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Motor Vehicle Policy

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Section 1 - Policy Statement

(1) The purpose of this Policy is to protect and maintain the university's assets, to minimise the University's fringe benefits tax (FBT) liability, and to provide a safe and reliable motor vehicle service to the University community. All vehicles remain the property of the University excluding vehicles salary sacrificed via novated or associated novated lease.

Part A - Policy Declaration

(2) This Policy defines the conditions and procedures under which University motor vehicles shall be issued and operated.

Part B - Policy Description

Objectives

(3) The objective of this Policy is to protect and maintain the University's assets, to minimise fringe benefits tax liability, and to provide a safe and reliable motor vehicle service to the university community.

Scope

(4) This Policy applies to all officers, students and visitors authorised to drive University vehicles.

Part C - Content and Implementation

(5) University Officers and employees shall normally acquire, maintain, operate and dispose of University owned vehicles in accordance with this Policy, the Travel and Entertainment Policy, Driving Safety Policy and Drug and Alcohol Policy.

Private Use of University Vehicles

(6) University vehicles are provided for authorised travel in connection with official university business, research or teaching purposes. Vehicles shall not be used for private use unless the vehicle is part of a salary package or employment contract.

(7) Unauthorised use of vehicles will be referred to Executive for action. Note that for FBT purposes, private use includes the garaging of the vehicle at the employee's place of residence.

Business Use of Private Vehicles

(8) Staff travelling on university business should familiarise themselves with the Travel and Entertainment Policy.

Insurance Deductible (2010)

(9) For 2010 the vehicle insurance excess is $8,000 payable by the respective Cost Centre. Repairs under $8,000 shall not be subject to an insurance claim and are therefore the responsibility of the respective Cost Centre. Insurance excesses may change from time to time.

Under 25 years - Age Excess

(10) An additional excess of $1000 applies to drivers under 25 years of age which shall be the responsibility of the Cost Centre concerned.

Personal Property

(11) Personal property which is damaged within or stolen from a university vehicle is not covered by insurance and the University does not accept responsibility or liability in any form whatsoever.

Categories of University Motor Vehicles

(12) Generally, there are four categories of University vehicles:

  1. Category 1
    1. Executive
      1. Equivalent to Ford Fairmont, Holden Calais, Mitsubishi Verada, Subaru Outback <$50,000
  2. Category 2
    1. Directors, Heads of School, Head of Campus or equivalent/Managers/HOS
      1. Equivalent to Ford Futura, Holden Acclaim, Mitsubishi, Magna LS and Toyota Sportivo <$40,000
  3. Category 3
    1. Base models complying with minimum requirements such as Ford XT, Holden Executive, Mitsubishi Magna ES, Toyota Altise and Subaru Forester <$31,500
  4. Category 4
    1. Special Use Vehicles as authorised by the Vice- Chancellor on the basis of appropriate salary sacrifice or for the undertaking of specific duties.

Standard Inclusions

(13) Vehicles shall normally be fitted with:

  1. ABS braking and dual air bags as standard
  2. Air-conditioning (where not standard)
  3. Headlight and bonnet protectors
  4. Mudflaps
  5. Floor mats - carpet
  6. Cargo mats barriers in station wagons

Optional Extras

(14) Optional extras over and above Standard Inclusions for salaried packaged vehicles shall incur a surcharge of 50% per item payable by the Staff member concerned. Optional extras may include the following:

  1. Tow bars
  2. Window tinting
  3. Rear spoiler (other than standard)
  4. Roof racks
  5. Leather seats

(15) Costs for the removal and re-installation of mobile phone hands-free kits shall be the responsibility of Cost Centres.

Salary Packaged Vehicles

(16) Salary Packaged Vehicles are identified as part of an employee's salary package. The employee shall contribute to the running costs of the vehicle. Per annum contribution rates for categories of vehicles shall be determined by the Vice-Chancellor from time to time. These vehicles are subject to FBT due to employee's private use of the vehicle.

(17) Following approval, salary packaged vehicles purchased in excess of the category limit shall be subject to an additional contribution based on the purchase cost difference over the standard category limit. For example, where the category limit is $36,000 (GST exempt) and the approved/preferred salary packaged vehicle costs $39,000, then the contribution rate as determined by the Vice-Chancellor (from time to time) will be increased by $3,000.

(18) Vehicles shall be left at the university for use of staff during periods of leave exceeding four weeks in any one period of absence, unless approved in writing by the Vice Chancellor or Vice President (Finance).

Special Use Vehicles

(19) These vehicles are owned by the university for the purpose of specific and specialised tasks. This can either be of an academic or administrative nature. Examples are four wheel drive vehicles to carry out field study research, trailer, tractor or fork-lift.

(20) Special Use Vehicles are not normally available for private use by members of staff. Log books shall be properly maintained with a clear explanation of the vehicle's use to ensure that FBT is not incurred.

Driving Safety and Workplace Health and Safety

(21) Drivers should familiarise themselves with the vehicle assigned to them before commencing a journey. Employees who drive university vehicles have a responsibility to be familiar with and observe university regulations, rules and procedures concerning the driving and servicing of vehicles and the reporting of accidents. These responsibilities include but are not limited to, the daily checking of: Tyres for inflation and tread damage; Oil level; Radiator for correct water level; Battery condition; Spare wheel; Tool kit for essential items; Body for accident damage and missing fittings; Service sticker to ensure that servicing is not overdue.

(22) For further information regarding driving safety and Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) issues, please refer to the Travel and Entertainment Policy, Driving Safety Policy, Drug and Alcohol Policy and WHS Rules.

Pool Vehicles for Hire

(23) Pool hire vehicles are not available for private use by staff members. Log books must be properly maintained with a clear explanation of the vehicle's use to ensure that FBT is not incurred.

(24) Pool vehicles shall not be released unless a current driver's licence is produced at the time of vehicle collection. Drivers must be appropriately licenced for the particular class of vehicle.

(25) Pool Vehicle Request Forms are available via the Facilities Management website.

Hire Rates - Pool Vehicles

(26) Hire rates are approved by Executive and are subject to change from time to time. Rates for 2014-15 are as follows:

  1. Sedans and Station Sedans $65 per day.
  2. Bus (small) $80 per day.

Pool Vehicle Unavailability - Hire Cars

(27) On submitting a Pool Vehicle Request Form, in the event a Pool Vehicle is unavailable facilities staff will advise the applicant how to seek alternative arrangements with the Universitys preferred hire car supplier.

Collection of Pool Vehicles

(28) Collection Points are as follows:

  1. Shared Services Hub M Block CHEC
  2. The Gate House Lismore
  3. The Hub Beachside Gold Coast

Return of Pool Vehicles

(29) Pool vehicles are to be returned fully fuelled and in a clean condition. It is the responsibility of the driver when returning the vehicle that it is inspected and signed off by a Security Officer otherwise that work unit shall be held responsible for any damage.

Maintenance and Servicing

(30) The Security Officer should ensure that Pool vehicles are serviced in accordance with warranty conditions. Vehicles other than Pool vehicles shall be the responsibility of the Cost Centre concerned. Vehicles should be serviced in line with manufacturer's recommendations.

(31) A staff member who has been allocated a vehicle or who drives a pool vehicle, is expected to exercise the same degree of responsibility with regard to use, care, custody and maintenance of the vehicle as is required in respect of all university property.

Vehicle Defects

(32) Vehicle defects should be reported immediately to the Security Officer or appropriate school representative.

Smoking in Vehicles

(33) Smoking is prohibited in university vehicles.

'L' Plate Drivers

(34) 'L' plate drivers are not permitted to drive university vehicles including salary packaged vehicles.

Parking and Traffic Infringements

(35) Parking Infringements or Traffic Penalties (including but not limited to speeding and red light cameras) incurred by a driver of a university vehicle are the responsibility and personal cost of that driver. The university will arrange to transfer all fine notices to the driver for settlement. Fines are a personal expense. The driver is identified by the registration number of the motor vehicle. The university will not accept responsibility for payment of any fines and/or penalty incurred by staff/students or drivers.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

(36) If a motor vehicle accident occurs as a result of a breach of the road rules, applicable legislation or because an employee is impaired due to alcohol or drug use the University may:

  1. seek a contribution towards third party damages or any other resultant expenses from an employee involved in a motor vehicle accident while driving for work purposes; and/or
  2. may consider the activity misconduct or serious misconduct and instigate discipline proceedings accordingly.

Fuel Cards

(37) A preferred fuel supplier agreement exists with both Shell and Caltex/Ampol for the refuelling of university vehicles. Caltex is the current secondary primary supplier and should only be used when fuel is unable to be purchased from Shell. Fuel cards are to remain within the vehicle at all times. The only cost that can be charged to fuel cards is oil and fuel.

(38) Under NO circumstances should fuel cards be used for personal type expenditure.

(39) It is a requirement that kilometre readings for university owned vehicles are recorded with each and every fuel purchase

(40) Loss of fuel cards should immediately be notified to the Purchasing Officer who will arrange for cancellation and reissue of a replacement card.

Emergency Roadside Service

(41) All university vehicles contain NRMA membership cards for the purpose of emergency roadside assistance. Some vehicles depending on manufacturer conditions also offer breakdown assistance, details are contained within the vehicle glove box.

First Aid Kit

(42) Every University pool vehicle contains a First Aid kit. Details of items used from kits should be reported to the Security Officer as soon as possible.

Purchase and Disposal of Vehicles

Purchase Guidelines

(43) In all circumstances following appropriate approvals, vehicles shall be purchased through the University Purchasing Officer under State Government Guidelines. The Purchasing Officer shall also be responsible for the registration and third party insurance of vehicles.

Disposals

(44) University vehicles shall be replaced at the earliest of 25,000 km or twelve months or at the latest at 40,000 kilometres or two years. Special Use Vehicles may be held over for longer periods subject to use e.g. forklift. Subject to budgetary constraints, work units may elect on certain occasions to retain vehicles for a longer periods however the potential loss of trade- in value must be explored.

(45) Vehicles are to be tendered on a monthly basis March to October each year. The purpose is to maximise trade-in value and to meet common registration and insurance commitments.

(46) Cost Centres shall bear any monetary loss or disposal cost incurred in the disposal process either by auction or traditional trade-in.

(47) The University in an effort to obtain increased disposal values may offer vehicles for sale via public auction or any other method as approved by the University's Tender Board, as opposed to traditional trade-in.

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Section 2 - Responsibilities

Policy Administrator

(48) Responsibility and authority to implement this Policy is with the Vice President (Finance).

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Section 3 - Related Policies, Documents, Legislation & Strategic Priorities

(49) This Policy should be read in conjunction with the University's Travel and Entertainment Policy, Driving Safety Policy and Drug and Alcohol Policy.

Institutional Context

(50) The Policy supports the University's strategic directions in providing community member's authorised access to University assets as well as the protection of the university community and its property.

(51) The Policy also reflects and supports main commitments of the University's strategic Asset Management Plan.

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Section 4 - Procedures

Log Book Procedures

Journey Details

(52) A log book must be completed by the driver for each trip who has been provided with a log book. A business journey is to be recorded in a log book by making entries - at the end of the journey or as soon as possible afterwards - which specify:

  1. the dates on which the journey began and ended;
  2. the odometer reading at start and end of journey;
  3. the length of the journey in kilometres;
  4. the purpose of the journey, not merely the destination; and
  5. where the motor vehicle is used by a driver over more than one day, then each days travel must be completed in the log book, including whether the motor vehicle was garaged at the driver's home.

(53) As a general rule, an entry should be sufficiently descriptive of the purpose of the journey to characterise it as a business journey and to correlate broadly with the distance travelled.

(54) Two or more consecutive journeys on the same day in the same car for work purposes can be recorded as one journey. This means that if, on a particular day, a car is used only for business purposes on multiple journeys, only one log book entry is required for that day.

(55) Log books are an accountable document and care should be taken to correctly complete travel details. Failure to do so could result in the journey being deemed by the Taxation Office as assessable for FBT purposes. Any such costs incurred will be the responsibility of the relevant Cost Centre.

(56) At the end of each month log books will be collected from pool vehicles including School Pool vehicles and forwarded to Finance for processing. Cost Centres shall be responsible for maintaining Cost Centre vehicle log books. It is the responsibility of Work Units to forward log books to Finance at the end of each month for Audit and FBT reasons.

Business Travel

(57) Business travel can be broadly defined as travel exclusively for work.

(58) Circumstances where travel may be considered to be business include:

  1. travel between two places of employment/business;
  2. where employment requires duties to be performed in more than one place; the nature of the job makes travel in performing duties essential; and
  3. where the employee makes a business call involving substantial employment duties, on the way to or from work. In this situation the whole trip may be accepted as business; and where the employee is required to carry bulky equipment and there are sound reasons for keeping the equipment at home (refer to the Equipment Off Campus Authority Form).

(59) As a general rule, travel to and from work is considered to be private use of a vehicle.

Accident Reporting Procedures

(60) The procedures to be followed in the event of an accident are contained within each university pool vehicle.

(61) In the event of an accident involving a university vehicle, the following action is to be taken:

  1. Contact the Director, Facilities (02) 6620 3734 or Security Supervisor Safety and Information Office (02) 6620 3628 advising of the accident and whether the vehicle is drivable.
  2. If the vehicle cannot be driven, make arrangements for it to be towed to a secure yard by contacting the NRMA phone 13 11 11.
  3. Obtain all relevant details for any insurance report.
  4. As soon as possible complete a claim form available from the Manager, Insurance and Risk.

If a Third Party or Property Damage is Involved

(62) Do not admit liability or accept responsibility in any way, this is a condition of the University's motor vehicle insurance policy. Simply provide the other party or parties with the following: Name, Licence Number, Registered Number of the Vehicle, Obtain relevant details for completion of a claim form If you require assistance contact the Director, Facilities or Security Supervisor Safety and Information Office 02 6620 3628.

If you have Sustained an Injury

(63) Complete an Incident, Accident and Hazard Report form as soon as possible (normally within 48 hours following incident).

Insurance - Conditions

(64) All university vehicles are comprehensively insured. In the event of an accident where the cost of repairs is less than $8,000, the Cost Centre or Work Unit, will be responsible for the payment of these costs.

(65) The insurer will deny any claim where, but not limited to:

  1. the driver is proven to have been driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol;
  2. being an unlicensed driver;
  3. has not exercised due care of the vehicle;
  4. has caused loss, damage or liability by own criminal acts; or
  5. the vehicle being used in an unsafe or un-roadworthy condition.

(66) There are other circumstances where the Insurer will not pay and these are detailed in the University's motor vehicle insurance policy. For further details contact the Manager, Insurance and Risk.

(67) The following insurance excesses will apply in the event of a vehicle being involved in an accident:

(68) Basic deductible $8,000 payable by Cost Centre

(69) Under 25 years of age a further deductible of $1,000 payable by Cost Centre

Repairers - Preferred Suppliers (2010)

Lismore

(70) Phillip Hunter Smash Repairs Phone: 6621 3993

(71) Pidcock Panel Beating Phone: 6626 4499

Coffs Harbour

(72) Peter Dubois Smash Repairs 6651 3639

Tweed/Gold Coast

(73) TBA

Mobile Phone Use

(74) Mobile phones must not be operated unless the vehicle is fitted with a hands free kit.

Hitchhikers

(75) In accordance with NSW Government 'Best Practice' guidelines, hitchhikers are not permitted to travel in university vehicles.

Tollway E-cards

(76) Due to the requirement by Tollway Companies to have one account only for the university, Facilities Management and Services will purchase, distribute and manage E-cards.

(77) E-card holders are responsible for ensuring that E-cards are not misused and will incur replacement costs should the E-card be lost or stolen.

Driving Under the Influence

(78) It is a condition of the Motor vehicle Insurance Policy that should a driver of a university vehicle cause damage of any kind whilst driving under the influence, such driver will be held liable for repair costs including third party claims. Refer clause Insurance Conditions, above.

Buses - Age Limit

(79) Driving of buses whether hired or otherwise is limited to drivers over 21yrs with a double excess under 25 years.

Wrong Fuel Use

(80) Insurance cover excludes damage to a motor vehicle in the event that wrong fuel has been added.

Safeguard Vehicle

(81) It is the responsibility of a driver to take reasonable steps to protect or safeguard a vehicle from theft or further damage.