengers in University Vehicles are limited to employees, students or guests of the University traveling on Official University Business.  Authorized passengers who are properly licensed to drive in accordance with the provisions above are authorized to assist in the driving of a University Vehicle.
  • Obey established speed limits and all other traffic rules and regulations.  The University is not responsible for traffic violations by drivers on Official University Business.  Operators must drive carefully, safely and courteously.
  • Operators shall not drive while under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs or any other substance that impairs their ability to drive.  Transportation of controlled substances in University Vehicles is prohibited except when necessary in the conduct of Official University Business.
  • All drivers and passengers shall wear seat belts when traveling in any University Vehicle or any personally owned vehicle which is equipped with passenger restraints.  No vehicle shall be operated when the number of occupants exceeds the number of passenger restraints available.  It shall be the driver's and each passenger's responsibility to wear their seat belts.
  • Due to the risks associated with use of cellular telephones and/or other wireless devices while driving on Official University Business, such use by drivers is discouraged.  In some cases, cellular telephone usage and/or use of other wireless devices (“texting”) is prohibited by law.  Drivers shall not text while operating a vehicle on Official University Business.  Drivers must comply with applicable law in jurisdictions which prohibit or limit use of cellular telephones and/or other wireless devices.  In all other areas, due to the risks when such use is necessary, the vehicle should be pulled off the road and stopped while the device is in use.
  • Smoking is not permitted in any University Vehicle.

Assignment to an Individual
A University Vehicle may only be assigned to a licensed individual to be used in a commuting capacity under one or more of the following circumstances:

  • An employee works from his/her home and the division head has determined that it is unreasonable for the employee to pick up and drop off the vehicle each day
  • The employee is subject to 24-hour call
  • The employee must operate a special use vehicle
  • The President, or the Board of Curators, has determined that by virtue of the employee’s position, it is in the best interests of the University to assign a vehicle to an individual
  • A non-University Vehicle is provided by a supplier as a courtesy vehicle for use by a University employee

An employee using an exclusively assigned vehicle must report personal usage annually to the designated campus office so the correct value can be included for W-2 reporting. 

Maintenance of University Vehicles
University Vehicles shall be operated and serviced in an efficient and environmentally sound manner.  At a minimum, organizational units having administrative custody of a University Vehicle shall follow the manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedule for each vehicle.  Safety inspections shall be obtained as required by law before operating the vehicle.  Each unit, or designated department, shall have a vehicle preventative maintenance policy listing the required maintenance activities for each type of vehicle the unit owns or leases.  All maintenance and repairs performed on University Vehicles must be documented and retained for the life of the vehicle.

Required Records for Vehicle Use
When employees use their personal vehicle for business, a record of such activity should be maintained.  The University has two forms available for this purpose, and these forms can also be used to request and approve reimbursement for the business use.  The forms can be found on the Records Management web site under Finance/Budget Forms.

To the extent possible, all direct costs of owning and operating University Vehicles must be fully documented.  Appropriate managerial review of vehicle usage and maintenance shall be conducted on a regular basis.  In compliance with state reporting requirements, each department or division will annually provide the campus Vehicle Coordinator with information regarding vehicle acquisitions, disposals, mileage, fuel use and fuel expenditures by fuel type, and maintenance and repair costs.


University Vehicle - any licensed motor vehicle owned, loaned, rented, or leased by The Curators of the University and used primarily to transport people or property on roads, highways or University property. 

Official University Business - any activity conducted by an individual in the performance of duties as assigned by the University to that individual.

Personal Use - any trip or segment thereof that is made for the purpose of participating in an activity or function that is not Official University Business, or for which the expenses are not reimbursable by the University, or which is made to transport an unauthorized passenger.

Non-Exempt Vehicle - vehicles subject to vehicle efficiency or alternative fuel requirements as specified in Missouri State Statues, RSMO 414.400 to 414.417.  

Exempted Vehicles - Vehicles exempted from this requirement are:

  1. primarily used off road, for construction or road maintenance;
  2. regularly used in the movement of maintenance or construction equipment;
  3. trucks or utility vehicles that are regularly used to transport trailers;
  4. vehicles with manufacturer-stated seating capacity exceeding six persons and the department head has certified that the vehicle will be used to transport its rated capacity;
  5. vehicles used primarily for criminal law enforcement or motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, ambulances;
  6. vehicles over 8500 lbs; or
  7. any type of vehicle for which the EPA has not published fuel economy comparisons.

A list of exempt vehicles can be found under the CAFÉ Standards.

CAFE Standards - criteria used to specify and evaluate bids for new vehicles shall consider fuel economy.  All Non-Exempt vehicles must meet Corporation Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency. 


Administrative Responsibilities:
The supervisor or administrative head of a department or other organizational unit having administrative custody of a University Vehicle or whose employees drive vehicles on Official University Business are responsible for:

  • Assuring compliance with vehicle policies covering acquisition, assignment, disposal, maintenance, appropriate use, and record keeping.
  • Taking reasonable steps to ensure that operators of vehicles on Official University Business have a valid driver’s license for the type of vehicle operated.
  • Reviewing requests and approving appropriate assignments of University Vehicles to non-employees, in order that such drivers may be protected under the provisions of University liability insurance.
  • Reviewing the annual mileage of each University Vehicle in the department and justifying the continued use of any vehicle driven fewer than 10,000 miles per year.

All individuals who drive a vehicle on Official University Business are responsible for:

  • Using care and obeying all traffic laws while operating the vehicle
  • Notifying their supervisor if their driving privileges are suspended or revoked

Additional Details


Forms for recording Vehicle Usage, Fuel, Maintenance, Travel Expenses and after sale, trade or disposal, are available at the Records Management website:

Related Information

Alternative Fuel Vehicle Requirements:  RSMo §414.400.2-414.417 and RSMo §37.455

For more information see the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy website regarding Alternative Fuels.

Commercial Driver’s License:  See HR-511: Commercial Driver’s License, for information regarding testing and training requirements.

The Cost/Benefit Analysis of Purchase vs. Rental spreadsheet is available for use in making these calculations.

Risk and Insurance Management:

Policy 24013 on Resale, Sale, or Disposal

How to Buy Website


Updated February 1, 2018 for the University's new tool, Trip Optimizer, that is available to employees and departments for determining the lowest cost of travel by vehicle.  

Formerly Business Policy Manual 406 – Vehicles (revised 9/18/2012)


Reviewed 2023-01-30