1501.4 - Procedure on Ground Transportation Expenses Including Mileage Rates



The purpose of this procedure is to communicate statutory regulations for ground transportation expenses and mileage rates for all University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ("University" or "UNC-Chapel Hill") travelers on official business.


This procedure applies to all University Employees (Employed Students, Faculty, Staff, and Senior University Administrators) and Non-Employees (University Affiliates, Contractors, Guests, and Non-Employed Students).


Travelers may be reimbursed for transportation expenses incurred while traveling on University business. Official University business occurs when the traveler is traveling to attend approved job-related training, work on behalf of, officially represent, or provide a service upon the University's request. Travel that would not directly benefit the University will not be reimbursed.

Transportation by Vehicle

University Employees are encouraged to use a vehicle owned by the State of North Carolina ("State") or a vehicle that is leased through a State contract. If a State-owned vehicle or vehicle that is leased through a State contract is not available, the University supports the cost of ground transportation expenses. Travelers should use the least expensive method of ground transportation to meet their business needs.

Rental Vehicles

When a rental vehicle is needed, Employee travelers are encouraged to procure rental car services from University-contracted travel agencies with whom the University has sourcing agreements, except under limited circumstances when procurement of rental car services from a non-contracted agency is justifiably necessary.

When renting a vehicle, the traveler should choose a standard vehicle (i.e. mid-size); any size over the standard size requires prior approval. Employees must not use rental vehicles at University expense solely for the convenience or personal preference of the Employee. In addition, rental vehicle add-ons such as a GPS or satellite radio are considered personal expenses and will not be reimbursed.

Travelers should choose the most economical means of refueling the rental vehicle, including self-refueling the rental vehicle before returning it to the rental agency. Prepaying for fuel as part of the rental contract is acceptable when self-refueling the vehicle is not a viable solution due to time or safety constraints. Gas Receipts for refueling the rental vehicle from a commercial gas station or rental agency are required for reimbursement. Mileage is not reimbursable when a traveler rents a vehicle.

Rental Vehicle Insurance

Within the United States:

When proof of insurance is needed, travelers should obtain a rental car insurance card from their department or by contacting Risk Management Services.

The following insurance expenses related to car rentals are not reimbursable to the traveler by the University:

  1. Collision Damage Waiver/Loss Damage Waiver - Since the State of North Carolina Motor Vehicle Insurance Policy provides rental physical damage coverage as noted above, this insurance coverage is not required for State employees. The University will not reimburse a traveler choosing to pay for this type of coverage.
  2. Personal Accident Insurance - Acceptance of this insurance by the traveler will result in an additional fee or surcharge and is considered personal insurance. The University will not reimburse choosing to pay for this coverage.

Outside of the United States:

When traveling outside the State of North Carolina Motor Vehicle Insurance Policy Coverage Territory (United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, and other territories/possessions of the United States of America) the employee may purchase Collision Damage Waiver/Loss Damage Waiver coverage and the University may reimburse the traveler for the cost of this insurance coverage.

Mileage reimbursement for driving a personal vehicle

Mileage is measured from the closer of either the Duty Station or point of departure to the final travel destination (and return).

When driving a personal vehicle for business purposes, mileage reimbursement rates are set by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the North Carolina Office of State Budget and Management (OSBM). Business standard mileage rates are located on the University's Finance Travel Allowances webpage.

Mileage reimbursements up to 350 miles (round-trip) are reimbursed at the full IRS rate.  For trips which exceed 350 miles, mileage above the first 350 miles is reimbursed at fifty percent (50%) of the full rate.  Travelers are strongly encouraged to obtain a rental car for trips which exceed 350 miles as the cost of a rental car plus fuel will often be more economical than mileage reimbursement.

If the mileage for a trip will exceed 750 miles (round-trip), the traveler is required to provide a comparable round-trip, economy class airfare ticket quote from Concur Travel or from World Travel, Inc. obtained at least 21-days prior to the trip.  If the airfare cost is more economical than the mileage reimbursement, the traveler will only be reimbursed up to the cost of the airfare ticket.  Exceptions may apply if there is a business need to drive to a destination instead of flying.

Mileage reimbursements for Data Collectors are reimbursed at the full IRS rate, regardless of the number of miles driven. 

Reimbursement for travel between the Employee's Duty Station/point of departure and the nearest airline terminal and for appropriate parking may be made by using either the car service (one round-trip fare), a taxi (one round-trip fare), or by private car (two round trips each at the statutory rate with no parking charge, or one round trip with parking charges). Reimbursement for travel to and from the airline terminal at the Employee's destination may be made for ride share service, bus, commuter train, subway, or taxi with appropriate Receipts.

Personal mileage reimbursements to an Employee from University funds for business mileage within or between campus departments or between State/federal/local agencies in the same locality as the Employee's workstation are only available as follows:

  • For EHRA and SHRA Employees, when the round trip exceeds 20 miles; or
  • For SHRA Employees, when the Employee is asked to drive their personal vehicle in an activity that is routine and reoccurring part of the Employee's work assignment.

Reimbursement is not made for commuting between an Employee's point of departure and their Duty Station as part of a daily commute.

Other ground transportation (taxis, train, etc.)

The actual cost of taxi and ride share service fares is reimbursable when required for travel on University business.

Requests for reimbursement of taxi and ride share service fares should identify each trip by point of origin, destination, and purpose.

University business travelers may be reimbursed for traveling by train at the "coach" or "economy" fare. The individual must provide justification when submitting their expense report showing that travel by train was the least expensive method of transportation.


Please refer to Finance Policy 1501 - Policy on Business Travel for a list of common definitions.

Related Requirements

External Regulations and Consequences

University Policies, Standards, and Procedures

Contact Information

Subject: Travel Policy

  • Contact: Travel Services
  • Telephone: 919-962-0210
  • Fax: 919-962-2356
  • Emailtravel_team@unc.edu

Subject: Concur

  • Contact: Concur Support Desk
  • https://go.unc.edu/concursupport
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Article ID: 131471
Thu 4/8/21 9:09 PM
Mon 2/26/24 1:57 PM
Responsible Unit
School, Department, or other organizational unit issuing this document.
Finance and Budget
Issuing Officer
Name of the document Issuing Officer. This is the individual whose organizational authority covers the policy scope and who is primarily responsible for the policy.
Issuing Officer Title
Title of the person who is primarily responsible for issuing this policy.
Travel and Payment Card Services Manager
Next Review
Date on which the next document review is due.
07/01/2024 12:00 AM
Last Review
Date on which the most recent document review was completed.
10/12/2023 12:00 AM
Last Revised
Date on which the most recent changes to this document were approved.
10/12/2023 12:00 AM
Effective Date
If the date on which this document became/becomes enforceable differs from the Origination or Last Revision, this attribute reflects the date on which it is/was enforcable.
08/03/2021 12:00 AM
Date on which the original version of this document was first made official.
08/02/2019 12:00 AM