314 Vehicle Use/Rental Policy

UW-Madison Administrative Policy
Policy # 314

Effective Date: Oct 1, 2015
Last Updated: Aug 23, 2019
Last Reviewed: Jul 1, 2019
Next Review: Jan 1, 2020

Functional Owner: Controller, Division of Business Services, Dan Langer
Executive Sponsor: Assistant Vice-Chancellor, Division of Business Services, Dan Langer
Policy Contact: Expense Reimbursement Program Manager, Division of Business Services, Graig Brooks graig.brooks@wisc.edu

Policy Summary

The University will pay or reimburse for vehicle use by a traveler in travel status.  Travelers are expected to utilize the most cost effective option when traveling by vehicle.

Who This Policy Applies To

Faculty, staff, students, and non-employees traveling or using funds and/or resources administered by the University.


The University has a managed travel program. The travel policy and approval process is designed to ensure prudent usage of University resources while minimizing the administrative burden for travelers and support staff.

Policy Detail

I. Driver Authorization. All University employees who drive while in travel status – whether utilizing a personal vehicle, fleet vehicle, or rental vehicle – must be authorized to drive by UW-Madison Risk Management.

II. Personal Vehicle Mileage. Travelers who use their personal vehicle for business travel are eligible to be reimbursed for their mileage at the federal mileage reimbursement rate.

  • Travelers are reimbursed for the business use of their personal vehicle according to the following rate schedule:
Type of Vehicle Standard Rate (as of 1/1/20) Standard Rate (prior to 1/1/19) Turndown Rate (as of 1/1/20) Turndown Rate (prior to 1/1/20)
Automobile $0.575 $0.58 $0.37 $0.375
Motorcycle $0.545 $0.515 N/A N/A
  • If the roundtrip mileage exceeds 300 miles, the entire trip will be reimbursed at the turndown rate.
  • Travelers who do not have access to fleet vehicles (e.g. non-employees, employees who are not headquartered in Madison) are not subject to the turndown rate.
  • All mileage reimbursements must be documented by a MapQuest or GoogleMaps printout or screenshot. A 10% tolerance may be used to account for detours, incidental miles, etc.  An explanation must be provided for mileage claims that exceed the direct route by more than 10%.

III. Reimbursable Mileage. Travelers are eligible for mileage reimbursement in the following situations:

  • Visiting Temporary Worksites: Employees that travel to temporary worksites may be reimbursed for mileage based on where they depart and where they return:
    • Departing from and Returning to the Assigned Headquarters – mileage is reimbursable.
    • Departing from or Returning to Personal Residence – when traveling to/from their personal residence, travelers may be reimbursed for the lesser of:
      • mileage to/from their personal residence to/from their temporary worksite –or-
      • mileage to/from their assigned headquarters to/from their temporary worksite.
  • Non-Workday Travel: When employees are not scheduled to be at their assigned headquarters (e.g. weekend or holiday), but are required to drive to a temporary worksite or an airport for further travel, mileage from the personal residence to the temporary worksite or airport is reimbursable.
  • Airport, Train Station or other Transportation Terminal Drop Off: Travelers may be reimbursed for the mileage for two round trips to/from the drop-off site in lieu of incurring mileage and parking costs at a commercial transportation terminal.

IV. Vehicle Rental. Travelers must use the Big Ten Alliance contract with Enterprise and National Car Rental when renting a vehicle for business use.  If Enterprise and National do not serve the location of travel, the State of Wisconsin contract with Hertz must be used.  If neither of these is available, a non-contract vendor may be used.

  • What to Book: Vehicle rentals are limited to compact/standard/intermediate vehicle classes unless a business need requires a larger class of vehicle.
  • Booking Methods: Travelers must book rental vehicles through Concur when using the Big Ten Alliance or State of Wisconsin contracts.  If Enterprise, National or Hertz do not serve a particular location and another vendor must be used, travelers are encouraged, but not required, to use Concur to reserve a vehicle.
  • Personal Use: Personal use of the Big Ten Alliance contract is permitted, but reservations must be made through the personal use portal.  The daily and weekly rates are the same when using the Big Ten Alliance contract for personal use, but travelers must pay additional costs for insurances.
  • Gasoline:  The cost of gasoline for a rental vehicle is payable/reimbursable.  Travelers are responsible for refueling the rental vehicle prior to returning it.  The cost of vendor refueling of rental vehicles or prepay fuel packages will not be paid or reimbursed.  Receipts are required for all gasoline reimbursements.
  • Other Equipment and Services: Other equipment and services (e.g. GPS, satellite radio, roadside assistance protection) are not contracted for and will not be paid or reimbursed by the University.
  • Insurance Provisions:
    • Domestic Rentals: The University’s vehicle rental contracts include collision (CDW) and liability (LDW) insurance coverage for U.S. originating rentals. Other or extra types of insurances are not payable/reimbursable and must be declined.
    • International Rentals: The Big Ten agreement offers rates and some insurance coverage for international rentals, but travelers are advised that rates and coverages vary by rental location. All insurances made available by the merchant are payable/reimbursable on international vehicle rentals.
    • Non-contract rentals: Vehicle rental CDW and LDW insurances must be purchased when renting from non-contract suppliers.

Travelers and those that arrange travel for others must review the rental vehicle contracts for rates, surcharges and included coverages prior to renting a vehicle. Employees must verify that the Big Ten or WSCA (State of Wisconsin) contract ID number is referenced on the rental agreement to assure contract coverage, appropriate terms and rates. Drivers that reserve and pay for a non-contract rental vehicle with the University Corporate Travel Card have insurance benefits that will cover this insurance requirement. Refer to your benefit guide that came with your card.

V. Fleet Vehicles: The University has a fleet of vehicles that can be reserved for business use. See Transportation Services’ website for more information.

VI. Accident Reporting: Regardless of the vehicle option chosen, travelers must report any accidents to:

  • Risk Management
  • UW Police Department
  • University supervisor/manager or host

Consequences for Noncompliance


Failure to comply with UW-Madison Travel Policy or Procedures may result in disciplinary steps, up to and including dismissal.


Supporting Tools 

UW TravelWIse
Concur Travel Booking Tool
Vehicle Rental – Personal Use Portal
Fleet Portal


  1. Fleet Vehicle – vehicles owned by the state that may be used by employees for business use.
  2. Standard Rate – Established by the Federal Government, it is $0.58/mile as of 1/1/2019.
  3. Turndown Rate – The reimbursable mileage rate for roundtrip mileage that exceeds 300 miles, it is $0.375/mile as of 1/1/19.
  4. Temporary Worksite – any place other than the traveler’s assigned headquarters including offsite meeting locations, remote research facilities and the airport.


Traveler/Travel Arranger-

  • Researching and utilizing the most cost effective vehicle option.
  • Utilizing contract vendors.
  • Getting authorized to drive by Risk Management prior to travel.
  • Accident Reporting
  • Retaining all necessary documentation including rental contract and fleet invoice.

Link to Related guide

Using a Vehicle during UW Business Travel

Link to Related Policies and Procedures

310 University Travel Policy
315 Ground Transportation Policy


Policy Number: 314
Date Approved:
Revision Dates:


  • Added “What to Book” under Vehicle Rental
  • Added “prepay fuel packages” as a non-payable/non-reimbursable expense
  • Added “Insurance Provisions” under Vehicle Rental