Recording car expenses

I am a sole trader and my car is used for both personal and business use. How do I record vehicle expenses? If I do a trip of 20 miles for the business how do I appropriately show 20 miles worth of expenses on my P&L?

Hi @Hactar

You may find this article useful:
Business mileage expense

I wasn’t going to use the 45p fixed rate but I guess it is close enough to a break even for me for the simplicity to be worth it. Thanks.

45p is the current approved rate by HMRC. You don’t have to use 45p if you wish - it can be less, but it can’t be any more.

Some companies pay 20p a mile. The idea is however it covers both fuel and maintenance of the vehicle rather than paying for the tax, repairs etc. individually.


Just to confirm the 45p only works for the first 10,000 miles after which the rate falls. The alternative way of doing it is a percentage of your total motor expenses, based upon the ratio of business to private use.

Kind regards,

The percentage method was my original plan but I’m not sure how you’d account for that as you go, I’d have to account for it every month or so all at once no?

I did originally have the vehicle as an asset that I was going to depreciate and a loan for it as a liability to be paid off. If I am using the 45p per mile method should I just remove the vehicle as a company asset and get rid of the liability?

Does the business own the vehicle? If so then all running costs would also be put through the business and then a percentage of these allowable expenses would be deducted for personal mileage. If the business does not own the vehicle then the easiest method is to do the 45p per mile thing. You cannot do both.

Unless most of the mileage is business mileage it is usually a better option to claim the mileage on the personally owned vehicle.

As this topic is about recording car expenses, has anyone got experience of using a mobile app to record business mileage?

I’ve just started using an app and it’s truly amazing, blindingly simple, albeit a bit expensive for me as a self-employed bod. I hate recording car mileage, I’m too lazy and forgetful. The app I’m currently trying out is called mileIQ and you can do up to 40 travels a month for free (unfortunately not enough for me). There are apparently other cheaper apps, so I’d be interested in anybody’s experiences and how they’ve used it to record mileage use into Quickfile. I’m amazed at how many miles I was doing for business and not claiming.

Personally I use the “directions” function in Google maps to get my milage figures.

It is very easy to forget to claim minor expenses and they add up. HMRC will take their pound of flesh from every pound that you fail to claim.

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