4 MIN READ
The days of manually documenting a week's worth of information and struggling to remember the work errand you were running around 6:30 p.m. last Thursday are long gone, thanks to mobile apps that track your trips and produce compliant mileage logs.
To claim reimbursement for the kilometres driven for business purposes, you need to retain proper records of them. Your records need to have the time, destination, and purpose of each journey you make for business.
Keeping a vehicle log book will be a lot easier if you use a mileage tracking app, especially if you drive for work frequently. We've put together an ATO Mileage Guide if you want to learn more about mileage reimbursement in Australia.
In this post, you can learn about the most essential and useful features to look for when selecting the best mileage tracking app for you.
There are a couple of features that you should not compromise on when choosing your car log book app.
Compliant ATO records
The best mileage tracking apps will be able to use and calculate the claimable amount for each journey based on the ATO standard rates for your mileage records automatically. In the mileage reports you generate from the app, the correct amount for deduction or reimbursement should be shown, together with all other necessary information for adequate records, such as the time and destination of your trips (both personal and business), as well as their purpose.
Classifying purpose (business or personal)
If you use your car for work, you'll likely accumulate kilometres for both business and personal purposes. If you use a good vehicle log app, you'll be able to assign a purpose to your trips, such as whether they're personal or business-related. It will be important for you to be able to show the percentage of trips you took for business purposes to the ATO, which is why classification is a must-have feature.
Tracking is essential to any good car log app. Some apps will solely allow you to log information for trips, while others will use your phone's GPS to track your drives in real-time, documenting the route you took and when you arrived. The difficulty of remembering all the necessary details to enter at the end of the day will be removed thanks to real-time GPS tracking.
The above-mentioned features are rather common with every app. However, some apps have extra features that make them stand out. Here are some of the most common extra features that the best vehicle log books have:
Tracking automatically only car trips
Some apps provide automatic tracking, which will only track your trips when you are driving a particular vehicle. Trips will start and terminate automatically, usually with the help of a small device that you would put in your vehicle. When you enter your vehicle, the device establishes a connection with your phone and begins tracking. When you depart the vehicle, tracking will automatically come to a halt and the trip will be completed. This will ensure that your vehicle log contains only relevant trips.
If you use Driversnote, you can do this by using the iBeacon which is a small device you put in your car that allows you to track only the trips you need to.
Logging odometer readings
Logging your odometer at the beginning and end of a period is required by the ATO. However, you do not have to do it in between every trip. If your company reimburses you for business driving, odometer readings may be required. Having an odometer log feature can be useful and a good app will allow you to add them to your reports.
The best mileage tracker applications allow you to customize your mileage reports so that they contain information that is specific to you. If your employer reimburses you at a rate other than the usual ATO mileage rate for 2021, you should be allowed to name a workplace and specify the custom mileage rates that you want to use.
There are lots of different apps to choose from when it comes to mileage tracking and keeping a log book. We recommend you consider all the features mentioned above when making your decision on which one to pick.