Travel Allowance

All information correct from September 2019.

One of the biggest perks at work that most people want is the travel allowance. The allowance covers things from your daily commute to work, business trips and overnight stays at hotels.

Unfortunately, travel allowance isn’t a legal requirement for employers to give to their staff. With the average commuter spending a whopping £3.064 a year on train fares, we at StudentJob think an excellent employer should at least reimburse some of the travel costs.

Luckily, there are some employee rights that you have when it comes to travel allowance. You can claim up to a maximum amount from the taxman and get reimbursed for your travel. However, if your costs are over the threshold, by law, your employer must include these travel expenses in your paycheck.

Mileage Allowance

If you use your car to get to work or for business travel, you can receive a reimbursement from the taxman.

The current maximum rates for Mileage Allowance are;


Cars, Vans and Lorries Rate
Standard Rate - for the first 10,000 miles in the tax year 40p per mile
Lower Standard Rate - additional mile over 10,000 miles 25p per mile

You can also claim mileage allowance if you travel to work on a motorbike or a bicycle.


Motorbikes 24p per mile
Bicycle 20p per mile

There are also additional rates you can also claim for;

  • If you’re carpooling - you can claim an additional 5p per mile per passenger.

  • If you’re carrying business-related equipment in your own car, you can also claim an extra 2p per mile.

Company Lease Car

Another perk at work is driving a company lease car. Not only is it helpful to have a shiny set of wheels which you don’t have to pay for, but you can also claim mileage allowance on it too. For company lease cars, there is a different rate system based on the size and petrol used for your car engine.


Engine Size Petrol Diesel LPG
Less than 1400 cc 11p per mile 11p per mile 7p per mile
1401 cc or higher 14p per mile 11p per mile 8p per mile

Business Travel

A lot of people do not know their rights when it comes to business travel. There are a few rules and regulations here, but we will break it down for you as simply as possible.

If you’re having a day trip for business, you can claim for;

  • Breakfast - up to £4.50 if you had to leave home 90 minutes earlier than usual and are away from home for more than 12 hours.


  • Lunch - up to £4.50 if you’re away from the office for more than 5 hours and you’re not provided lunch on your work trip.

If you’re having an overnight stay for work, you can also claim for hotels, meals and other expenses you may have;

  • Hotels - you can claim up to £125 a night if you’re in London, or up to £85 per night in the rest of the UK.


  • Meals - you can claim up to £4.50 for lunch, £14.50 for dinner and £5 for any additional expenses, such as a laundry.

If you’re staying with friends or family for work instead of at a hotel, you can also claim a maximum of £25 per day.

You can also claim for train or air travel allowance. However, your tickets need to be a standard class or economy class. If you’re travelling at a higher class rate, you won’t get a reimburse by the taxman.

Perks At Work

If you're required to travel a lot for work, a good employer will either pay for the travel costs directly or reimburse you the full amount. Unfortunately, commuting to work is different, and by law, your employer isn't required to pay you a travel allowance.

We at StudentJob think it's a good idea for employers to pay you a travel allowance. After all, this is a perk at work and a nice incentive to keep working for a company.

With train fares especially rising to unaffordable rates each year, employers will need to create a payment system that covers this. Or bosses should at least allow flexible working, like working from home.

While you're here, why not check out our guide on a good work-life balance for any tips that can help you with that dreaded commute. Maybe you need a change of scenery and looking for a part-time job? Register and upload your CV for free on StudentJob.

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