Quick Guide – New civil service travel and subsistence rates

New rates apply from 1st April 2017

When do the new rates apply?

The new rates will apply from 1st April 2017. This is the first time there has been an increase in the rates since they were cut by 25% in 2010, and the first time the calculating formula has been revised since 2005.

Why have new rates been introduced?

Under the terms of the Haddington Road Agreement, the Government signalled its intention to conduct a review of how the rates are calculated. The agreement committed unions and management to cooperating with the review, and with the implementation of a standardised system of travel and subsistence across the public service.

How has the new formula been calculated?

The revised system takes account of both overhead and running costs of using a vehicle for official purposes. The overhead costs formula takes account of the following:

  • A replacement rate that assumes that an officer’s car is replaced every four years
  • Insurance costs based on a 35 year old civil servant, driving a Volkswagen Golf with a two year no claims bonus
  • Car costs calculated with reference to the top 10 best-selling cars
  • Car tax costs based on the C02 emissions of the top 10 best-selling cars
  • Servicing and repair costs based on the figures given in the AA Cost of Motoring report each year
  • Fuel costs.

The new formula also provides a methodology that can be easily updated with new data (such as changing fuel, vehicle and insurance costs). The new rates also take into account the need to encourage the use of more environmentally efficient vehicles and methods of travel, in keeping with policies to reduce carbon emissions.

How long will the new rates apply?

All parties have agreed that the new formula will be ‘locked in’ for a period of three years.

What class of user will benefit the most from new rates?

The new formula will be of greater benefit to heavy users as it gives greater recognition to the cost of replacing a car for those grades who have to replace their cars more often due to heavier use.

The new rates also provide a greater proportionate increase for those using smaller, more fuel efficient and environmentally-friendly vehicles.

Why are there four distance bands now instead of two?

The new formula uses four distance bands of motor travel rates, providing a different rate per kilometre based on the apportionment of the overhead costs of running a car. It’s intended to maximise benefit to those who undertake significant mileage, of more than 1500km, each year.

I’ve already travelled over 1500km on the ‘old’ distance band, will my next travel and subsistence payment be adjusted retrospectively to the new (lower) rate for distances less than 1500km?

No. Travel undertaken between January and April 2017 is calculated at the old rate. The new rates will apply only from 1st April without any retrospective penalties.

What are the new rates-per kilometre?

Engine Size

0 – 1200cc

1200 – 1500 cc

1500cc and over


Km Range

Cents per km

Cents per km

Cents per km


0 to 1,500





1,501 to 5,500





5,501 to 25,000





Over 25,000




What are the new subsistence rates for travelling officers? 

The ‘five hour’ rate of €13.71 and ‘ten hour’ rate of €33.61 remain unchanged.   

A new overnight rate of €133.00 will apply from 1st April, in recognition of the increasing costs of overnight accommodation.

Due to the exceptionally high cost of hotel accommodation in Dublin, especially at peak periods, a new vouched rate applies, up to a maximum of €167 (the new overnight rate plus the 10-hour rate), for which a hotel receipt must be provided.

What are the implications for other sectors?

IMPACT is in contact with the management side in other sectors with a view to securing similar arrangements across the public service.

These rates receive Revenue approval and are therefore generally used throughout the rest of the economy.