Business Travel can be seen as a perk of the job, but if your employer doesn’t use a Travel Management Company (TMC), provide a corporate credit card or prepay your trip, you can end up footing the bill and having to wait for the next expenses pay run.
Whilst every business will have a differing travel and expense policy, the following is a general guide to what you can reasonably claim for your travel expenses. It is always advisable to check with your employer before you book and travel, to avoid any surprises.
Typical Business Travel Expenses – what you could claim and how much:
If you are away over night you will generally be entitled to an evening meal. Depending on the amount of time away, you could also be entitled to breakfast and lunch. For every 24 hours away from home, you can expect to be able to claim on average:
Breakfast - £4.50
Lunch - £4.50
Dinner - £14.50
Alcoholic drinks are often not included, and at the discretion of your employer.
Staying away over night? Most employers allow around £5 per day for incidentals such as newspapers and laundry.
Staying with friends or family
Some employers will provide a small allowance to purchase a gift if you are staying for free with a friend or relative, as a thank you. This saves a company a substantial amount of money on accommodation and can be a real home away form home for many business travellers. A typical allowance is around £25 per night.
Hotels and Accommodation
Your accommodation, if booked through a TMC will often be prepaid, however, some companies will not do this and expect travellers to pay and claim their stay back. If this is the case, you will be advised of the maximum price per night that you can claim back (check this with your employer before booking). It is also worth noting that some cities will charge a tourist tax and there may be additional fees and charges, so ensure you get a full breakdown of costs before booking.
Air and Rail Travel
Whilst many companies will pay for flights, rail can often be left to the traveller to book and expense back if not booked through a TMC. A good rule of thumb for rail and air travel to avoid being left out of pocket is to book a standard class ticket and choose off-peak times where possible, to stay compliant to your travel policy.
If your meeting or reason for travel is off the beaten track and not accessible via public transport, car hire may be the most cost efficient and easy way to travel. Check with your employer what the daily car hire allowance is. The standard mileage rate that you can claim for a Petrol car is 11-14p per mile and 11p for Diesel.
To secure the best price, booking through a TMC and booking in advance are advised. A TMC will prepay, meaning you only need to claim for petrol.
Mileage & Parking
If you use your own vehicle for business travel, you are entitled to claim mileage which will cover fuel and wear and tear. The standard rate for the first 10,000 miles of business travel in the tax year in 40p per mile. For each additional mile over 10,000, you will generally be entitled to claim 25p per mile.
If you provide a lift for other company staff who are also on business, you could claim an additional 5p per mile for each passenger, as well as 2p per mile for carrying business equipment.
Parking for a meeting, event or an overnight stay should also be eligible to be expensed. Parking can be booked and prepaid via a TMC.
Taxis & Ground Transport
If you require ground transport between the destinations on your trip including meetings and transfers, you can often expense this. It is expected that you consider more cost-effective options when in major cities, such as the bus or tube in London, but check with your employer for their policy on taxis, chauffeurs and private hire vehicles.
Corporate Hospitality & Entertaining
Depending on your job role and the reason for your trip, you may incur hospitality and hosting expenses. All businesses will have their own policy on entertaining and hospitality spend, and you may be given a budget for this. Hospitality spend will often be expected to be paid on a business credit card as the cost can often be high for multiple people.
One of the best ways to minimise expenses and claims is to work with a Travel Management Company (TMC) such as CT Business Travel. We can provide a credit facility, prepaying travel, accommodation (which can include meals at your hotel and other expenses such as laundry and Wi-Fi if your company travel policy dictates) as well as transfers and transport to get you to your destination. A defined and enforced travel policy will allow the clarity and freedom for travellers to book to their requirements and within company budgets. By pre-booking and prepaying, travellers are free to carry out their business without the burden of expenses and claiming back costs. Finance Team resource is also freed up, reducing the mountains of credit card receipts, reconciliation and monotonous expense claims.
Find out how you can save time and money with our business travel solutions.
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