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Travel and subsistence allowances

Expenses Claim Form: notes on completion


Staff are required to use the most cost-effective form of transport.

This includes, for public transport, purchasing the cheapest available tickets (e.g. the appropriate rail saver or supersaver or the cheapest available flight). Wherever possible business should be arranged so that rail travel can take place in off peak periods.

For car travel, using rail or a hire car for long distance travel where the cost of these is cheaper than the mileage which would be claimed; and only using a taxi where public transport is not available.

Heads of Departments may authorise travel by means other than the cheapest where this in the interest of the University business.

As an exception to the rule above, employees may chose a more expensive form of transport where the chosen method of transport is less harmful to the environment. Typically this will involve an election to travel by train in preference to car or short haul flight.

Travel by Car

The University will pay a mileage allowance where employees use their car or motorcycle for business travel. Business travel means journeys which employees make to or from a place they have to attend in the performance of their duties but not any travel from home to a University site.

The rates of mileage are as follows:


From 1 November 2017

Travel by car (irrespective of size)

45p a mile up to 10,000 miles


25p a mile thereafter

Travel by Motorcycle

24p a mile

If the employee travels direct from home, the mileage should be the lower of:

  • The mileage actually incurred or
  • The mileage which would have been incurred if the journey had started and finished at the normal place of work.

When using a vehicle for business travel the employee must ensure that their personal insurance allows business use of the vehicle.

For travel to destinations served by rail link from Cambridge, mileage claims will be restricted to the lower of the actual mileage claim or the second class rail fare which would have been payable.

Subsistence Allowances



Current (Nov 2017)

For part of a day including lunch



For part of a day including dinner



For part of a day including lunch and dinner



For bed and breakfast



For bed and breakfast (London rate)



Allowance for staying with friends or family



The allowance for a complete period of 24 hours outside London



The allowance for a complete period of 24 hours in London



In all cases reimbursement of expenditure is restricted to the allowance or the amount spent, whichever is the less.

Heads of Departments and others who need to arrange overnight hotel accommodation in Cambridge for visitors are asked to note that the University has negotiated preferential rates, for bed and breakfast, with a number of hotels and guest houses. Information on University preferred hotels can be found in the Preferred Suppliers database and should quote the University contract reference to obtain the correct rates when making bookings.

For details of negotiated rates available to the University and Colleges for hotel accommodation in London and nationwide, please contact the Procurement Services on 32233.

For more information about travelling, please see the Travel Website :