Business travel

Find information below about how to book business travel including accommodation, car hire and travel insurance.

Travel and Expenses Policy

The University’s Travel and Expenses Policy applies to all staff and students that have a need to travel on University business. All travel must be booked in accordance with this policy.

Contact with any queries regarding the policy.

Booking business travel

How to book UK and overseas travel and accommodation

This must be booked using the University’s preferred travel suppliers: NYS Corporate and Selective Travel Management.

Both suppliers offer a full range of travel services, including:

  • UK and overseas rail travel
  • UK and overseas air travel
  • UK and overseas hotel accommodation
  • overseas car hire
  • UK ferry travel
  • online booking tools for air, rail and hotels
  • training to use their online booking tools
  • 24/7/365 travel desk service, for all services
  • passport and visa service
  • group travel bookings (nine or more travellers)
  • on-site ticket printers for collection of rail tickets
  • traveller tracking and risk management

1. Create a Traveller Profile

Before you can make your first booking you will need to register with NYS and Selective Travel Management by emailing your Department's Travel Rep with the following information:

  • Title
  • First name
  • Surname

Please provide your name exactly as it appears on your passport. Titles must be gender specific i.e. Dr, Prof, Rev will not be accepted.

We recommend registering with both suppliers as they offer different booking tools and different deals. It is useful to compare prices to ensure you receive best value.

Once you have submitted your profile information, you will receive confirmation within 48 hours along with your login details for the supplier’s online booking tools. You will then be able to make a booking.

2. Make a booking

Choose your supplier

Login to your chosen supplier’s travel portal:

Check prices or make a booking

To check prices or make a booking either:

  • Login to the online booking tools using the links on the portal page.

    The booking tools cover UK rail and London Underground, flights and hotels. They are comparable to other internet comparison sites for travel and find the most competitive prices for your travel and accommodation.
  • Contact the supplier’s travel desk team using the contact details on the portal page.

    The travel desk team will provide you with a quotation for your travel. This is a good option if your travel itinerary is complex or if you can’t find suitable options on the online booking tools. The travel desk staff can often access deals not available via the internet. If you have a preferred hotel and you can’t see any availability on the booking tool, please contact the travel team.

Both suppliers offer a price match policy, so please contact them directly if you have been able to find a cheaper price elsewhere for the same flight, hotel etc.

How to book UK car hire

This must be booked using the University’s preferred supplier, Enterprise.

Enterprise offers a range of vehicles for hire from compact cars to commercial vehicles. It is possible to hire vehicles by the day or by the hour.

1. Authorised Driver registration

All staff who drive on university business must first register as an Authorised Driver. This still applies to hire vehicles, even though insurance is now provided by Enterprise. For more information on motor insurance please visit the University's Health, Safety and Security website.

If you need to hire a vehicle and will be driving it yourself, please complete and submit the Authorised Driver form and DVLA licence summary on the University’s Health, Safety and Security website. If your licence was issued outside the UK please submit a copy of both sides of your driving licence. Holders of non-UK licences must also complete the second page of the Authorised Driver Form. If you are already registered and there are no changes to your details or medical conditions go to step two below.

If you are an administrator booking a hire vehicle for a colleague and they will be driving, please check that they have recently registered as an Authorised Driver.

2. Daily or hourly rental

Enterprise offers two options for car hire: daily rental and hourly rental.

Daily rental

Vehicles are supplied by the local branch of Enterprise and can be delivered to the University (free of charge) or to your home address (charge applies). One way hire is also possible. The minimum rental period is one day and vehicles can be hired for a number of weeks if required. Vehicles must be booked using the supplier’s business-to-business (B2B) online booking tool. All hire rates include insurance cover.

Hourly rental via the Enterprise Car Club

Car Club vehicles are available across the UK. There's one on the University of York campus. Use the Car Club online booking system to check where the closest vehicle is for the time required. Vehicles can be hired for a minimum period of one hour. Significant cost savings can be made using the Car Club if the vehicle is required for just a short time.

Making your booking

Once you have decided which option is suitable email your Department's Travel Rep to request access to the booking tool. Please confirm whether you need access to the B2B tool (daily rental) or Car Club tool (hourly rental) in your email.

You will receive confirmation within 48 hours along with your login details. You will then be able to login to make a booking.

Before you go - how to obtain travel insurance

Staff and students travelling overseas on University business will normally be covered by the University’s business travel insurance, provided they register the details of their trip on the Travel Log.

The Travel Log also asks the traveller to confirm that they have assessed any risks associated with the destination or activities that will be undertaken during the trip.

Find further details about our travel insurance, any cover restrictions and risk assessments on the Health, Safety and Security website.

How to apply for overseas travel cash advance

This process replaces the one in the University’s Travel and Expenses Policy.

If you have to travel overseas on University business for a longer period of time you can apply for a cash advance to cover incidental business expenses you incur on the trip.

Please note that:

  • the minimum amount for a cash advance is foreign currency worth £250
  • you will need to account for expenditure against your advance when you return so keep receipts for all expenditure incurred
  • the advance must not be used for any personal expenditure
  • you need to give a minimum of three days notice (preferably longer) before your trip, for foreign currency as this needs to be ordered each time. For payments into your bank account the cut off date is longer (see 6 below)
  • please consider your personal safety when carrying cash with you overseas; University travel insurance only covers up to £1,000 in cash. If you require a higher limit for a specific trip (e.g. in some African countries payment can be by cash only) please contact the insurance team via The limit increase should also be documented in your travel risk assessment including security measures you will take when you are carrying cash
  • for this reason we recommend keeping cash to a minimum and paying advances into your bank account instead so you can draw this out in smaller amounts or pay for business items using your bank card. We recognise that this will incur some charges, but these will be covered by the advance  
  • our insurers (via +44 (0)1243 621556) can arrange for an emergency cash advance to replace any cash which has been lost or stolen overseas.  Such emergency funds provided will be deducted from any subsequent claim or must be refunded to the University.

How to apply

If your department has a finance team, please contact them in the first instance.

  1. Applicant completes and signs the Overseas Travel cash advance application form (MS Excel , 100kb). Either employee number or student number must be filled in.
  2. The departmental authoriser (usually your Head of Department) signs the form to authorise the application.
  3. Once completed, scan and email the form to:
  4. You will receive email confirmation that your claim has been approved and sent for processing. 
  5. If you requested foreign currency you will need to collect it from the Cash Office in Market Square before your trip (email to arrange this).
  6. If you requested the cash advance to be paid directly into your bank account then it will be paid in the next payment run.  The deadline each week for receipt of authorised cash advances is 5pm on Friday, with payment being made on the Friday of the following week. Contact the Accounts Payable team ( for any bank payment queries.

When you return

  1. All cash advances must be accounted for within four weeks of your return.
  2. Send a copy of your 'Overseas Travel cash advance application form' to your department's finance or admin team together with all receipts attached and coded to where you want to charge the costs of your trip, ie account or workorder.
  3. They will check and agree it, and then forward it to Adele Lawrenson (Finance, Heslington Hall) for processing. Exchange rate losses or gains should be coded to account code 2908.
  4. Pay any surplus money left from your advance into the Cash Office in sterling (convert the foreign currency at a bank or post office) using a Blank Cash Receipt form (MS Word , 29kb).  Code to account 9138 for staff or 9136 for students and note the amount paid back on your original application form.
  5. If during the trip you have spent more on business items than your cash advance you should claim for the excess using an expense claim form.


I have found a better price for my travel on the internet. Can I book it myself using a University Purchase Card or my own credit or debit card?

Both of the University’s preferred suppliers will price match quotes found elsewhere. Please forward the details or screenshot of the price you have seen to the supplier’s travel desk team and they will match the price.

Is there any training available for the online booking tools?

Yes, email and we will add you to the next training session or arrange for the supplier to provide one-to-one training if urgent.

Why haven’t I received an invoice for my rail tickets?

We have been able to develop an electronic invoice file for rail tickets, which cuts out thousands of paper invoices every year. You won’t receive an invoice, but your department will be recharged via Agresso, using the workorder you provided when booking the tickets. Please note: you will still receive invoices for flights, hotels and other ancillary services.

I’d like to upgrade to the next travel class or stay in a more expensive hotel than the policy allows. I’m happy to pay the difference using my own money. Is this permissible?

This is possible if you book via Selective Travel Management. Contact their travel desk to make the booking and let them know that you want to pay for an upgrade and the difference in cost with your own personal credit or debit card.

Can I use the suppliers to book personal travel or car hire?

Selective Travel and Enterprise Car Hire are both able to help with personal travel. Call or email Selective’s travel team confirming that the trip is personal. Enterprise offer competitive Car Club rates for personal use. You will need to register as an Enterprise user  and they will provide a login details once licence checks have been carried out.

What if there's an emergency situation in the country I'm visiting?

Very occasionally, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, or other emergencies elsewhere in the world will affect members of staff or students who have travelled abroad as part of their work or studies. If this happens, the people affected and the department who are supporting their travel can follow the guidelines provided to access available support:

How do I make a complaint about poor service?

If you have experienced poor service email and provide as much detail as you can about the issue, including order reference, supplier contact and nature of the complaint. We will forward this to the supplier and ask them to respond to your complaint. All reported issues are added to the issues log so that we can discuss these at our quarterly review meetings with the suppliers.

My train or flight has been cancelled what do I do?

If you need to get the next train or flight and are already in the train station or airport, please contact the supplier’s travel desk or out of hours team (as appropriate) using the contact details on your booking confirmation. They will be able to amend your booking so that you do not have to pay for a new ticket out of your own pocket. If you are able to change your travel plans or wish to claim a refund, contact the supplier’s travel desk to arrange this.

I need to book rail travel - how will I get my train tickets?

You will be able to choose from the following methods:

  • Collect from one of the four rail ticket printers that we have on campus at: the Information Centre, Heslington Hall, Ron Cooke Hub (24-hour) and the Department of Electronics.
  • Ticket on departure (most train stations provide this facility but please check if using rural or smaller stations).
  • Self-print ticketing - print on plain paper (where the route allows).
  • Mobile ticketing - the ticket is sent to your mobile phone (where the route allows).
  • Post (recorded delivery).

The preferred option is to collect from one of the ticket printers on campus as there is no cost to the University for this method. All of the other methods incur a charge. Please note that self print ticketing and mobile ticketing are only available on a limited number of routes at the moment and these options will not be offered where the Train Operating Company does not have the technology to accept these as valid ticket types.

Can I use Airbnb to book overseas accommodation?

The University only allows the use of Airbnb and other similar providers if your booking meets certain conditions. Please check the specific 'Use of Airbnb and similar service providers (PDF , 202kb)' policy issued by the Health, Safety and Security Department prior to making your booking.

Contact us

Email with any queries.

The team can't book your travel for you but can help with questions about the suppliers, access to online booking tools, travel policy queries, complaints about poor service and training sessions.

Quick links

NYS Connex portal (for contact details, booking tools and other services)

Selective Travel Management portal (for contact details, booking tools and other services)

Enterprise business-to-business B2B online booking tool

Enterprise User Guide for a Self-Booker (MS Word , 708kb) (booking a vehicle for yourself)

Enterprise User Guide for an Administrator (MS Word , 710kb) (booking a vehicle on behalf of others)