Vehicle Rental and Use Policy

The Department of Public Safety is responsible for maintaining the College vehicle fleet. As of November 22, 2004, the College eliminated all 15-passenger vans from the fleet and does not allow off-campus leasing of them. The College fleet is used solely for College-related activities and may not be used for personal trips. A faculty member must accompany students on trips to destinations more than 100 miles away from campus.

Priorities for the Issuance of College Vehicles

Priority is reserved for trips scheduled 30 or more days in advance. For groups providing less than 30 days notice, college-owned vehicles are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

In order of priority:

  • Course related activities led by a faculty member driving, e.g. biology, geology, Model UN
  • Athletic teams
  • Service Learning
  • Other administrative and teaching faculty trips
  • Student activities with faculty member driving, student clubs and club sports
  • Student activities with no faculty member driving
  • Rentals to affiliated groups, e.g. ESR, Bethany, etc.

Approval of Drivers for College Vehicles

  • The Department of Public Safety as well as Earlham’s insurance carrier must approve all drivers by completing the certification process regardless of if you are renting through the Fleet, Enterprise, Wetzel, etc.
  • Drivers must complete the below to become 7-passenger van certified
    • Department of Public Safety driver application
    • Submit 2 years of driving history
    • Provide a current valid driver license
    • Complete 4 online courses assigned after information has been turned in to the Public Safety office
  • To become 12-passenger van certified applicants must complete the above and pass a driving test scheduled with the Public Safety office.
    • Driving test is valid for 12 months and must be renewed yearly
  • Drivers with multiple moving violations may be prohibited from driving college vehicles.
  • Drivers issued a citation or traffic violation ticket as the result of an “at fault accident”, DUI/DWI, or a Seatbelt Violation are not permitted to drive college vehicles for at least one year.

Parameters of Campus Vehicle Use

  • Adverse weather and weather advisories may result in cancellation of vehicle use.
  • At all times, all occupants of college vehicles must wear seat belts.
  • For trips beyond 100 miles, a faculty member must be in one of the vehicles on the trip.
  • Drivers must rotate every two hours on trips over 250 miles.
  • Departments must cancel vehicles at least 24 hours in advance, unless weather related, to prevent a cancellation charge

Charges and Fees for College Vehicles

  • Charges for fleet vehicles are determined by the miles driven, the vehicle used, and length of trip
  • A minimum daily charge of $25 is charged for any rental.
  • Sedans are .66 or if trip is over 85 miles the charge is $65 a day
  • Mini vans are .75 per mile or if the trip is over 114 miles the charge is $90 a day
  • 12 passenger vans are .95 per mile or if the trip is over 106 miles the charge is $110 a day
    • Public Safety will use the most cost effective charge for your department
  • If the vehicle has to be cleaned after rental, additional charges will be incurred. This can range anywhere from $25 if a student worker can clean the vehicle up to $225 if a professional clean is needed.
  • Fleet vehicles are required to be returned with at least a half (1/2) tank of gas. A gas card is provided for use. If it is under a ½ tank the driver will have the option to go and fill it up with the provided gas card or a $25 charge if this has to be done by a Public Safety Employee 
  • No Show charge for rented fleet vehicle is $25
  • If an accident occurs while driving all charges not covered by Earlham insurance is the responsibility of the renting department.

Outside Leasing by Authorized Agents of the College

  • If there are not any Earlham or Enterprise vehicles available, Earlham College departments and summer programs must make their own arrangements for a vehicle rental. 
  • All drivers must still be certified by Public Safety
  • Vehicles larger than a 12-passenger van cannot be rented
  • Seat belts must be worn by all occupants
  • For trips beyond 100 miles a faculty member must be in one of the vehicles.
  • Drivers must rotate every two hours on trips over 250 miles.


The Department of Public Safety schedules training for new drivers of 12-passenger vans after application requirements and online courses have been completed. Departments and programs are encouraged to provide additional training for their student drivers.

  • Maneuvering a 12-passenger van in large and small parking lots on campus.
  • Backing the van and use of the vehicle mirrors.
  • Experiencing the turning radius of the van around curves on campus.
  • Off-campus practice on an as-needed basis.


Exceptions to the 100-mile Limit for Trips not Accompanied by a Faculty Member

There exist a few special cases where the 100-mile limit on trips with no faculty member rule would create serious handicap to our academic program. The Director of Public Safety is authorized to grant exceptions and allow such longer trips without faculty member attendance, but only under the following provisions:

  1. The trip must be part of an Earlham for-credit activity, and
  2. The faculty member can assure the Director that all prospective drivers have been trained in driving vans (if a van is to be used), and
  3. All travelers must be enrolled in the activity, and
  4. There is documentation of the above two provisions, by signing a form or sending an e-mail.

Petitions to allow such trips (without faculty) but which are not for-credit should be submitted by a sponsoring faculty member to the Director of Public Safety and will be reviewed by the Vice President of Student Life and Vice President for Finance and Administration.

Such petitions are likely to be approved only under the following circumstances: that provisions #2, 3, and 4 above satisfied, that the activity is closely related to the college’s educational mission, that a faculty member is actively involved (even if not traveling), and that the college is actively sponsoring the wider effort from which this trip arises. (Financial support by the Student Organizations Council does not constitute college sponsorship).

Next steps

We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.
We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.