When using your personal vehicle for official business travel (whether you’re an employee, a guest of the university, or a student) reimbursement is allowed for mileage.* Employees should be aware that the Commonwealth’s Risk Management Plan will NOT cover employees or students traveling in personal vehicles. Drivers are strongly encouraged to check with their auto insurance carrier to confirm coverage before driving their personal vehicle to conduct UMW business, or use an alternate form of travel. The Commonwealth’s Division of Risk Management strongly recommends that a pooled or leased vehicle be used when transporting students or traveling for university business. Questions related to UMW’s insurance should be directed to UMW’s Risk Management Team at firstname.lastname@example.org. NOTE: UMW will NOT reimburse for mileage between the Fredericksburg campus and the Stafford Campus.
*Employees planning to travel with more than one person in a car must adhere to the University’s guidelines related to COVID-19 at the time of travel.
If you are a student or a guest of the University, the rate per mile for reimbursement is the rate allowed by the IRS.
IRS Mileage Rate for 2021 = $.56/mile
If you are an employee of UMW, the rates are either the IRS rate or the lower mileage rate of $.246/mile, and the rate is determined by the Commonwealth’s average daily mileage limit. Calculate the AVERAGE DAILY mileage of the trip by dividing the total roundtrip mileage by the total number of official business travel days. For example, on a five day business trip with a roundtrip mileage of 500 miles, 500 miles divided by 5 official business travel days equals 100 average daily miles; however, if that same five day trip was only two days of official business travel, the average daily mileage would be 250 (500 miles divided by 2 official business days).
If the official business average daily mileage is 200 or less, then the IRS rate is allowed (without having to do any cost comparison).
If the official business average daily mileage is more than 200 miles AND you want to be reimbursed the IRS mileage rate, then the traveler must visit the Commonwealth’s Department of General Services (DGS) site and use the trip calculator (click the Trip Calculator) to calculate the vehicle cost comparison of the proposed trip. NOTE that this site is an Enterprise cost comparison but the cost comparison applies for any car rental (for determining whether or not you will receive the IRS rate if you choose to take your personal vehicle and the average daily mileage is more than 200 miles).
If the trip calculator shows that it is more cost beneficial for the employee to use a personal vehicle, then the employee should save a copy of the screen showing the calculation AND ATTACH the documentation to the reimbursement in order to be reimbursed the IRS mileage rate. NOTE: If the trip calculator documentation is not attached, OR if the trip calculator shows that it would be less expensive to rent the vehicle, the mileage reimbursement will be at the lower mileage rate.
If the trip calculator shows that the use of a rental vehicle is more cost effective AND the traveler wants to rent a car, the traveler should follow instructions at Car Rentals.
If the trip calculator shows that the use of a rental vehicle is more cost effective AND the traveler wants to use a personal vehicle, the traveler will be paid the lower mileage rate.
If renting a car is simply not feasible or is too time-consuming for you, additional cost factors may be considered in the cost analysis. The DGS website is the starting point for the cost benefit. Then if additional factors such as administrative time, distance to the nearest Enterprise or Hertz location (mileage to and from car rental agency can be paid at the higher rate) and hours of operation are to be considered, some documentation of those factors and the cost benefit must be documented for approval. You should:
- Save the cost comparison, and then document the other cost factors associated with renting the car.
- Feel free to include any statements that prove renting the car is a more expensive option than taking your personal car and being reimbursed the IRS rate.
- Have the President or his designee appropriate to your department sign the cost benefit analysis and then upload the documentation in Chrome River.
There is a specific “MILEAGE FAQ” section on the Administration and Finance’s FAQs page that may help you through this process.
In the event of emergency travel (less than 24 hours notice) the traveler is still required to go through the process above and attempt to acquire a rental vehicle. If the car rental agencies cannot fulfill the request, the traveler must save the screen documenting that a vehicle was not available. In order to be reimbursed the IRS rate when the mileage exceeds 200 average daily miles, the traveler must include with the reimbursement request, the non-availability documentation and a statement from the UMW President or designee stating that the travel was an emergency.
Rental of vehicles which exceed 30 days must have the prior approval of the Office of Fleet Management Services in Richmond. Please contact Accounts Payable at email@example.com if you wish to rent a car for more than 30 days. Accounts Payable will request the approval from the Office of Fleet Management Services.
When seeking reimbursement in Chrome River, start with the tile called “Average Mileage (Start Here)” and Chrome River will navigate the user to the correct rate based upon information entered.
If you are trying to decide whether to drive or fly, the total of the expenses reimbursed– including meals and lodging–should not exceed the total cost of the trip using the most economical public air transportation fare available, also including meals and lodging. The President or her designee is authorized to grant exceptions to this policy when justified. Comparative statements should be attached to the reimbursement request.
Roundtrip mileage traveled routinely by the employee between his residence and base point (defined as place, office or building where the traveler performs his/her duties on a routine basis) incurred on a scheduled workday is considered commuting mileage. Commuting mileage and other commuting costs incurred on normal workdays are considered a personal expense and are not reimbursable.