7.2.8 Personal Automobile (Revised 11-01-2017)

Use of the traveler's personal automobile for official University business that is properly authorized, reasonable and appropriately documented will be reimbursed at the effective WSU published rates (designed to cover gas,  oil, and fixed costs such as insurance and depreciation) at the time of travel. Rates can be found on the TravelWayne website. The standard mileage rate for reimbursement for private automobile usage will be the same as the rate allowable by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Tolls and parking fees are reimbursable.

A. Business Justification - Driving vs. Flying

Business justification is required for driving a personal automobile on business trips of 1,000 miles or more roundtrip. This justification should include the cost of an airline ticket compared to the cost for driving; reflecting that the drive cost is less than or equal to the airline ticket cost. Reimbursement for the use of a personal automobile will not exceed the cost of available round-trip economy or discounted airfare. Any additional expenses incurred as a result of driving (i.e. lodging, meals, parking, etc.) are to be included in the cost comparison. If the cost comparison does not justify the drive, then any extenuating circumstances should be fully explained. Such a request must be approved by the traveler's supervisor. Otherwise, the traveler will be reimbursed only up to the amount of the flight quote along with related costs such as expected travel to and from the airport.

B. Electronic Toll Passes (I-Zoom, I-Pass, EZ-pass, etc.)

The University will reimburse for actual tolls incurred for business purposes, whether paid via cash or electronically. Electronic toll expenses can be supported by reduction in prepaid balance amounts documented by statements available online from i-Zoom, I-Pass, and etc. vendors. The University will not reimburse individuals for any deposits required on i-Zoom, I-Pass, etc., or for the funding of an individual's account in anticipation of incurring future tolls for business.

Determining Mileage

University approved travel includes any travel on official University business from primary work location to another, secondary destination, and return to primary work location from a secondary location. University will not reimburse for mileage between WSU locations within the City of Detroit (i.e. – You work on the Main Campus and have meetings at the Medical School. Since both sites are located within the City of Detroit, it is not a reimbursable travel expense.)

A "primary work location" is a designated campus or metropolitan center where a person accomplishes the assignment for which he/she is employed. If a person with a split assignment is required to be at more than one principal place of work during a single day, reimbursement is permitted for the mileage between the work locations.

Persons working more than the normal work week at their primary work location are not entitled to a mileage reimbursement for the commuting necessitated by this  extra work or overtime (i.e. If your normal work week is Monday-Friday and you are required to come in on a Saturday, you will NOT be reimbursed for mileage from your home to your primary work location on Saturday.)

The traveler must document business miles or calculate mileage using Google Maps, Mapquest (or something similar) to determine the total mileage for the trip less the normal commute to and from work. Business mileage does not include the normal commute to and from work. When your business travel originates from home; subtract your normal commute from the total miles associated with the trip.

Mileage to and from the airport when traveling on business will be reimbursed only for the mileage that exceeds the round-trip distance from the traveler's home to their primary work location on Campus.


My daily commute to the Main Campus (my primary work  location) is 10 miles (one way) 

My home to the Oakland Center is 80 miles (round trip)

Main Campus to Oakland Center is 42 miles (round trip) 

Main Campus to Metro Airport is 40 miles (round trip)

My home to Metro Airport is 80 miles (round trip)

  1. Travel from Home to Oakland Center to Home
    a.    My mileage claim is 80 – 20 (10 miles commuting each way) = 60 miles
  2. Travel from Home to Oakland Center to Main Campus
    My mileage claim is 40 + 21 – 10 (commuting miles one way) = 51 miles
    * If you leave from Main Campus or return to Main Campus, you reduce by a one way commute.
  3. Travel from Main Campus to Oakland Center to Main Campus
    My mileage claim is 42 miles
  4. Travel from Home to Airport to Home
    My mileage claim is 80 – 20 (commuting miles each way) = 60 miles