Choosing the right Mileage Tracker
If you are self-employed and use your personal vehicle for business trips you are able claim for your mileage at the HMRC approved rates, currently 45ppm for the first 10,000 miles and 25ppm thereafter, however you must keep a detailed record of the trips completed to back up this claim. This isn’t always as easy to maintain as it may seem. You hop in the car in a hurry, get distracted once the trip is complete, and just like that you’ve forgotten to log your mileage and don’t have sufficient records to make a claim. The one thing you rarely forget is your mobile phone, so why not use it for mileage tracking?
There are various apps out there that can track your mileage in the background so all you have to do is tell it which trips are business related. So how do you choose which app is right for you? There are 3 main aspects to consider.
This is clearly a big factor to take into consideration. A lot of the mileage tracking apps out there have different usage tiers so check which one is best suited to you before signing up. Most of them allow you to track a number of trips per month for no fee or a very small fee. Some allow just one user, others allow multiple employees to use the app too but may charge more for this. Consider how many trips you are likely to need to track. It is also worth checking if there are any mileage tracking options included in software you already pay for, for example MileIQ unlimited is included with Microsoft 365 Business Standard subscriptions and the Quickbooks app includes their own mileage tracker.
Features vary between apps so it is important to decide which are most helpful for you. Some apps let you set work hours, you can set it to not track at weekends for example, some bring up a notification on your phone at the end of a trip to remind you to classify it, some include the ability to track other expenses such as meals when travelling. Consider which features you are actually likely to use, and which ones would make your life easier, so you aren’t paying for unnecessary functionality.
Reports and Integration
Before selecting your mileage tracker app you need to consider the output. What reports are you able to generate and in what format? Does it integrate with your accounting system? If you complete your accounts manually or on a desktop software you may want to consider a tracker which allows you to generate a PDF or Excel report, either on your phone or on an online dashboard, which you can give to your accountant with your year end records. If you use a cloud based accounting solution consider whether or not your chosen app will integrate well with your current software. The apps website should be able to tell you what software it integrates with but it is also worth checking with your cloud software provider as some apps say they integrate, but in actual fact require a 3rd party app to do this at an additional cost. If you use Xero you can visit https://apps.xero.com/uk and search for mileage trackers to see a list of relevant apps which will integrate.
Once you have worked through these 3 areas you should hopefully have narrowed down your options. If you are still unsure which app to choose, see if they provide a free trial so you can try before you buy.
Below are some of the top rated apps which you might want to consider when selecting your mileage tracker.
If you would like to discuss your mileage tracker options or the benefits of going digital with your record keeping in more detail, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.