Bookings and transport

When arranging accommodation and transport you should  

  • choose the most cost-effective way of travel
  • book via the University's preferred travel agent
  • consider more sustainable alternatives, such as virtual meetings
  • keep all receipts for expenses claims

More specific guidance is outlined below. 

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The Cashiers can provide those travelling on University business with foreign currency and Travellers Cheques. It is also possible to request a pre-paid debit card. You should allow at least 5 working days for these transactions. For more information check the advances expenses guidance.

If you travel regularly, consider applying for a departmental credit card.

Wherever possible accommodation and travel should be paid for directly by your department and booked in advance through one of the University's approved travel agents.

If you do not have a user account for the online booking tool, you can obtain a quote from the travel agent by filling in the quote request form.

To ensure that your accommodation provides value for money, follow the University's guidelines on allowances for accommodation and meals

The University may refuse to pay accommodation costs that are not considered reasonable.  

For travel within the UK, reasonable rates (including meals) are

  • up to £150 per night in London
  • up to £100 per night elsewhere

Overseas accommodation rates should follow the government's guidance on worldwide subsistence rates.

Using your own vehicle

You can use your private vehicle to make business journeys, and may claim mileage allowance via the expenses process

It is forbidden to use a University Credit Cards to purchase fuel for private vehicles.

Make sure that your insurance cover extends to business use and, if necessary, amend it accordingly.

Car hire in the UK

Hired vehicles must be used for business purposes and journeys only. All private use is forbidden. 

Where possible, the costs of car hire should be paid for by the University directly. University credit cards or personal credit cards may also be used to buy fuel for hired vehicles. A receipt must be kept in both cases.

If you used your personal credit card, you can reclaim costs via the expenses process.

Car hire abroad

In cases where the University can’t make direct payments on short notice, you may hire a car yourself and seek reimbursement via the expenses process. Make sure to provide receipts. 

University vehicles

A number of departments have pool cars, vans or other vehicles. These are not allocated to a person but to the department or a specific location. Your departmental administrator can advise on whether a vehicle is available in your department and how to book it.

The vehicles are for business use only.

Driving abroad

To check if your driving license is valid in specific countries and for further advice, please refer to the government’s guidance on driving abroad.

Car parking and road tolls

You can claim parking costs and road tolls, including the London congestion charge , as part of the expenses process, if they were incurred during business travel. If available, tickets or receipts should be attached to the form as proof.

As a general principle, you should use the most economic means and class of travel – usually Economy class or equivalent.

When travelling via rail, bus or coach you should choose the most economic class of tickets.

Using a taxi or private hire car is generally not considered economic, and you will have to explain why it was necessary to use it when you claim any payments. Departments may decide that such explanations are not necessary for fares under the value of £25.

Do not use season tickets (which might include Oyster Card, Oxford Key Card, etc.) to cover business travel.

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