Here’s the New Tax-Free Motor & Subsistence Expense Rates

Revenue have in recent days updated their guides to tax-free Travel & Subsistence expenses for employees and company directors, to take into account the new Civil Service mileage and subsistence rates.

The new rates apply from 1 April 2017.

Man writing with red marker

Motor Expenses

There are now fifteen separate motor expense rates for cars,

The rate that applies to you depends on your annual distance travelled, the engine size of your car, and the purpose of each journey.

These are as follows:

Motor cars effective from 1 April 2017
Band Distance Engine Capacity: Up to 1,200 cc Engine Capacity: 1,201 cc to 1,500 cc Engine Capacity: 1,501 cc and over
Band 1 0 – 1,500 km 37.95 cent 39.86 cent 44.79 cent
Band 2 1,501 – 5,500 km 70.00 cent 73.21 cent 83.53 cent
Band 3 5,501 – 25,000 km 27.55 cent 29.03 cent 32.21 cent
Band 4 25,001 km and over 21.36 cent 22.23 cent 25.85 cent

A new set of “reduced mileage rates” has been introduced. These are payable “for journeys associated with an individual’s job but not solely related to the performance of those duties”.

Reduced Motor Travel Rates per kilometre
Engine Capacity: Up to 1,200 cc Engine Capacity: 1,201 cc to 1,500 cc Engine Capacity: 1,501 cc and over
16.59 cent 17.63 cent 18.97 cent

This is intended to include:

  • Attendance at “confined promotion competitions”
  • Attendance at courses and conferences
  • Return visits home at weekends “during periods of temporary transfer”.

Separate sets of rates apply also to motorbike and bicycle use – the latter, a frankly laughable 8 cent per km – why do they bother?


The new Subsistence rates are as follows:

Table of Domestic Subsistence Rates effective from 1 April 2017
Overnight Allowances Day Allowances
Normal Rate Reduced Rate Detention Rate 10 hours or more 5 hours but less than 10 hours
€133.73 €120.36 €66.87 €33.61 €14.01

A new system of “Vouched Accommodation Domestic Subsistence Rates”, for use in Dublin only, has also been introduced, up to the following maximum amounts:

Vouched Accommodation Domestic Subsistence Rates (for use in Dublin only)
Accommodation Meals
Vouched cost of accommodation up to €133.73 €33.61

The payment of tax-free motor and subsistence expenses are each subject to detailed terms and conditions.

If you are paying or administering such expenses, you must study these carefully, as expense claims often give rise to Revenue audit problems, and the penalties for non-compliance can be severe.

If you’re in any doubt, consider getting professional advice.