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How to Track Business Mileage for Fleets: Logs & Spreadsheets

Mar 28, 2022

Why is it important for fleets to track business mileage?

If you operate a fleet of vehicles, there are many reasons why it will be important to track business mileage

  • To determine what is private and what is business mileage. This will then enable you to calculate any business mileage payments which are due and communicate this in your returns to HMRC
  • To determine fuel efficiency
  • To determine driving efficiency
  • For maintenance planning. If you understand vehicle usage you can forecast when repairs or replacements may be needed
  • If you lease vehicles for your fleet you will need to monitor mileage and communicate this with the lease company as part of your planning
  • To fulfil your duty of care and ensure no single driver is driving too many miles

How can you track fleet mileage?

Fleet and business mileage can be tracked in a number of different ways. Which you implement will likely depend on the size of your business and the number of vehicles which you run in your fleet.

Tracking business mileage manually

You can track business mileage manually. This will involve asking your drivers to log all their journeys and mileage in a manual way. Such as in a spreadsheet. A mileage logbook. Or, via an expenses system. It can be done on paper or via a computer.

Pros of manual business mileage tracking

Manual business mileage tracking can offer a low-cost solution. Everyone can access a piece of paper as a minimum to record their mileage for example. Your business won’t need to invest in new technology, and it is likely to involve a simple set of processes.

If you have a small number of vehicles in your fleet or are self-employed, you may not need anything more than a simple solution to enable you to track your mileage.

Cons of manual business mileage tracking

However, manual mileage tracking solutions very much rely on the driver remembering to log their mileage after every journey. Something which can be easily overlooked if a driver is busy or gets distracted once they reach their destination. The process can also be time consuming depending on the level of information required.

Manual logs can also be easily lost. Whilst a spreadsheet or expenses system is unlikely to suffer this issue, if you rely on a paper-based solution, they can easily be lost or destroyed.

Tracking business mileage automatically

Business mileage can also be tracked through automatic processes, typically involving the use of a piece of technology.

Via a mileage tracking app

You can get mileage tracking apps which will automatically track all miles that are driven rather than relying on the driver to track and log.

Via a telematics solution

If you have a telematics solution in place for your fleet, or are thinking of implementing one, these can often be used to track your business mileage as well.

Fuel Cards

Drivers can be provided with fuel cards to buy their business fuel. Many fuel card providers then provide mileage data as part of the reporting service.

Pros of automatic business mileage tracking

The tracking is done automatically, without any, or very minimal, input from the driver once the software or technology is set up. It also removes the risk of a driver forgetting to log a journey. Speed and ease will be some of the key positives linked to this type of solution.

Data is likely to be stored safely and securely by the technology provider minimising the risk of it being lost or damaged.

Many of these types of solutions will rely on GPS and real time data meaning greater accuracy levels than can be achieved via a manual input solution.

Cons of automatic business mileage tracking

There is likely to be a cost associated with automatic mileage tracking solutions. And you‘ll likely need to run some training to get drivers up to speed with how they work and ensure that they engage with the technology.

How to choose which is the best solution for your business

If you are considering how to track fleet mileage within your business, then take the time to review the different solutions available to you. Put together your key list of requirements and find the solution which best satisfies these. If you have a large number of vehicles, an automated app may be for you. Or, if you have a telematics solution already in place, consider if you are using it in the best possible way to access the data that you need. What works for one business won’t work for all.

No matter your business mileage, one thing you will need to have in place is adequate insurance. At Anthony Jones we can work with you to arrange a wide range of commercial vehicle insurance solutions, from insurance for a fleet of cars or vans, a single HGV or a large haulage business. Chat to our expert teams today on 020 8290 9099 or email us at commercial.motor@anthonyjones.com.

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