How to Claim the Self Employed Mileage Allowance


When you use your car for business reasons you can get tax relief with the Self Employed Mileage Allowance. Here’s how you do it, the 2018 rates you need and how to make claiming for it a piece of cake.

What is the Self Employed Mileage Allowance

The Self Employed Mileage Allowance is an amount set by HMRC that you can claim for every business mile you drive.

The rates set make claiming for business mileage simple. It is a single figure per mile that covers the cost of fuel, depreciation, maintenance and insurance.

How Much is the 2018/2019 Self Employed Mileage Allowance

Mileage Allowance Payments rates can be subject to change.  Currently these rates are set as follows but you should keep an eye on HMRC for any changes HERE.

The 2018 Self Employed Mileage Allowance Rates are:

Type of vehicle First 10,000 miles Above 10,000 miles
Cars and vans 45p (40p before 2011 to 2012) 25p
Motorcycles 24p 24p
Bikes 20p 20p

Here’s an example:

Say you drove your car to meet a client 50 miles away that would be a round trip of 100 miles.  You can claim £45 (100 miles x 45p) for business travel.  Business travel is an allowable expense so you’ll also save money on your tax bill.

How to Claim the Self Employed Mileage Allowance

The prospect of claiming expenses may fill you with dread.  But it has to be done. And you can make it easy for yourself.

There are two ways to claim your expenses – using a spreadsheet or an app. Regardless of which method there is a certain amount of information you are legally required to keep to support your claim.

What evidence should you keep?

You need to show that your trip was business related.  To do this on each claim you must detail:

  • Date
  • Location
  • Miles travelled
  • Reason for trip (for example customer or supplier name)

The best advice I can give to make your life easy is to claim your expenses regularly.  Don’t do them once a year at tax time because you’ll forget to claim expenses or when you drove somewhere.  That ends in a higher tax bill.

Using an App to Claim Your Mileage Allowance

Apps make our life easier and take the pain out of the mundane.  I use Freeagent for my bookkeeping and it has a simple function for me to claim for my business mileage. It’s £10 a month well spent in my business to get me more than that back again in not forgetting to claim my expenses!

Here’s how I claim for my business mileage allowance payments:


Read my in depth review of Freeagent HERE and how I use it to manage my business finances. 

Using a Spreadsheet to Claim Your Mileage Allowance

You can use a spreadsheet to keep track of your business mileage.  Just don’t forget to fill it out. Here is a template you can download and use:

Download Business Travel & Mileage Claim Form Template

Check out my complete guide to Claiming Business Travel When You Are Self Employed

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