COVID-19 guidelines for VCU-owned state vehicles

VCU Fleet Management values the health and safety of our employees and are here to support you during this evolving situation. We are actively monitoring COVID-19 developments and have taken precautions to safeguard employees.

The following information has been gathered from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), Consumer Reports, and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) to determine best practices for departments when cleaning vehicles.

All drivers are encouraged to take additional precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Physical distancing

Compact vehicles/SUVs

Compact vehicles should be limited to one driver only, as physical distancing cannot be applied. SUVs that hold three rows of seating may transport up to two persons in the vehicle if physical distancing of six feet is possible. Masks must be worn by all individuals within the vehicle.

Twelve-person vans

Usage of twelve-passenger vans is not recommended. In a situation when this is not feasible, van capacity should be limited so that physical distancing of six feet is possible. Masks must be worn by all individuals within the vehicle.


  • Assign each vehicle to one employee to operate and keep control, when possible. 
  • Consult the cleaning directions provided in the vehicle owner's manual.
  • Sanitize frequently touched vehicle surfaces on a regular basis.
  • Be mindful of the cleaning/disinfecting agents used on vehicles to avoid inadvertently damaging the interior and/or exterior.
  • Many of the same household cleaners (such as non-bleach unscented, non-chlorinated disinfectant cleaners and wipes) that kill coronaviruses on hard surfaces in the office can also clean most car interiors without causing damage.
  • Alcohol solutions that contain at least 70 percent alcohol are effective against coronavirus. Nearly every interior surface of a vehicle can be cleaned with isopropyl alcohol.
  • Vigorous washing with soap and water can also destroy coronavirus. Soap and water are safe for most car interiors; however, be careful not to saturate the surfaces.
  • Follow the cleaning agent manufacturer’s product label guidance for the recommended disinfecting procedure, as guidance varies by cleaning product. Read all instructions and precautions of the materials being utilized and follow all safety recommendations when utilizing cleaning products to ensure personal safety.
  • When using wipes, remove excess liquid before wiping surfaces, particularly electrical components and touchscreens.
  • Test the selected cleaning agent in an inconspicuous location.

Things to avoid

  • Do not use bleach or hydrogen peroxide on the inside of the vehicle.
  • Do not use scented wipes or wipes containing bleach on the vehicle.
  • Do not use ammonia-based cleaners on car touchscreens or dashboards, as they can damage anti-glare and anti-fingerprint coatings.
  • Never combine cleaning chemicals, as doing so may lead to toxicity.

Examples of high-touch vehicle areas

  • Car keys and fobs
  • Door handles, door latches and lock buttons
  • Steering wheel
  • Shift lever
  • Buttons or touch screens (radios, mirror adjusters, climate controls, etc.)
  • Wiper and turn signal stalks
  • Center console and cup holders
  • Driver and passenger armrests and seat belts, grab handles, and seat adjusters
  • Headrests and seat pockets

Additional recommendations

  • Wash your hands before and after driving.
  • Wear gloves, when possible, outside of your vehicle, especially when fueling. Pumps, keypads and other surfaces are frequently touched and may not have been sanitized.
  • Consider using your knuckles rather than fingertips to touch commonly used contact areas. Compared to fingertips, knuckles will generally have less contact with other things throughout the day.
  • When finished driving the vehicle for the day, thoroughly wipe down the vehicle with disinfectant wipes or other appropriate cleaning solutions.


CDC Guidance for cleaning and disinfection

How to kill coronavirus in your car without damaging interior surfaces


Questions can be directed to Joe Wellons, Fleet Coordinator, at 828-7490.

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