How can your business van drivers record their mileage? 5 methods

Some business owners and employees keep excellent records of business mileage, but for many, it’s a task that is often put on the back burner. However, if you don’t keep these records, you could land yourself in hot water with HMRC.

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What’s the point?

Accurate business mileage records are a must. Stick to the rules, and you won’t find yourself facing a substantial bill. With a possible overall 25 per cent reduction in business mileage, you need to keep on track. With accurate records, there’s the potential to switch from paying AFRs – or Advisory Fuel Rates – to exact pence per mile, therefore reducing fuel bills.

There are a host of other tax benefits, including better VAT reclaim and the possibility of linking mileage to allowances such as subsistence.

Industry bodies across the board recommend recording mileage to ensure companies don’t lose out on tax deductions and other benefits. Such advice often lies at the heart of motor industry firms – whether they’re experts in plylining or parking sensors – such as

1. Write it down.

The pen-and-paper option is still a preferred method for many companies, with drivers keeping a record of miles travelled in their vehicle logbooks. For those with infrequent office visits or limited access to electronic systems, it can prove effective, although there is a potential for inaccuracy.

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2. Spread the word.

Using a spreadsheet can benefit smaller fleets and acts as an inexpensive way of capturing data. Beware of inflated mileage or fictitious journeys, however.

3. Use online systems.

This approach is based on drivers logging on, verifying vehicle details, entering post codes at the start and finish of their journey and the particulars of the trip. Although it’s more accurate than the options above, it still relies on driver input.

4. Turn to electronic expense systems.

This system sees drivers inputting mileage details into the company’s expense system. It can be difficult to run mileage reports from such systems, but it does alleviate some of the administrative tasks associated with collecting mileage data.

5. Try a dongle logger.

The driver simply plugs the dongle into the vehicle’s USB port and mileage recording through GPS collects the required data. This is a straightforward approach, although it does rely on the driver plugging it in.

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