Overview

Understand the rules for travel and subsistence, including what you can claim for different modes of transport, types of journeys – as well as permitted food and drink.

You can also complete IPSA Online tasks for reimbursements, or mileage claims. And download the Season Ticket Request Form.

Scheme rules

Travel and travel-related subsistence costs can be claimed when in support of the MP's parliamentary functions. [9.1]

MPs may claim for travel by public transport, private transport, taxis and hire cars. [9.2]

IPSA will pay an MP’s claims for travel and subsistence costs relating to the following types of journeys:

  • journeys between London and the MP’s constituency

  • journeys within the MP’s constituency

  • extended UK travel, meaning travel to another UK location

  • journeys to and from other countries in Europe (no other international travel may be claimed, except where Parliament is recalled) [9.3]

MPs cannot claim for commuting costs, meaning the journey between their constituency office and constituency residence, nor the journey between Westminster and their London Area residence.

Non-London Area MPs can choose to claim for travel to Westminster from outside of London daily instead of claiming accommodation costs. [9.4]

For more information on making claims using IPSA Online visit Getting reimbursed for travel.

MPs can claim for extended UK travel if the journey was outside the constituency, or not the routine journey between the constituency and Westminster or a London Area residence. [9.3]

If MPs travel between Westminster and the constituency but make a diversion from the normal route for non-parliamentary purposes, they may claim for a "diverted" journey.

The maximum claimable fare for such a journey is the standard open fare of the direct journey between Westminster and the constituency. [9.5]

MPs must include notes explaining the reason for the journey when claiming for extended UK travel and "diverted" journeys. [9.6]

MPs may claim for journeys by their dependants between their constituency and London. [9.7]

MPs may also claim for journeys by their spouse or partner between their constituency and London. [9.8]

Where a dependant needs assistance from a carer other than an MP’s spouse or partner while travelling, the cost of the carer’s journey may also be claimed. [9.9]

For more information, visit Help with caring responsibilities.

MPs’ dependants, spouses or partners, and other carers must be registered with IPSA before travel can be claimed for them. [9.10]

For more information on making claims using IPSA Online, visit Getting reimbursed for travel.

MPs’ staff are eligible to claim for the same travel costs as MPs, with the exception of journeys to and from other countries in Europe.

Claims for travel by members of their families will not be paid. [9.11]

No costs relating to commutes between a staff member’s home and a normal place of work will be paid.

Staff members whose home is their contractual place of work may claim for the cost of occasional and ad hoc travel between their home and Westminster and/or the constituency office.

They should be aware of HMRC guidance in relation to whether the payment or reimbursement of such costs could be subject to tax. [9.12]

Travel costs incurred in order to attend training events may be claimed. [9.13]

For more information on making a claim using IPSA Online, visit Getting reimbursed for travel.

For journeys made by rail, reimbursement will be limited to the rate of an "anytime standard open" ticket for the journey prevalent at the time of the claim. [9.15]

MPs travelling on sleeper train services are additionally entitled to claim for a sleeper supplement for a single occupancy berth. [9.16]

For more information on making a claim using IPSA Online, visit Getting reimbursed for travel.

For journeys by public transport, MPs may buy a ticket of any class but reimbursement will be limited to the rate of an economy class ticket available at the time of booking. [9.14]

For more information on making a claim using IPSA Online, visit Getting reimbursed for travel.

MPs can buy a ticket of any class – but reimbursement is limited to the rate of an economy class ticket available at the time of booking.

In the case of air travel, "economy" includes "flexible economy". [9.14]

For more information on making a claim using IPSA Online, visit Getting reimbursed for travel.

MPs may claim the cost of a railcard or season ticket which allows savings to be made on future purchases of rail tickets for parliamentary journeys. [9.17]

For more information on making a claim using IPSA Online visit Getting reimbursed for travel.

Private cars, motorcycles or bicycles may be used as an alternative to public transport.

An MP undertaking a journey by private transport will be reimbursed in accordance with the rates set by Parliament and administered by HMRC.

If the rates change during the year, IPSA will reimburse claims according to the new rates from the date at which they take effect. [9.18]

Car mileage rate (covering business travel by private car)

45p per mile for the first 10,000 miles, 25p per mile thereafter

Motorcycle mileage rate (covering business travel by private motorcycle)

24p per mile

Bicycle mileage rate (covering business travel by private bicycle)

20p per mile rate

For more information on making a claim using IPSA Online, visit Claiming mileage.

Read about the Constituency mileage pilot.

MPs using private transport may claim reimbursement of the costs of parking charges, congestion and ultra-low emission zone charging and road tolls.

Penalty charges or additional charges for late payment, or civil charges for traffic, parking or other violations, will not be reimbursed. [9.19]

For more information on making a claim using IPSA Online, visit Getting reimbursed for travel.

Taxi fares will only be reimbursed when a journey by taxi is necessary because:

  • no other reasonable method of transport is available for all or part of the journey

  • alternative methods of transport are impracticable due to pregnancy, disability, illness or injury of the MP or staff member, or

  • MPs have been working on parliamentary business after 10pm [9.20]

For more information visit Late night working on parliamentary matters.

When submitting claims for taxi journeys MPs must include a note on the reasons for taking a taxi rather than using public transport. [9.21]

For more information on making a claim using IPSA Online, visit Getting reimbursed for travel.

Hire cars may be used where there is no reasonable alternative.

MPs may claim for the cost of hiring the vehicle, of any fuel used, and insurance purchased. [9.22]

For more information on making a claim using IPSA Online, visit Getting reimbursed for travel.

MPs may claim for the cost of an overnight hotel stay where they have travelled as part of their parliamentary activities, and it would be unreasonable to return to any residence either in the London Area or their constituency. [9.23]

MPs may not claim for hotel stays in the London Area under travel and subsistence, except when they have been working after 10pm on parliamentary matters.

For more information, visit Late night working on parliamentary matters.

The rules covering the use of hotels by non-London Area MPs as an alternative to claiming for rental accommodation in Hotel accommodation costs. [9.24]

Where a dependant needs assistance from a carer other than an MP’s spouse or partner while travelling, and the carer requires an overnight hotel stay, IPSA will pay for the cost of the hotel. [9.26]

Hotel costs claimed under travel and subsistence are subject to nightly cost limits.

MPs may group together a number of nights during a single stay and claim the full amount if the average per night does not exceed the limit. [9.27]

If you are not able to find a hotel within the cost limit, you may be able to claim the additional cost through contingency funding [10.11]. You will need to evidence that you made a reasonable effort to find a hotel within the limit, beyond the Travel Office and your usual accommodation provider, by submitting screen shots.

For more information on making a claim using IPSA Online, visit Getting reimbursed for accommodation.

Hotel costs claimed under travel and subsistence are subject to nightly cost limits. [9.27]

  • when staying in a hotel in Europe, or in the London Area, you can claim up to £190 per night.

  • for hotel stays inside the United Kingdom but outside the London Area, you can claim up to £150 per night

If you are not able to find a hotel within the cost limit, you may be able to claim the additional cost through contingency funding [10.11]. You will need to evidence that you made a reasonable effort to find a hotel within the limit, beyond the Travel Office and your usual accommodation provider, by submitting screen shots.

For more information on making a claim using IPSA Online, visit Getting reimbursed for accommodation.

MPs may claim for the cost of purchasing food and non-alcoholic drinks where they have stayed overnight outside the London Area and their constituency. [9.28]

This is limited to £25 for each night they have stayed away, but the claims can cover purchases made during the day.

For more information on making a claim using IPSA Online, visit Making reimbursement claims.

Where a dependant needs assistance from a carer other than an MP’s spouse or partner while travelling, and the carer requires an overnight hotel stay, IPSA will pay for the cost of the hotel. [9.26]

MPs’ staff and carers may also claim for the cost of food and non-alcoholic drinks when staying overnight in line with the rules. [9.29]

For more information, visit Getting reimbursed for accommodation.

MPs may also claim for the cost of an overnight hotel stay for their staff, where the staff member has travelled in support of the MP’s parliamentary functions, including for training, and it would be unreasonable for them to have to return to their own residence. [9.25]

If you are not able to find a hotel within the cost limit, you may be able to claim the additional cost through contingency funding [10.11]. You will need to evidence that you made a reasonable effort to find a hotel within the limit, beyond the Travel Office and your usual accommodation provider, by submitting screen shots.

For more information, visit Getting reimbursed for accommodation.

Using IPSA Online

This guide has 17 steps.

  1. Note!

    Before you start, collect all your travel receipts and evidence of travel, and open IPSA Online.

    Remember to use Add information if you need to add further comments to your claim. This can be found towards the bottom of the screen.

  2. Step1

    On the menu, select Your employment.

  3. Step2

    Select Expenses.

  4. Step3

    Select Reimbursement claim (MP).

    If you work in a MP’s office, you can claim your own expenses by selecting Reimbursement claim (Staff).

    All subsequent steps are the same.

  5. Step4

    In the On behalf of resource box, select who the claim should be paid to – this box only appears if you are the MP or Proxy.

  6. Step5

    In the Reference box, type a short description for this claim – this should be something to easily identify the claim at a later date.

  7. Step6

    Select Add expense from near the bottom of the screen.

  8. Step7

    Select an Expense category. You can start typing the expense and a list of possible expenses is displayed.

    Alternatively, select the drop-down arrow to see the full list and choose the relevant category.

  9. Step8

    Use the Calendar icon to select the date the expense was incurred.

  10. Step9

    Add a Description for the expense.

    Content included in this field will be published in line with our Publication Policy.

    If any comments are intended solely for IPSA, please use the Add information field described in Step 14.

  11. Step10

    Add the Amount of the expense that you are claiming for.

  12. Step11

    Select the Chevron icon at the end of the expense line.

    The chevrons open additional fields that are required for that particular expense.

  13. Step12

    Use the Spacebar on your keyboard to see a list of all the relevant budgets, addresses, stations, airports etc. Alternatively, you can start typing the specific value you want to select

    Depending on the type of expense being reimbursed, you may see a different set of options for completion.

    The example displayed in the accompanying screenshot is a claim for reimbursement for air travel.

  14. Step13

    Repeat steps six to 12 until all expenses have been added.

    An expense claim should not be more than 20 lines long.

  15. Step14

    If you have further comments about any lines on your claim, select Add information towards the bottom of the screen. Type your comments in the pop-up box.

    Please make sure to reference which line on the claim each comment refers to.

  16. Step15

    You must now add receipts to each claim line and then submit the claim.

  17. Step16

    In the pop-up window that appears select Upload receipts in the bottom left of the screen.

    Once uploaded, select the line you want to add the receipt to, and then select Match to receipt.

  18. Step17

    Select Submit form.

For more information visit Uploading receipts and Adding receipts to a claim.

The cost of rail journeys taken in support of your parliamentary functions and in line with the rules of the Scheme of MPs’ Staffing and Business Costs are only claimable within the standard fare limits of the journey taken.

There is an automatic stop in place on IPSA Online that will return any claims that exceed these limits.

You can check the standard fare limits for journeys between any given station and London Terminals by using the MP Office Rail Fare Limits Report. 

If you need to access the standard rail fare limits for a journey between two train stations, neither of which are London terminals, or if you need to access standard rail fare limits for a sleeper train journey, please contact your account manager

  1. Note!

  2. Step1

    To access the report, open the Main menu and navigate to the Reports tab.

  3. Step2

    The report is organised alphabetically by train station. 

  4. Step3

    Use the Train Limits – RailFrom (T) filter to search for specific stations.

    This will bring up two results

    • Rail – the standard fare limit indicated includes the cost of a London travelcard), and

    • Rail (No Uplift) – the standard fare limit without a London travelcard included)

This guide contains 23 steps.

  1. Note!

    Open IPSA Online.

    Remember to use Add information if you need to add further comments to your claim, such as detailing journeys. This can be found towards the bottom of the screen.

  2. Step1

    Select the Main menu tab.

  3. Step2

    Select the Your employment tab on the left-hand side.

  4. Step3

    Select Expenses.

  5. Step4

    Select Reimbursement claim (MP).

    If you work in a MP’s office, you can claim your own expenses by selecting Reimbursement claim (Staff).

    All subsequent steps are the same.

  6. Step5

    In the On behalf of resource box, select who the claim should be paid to – this box only appears if you are the MP or Proxy.

  7. Step6

    In the Reference box, type a short description for this claim – this should be something to easily identify the claim at a later date.

  8. Step7

    Select Add expense from near the bottom of the screen.

  9. Step8

    Select the relevant mileage category by typing or selecting the drop-down arrow.

  10. Step9

    Select the calendar icon and select the date the cost was incurred.

  11. Step10

    Add a description showing what the journey was for. Do not add personal information such as postcodes or home address.

    Detail the locations of the journey and if there were multiple stops, list these.

  12. Step11

    Add the number of miles travelled in the quantity field.

  13. Step12

    Select the Chevron icon at the end of the expense line.

    The chevrons open additional fields that are required for that particular expense.

  14. Step13

    Complete the additional fields that are now displayed.

  15. Step14

    Repeat steps six to 11 until all expenses have been added. Note an expense claim should not be more than 20 lines long.

  16. Step15

    If you have further comments about any lines on your claim, select Add information towards the bottom of the screen. Type your comments in the pop-up box.

    Please make sure to reference which line on the claim each comment refers to.

  17. Step16

    It is possible that you will have several mileage claims for different days that are for the same journey. You can take an expense line and copy it several times.

    Select the line(s) you wish to copy. You may need to press the Esc key to display the tick boxes of all lines.

  18. Step17

    Select Copy expense.

    Repeat until you have all the lines you need.

  19. Step18

    If you want to delete a claim line, select the entry you wish to remove.

  20. Step19

    Select Delete expense.

  21. Step20

    Make sure you check your claim for errors before submission. It may not always be possible to withdraw or amend it before payment is made.

  22. Step21

    Select Submit in the bottom left corner of the screen.

  23. Step22

    A pop-up window will appear informing you the claim has been sent for approval and displaying the claim form reference number.

    Select OK.

  24. Step23

    The Claim Form will remain open. You will need to close this by selecting the X at the top of the expenses tab.

You can track the number of miles so far claimed in relation to journeys by private car, motorcycle, or bicycle by using the "MPD Summarized Mileage Report". 

  1. Note!

  2. Step1

    To access the report, open the Main menu and navigate to the Reports tab.

  3. Step2

    The report shows you all mileage you have claimed in IPSA Online over the course of the current tax year – for example between 6 April 2022 and 5 April 2023.

    It separates the mileage by Expense Type and the rate at which you were reimbursed.

    It also provides details of the number of miles travelled. 

MPs and staff are eligible to apply for season ticket loans which are repaid monthly through their pay.

  1. Note!

    To apply for a season ticket loan, open IPSA Online.

  2. Step1

    Select the Main menu tab.

  3. Step2

    Select the Forms tab on the left of the screen.

  4. Step3

    On the menu, select the Season Ticket Request Form.

  5. Step4

    Add a description for the form in the Form description.

  6. Step5

    Type in the total Cost of ticket.

  7. Step6

    Type in the amount of Advance required.

  8. Step7

    Select the icon to select the Period from and Period to dates.

  9. Step8

    Fill in the Period of repayment in months (for example, repay over 12 months).

  10. Step9

    Complete the Journey from and Journey to fields.

  11. Step10

    Read the Terms & Conditions and Employee’s authorisation (if applicable) carefully.

  12. Step11

    Select Submit form.

  1. Note!

    To register a dependant, open IPSA Online.

    You will need to provide supporting documentation for your dependant.

  2. Step1

    Select the Main menu tab.

  3. Step2

    Select the Forms tab on the left-hand side.

  4. Step3

    Select the Dependants Form from the menu.

  5. Step4

    Fill in the Form description field.

  6. Step5

    Select the Dependant type field and press the space bar.

    Select the dependant type from the list.

  7. Step6

    Confirm whether the dependant registration has been discussed with an Account Manager.

    This is only required for the Expected dependent type.

  8. Step7

    Fill in the First name and Last name. Each field can hold 21 characters.

  9. Step8

    Confirm whether you want an uplift to be applied to your Accommodation Budget as a result of registering a dependant using the Apply budget uplift? section of the form.

    You can only apply for a budget uplift, up to a maximum of three, for:

    • a dependant Under 18

    • a dependant aged 18-21, or

    • an other cared-for family member

  10. Step9

    In the Date of birth field, select the calendar icon and select the dependant's date of birth if they are under 21.

  11. Step10

    Before attaching documentation please select Save as draft.

  12. Step11

    Select the Paperclip icon in the top right corner of the form to add supporting evidence.

    These can also be emailed directly to your Account Manager.

  13. Step12

    Select Submit form.

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