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.

Authorized Drivers

A four door passenger vehicle from the UW-Madison rental fleet
Any employee who will be operating 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

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

Personally owned vehicle options

Personally-owned vehicles

Typically a cost-effective option for trips under 300 miles.

Use my vehicle

UW Madison fleet vehicle options

Fleet Vehicles

A variety of University-owned vehicles available for rent.

Use a fleet vehicle

Car rentals options at UW Madison

Car Rentals

Typically a cost-effective option for long-distance, short-duration trips.

Use a Rental

Personally-owned vehicles

Personally owned vehicle options

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

For trips over 300 miles roundtrip, mileage is reimbursed at a lower rate. 300 miles is the point at which the University has determined it is more cost effective to explore other options.

Reimbursable costs

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.

Fleet vehicles

UW Madison fleet vehicle options

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

Car rentals options at UW MadisonThe University participates in the Big Ten contract with Enterprise and National which provides significant savings, especially for long-distance, short-duration trips.

  • Contract rentals must be reserved through 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

For information on vehicle rental insurance and passenger rules, see details from Risk Management.

Personal Use of Big Ten Contract

The Big Ten contract allows for personal use by UW employees; 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.

If Enterprise and National are not available – either they do not serve a particular location or they do not have any vehicles available – University travelers also have access to the State of Wisconsin’s contract with Hertz. If vehicles are not available through any of these three vendors, travelers can book a rental vehicle elsewhere and are not required to use Concur.

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.


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

Divisional Business Offices may e-mail with questions.