Use of rent­al vehicles or privately owned vehicles on busi­ness trips

In this instance: accident law issues

A repeatedly raised question is that of what compensation travellers meeting with an accident during a business trip in a rental vehicle or privately owned vehicle receive, in particular for material damages.


For reasons of occupational accident law, the “Business trip approval request…” or “External funding” form needs to be submitted to the approval office in good time before beginning the business trip, in order to allow approval to be provided.

Should damage to a rented or privately-owned vehicle occur during a business trip, please take photos, name eye witnesses, possibly involve the police and immediately inform the travel office – Ms. Schwalk – at!

Should the trip be made in a rented or privately owned vehicle and an accident occur, compensation for damage to property can generally be paid if the damage was not caused intentionally, through gross negligence or by an identifiable third party.
Compensation for private vehicles is limited to a maximum amount of 300 euros, as the costs are covered by the kilometre allowance the costs of towing away, repair and later collection of a vehicle that has broken down during a business trip may not be compensated as ancillary costs. Damages caused to third parties during an accident should be covered by the personal liability insurance of the business traveller; losses of no-claim bonuses in the personal liability insurance will not be assumed by the employer.

There is no legal obligation for employees to use a privately-owned vehicle. The car rental companies with which Paderborn University has concluded a framework agreement or has special conditions as a corporate customer sometimes charge a deductible of €300 for material damage to the rental vehicle. If a rented vehicle with a higher deductible is hired, it should be noted that the higher deductible must also be paid in the event of damage from the travel expenses AO.

Should you suffer an accident, please inform the personnel department immediately; the university will decide on compensation.

It is evident from the preceding explanations that the use of privately owned vehicles on business trips falls mainly within the traveller’s sphere of risk; we can thus only recommend that you use regular transport services (with the exception of airplanes to which special provisions apply) or a rental vehicle.Please note the possibility of taking out comprehensive business trip insurance!

We wish you a safe and pleasant journey

Your Human Resources Department