NOTE: The following article contains information regarding university policy and the law. Renting out cars on campus is against university policy, and any international students who rent cars are breaking the law. The Ke Alaka‘i does not support the decisions of those who break this policy or the law. Please read the subsection “University policy and the law” for more information.
On Facebook buy and sell pages, several posts can be found of car owners, including BYU-Hawaii students, renting out their vehicles for hourly and daily rates. However, participating in the business proves to be risky, said students who rent their cars, and requires keeping a picture of the renter’s driver’s license in order to secure the car from being stolen.
Jaeden Schafer, a sophomore from Canada studying business management, has rented out his car in the past and said he always checks for a valid driver’s license. “I always make sure the one that is using my car has a valid driving license and I will take a picture of it. If I had a nicer car, I would buy Tile, a GPS tracker.”
Similarly, Sabrina Westover, a freshman from Utah studying business management, said she checks the driver’s license as well. “Before renting out my car, I would take a picture of their driver’s licence and make sure it’s up to date. So when there is an accident or car being stolen, I can report it to the police and know where to find that person.”
Takuya Ogasawa, a senior from Japan studying communications and peacebuilding, does not rent out car but lets friends use it as long as they fill up the gas. He said, “If they don’t have a valid driver’s license, I won’t let them use my car.”
Schafer said even with the precautions he takes to, he has had experiences where he got his car back and there was sand and garbage at the back of the car. “And the gas tanks were almost empty. Sometimes, it’s up to me to check the car right when they return it.”
Westover added, “My auxiliary cord was stolen and I never found out who did it. It’s sad when people are dishonest.”
Despite what he described as small problems, Schafer said, “Personally, I’m not too concerned. I bought my car super cheap. If it were to get stolen, it wouldn’t be a big deal.”
Also, if an accident occurs and the car is damaged, Westover said insurance can cover it.
University officials discourage students from renting out cars due to university policy and international service laws.
Anthon Rickard, the manager of the Department of Public Safety, said, “We’re here to provide the public safety for BYUH and to reinforce the students to follow the policy. No personal business is allowed in BYU-Hawaii campus unless it’s authorized by the BYUH President’s Council. There could be different potential risks and violations during the buy and sell process.”
Schaefer and Westover each said they do not perform their personal business on campus.
Ted Guildner, the international student advisor, said specifically international students should not be involved in car rentals. “Generally speaking, international students on F or J visa status are only authorized to work part-time (less than 20 hours per week) and only on-campus (BYUH or PCC) while they are students before graduating. During that time, self-employment is also unauthorized.”
The only time international students can rent out cars is when they are no longer students, said Guildner. “Upon completing their program, ‘F’ students can apply for OPT (Optional Practical Training) and ‘J’ students can apply for AT (Academic Training), wherein they can work up to 12 months, part or full time, at other types of businesses.”