California Department of Transportation
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Clark Paulsen, Division Chief

Commercial Car Rental

References:DGS Rental Car Contract, SAM 0750, SAM36320 and SAM 4117.2, California Code of Regulations (CCR), Administration, Title 2, Sections 599.627 and CCR 599.627.1, DGS Travel Bulletin 13-01, Travel Bulletin 14-01, 15-01, DGS Management Memo 13-02, and Travel Bulletin 16-02.


With prior approval, a state employee may rent a commercial vehicle when automobile travel is essential and a state vehicle is not available. The rental vehicle is to be used only for official business, and to obtain meals and lodging while on travel status. The vehicle must be returned to the vendor immediately upon completion of state business.

The Department of General Services (DGS) has negotiated the rental car contract for all state departments and mandates the use of Enterprise Rent- A-Car as the primary car vendor for all in-state government travel.

Travelers are required to make short-term commercial car reservations via the Concur Travel Reservation System.

Passengers who are not state employees or who are not on state business are not allowed in the vehicle. The state contract does not extend insurance coverage to unauthorized drivers, passengers, or for personal use.

Employees are not allowed to extend the rental period and (charge to the Department’s BTA account) for personal use beyond the end of state business and reimburse the state afterwards.


National Car Rental, an affiliate of Enterprise, is to be used primarily for out-of-state and international travel. Enterprise Rent-A-Car contracted rates are applicable nationwide with the exception of New York City.


The commercial car rental contract has been established to meet the short-term travel needs of employees on official state business. The contract is intended for rental periods of 30 days or less.


Vehicle Type Daily/Base Rate Weekly Rate Maximum Cap Daily
Compact $33.00 $132.00 $50.00
Intermediate $33.00 $132.00 $50.00
Full-Size $35.00 $140.00 $53.00
Hybrid Electric Vehicle $42.00 $168.00 $62.00
FWD/Sport Utility Vehicle $56.00 $224.00 $78.00
Mini Van $56.00 $224.00 $78.00
Pick-up Trucks $70.00 $280.00 $94.00
Zero Emission Vehicle $42.00 $168.00 $62.00

*The maximum cap rates offered must include all charges in additional to airport access fees, insurance, vehicle license fees, and, State, City, and County or local surcharges that apply to the rental car industry as a whole and identified by airport. Sales tax and fuel charges are not included in the rate.

For more information, go to the DGS Travel Program website.


State department desiring access to Long-Term rates pursuant to the Commercial Car Rental Contract, must follow the new Annual Fleet Acquisition Plans process described in the Department of General Services (DGS) Management Memo 13-02.

DGS/Office of Fleet Asset Management (OFAM) has eliminated the use of the OFA 160 form; agencies will no longer submit individual fleet acquisition requests to DGS/OFAM. This policy applies to all emergency and non-emergency fleet assets.”

Long-Term vehicle rental refers to any fleet asset rented or leased over 30 consecutive calendar days or more than 4 consecutive weeks. To request a fleet vehicle for long-term use, contact the Division of Equipment at (916) 227-6472. Employees are not to reserve long-term vehicles in Concur.

Construction Fleet (Capitol Outlay):

HQ Project Management must be notified and an approval must be obtained for Long-Term rental. Contact Lisa Nakao – COS Fleet Management at (916) 653-9079

Long-Term Rental Rates

Vehicle Type Daily Weekly Monthly
Compact $18.34 $128.38 $550.00
Intermediate $18.34 $128.38 $550.00
Full-Size $20.00 $140.00 $600.00
Hybrid Electric Vehicle $24.17 $169.19 $725.00
FWD/Sport Utility Vehicle $26.34 $184.38 $790.00
Mini Van $31.67 $221.69 $950.00
Pick-up Trucks $26.34 $184.38 $790.00
Zero Emission Vehicle $24.17 $169.19 $725.00


When picking up a rental vehicle, employees are required to provide a current driver’s license, and a second form of ID. Acceptable second forms of ID can be an employee issued ID badge, business card, a copy of a travel itinerary from CalTravelStore/Concur or an authorization letter on a department letter head.

Verify the agreement states the correct rate per day before signing. It is very common for the rental agencies to provide an upgraded vehicle to the state employee with a reservation when no contract vehicle is available. An upgraded vehicle provided at the company's discretion should be charged at the original reserved rate.

Examine the vehicle condition before accepting delivery and document any damages on the rental agreement.


The renter, and any persons authorized to operate vehicles under the contract agreement, must be properly licensed. This includes the renter and the renter’s fellow employees, while acting within the scope of their employment duties. Employees of the State of California who are 21 or older, if otherwise eligible, may rent and operate vehicles under the contract agreement when on official State business.


The rental car contract includes insurance coverage for the authorized driver while on State business. Supplemental insurance is not necessary and should not be purchased when renting the vehicle. To ensure coverage, the rental car must be reserved in the Concur Travel Reservation System.


The rental car contract requires vendors to provide counter bypass. Counter bypass allows a government employee traveling on official State business to proceed directly to the rental vehicle. Enterprise Rent a Car provides a "State of California Employee Express Lane” at the top 14 airport locations in California.


Cash, personal checks and personal credit cards are not authorized forms of payment for commercial car rentals. The only recognized forms of payment for the rental car vendors is the Department’s Car Rental Business Travel Account (CRBTA) used by reserving the car in the Concur Travel Reservation System OR in an emergency, employees’ may use their Citibank Government Charge Card.


Employees are required to fill the rental car with gasoline with the same level of fuel it had when picked up prior to returning the car to the vendor. Employees will be reimbursed by submitting the receipt with the Travel Expense Claim (TEC).   NOTE: If the gas tank is left unfilled when returning the vehicle, the employee must submit a justification (below).  Without a justification, the employee will be held responsible for all fuel charges assessed by the vendor.


The following “exceptions” require a completed State Controller’s Office (SCO) short-term justification approval form, signed by the employee’s supervisor.

  • Renting a vehicle larger than the Intermediate size
  • Renting a vehicle from a non-contracted vendor
  • Employees needing physical or medical accommodations
  • Refueling charges incurred at rental branches

The SCO short term justification approval form should be submitted to the Division of Accounting - Travel Payments Section B. State departments are no longer required to receive approval from the DGS Statewide Travel Program. The rental receipt should accompany the short term justification form.

An employee who requires an upgraded vehicle must also provide justification in the comment field provided in Concur. The CalTravelStore will reserve an upgraded vehicle requested through Concur once it is approved by the employee's supervisor. If no justification is provided, the employee may be required to pay any charges over the state contracted rate. Non-contract rentals are not allowed, except in rare instances when a vehicle is not available from a contract vendor (example: Crescent City). In these cases, the employee must complete a Short-Term Vehicle Justification Form. If approved, the employee will be limited to the state contract rate reimbursement. NOTE: The state does not provide insurance coverage and the employee is ultimately responsible for insuring the non-contract rental.

For additional questions, please contact the Travel Policy Section at (916) 227-8948.


For Short-Term domestic rentals, there will not be any one-way drop charge fees against the State of California when travel reservations have been made indicating point of pick-up and point of return. Reservations for a one-way drop must indicate location points.


Costs associated with the use of third party vendors for car reservations (Priceline, Expedia, etc.) will not be reimbursed. For additional information, see Third Party Vendors.


Additional fees for the rental of a GPS device will not be reimbursed by the Department.


Any billing problems or complaints should be brought to the attention of the manager at the car rental office. If the response is unsatisfactory, contact the Division of Accounting's Travel Policy Section at (916) 227-8948.

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