Issues with Government Rental Car Use

» Posted by on Jul 7, 2014 in Rental Cars | 0 comments

I have seen a number of different issues arise with regards to rental car use for official Government travel.  Perhaps other travelers have also run into similar situations and could share their stories as well.

One situation was when a non-Government traveler rented a rental car.  Since we handle these types of travelers as “invitational travelers”, we use our ETS to book rental car reservations.  So I wonder if non-Government travelers (traveling on Government business) are allowed to use the DTMO rate with the same rental car privileges.  When this particular non-Government traveler showed up to rent her car, she paid for the CDW (liability insurance that is included in the DTMO rate).  I would have thought that since we booked the rental car through our ETS, the CDW would automatically be waived, since the Government is a self-insurer and the CDW is normally included in the DTMO rate.

In another case I had, the traveler had to drop his rental car off at a different location than where he picked it up.  Unfortunately, the “unlimited mileage” that I thought was included with every Government rental did not apply in this case.  Instead of unlimited mileage, this rental incurred a “per mileage” charge.  So I would warn other Government travelers about additional charges if the rental car’s pick-up location is not the same as its drop-off location.

Since my agency only authorizes an “intermediate” size rental car without requiring additional justification, sometimes it is difficult to monitor whether or not the traveler drove an intermediate size car or not.  The traveler’s receipt may show that a standard size car was rented, which may be the intermediate size car equivalent for a particular rental car company.  Since it seems that some rental car companies use a different name for the intermediate size rental car, it would be helpful to have similar terminology across all rental car companies.

 By K.J. Martin

*NB: The post above is my own opinion and does not reflect the opinion of my agency or the Federal Government.*


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