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Cornell University

Fleet Services Policies

Fleet Services Policy Menu


Types of Vehicles Available
Use of University Vehicles
Off-Road Use
Authorized Renters and Drivers
Authorized Passengers/Use
Unauthorized Passengers/Use
Driver Requirements
Daily Rental Vehicles
Monthly/Annual Rental Vehicles
Fueling the Vehicle
Credit Card Use
Insurance Coverage
Accidents/Roadside Assistance
Fees and Penalties

Types of Vehicles Available

The following vehicles are available for official business use by university personnel:

  • Hybrid vehicles

  • Subcompact and midsize sedans
  • 7 and 12 passenger vans (including the driver). Note: Drivers of 9-15 passenger vans require additional Driver Qualification.

All vehicles are equipped with:

  • Snowbrush
  • Wright Express gas/service card
  • Emergency instructions in the event of an accident.


The fleet rental price is based on per-day, per-month, or per-year rate.

  • Daily:  rentals of 15 days or less in duration plus per mile charge

  • Monthly:  rentals of 6 months or less in duration plus per mile charge
  • Annual: rentals greater than 6 months in duration. (The full annual rate will be assessed for leases greater than 6 months, but less than 1 year in duration.)

Fleet Services now offers the option to review the vehicle condition at dispatch and return, with a staff member during business hours. 

Off-Road Use

  • Passenger vans and sedans are not designed to be driven off-road and should be only driven on roads and highways.
  • Drivers are responsible for vehicle damage resulting from negligence and/or unauthorized off-road use of fleet vehicles.


Authorized Users and Drivers

  • Cornell University faculty, staff, and students with a valid United States driver’s license must register as a university driver by filling out the User Registration Form and the Driver Release Form at
  • All students (undergrad and graduate students) must be pre-approved by Risk Management by filling out the driving history questions at the bottom of the User Registration Form.
  • Please note that groups classified as "Independent Organizations" are not eligible to use our vehicles.

Authorized Passengers/Use

Only Cornell faculty, staff, and students are allowed in Fleet vehicles. All others must be pre-approved by Risk Management

Unauthorized Use/Passengers

  • Fleet vehicles may not be used for personal business nor may the vehicle be used in commuting to and from an individual’s place of residence.
  • Never transport passengers such as hitchhikers, family members, or other unauthorized passengers.  Unauthorized usage exposes the university to great risk, especially in the event of an accident.
  • Animals may not be transported in a fleet vehicle without prior approval from Fleet Services.

Driver Requirements

To ensure that all community members are qualified and advised of Fleet policies and procedures, all drivers are required to register with University Fleet Services before their first trip. Additionally, all drivers must:

  • Have a valid United States driver’s license.

  • Notify Fleet Services of any change in license status.
  • Use Fleet vehicles for official university business only.
  • Wear seat belts when driving or occupying a university vehicle.
  • Operate a university vehicle in accordance with university regulations and applicable state laws.
  • Never drive the vehicle at speeds that are inappropriate for road conditions.
  • Assume responsibility for any and all fines or traffic violations associated with the use of a university vehicle.
  • Be observant and respond to any dashboard trouble indicator lights.
  • Never drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Refrain from smoking. Smoking is prohibited in Fleet vehicles.
  • Never use a cell phone while driving, unless hands-free technology is utilized, and never send or read text messages while driving.
  • Turn the vehicle ignition off, remove the keys, and lock the vehicle when you leave it unattended.
  • Remove all personal items and trash before returning the vehicle to the fleet garage.



  • Daily fleet vehicles are linked to the Fleet Services EZ Pass account. Please note: there are transponders in the vehicles. Simply drive through the EZ Pass lane at the posted speed so the license plate may be recorded.
  • Drivers of annually leased and departmentally-owned vehicles are encouraged to verify that the vehicle has an EZ pass associated with it.

Daily Rental Vehicles

Parking On the Cornell Campus

  • Drivers of fleet vehicles must comply with all campus parking regulations. All Fleet-owned daily/monthly rental vehicles have an N parking permit, which is valid in areas signed: N, C, G, HH, Z, ME, O, R, WE, E, A; Student residence permit areas: FH, ND, SW, WD; Also Valid in night restricted areas; Two hours in FLEX spaces; 30-minute loading access.

  • Fleet vehicles are not allowed to park in MT or other reserved spaces.
  • Posted time limits and payment requirements in metered/ParkMobile areas must be obeyed.
  • Fleet vehicles are not exempt from being ticketed and towed.
  • Any parking violations on or off campus are the responsibility of the lessee.
  • Transportation Services reserves the right to suspend or change these parking privileges as needed.
  • Personal vehicles should be parked in the Fleet Rental lot located at the east end of the Fleet Services garage while renting a fleet vehicle.


Monthly/Annual Assigned Vehicles

  • Promptly respond to maintenance notices to ensure regularly scheduled service and safety inspections are performed.
  • Clean and wash the vehicle as needed to maintain a positive appearance.
  • Do not apply bumper stickers, decals or modify the vehicle in any way. A fee may apply for the removal or repair of extraneous items.

Annual Rentals

  • Charges will begin on the agreed-upon start date regardless of the actual pick-up date.
  • All fuel dispensed at Fleet Services or purchased using the WEX card will be charged to the account on the reservation. 
  • Users are responsible for obtaining any necessary parking permits and/or EZ Pass for tolls.
  • All repairs must be pre-approved by Fleet Services.  Once approved, Fleet Services will facilitate payment. All work orders and invoices must be forwarded to Fleet Services for payment as well as our maintenance records.
  • Users are required to report mileage to Fleet Services annually.
  • Courtesy vehicles will be provided, pending availability, while Fleet Services performs maintenance on your annually-assigned vehicle. 
  • Immediately notify Fleet Services of any damage to the vehicle, regardless of fault and/or amount of damage.
  • Daily rental fees will be charged for a temporary replacement vehicle while damage is being repaired. The annual rental reservation will continue as normal.
  • If snow tires are requested, the cost of the tires, as well as installation and removal fees, is the department’s responsibility.  Tire storage is the responsibility of the department.

Fueling the Vehicle

  • All vehicles should be fully fueled when picked up and do not need to be returned with a full tank of gas.
  • Fuel and service the vehicle at Fleet Services whenever possible. 
  • Wright Express or other credit cards should only be used when outside the Ithaca area or in emergencies.  This credit card is in the Fleet Services booklet located in the glove compartment. The instructions for the fuel card are also in the booklet. Please note that the Wright Express cards can be used at Esso stations in Canada.


Credit Card Use

Authorized purchases include: 

  • Fuel

  • Oil
  • Emergency service
  • Necessary vehicle accessories such as windshield wiper blades (with prior approval from Fleet Services).

Unauthorized use includes but is not limited to:

  • Food and drinks
  • Transactions coded as miscellaneous
  • Maps
  • Full service
  • Premium or super unleaded fuel

Insurance Coverage

The university is self-insured. All potential drivers should review and understand University Policy 3.4: Use of Cornell Vehicles. If there is a change in a driver’s license status after having completed the form, the driver is required to immediately notify Fleet Services.

Accidents/Roadside Assistance


If the vehicle is involved in an accident, please obtain complete information. Use the form enclosed in the book in the glove compartment for the preliminary report. Notify Fleet Services immediately in the event of an accident. When in an accident, the driver must:

  • Notify the police.

  • Get immediate medical aid if injured.
  • Keep calm and do not argue. Arguing can result in a lawsuit.
  • Make no statements concerning guilt or fault.
  • Never agree to make payments for the accident.
  • Discuss the accident only with police officers, representatives of Gallagher Bassett of NY, Inc. (the university's third party claims adjuster), or a university official.
  • Record as much information as possible on all other parties to the accident. This information may include their insurance company, their name, license number, plate number, make, model, and year of car, how the accident happened, witnesses (with addresses and phone numbers).
  • Contact Fleet Services (607-255-3247). Leave a message if it is after hours.
  • Complete a Vehicle Accident Report as soon as possible.
  • Refer all questions from lawyers, the other party, and all others to the Department of Risk Management and Insurance (607-254-1575).

Roadside Assistance:

  • When in the Ithaca area, Fleet Services personnel are available during business hours (7:00 am – 3:30 pm) for minor emergencies such as flat tires, jump starts, etc.
  • Outside normal business hours, please call the 800 number on the back of the WEX card for assistance.
  • For tow service in the Ithaca area, call Fingerlakes Wrecker Service at 607-273-6972 and arrange to have the vehicle towed to the fleet garage.
  • For tow service out of the Ithaca area, use the nearest available service and have the vehicle towed to their impound area.
  • Call Fleet Services with the name and address of the tow company.
  • Remember to remove the glove box book that contains the credit card.
  • Reimbursement for gas, emergency road service, or repairs to fleet vehicles may be processed through Fleet Services. Vehicle and confirmation numbers must be noted on the receipts.


Fees and Penalties

  • Failure to comply with Fleet Policies and Procedures will result in the loss of driving privileges.
  • A department may be charged a fee for excessive wear and tear or damage on a rented vehicle as well as repairs resulting from negligence.
  • Any accident or incident resulting in damage during the rental period will be charged up to a $500 insurance deductible.  If more than one accident or incident occurs during the rental period, you will be charged additional deductibles.
  • Cleaning fees will be charged for vehicles that require extra cleaning/special detailing to remove interior spills, smells, etc.
  • Replacement cost for lost or damaged keys or keyless entry devices will be charged to the department.
  • Additional costs resulting from the misuse of a gas credit card will be charged to the renting department and reported to the department head and University Audit for possible disciplinary action. Drivers will be held personally responsible for charges resulting from misuse.

Cancellation Policy

  • You may cancel your reservation online up to 8 hours prior to departure.
  • If you wish to cancel within 8 hours of your departure, please notify us via phone (607-255-3247) or email ( Failure to do so may result in a fee based on the duration of your reservation.