ABSTUDY Fares Allowance

What cost it covers

ABSTUDY Fares Allowance covers the most reasonable costs of travel.

It may not cover the entire cost of your travel. For example, if you take a plane when a train would’ve been the most reasonable trip, we’ll only reimburse you for the cost of the train trip.

Sometimes, it may also pay for additional travel costs during your trip.

Read about the payment rate.

We work out reasonable costs when you claim. Call the ABSTUDY students line if you wish to discuss this in detail.

When we work out the most reasonable travel we consider the following things:

  • cost, what the cheapest option is
  • duration, how long you’ll be travelling and the most direct route for the approved travel
  • services, what transport options you have
  • your personal circumstances

The rules below explain which type of transport is the most reasonable.

Train or bus

ABSTUDY Fares Allowance covers an economy train or bus ticket if you’re:

  • a secondary school student and you’re travelling by bus or train:
    • alone for less than 8 hours, or
    • with a supervisor or other students for less than 10 hours
  • a tertiary student or secondary student at a tertiary institution and your travel time is less than:
    • 18 hours by bus, or
    • 36 hours by train


ABSTUDY Fares Allowance covers the cost of an economy plane ticket if:

  • there’s no train or bus you can take
  • the trip by train or bus is longer than the conditions for a train or bus trip
  • you or the non-student traveller are sick or hurt and can’t take a train or bus, or
  • because of travel timetables:
    • your train or bus would be overnight, or
    • you’re a secondary school student, and:
      • you’d need to start your trip before 7 am, or
      • finish your trip after 9 pm

Motor vehicle

ABSTUDY Fares Allowance can cover the cost of travelling by private motor vehicles if:

  • there’s no bus, train or plane you can take
  • you can’t take public transport because of bad services or connections, for example, there’s a 10 hour wait for a connection
  • you can’t take public transport because you’re hurt, have a disability or other reasons, or
  •  travel by private vehicle is cheaper than other transport

You should call the ABSTUDY students line to discuss how much Motor Vehicle Allowance you can get. We can tell you how we work out the amount based on:

  • vehicle type
  • number of passengers, and
  • distance you need to travel

Charted transport

ABSTUDY Fares Allowance can cover the cost of chartered transport including:

  • hire cars
  • ferries, or
  • helicopter travel

It can cover all or some of the trip if:

  • there’s no public transport or regular plane, or
  • it’s cheaper

Extra travel costs

As well as fares, we can pay for:

Transport terminal transfers

ABSTUDY Fares Allowance can cover the cost of transfers from where the plane, bus or train stops to your accommodation.

We can pay for:

  • transport arranged by your accommodation provider if they charge all students, or a reasonable amount if they only charge ABSTUDY students
  • public transport, or
  • a taxi if:
    • public transport isn’t available
    • it’s not safe for you to take public transport because of your age and the time of day
    • it’s the first time you’re travelling to your place of study, or
    • any other reason that makes taxi travel reasonable

We don’t book taxis for you. If you pay for one, keep your receipt. You can apply for reimbursement from us after you travel.

Excess baggage

ABSTUDY Fares Allowance may cover the cost of extra baggage.

How much baggage you can take depends on:

  • your type of transport, and
  • the carrier you’re travelling with

Check how much baggage you can take with the service before you travel.

If you or a non-student traveller have more baggage than what you can carry for free, we’ll pay for:

  • 1 extra piece of baggage, or
  • up to 18 kg over your baggage limit

You should tell us if you need more baggage before your trip. If you pay for excess baggage at the time of travel, keep your receipt. You can apply for reimbursement from us after you travel.

Overnight accommodation

ABSTUDY Fares Allowance can cover the cost of accommodation for 1 or more nights if:

ABSTUDY Fares Allowance covers the reasonable cost of:

  • meals and accommodation if we, the educational institution or community arranges the accommodation, or
  • travel allowance if you or the non-student traveller arranges accommodation
This information was printed Thursday 23 May 2019 from https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/abstudy-fares-allowance/eligibility/what-cost-it-covers It may not include all of the relevant information on this topic. Please consider any relevant site notices at https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/site-notices when using this material.

Page last updated: 28 August 2018