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05 November, 2021 - 2 min read

Self-employed mileage allowance records

As a self-employed taxpayer, you are required to keep accurate mileage allowance records of all your personal income and business expenses as proof for your tax return. You are required to keep your records for five years from the submission deadline of the applicable tax year in case HMRC audits your business.

Required self-employed mileage allowance records for the actual expenses method:

You should record all your business mileage, including the date, start and end addresses -  including postcode - and the total distance travelled for each trip.

Other vehicle-related expenses you should record and keep receipts of:

  • Vehicle insurance
  • Repairs
  • Servicing
  • Parking
  • License fees

Required self-employed mileage allowance records for the simplified expenses method:

If you use the simplified expenses method, you will only need to log your business mileage, including the following details:

  • The date of the trip
  • The start and end address of each trip, including postcode
  • The distance travelled

How can I keep track of my mileage as self-employed?

You can either track your business mileage manually or automatically. Manually recording miles (including dates and addresses) can be done through a logbook or a spreadsheet. The medium doesn’t matter as long as it contains the correct information as described above. 

Another option is an automatic app tracking service that will log all your business trips for you - it will save you time and provide accurate information of your mileage. Best of all, during those really busy days, you don't have to spend time manually logging your trips as your phone can do it for you.

Driversnote is one of these, working both on Android & iOS, but there are others out there that also produce HMRC-compliant reports of your business mileage, and we encourage you to have a look around and pick the solution that fits you best.

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So how do I claim expenses for my vehicle on Self Assessment?

To claim your actual vehicle costs on Self Assessment, you must:

  • Go through your records and add up all vehicle expenses.
  • Add all your vehicle expenses to all other allowable expenses.
  • Include the total amount on your Self Assessment tax return.

Alternatively, to claim vehicle costs using the simplified expenses method, you must:

  • Keep a record of the business mileage you have travelled throughout the tax year.
  • Multiply business miles travelled with the simplified expenses rate for the whole tax year.
  • Include the amount in your total expenses on your Self Assessment tax return.

You don’t need to submit your records for either method when filing your tax return. However, you should keep them for five years as proof that the information you have declared is correct.

What are the required self-employed mileage allowance records for 2022?

There are no clear guidelines yet about the rules for 2022 but they will likely either be the same or very similar to 2021. Keep an eye out on the HMRC website for updates on the mileage requirements and rates for self-employed for 2022.

That's it for our self-employed mileage allowance guide! We hope we've been of assistance :)

Happy tracking!

FAQ about self-employed mileage 

1. Can a self-employed person claim mileage allowance?

Yes, you can use the standard HMRC mileage rate of 45p per business mile to claim the mileage allowance for your business driving.

2. What counts as self-employed mileage?

Self-employed mileage is the mileage you incur each time you drive your car for business purposes. Examples include:

  • Attending meetings with clients
  • Paying home visits for work

3. What does the 45p mileage allowance cover for the self-employed?

The 45p per mile covers both the variable and constant costs of operating a vehicle, such as gas, oil, tyres, maintenance, and repairs, as well as the fixed expenditures, such as insurance, registration, and depreciation or lease payments. However, it does not take into account variables such as your location and the fluctuating fuel prices. In the UK, the allowance has not changed in over 10 years, so it is hard to know just how much it covers right now. 

How to automate your mileage logbook

Manually filling out your logbook can get tedious - see how to automatically track trips for your mileage reimbursement or deductions.

This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, legal, tax or accounting advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal, tax or accounting advisor.
HMRC Mileage Guide
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