Policy: 201.B – Privately Owned Vehicle Expenses

Statement of Policy

Individuals may be reimbursed for mileage/gas and parking expenses incurred while conducting official UW-Madison business.  Charges for repairs, tow service, locksmith services, jump starts, lubrication, traffic citations, parking tickets, fines, etc., are the individual’s responsibility and are not reimbursable.

Note: All UW-Madison faculty, staff, student and volunteer drivers must be approved by UW-Madison Risk Management prior to departing on university business, regardless of whether a personal, Feet, DOA or rental vehicle is used.

Driving a Fleet Vehicle versus a Privately Owned Vehicle

Fleet vehicles are owned by the State of Wisconsin and may be used by employees conducting official university business.  When traveling 300 miles or more round trip, employees are encouraged to use a Fleet vehicle versus a privately owned vehicle.  If the individual opts to use a privately owned vehicle in lieu of available fleet vehicles, reimbursement will be limited to a lower mileage rate.  Please see Physical Plant Car Fleet or DOA Central Fleet for more information.

When is Mileage Reimbursable?

Mileage is reimbursable when an individual drives a privately owned vehicle in order to conduct UW-Madison business.  Specific scenarios are outlined below:

  • When a supervisor determines that an employee's vehicle is required for travel to a work site other than the assigned headquarters, the employee shall be reimbursed for mileage from home to the work site or from the assigned headquarters to the work site, whichever is less.
  • If an employee is required to drive to a pickup point for business conducted outside of the assigned headquarters, the employee shall be reimbursed for mileage from their home to the pickup point or from their home to the assigned headquarters, whichever is less.
  • Mileage between work sites outside of the assigned headquarters is reimbursable.
  • When an employee’s vehicle is required for travel between their assigned headquarters and a commercial transportation terminal (e.g. air, train, bus), mileage between the employee's residence and the assigned headquarters is reimbursable provided the mileage cost is less than taxi fare (including allowable tip) between the workplace and the terminal.
  • Round-trip mileage between the employee's home and a commercial transportation terminal (e.g. air, train, bus) to drop off and pick up the employee on both the day of departure and day of return is allowable when the total mileage cost does not exceed the cost of one round-trip between the assigned headquarters and the airport plus airport parking costs that would have been incurred had the employee left the vehicle at the airport.
  • When two or more employees are going to the same destination, additional mileage required to pick up and drop off employees at their homes may be reimbursed provided it is the most time/cost-efficient for the university.

Mileage Reimbursement Rates for Use of a Privately Owned Vehicle

Mileage reimbursement rates vary depending on the circumstances.  Individuals driving a privately owned vehicle on UW business will be reimbursed at the Standard Rate if the accumulated round trip mileage is less than 300 miles or if a fleet non-availability certification form from both UW-Madison Fleet and DOA Central Fleet is provided with the reimbursement claim.  If the round trip mileage is 300 miles or more and the individual chooses to drive a privately owned vehicle, the reimbursement is limited to the Turndown Rate.  See below for specific rates and effective dates.


Individuals may be reimbursed at higher rates depending on the specific circumstances of their travel:

  • An additional 1¢ per mile may be reimbursed to an individual for the use of a privately owned vehicle when:
    • Used as an emergency vehicle
    • The installation of special equipment is required (e.g. trailer hitch)
    • Conditions may cause excessive wear or depreciation
  • An additional 1¢ per mile may be reimbursed to an individual for transporting two or more passengers in addition to the driver in a privately owned vehicle, provided the passengers are also engaged in UW business. The names of passengers must be provided with the reimbursement claim.
  • An additional 4¢ per mile may be reimbursed to an individual when a privately owned vehicle is operated off the roadway (e.g. construction areas).

Specially Equipped Vans

Persons with disabilities who use a privately owned, specially equipped van for UW-Madison business will be reimbursed at the rate of $0.66 per mile. When a state-owned specially equipped van is available, the reimbursement rate will be $0.61 per mile, unless a certification of non-availability is provided or blanket approval has been granted under the ADA procedures. Please see http://www.oed.wisc.edu/disability/employee.html for more information on ADA accommodations.


Individuals may be reimbursed for the use of privately owned motorcycles on UW-Madison business at the rate of $0.285 per mile. No passengers are allowed on the motorcycle.  Reimbursement for use of privately owned mopeds or bicycles is not authorized.


At the individual’s request, the cost of gasoline may be reimbursed in lieu of claiming mileage provided that the total gasoline claim does not exceed the mileage reimbursement that would have been allowed.


Parking charges incurred while on authorized official business are reimbursable.  Parking charges incurred at the employee's permanent work site are not reimbursable.


Travelers and departmental staff should contact their respective Divisional Business Office for policy or procedural questions.
Divisional Business Offices may e-mail uwtravel@bussvc.wisc.edu with questions.