How to claim your business mileage if you’re Self-Employed

Caroline Syson

Every year, millions of self-employed workers do not claim what they're owed in business mileage.


Mainly because it’s a total faff and because they don’t really understand how much or what they can claim back. So, let’s unpack it all here and explain how you can start getting back what’s actually due to you and increase your profits each year!


What is a mileage allowance?


This is the term used to cover off an easy way for self-employed workers to claim their business mileage back – at a flat-rate that keeps it simpler to get back monies when using their own vehicle.


It falls under a new range of what HMRC now called ‘simplified expenses’ designed to reduce complications and make claiming back this money quicker and easier.


Pocket PA is a great fan of this, and we’ve built a system directly into our digital assistant tool to make it super simple to track each journey and know the exact mileage and amount you can claim for every appointment you go to.


That way there’s no guessing or worry about anyone official questioning your mileage claim.


The alternative to claiming a mileage allowance is to calculate a proportion of the actual cost of buying and running your car.  Other things you can include in this calculation might be repair costs, servicing, fuel, insurance, and road tax - but keeping on top of all these things is time-consuming and can be complicated as you need to work out exact proportions of usage between business and pleasure use of the vehicle ….


Hence why most self-employed workers like to use the mileage allowance way of claiming back money.


So, now you know what you are claiming – each mile you travel for work purposes – let’s talk more about how much mileage you can claim.


How much can you claim per mile?


Current allowances in the UK mean that the following amounts are claimable:


Car or Van

·      First 10,000 miles – the rate is 45p per mile

·      > 10,000 miles – the rate is 25p per mile



·      All mileage – the rate is 25p per mile



·      All mileage – the rate is 20p per mile


How do I calculate a business allowance claim?


Keep track of each journey you make in miles and total it all up per day, week, month or year.


Example 1: You drive just 5 business miles per day

= 25 miles per week

= 1,300 miles per year

At 45p per mile: 1,300 x 45p = £585 annual mileage claimable

Total of £585 annual business mileage claimable


Example 2: You drive an average of 3 journeys a day of 15 miles each

= 45 miles per day

= 225 miles per week

= 11,700 miles per year

At 45p per mile: 10,000 x 45p = £4,500 annual mileage claimable

At 25p per mile: 1,700 x 25p = £425 annual mileage claimable

Total of £4,925 annual business mileage claimable



Can I claim for other business travel expenses not directly related to mileage?


Yes! If you claim for business mileage for journeys that you drive for work, you can ALSO claim for any other journeys you travel using other modes of transport e.g. Train tickets, bus journeys or Uber / taxi fares.


You can also put through and claim additional business expenses for any costs related to your business journey like the congestion charge, parking tickets or fees for toll roads.


Which journeys can I make business mileage claims for?


For a journey to qualify for a business mileage claim, it needs to be totally related to your business purpose – HMRC call this ‘wholly and exclusively for business purposes’.


An example of a journey that would NOT qualify would be to and from your USUAL place of work (e.g. getting to your office/place of work from home).


An example of a journey that would qualify would be to and from client’s home (e.g. if you are a mobile therapist or a tradesman that works in different locations each day).


How do you claim your business mileage?


Pocket PA will save you so much precious time and effort by tracking each journey for you automatically.

By adding in an address to every appointment you go to, its then easy to press the Directions button which prompts you each time to first track the mileage.


If you are on a mobile device, then it will automatically enter in your current location. And with your destination address already pre-populated, all you have to do is then press the green ‘TRACK MILEAGE’ button to have the distance and amount you can claim worked out for you - and added to your Business expenses.


Simple business mileage tracking in Pocket PA is just one of the many features it can help with in your business.


Start your free 14-day trial now and see how easy it is to save time and make more money.


Caro Syson is the Founder of Pocket PA and is passionate about helping small business owners to reach their full potential in the easiest possible way. 

Pocket PA is a super easy system to manage your finances, accounts and gets you organised in your business to ensure you love your work and shine your light brightly.

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