07 - 009 Personal Automobile Expenses

A.   USAGE GUIDELINES FOR PERSONAL VEHICLES

1.   When campus-owned or leased vehicles are not available, employees may use their personal car for business purposes if it is less expensive than renting a car, taking a taxi or bus, using alternate transportation, or to save time.

2.   Personal vehicles used for USNH business must be adequately insured for public liability insurance protection. Travelers are responsible for insuring their own vehicles. Travelers will not be reimbursed by USNH for collision losses that occur during business use of a personal vehicle. In the event of an accident, the owner's personal insurance provides coverage and the owner is personally responsible for any deductible payable. USNH does not provide any coverage for comprehensive or collision for personal vehicles used for business.

3.   Carpooling is encouraged.

4.   Employees should take advantage of campus shuttles where available when traveling around USNH campuses.

5.   A traveler who elects to drive to a location rather than flying, will be reimbursed the lesser of: (a) the amount using the rules for reimbursement in Section B below, or (b) the sum of the lowest available airfare plus the cost of transportation to and from the airport. Additional costs of lodging and meals during the period of travel in excess of reasonable equivalent air transport will not be reimbursed.

6.   Travel from an employee's residence to campus is considered a commuting expense and is not reimbursable.

B.   REIMBURSEMENT

1.   Travelers will be reimbursed for business use of personal vehicles at the IRS Standard mileage rate in effect at the time of travel. The current rate is available at Procedure 07-002 Website for Travel References. Campuses may reimburse travelers at a rate less than the IRS standard mileage rate, but not at a rate more than this rate.

2.   USNH reimburses for actual mileage incurred, using the most direct route. All mileage incurred will be reimbursed, except personal miles and miles incurred when a traveler on a business assignment passes through the location of their USNH principal place of business. Adequate records must be maintained to document all mileage claimed. A mileage chart for distances from the UNH or PSU campus to all NH cities or towns is provided as a reference. Also available on the web is the mileage between major U.S. cities.

3.   Tolls, ferries, and parking expenses incurred while on business travel are reimbursable in addition to the mileage allowance. Personal use, parking tickets, traffic fines and penalties, towing charges, accidents and theft losses are not reimbursable.

4.   The standard mileage allowance is in lieu of all actual operating expenses such as fuel, oil, towing charges, repairs, tires, insurance, accident deductibles, etc.

C.   COMMUTING VS. BUSINESS MILEAGE

Transportation expenses of getting from one workplace to another within the general area of your tax home are reimbursable by USNH while commuting expenses (the cost of getting from your residence to your main or regular work location) are not reimbursable. Also reimbursable are transportation expenses of getting from your residence to a temporary work location. For employees without a main or regular work location, their tax home is wherever they work that day.


MILEAGE REIMBURSEMENT EXAMPLES

Example 1: An employee has a main office at GSC in Concord, NH but one day they have meetings at GSC – Littleton and GSC – Conway. They never go to their main office. The employee would calculate their mileage from their home to the Littleton campus; plus the mileage from the Littleton campus to the Conway campus; plus the mileage from the Conway campus to their home. This total would be the business mileage driven and available for reimbursement.

Example 2: An employee lives in Weare and has a main office in Plymouth, NH. They have a morning meeting at the Keene campus and will return to their Plymouth office for the afternoon. The employee would calculate their mileage from their home to the Keene campus; plus the mileage from the Keene campus to their Plymouth office to arrive at the business mileage driven and available for reimbursement.

Example 3: An employee has a main office in Durham, NH. They have a lunch meeting at the Plymouth campus but will work from their Durham office before and after the meeting. The business mileage driven and available for reimbursement would be limited to their mileage from their Durham office to the Plymouth campus and back to their Durham office.

Example 4: An employee lives in Conway and has a main office in Keene. Their work schedule is such that they do not normally work on Wednesdays. On one particular Wednesday, they are required to travel to their Keene office for a staff meeting. Because they are driving to their main office, they will not be eligible for mileage reimbursement. This would also be the case if they were required to travel to their main office on a day they normally telecommute.

Example 5: An employee lives in Dover and has a main office at UNH Manchester. They have a lunch meeting at the Plymouth campus but will work from their Manchester office before the meeting. When the meeting is over, they decide to take the scenic route home so they can drive around Lake Winnipesaukee. The employee would calculate their mileage from their Manchester office to the Plymouth campus; plus the mileage from the Plymouth campus to their home. From this total they will deduct the personal miles driven, to see the Lake Winnipesaukee area, to arrive at the business mileage driven and available for reimbursement.

Example 6: An employee lives in Dover and has a main office at UNH School of Law in Concord, NH. They work from their Concord office in the morning and have an afternoon meeting in Durham. They will not return to their Concord office after the meeting. They will be eligible for reimbursement for the miles driven from their office, to the Durham meeting, to their home.

Example 7: An employee lives in Saco, ME and does not have an office on any of the USNH campuses. The employee’s duties require that they visit various work sites in and around the Durham, NH area. Because they do not have a regular place of work, and do not ordinarily work in the metropolitan area where they live, their tax home is wherever they work that day. Any mileage for their first and last trip of the day would be considered commuting miles and are, therefore, not reimbursable. If the employee travels to more than one location on USNH business during the day, the miles between USNH work locations are reimbursable.

Example 8: Assume the same facts as in Example 7, except that the employee has a second job unrelated to USNH. The employee often travels from their non-USNH work location to a USNH work location and then home, or vice versa. All miles driven in this scenario are considered personal miles from a USNH business perspective and would not be reimbursable.

Example 9: An employee has a faculty position at UNH and a faculty position at KSC. The classes are held on different days, and the employee is not usually required to go from one campus to the other in the same day. The miles from home to the respective campus and back home are commuting miles and are not reimbursable. On a day where the employee travels first to UNH for a meeting, then to KSC to teach their class, then back home, only the miles from UNH to KSC are considered reimbursable business miles.


The official version of this information will only be maintained in an on-line web format. Any and all printed copies of this material are dated as of the print date. Please make certain to review the material on-line prior to placing reliance on a dated printed version.

This page last updated Tuesday, August 13, 2019. For information on the adoption and effective dates of policies please see explanation on the OLPM Main Menu.