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Automotive and Public Transportation

Contents

Automotive Transportation

Current Milage Rates
Mileage Verification
Commuting Mileage
Personally-Owned Automobile
Emergencies
Personal Vehicle Use Statement
Driving vs. Flying
Out of the Country Mileage
Parking & Toll Expenses

Public Transportation

Public Transportation Definition
Air and Rail Tickets
International Travel Special Requirements
Fly America Act
Baggage Fees
Cancellations
Chartered Aircraft
Car Rental
         • Car Rentals at Office Base Locations
         • Car Rentals after Reaching Destination
         • Vehicle Rental Insurance
         • Required Reimbursement Documentation
         • Vehicle Rentals for College Guests (Non-State Employees)

Current Mileage Rates

Reimbursement rates are set in the current Appropriation Act (Section 4 - 5.04f). Currently, the rates for the first 15,000 miles of use each fiscal year are:

  • Current IRS rate - when a personally owned vehicle is cost justified or a State-owned vehicle/OFMS rental is not available.
  •  $.235 mile - when use of a personally-owned vehicle is elected for the convenience of the employee.

Reimbursement rates are reduced to $.13/ mile for travel in excess of 15,000 miles in one fiscal year, unless a State-owned vehicle is not available; then, the rate shall be the current IRS rate.  The current IRS rates can be found at the following site: http://www.irs.gov/2014-Standard-Mileage-Rates-for-Business,-Medical-and-Moving-Announced.

If the higher mileage rate is used for reimbursement, the agency fiscal officer is responsible for ensuring the appropriate justification has been documented and approved by the agency head or designee (as outlined in the following sections). This documentation and approval must be attached to the Travel Expense Reimbursement Voucher.

Mileage Verification

Mileage requests must be substantiated with an odometer reading or a map quest.

Commuting Mileage

Round-trip mileage traveled routinely and directly by the employee between his residence and base point incurred on a scheduled workday is considered commuting mileage. An employee can have only one assigned base point. Commuting mileage and other commuting costs incurred on normal workdays are considered a personal expense and are not reimbursable.

Personally-Owed Automobile

Employees are permitted to use their personally owned automobile when a State-owned vehicle or Office of Fleet Management Services (OFMS) rental vehicle is not available, or when the use of a personally owned vehicle is cost-beneficial to the agency.  Employees electing to use their personal vehicle as a matter of convenience will be reimbursed for mileage at the lowest combined capital and operational trip pool rate charged by OFMS.  The Personal Vehicle Use Statement at the top of the Travel Expense Reimbursement Voucher should be checked with the appropriate choice.

Average Daily Mileage and Enterprise Trip Cost Calculator
Employees may use their personal owned vehicle and be paid the higher mileage rate without any cost analysis when driving 100 miles or less per day.  Calculate the average daily mileage of the trip by dividing the total round trip mileage by the total number of official business travel days. For example, on a five day business trip with a round trip mileage of 500 miles, 500 miles divided by 5 official business travel days equals 100 average daily miles. 

If employees choose to drive their personal owned vehicle over 100 miles per day, they will receive the lower mileage rate.  An alternative solution when driving over 100 miles per day is to prepare the cost analysis using the trip calculator provided at the CWM Procurement website: http://www.wm.edu/offices/procurement/services/travel/index.php. If the trip calculator shows that the lowest cost transportation is the Enterprise vehicle, the traveler should print a copy of the Trip Calculator cost comparison and Map Quest and attach both documents to the Travel Reimbursement Request Form. If the trip calculator shows that the lowest cost transportation is the Personal vehicle, the traveler should print a copy of the Trip Calculator cost comparison and MapQuest, and attach both documents to the Travel Reimbursement Request Form.

CAREFULLY read the Car Rental Session of this policy to avoid out-of-pocket expenses. All vehicle reservations must be made at least 24 hours in advance of anticipated pick up of the vehicle.

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. Then if additional factors such as administrative time, distance to the nearest Enterprise location (mileage to and from Enterprise 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:

  1. Print the cost comparison, and then hand write the other cost factors associated with renting the car on that print out.
  2. Feel free to write any statements that prove renting the car is a more expensive option than taking your personal car and being reimbursed at the higher mileage rate.
  3. Have the designee appropriate to your department sign the cost benefit analysis.

Emergencies

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 vehicle through Enterprise Leasing. If Enterprise Leasing cannot fulfill the request the traveler must print the screen from Enterprise Leasing that documents a vehicle was not available.

In order to be reimbursed at the higher mileage rate, the traveler must include with the Travel Reimbursement Request Form, the non-availability documentation and a statement from the Agency Head 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 remember that if you want to use your own car, and you do NOT want to go through these steps, you have that choice; however, you will be reimbursed at the lower rate instead of the higher rate.

Personal Vehicle Use Statement

When completing a Travel Expense Reimbursement Voucher for mileage reimbursement, in the upper right area of the form labled Personal Vehicle Use Statement,  you will have to mark one of the “boxes” with an “x”. 

 IF PERSONAL VEHICLE WAS USED, INDICATE REASON:
     Personal vehicle cost beneficial to state
     State vehicle unavailable / inaccessible
     State vehicle available / not requested
     Not a state employee                                  

Personal vehicle cost beneficial to state  - PERSONAL MILEAGE RATE

Use this box if ANY of the following apply:

  • AVERAGE DAILY mileage is 100 miles or less from your base point, defined as place, office or building where the traveler performs his/her duties on a routine basis.
  • The traveler is flying (in an airplane) and drives his car to a local airport (Newport News Williamsburg International Airport) regardless of average daily mileage.
  • The traveler is NOT a Commonwealth of Virginia employee.
  • The traveler is a student or guest of CWM.
State vehicle unavailable / inaccessible - PERSONAL MILEAGE RATE

Use this box if BOTH of the following applies to you: your mileage is more than 100 average DAILY miles, and the administrative time involved in renting an Enterprise vehicle is not feasible.

Attach the cost comparison, and then handwrite the other cost factors associated with renting the car on that print out. Include any statements that prove renting the car is a more expensive option than getting the higher reimbursement rate for taking your personal car. Make sure the explanation has signature of the Agency Head or his designee appropriate to your department. If these things (cost comparison with explanation and signature) are not attached to the Travel Reimbursement Request Form, the lower rate will be paid.

State Vehicle available / non requested - FLEET RATE   
Use this box if average daily mileage was 100 miles or more and you chose to drive your personal vehicle without regard to the regulations above i.e., you do not have the cost comparison print out showing the cost analysis of using a personal vehicle compared to renting a car from Enterprise Leasing Company.

If you did not record your odometer readings for mileage driven and need to know the distance between two places, please use www.mapquest.com.  Proof of distance driven must be included in the TERV.

Driving vs. Flying

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 Agency Head or designee is authorized to grant exceptions to this policy when justified. Comparative statements should be attached to the Travel Reimbursement form for reimbursement.

Out of the Country Mileage

Reimbursement for out-of-country travel will be at the rate established in the current Appropriation Act. However, if a higher personal mileage rate is justified; a request for approval, with appropriate documentation and support, must be mailed, faxed, or e-mailed to the Assistant State Comptroller.

Parking & Toll Expenses

Parking and Toll expenses are reimbursable. A receipt is required for reimbursement claims where each individual claim is greater than $20. Reimbursement must be claimed as an “other expense” on the travel reimbursement voucher.

Public Transportation

Travelers may arrange public transportation after they have received the travel authorization with assigned travel authorization number and approving signatures. Public transportation travel includes:

  • Rental Car
  • Plane
  • Train
  • Bus
  • Taxi or Shuttle and other "for-hire transportation

Advance payment for travel by public carrier is limited to prepayments for individual travel by aircraft.  This excludes rental vehicle expenditures.   

Public transportation rates must not exceed those for tourist or coach class accommodations. Recently, airlines have created a higher level of coach class service that charges a premium for certain desired seats.  Such upgrades in the coach seating area are enhancements to the coach fare and are not reimbursable.  Receipts for such expenses must be retained for submission with the travel voucher.

Charges for changes to tickets/reservations to accommodate personal comfort, convenience and taste are not reimbursable. Change fees must be explained on the Travel Expense Reimbursement Voucher.

For taxis, shuttle vans and other forms of "for-hire transportation," receipts are required only if the reimbursement claim exceeds $20. Additionally, a reason should be identified on the voucher for the necessity of the "for-hire transportation."  A maximum tip of 15% of the taxi cab or shuttle service fare is reimbursable as a transportation cost separate from Meals and Incidental Expenses. 

Bus travel permitted in lieu of automobile, airline, or train travel when cost beneficial.  Public transportation from place of lodging to restaurants is allowed only for official business needs.

Air and Rail Tickets

Reimbursement for first class air or rail travel is prohibited. NOTE: Documents that validate the mode and class of travel are required for all air and rail reimbursements made directly to the traveler. Generally, airline and rail travel cannot exceed the rates charged for tourist or coach fare. When warranted, the approving authority may grant permission for business class travel (air or rail) under the following circumstances:

Air
  • When it does not cost more than the lowest available tourist/coach fare (comparison must be attached to travel voucher), or
  • For travel to Western Europe, if the business meeting is conducted within three hours of landing, or
  • For transoceanic, intercontinental trips of more than eight hours, or
  • If the traveler pays the difference
Rail
  • When it does not cost more than the lowest available tourist/coach fare (comparison must be attached to travel voucher), or
  • When reserved coach seats are not offered on the route, or
  • If the traveler pays the difference.


Travelers have three options available to purchase air and rail tickets:

  1. Current travel contracts with Covington Travel and CI Travel. - Travelers may use the contracted travel agencies for all travel arrangements. The travel agencies will charge the ticket fare and fees to the College’s Airline Travel Card (ATC).  Charges for air and rail tickets purchased with the ATC are charged directly to the designated Departmental Budget. The traveler does not need to process a payment document for these expenses
  2. Travel Card - Travelers may purchase air and rail tickets using the Individual Liability Travel card through the Internet, if the Vendor has a secure web site. The Traveler is responsible for payment of the Travel Card charges and will receive reimbursement upon submission of an approved Travel Reimbursement Voucher, after completion of the travel.
  3.  Personal Credit Card – After trip is completed, submit an approved Travel Expense Reimbursement Voucher.

International Travel Special Requirements

The guidelines stated previously for air travel also apply to international travel. Specifically, airline travel cannot exceed the rates charged for tourist/coach fare except as follows: with careful consideration of the reasonableness limitations specified in the Expenses Must be Reasonable and Necessary section of these regulations, the approving authority may provide written authorization for business class travel, or premium coach seating, under the following circumstances:

  • When it does not cost more than the lowest available tourist/coach fare (comparison must be attached to travel voucher), or
  • For travel to western Europe if the business meeting is conducted within three hours of landing, or
  • For transoceanic, intercontinental trips involving flight-time of more than eight consecutive hours, or
  • If the traveler pays the difference

Reimbursement for first class travel is prohibited.

Fly America Act

Generally, if a traveler is traveling on funds provided by the federal government, he/she must use a U.S. flag carrier (an airline owned by an American company), regardless of cost or convenience.  If you are scheduling international travel that is federally funded, you must ensure that all flights, where possible, are scheduled on U.S. flag carriers or on foreign air carriers that code share with a U.S. flag carrier. Code sharing occurs when two or more airlines “code” the same flight as if it was their own. In other words, a U.S. airline may sell a seat on the plane of a foreign air carrier; this seat is considered the same as one on a plane operated by a U.S. flag carrier. Compliance with the Fly America Act is satisfied when the U.S. flag air carrier's designator code is present in the area next to the flight numbers on the airline ticket, boarding pass, or on the documentation for an electronic ticket (passenger receipt).

For additional information contact the Grants Office.

Baggage Fees

Certain airlines now charge additional fees (baggage) for services formerly included in the airfare cost. When procuring airfare for business travel, travelers should consider total costs in selecting the most appropriate carrier. Airlines publish limits for baggage and the fees associated with those limits. Travelers are expected to be aware of these limits. In the event these limits must be exceeded for legitimate business purposes, the cost is reimbursable. A receipt and appropriate explanation must be included with the TERV.

Cancellations

Cancelled tickets (full fare and non-refundable) usually hold some residual value depending upon specific airline policies and restrictions.  All unused portions and credits must be returned to the department.  These will be subject to future audits.

Chartered Aircraft

Chartered aircraft will only be used when State-owned aircraft are not available or will not meet customer needs. The Department of Aviation (DOAV) shall contract for all chartered aircraft on behalf of state agencies. Reference the Aircraft Use Policy and Guidelines on the DOAV's website at www.doav.virginia.gov. Chartering an aircraft is permitted when authorized in advance by the requesting agency's Cabinet Secretary or designee, and justified by a written cost/benefit analysis. The cost/benefit analysis must include a comparison of the total costs of the trip by alternative means of travel, including all associated costs, and may consider such benefits as reduced overnight travel costs and employee time out of the office, security, etc. A copy of this analysis and the written approval from the Cabinet Secretary or designee must be attached to the traveling agency's voucher.

Car Rental

Reimbursement of car rental expenses is limited to official business use only. Reimbursement MUST be claimed as an "other expense" on the travel expense reimbursement voucher.

Car Rentals at Office Base Location

The following information applies only to CWM employees or students trying to determine whether to rent a car or use a personal vehicle for travel beginning at the CWM.

Office Base Location or Base Point is defined as the office, place or building where the traveler performs his/her duties on a routine basis. If the traveler does not own or have access to a personal car, a car rental is allowed, however, a traveler may not rent a car to travel to the airport and park it for the term of the trip.  In this instance, the traveler must take a shuttle, rail, or some other form of public transportation and document the circumstances. 

Reimbursement of car rental expenses is limited to official business use only and prudent judgment should be used when deciding whether or not to rent a car. 

Car rentals initiated from the traveler’s base point must be obtained through Enterprise Car Rental when the base point is in Virginia.  When trying to determine whether to use a personal vehicle or rental car, the traveler must first determine the average DAILY mileage for the trip.

Avoid-out of Pocket Expenses
All vehicle reservations must be made at least 24 hours in advance of anticipated pick up of the vehicle. When traveling by air or rail, travelers should not use a rental car as a method of transportation to the airport or rail station. Instead, travelers should use their personal car or a form of public transportation to reach the airport or rail station. In no instance should the traveler enter into a "Fuel Agreement" or pay for fuel at the time of rental or before vehicle is used. Types of insurance, such as trip cancellation, personal health or life insurance will NOT be reimbursed.

Car Rentals after Reaching Destination

The following information applies only to CWM employees and students who are renting a car after reaching their destination via other travel means such as air or rail.

Reimbursement of car rental expenses is limited to official business use only and prudent judgment should be used when deciding whether or not to rent a car. When renting a vehicle AFTER reaching the travel destination, the traveler may rent the most economical type of vehicle available from the Enterprise Holdings, Inc. (Alamo, Enterprise, National, and WeCar). 

The traveler must justify the cost of renting a vehicle instead of using another form of transportation. Attach to the Travel Reimbursement Request Form a comparison of the costs which shows that a car rental is less expensive than taking a shuttle/taxi. If the cost comparison shows that renting a car is less expensive, the traveler should reserve the most economical car (compact car) from one of the national brand of Enterprise Holdings, Inc.

Before any travel purchases are made, a Travel Authorization form with appropriate signatures should be completed in advance. The Commonwealth does not have limitations on car rental rates, however, CWM will reimburse only for reasonable uses and reasonable amounts of gas used.

You will NOT be reimbursed for the following:

  1. Upgrades for any reason, even if you have a personal discount coupon. (See Question 5 of Mileage and Car Rental Questions for details.) Upgrades include, but are not limited to, upgraded car, navigation systems, and additional drivers.
  2. Gas purchased at car rental agencies. Purchase gas at a gas station and submit the receipt for reimbursement. The receipt must show that gas was purchased.
Vehicle Rental Insurance

The College's liability insurance coverage varies depending on the event. A student activity may be part of the College's normal academic mission or be specifically approved by a dean/department head. If it is part of the College's mission, the activity is covered by the Risk Management Plan. Contrarily, a student activity may be voluntary or a social event, separate from the College. In that case, the event is not covered by the Commonwealth's insurance. Student organizations that have a high potential for lawsuits should consider purchasing liability insurance.

The option to purchase insurance offered by rental car contractors depends upon the following:

If the traveler is a... then... Notes
State Employee Decline Rental insurance will not be reimbursed. The Department of Treasury, Division of Risk Management, provides a Statewide Self-Insured Automobile plan for State employees.
Non-State Employee Accept Only when the agency considers automobile rental reimbursable. Rental car insurance for these individuals may also be treated as a reimbursable expense. Insurance reimbursement should only include Liability Damage Waiver (LDW) and Collision Damage Waiver (CDW).
State Employee or Non-State Employee Outside the United States Accept Individuals traveling outside of the territorial United States (including Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, Puerto Rico) are required to purchase and will be reimbursed for LDW and CDW insurance. Other types of insurance offered such as trip cancellation, personal, health or life insurance are not reimbursable.

Note: The car insurance is not in effect when the rental car is used outside the scope of official business travel.

Required Reimbursement Documentation

To be reimbursed, attach an original receipt (or a printed copy of a receipt for electronic purchases) to the Travel Expense Reimbursement form. Remember that you will not be reimbursed until after the travel has occurred. When paying for your rental through the Internet, read the Internet Purchases regulations regarding necessary documentation to ensure reimbursement.

Vehicle Rentals for CWM Guests (Non-State Employees)

The following information applies only to guests of CWM who are trying to determine: 

  • Whether to use a PERSONAL VEHICLE or RENT A CAR from your HOME LOCATION OR
  • How to rent a car from your airport or rail destination after arriving in the VA (Peninsula area).

Reimbursement of car rental expenses is limited to official business use only, and prudent judgment should be used when deciding whether or not to rent a car. To ensure you are reimbursed for the full amount allowed by Commonwealth of Virginia regulations, please consider the following: as a non-state employee, if you use your personal vehicle, you will be reimbursed at the higher reimbursement mileage rate as shown on the Personal Vehicle Mileage.

When renting vehicles, you should select the most economical type of vehicle available. You are allowed to rent from any car rental agency–not just Enterprise. If you do not own or have access to a personal car, a car rental is allowed, however, a traveler may not rent a car to travel to the airport and park it for the term of the trip. In this instance, the traveler must take a shuttle, rail, or some other form of public transportation.  Document the circumstances.

Before any travel purchases are made, a Travel Authorization form with appropriate signatures should be completed in advance by the CWM affiliate who has invited you to CWM. The Commonwealth does not have limitations on car rental rates, however, CWM will reimburse only for reasonable uses and reasonable amounts of gas used.

You will not be reimbursed for the following:

  1. Upgrades for any reason, even if you have a personal discount coupon.  Upgrades include, but are not limited to, upgraded car classes, navigation systems, and additional drivers.
  2. Gas purchased at car rental agencies. Purchase gas at a gas station and submit the receipt for reimbursement. The receipt must show that gas was purchased.
  3.  Insurance such as trip cancellation, personal health or life insurance. Non-employees of the Commonwealth of Virginia (excluding students) CAN be reimbursed for LDW (Liability Damage Waiver) and CDW (Collision Damage Waiver) car rental insurance.

NOTE: Car insurance in the United States and Worldwide.  The College of William and Mary, an agency in the Commonwealth of Virginia, is insured through the Commonwealth's Risk Management Plan. The Plan provides coverage anywhere that College business takes the faculty and staff. This coverage includes liability, property, vehicle, and employee theft. The Commonwealth's Division of Risk Management (DRM), within the Department of the Treasury, administers the Plan.  This Plan provides coverage to all state employees, agents and volunteers.