Using a vehicle during UW business travel

How to determine the best option for driving on UW business, including how to book a rental or fleet vehicle, and use of a personally-owned vehicle.

Mileage reimbursement requests for roundtrips of 1,000 miles or greater must be supported by an airfare cost comparison obtained during the trip-planning process.

Authorized drivers

A four door passenger vehicle from the UW-Madison rental fleet.Any employee who will operate a vehicle on UW business must be an authorized driver prior to traveling. This includes rental vehicles, fleet vehicles, and personally owned vehicles.

No vehicle-related expenses will be paid or reimbursed for unauthorized drivers.

Become an authorized driver

Determining the best vehicle option

Travelers planning a trip should consider all vehicle options available and determine which is the most reasonable and cost-effective.

A white van with a Bucky Badger logo placed on the glass of the back rear window.

Personally-owned vehicles

Authorized drivers may be reimbursed for use of a personal vehicle to conduct UW business.

Use my vehicle

Side view of a UW fleet vehicle being recharged.

Fleet vehicles

A variety of University-owned vehicles available for rent.

Use a fleet vehicle

Shot of a parking garage with a car rental agency sign hanging over several four door cars.

Vehicle rentals

Authorized drivers may access vehicle rental contracts via Concur.

Use a rental vehicle

Personally-owned vehicles

Mileage is reimbursable when travel is required outside of the traveler’s primary worksite (commute mileage is not reimbursable in any circumstances). Mileage reimbursements must be supported by a Google Maps or Mapquest printout or screenshot.

Travelers are reimbursed at the federal government rate (UW-3019) for business use of their personally-owned vehicle.

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Myth: The State’s property program will pay for vehicle repairs if there is an accident when using my personal vehicle for business travel.

Busted: Any damages to an employee’s personal vehicle are covered by the employee’s own auto insurance, and the employee is responsible for the insurance deductible. Learn more on the automobile insurance page

Fleet vehicles

Employees have access to the University’s fleet of vehicles. Costs for using fleet vehicles, including refueling, are directly charged to a funding string provided at the time of booking.

Car rentals

The University participates in the Big Ten Alliance contract with Enterprise and National Car Rental and the State of Wisconsin (WSCA/NASPO) contract with Hertz. Eligible renters are defined as University employees with an approved Vehicle Use Agreement (VUA) on file, using the vehicle for University business.

  • Contract rentals may be reserved through Concur. (Don’t have an account yet? Register with Concur)
  • Vehicle rentals are limited to midsize SUV vehicle classes and below unless a documented business need requires a larger class of vehicle.

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Payment methods

Rental vehicle expenses can either be paid on a Purchasing Card, paid on a Corporate Card, or reimbursed to the traveler.

Fuel and other related costs

The cost of gasoline to fuel a rental vehicle is payable/reimbursable. Receipts are required for all gasoline purchases, regardless of amount. Travelers are responsible for fueling the rental vehicle prior to returning it to the vendor. If a traveler fails to return the vehicle with a full tank of fuel, the cost of the vendor refueling the vehicle will not be paid or reimbursed by the University.

Additional equipment/services (e.g. GPS, satellite radio, roadside assistance protection) are not payable/reimbursable.

Insurance and passenger rules

Insurance is included with all contracted business vehicle rentals in domestic locations. See the Automobile Insurance page for more information on vehicle rental insurance and passenger rules.

Student organizations and student club use

  • Hertz: Authorized Student Drivers may use the Business Use contract. Insurance is included.
  • Enterprise/National: Authorized Student Drivers are required to use the Student Organization and Student Club booking link and are not eligible to use the Business Contract. A $15 per day surcharge is applied for drivers 18-21 years old. Insurance is not included.

Personal use of car rental contracts

Car rental discounts for personal travel are available; however, these reservations are made through a separate online portal, not through Concur. Personal rentals using the Big Ten contract do not include insurance; this can be purchased separately.

When combining business and personal use, rental vehicles can be booked through Concur.

UW Administration – Learn more about personal use contracts

If vehicles are not available through Enterprise, National, or Hertz, travelers can book a rental vehicle elsewhere and are not required to use Concur. Be sure to confirm any necessary auto insurance details if booking with a non-contracted vendor.

Other vehicle-related expenses

Parking is a payable/reimbursable expense for personally owned, fleet, or rental vehicles when incurred outside of a traveler’s primary worksite.

Tolls are payable/reimbursable. Toll violation fees are not.

Traffic citations, personal vehicle insurance, parking at the assigned workplace, or other expenses not supported by a UW business purpose are not payable/reimbursable.

Reimbursement information


Travelers and departmental staff should contact their respective Divisional Business Office for policy or procedural questions.

Divisional Business Offices may e-mail with questions.