I recently got a new job (a little over 1 month ago) and in my letter of offer there was no mention of travel nor was there any mention of it in the job description. As of recently, I have been doing more and more "errands" for the department and they have all been local (i.e. less than 5 miles from the workplace; dropping off packages, picking up packages, etc.), but in the last week's time I have gotten some more requests to start doing more long distance errands (approx. 30-45 minute long errands (not including time to and from) which are important to my department: meeting customers, quality control visits, going to the state department's offices, going to other offices, etc.).

My main issues are as following:

  1. I am not getting any mileage or reimbursement compensation for these trips I have done.
  2. I am using my personal vehicle for running these errands.
  3. My personal vehicle is not intended for long distance drives (it is over 20 years old, has almost 110,000 miles on it, and there are a few items I have yet to fix).

I mentioned these issues in a quick moment with one of my managers (my true manager is on vacation at the moment) and he said the company will reimburse my mileage or I can use one of the company's operation's department automobiles if I get approved by the insurance carrier and he said we will go over it tomorrow. I have 2 issues with this "solution":

  1. If I use my personal vehicle: I only get gas mileage reimbursed (which is not a lot); I add further stress to an already stressed vehicle; and if, god forbid, anything bad does happen while I am on work time my insurance will not pay for it (I will have to do so). - I know this from family member's personal work experience.
  2. If I use the Operation Department's Automobile: I have to ruin my clothes (I work in a business professional environment: suits/button-up shirts and slacks) because the vehicles are horribly "maintained" (people have defecated and smoked in them); the vehicles are in horrible mechanical condition (the car will randomly shift to Neutral while driving, brakes don't work all that well, and it does not drive well); the Operations department might need the vehicles at any given time for jobs or other tasks (which will be given priority over my needs).

I know that the managers (which I use loosely) in the company all have personal company cars which only THEY use. However, I cannot seem to get a personal company car (I did not ask, but I strongly doubt it).

What is the "optimal" strategy to not perturb any manager/department and to not have to use my personal vehicle to run company errands nor the god awful Operation vehicles? What argument should I present to my "boss" for that strategy?


The company's VP will be at my office tomorrow to go over some items and work with me on some tasks. He really likes me and I do not want to ask and seem like I am going behind anyone's back, but it might be worth it. Also, I am salary non-exempt...if that matters.


I work in the US.

  • 2
    Mileage rates in the US typically cover much more than just gas. Every company I have worked for uses the publically available DoD rates which are around 57 cents a mile this year. – Laconic Droid Aug 11 '16 at 2:07
  • UK: You cannot do errands for the company with your own car, unless you tell your insurance company and change the insurance accordingly. Once that is sorted, the mileage rate should be a lot more than just fuel. Typically it should be what a company can deduct from taxes, which is 45 pence per mile driven. Of course all the time it takes you to travel is working time, so there would be no extra compensation for that. – gnasher729 Aug 11 '16 at 10:49

I have some unrelated thoughts.

  1. If you are using your personal vehicle for work related tasks always record the mileage that you drive in a dedicated diary. Even if you company doesn't reimburse you the (full) IRS rate you can still claim it on your tax return at the end of the year. (And I bet your company is only paying you cash in hand for the gas!)

  2. I would inform your VP that you are expected to make trips on the companies behalf but you know that that your insurance will not cover you in your personal vehicle. (This opens the company up to a lawsuit from you if you have an accident and that hopefully should scare the VP a little.) And I would mention that you are being put in an uncomfortable position when requested to do so.

  3. From the sound of it your Operations cars are not effectively road worthy. I would definitely raise that with your VP. Especially the hygiene. (It would also be good if you suddenly came up with a severe allergy to smoke :D). If those cars are as bad as you say then the company would also be open to a lawsuit if you had an accident in one of them when off site and/or interest from OSHA. (Also typically operations vehicles aren't registered for road use). Invite your VP to inspect what you are being asked to drive.

So I would politely raise the above issues with your VP and frame them as being liabilities to the company and how worried you are about the potential outcomes. I don't think that you are going over anybodies head by doing so if the VP is coming to see you and you mention your concerns in a casual way.

So basically I think that you already know what you need to say and just have to do it.

Of course the bigger issue is what will happen after you mention these issues. If the company doesn't do anything about it are you prepared to walk away?

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  • Agree. But for me, the insurance issue would be the job stopper. In most countries you need to inform your insurer if you are using your car for business purposes; if not, and you have an accident, they might be able to reject your claim. – PeteCon Aug 11 '16 at 3:44

First thing to do is ASK if the company has any compensation policy for personal vehicles. There's nothing wrong with asking. Everyone knows gas costs money.

If they do have a policy, see if it suits you, if they don't have a policy just tell them you need gas money etc,.

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  • How would I handle not being ensured under the company's insurance? If they give me gas/mileage money and insurance protection, then I would have no problem, but the policy does not mention anything regarding insurance (at least that I am aware). I told my manager to put me in front of the insurance agency and we will see. – G.T.D. Aug 11 '16 at 22:31
  • Perhaps ask for carwash and waxing fees as well?... – Kilisi Aug 12 '16 at 5:47

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