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How much can I claim per mile?

We've updated this guide on 15th February 2021

If you’ve ever used your own car or van for business purposes, then you might be wondering ‘how much can I claim per mile?’ Claiming the mileage allowance can be a bit of a head-scratcher.

  • How do you know if you’re eligible?
  • What actually is the mileage allowance?
  • Does it make a difference if you’re not working for yourself? 

To make sure you don’t submit your Self Assessment tax return incorrectly, we’ve put together a guide on the mileage allowance and how to claim it.

What is the mileage allowance?

The Mileage Allowance is a tax-free allowance for self-employed people who use their vehicle for work. You can use it if you drive for business in a car, van, or bike. The exact amount you can claim depends on how much you travel for business. You can claim the Mileage Allowance through your annual Self Assessment tax return.

How do I know if I need to claim it?

When to claim for Mileage Allowance depends on if you use your own personal car for business or if you bought your car specifically to be a driver (for example, as an Uber or Hermes driver). 

If you purchased your vehicle for the former reason, then it’s in your best interests to claim for a mileage allowance. If you’re the latter, then you might want to claim the actual (and higher) cost of your car instead. Basically, it makes sense to use it if:

  1. You’re self-employed
  1. You’re driving for work, but did not buy your car specifically for your job

How do I claim for Mileage Allowance?

You can claim for it when you do your Self Assessment tax return. To claim back your expenses, you must register for Self Assessment with HMRC before the deadline. 

You have until the 5th October in any given year to do this. When it comes to actually declaring your expenses, you simply fill in the relevant section on your Self Assessment form.

Ok, how much can I claim per mile?

If you’re self-employed, you can calculate your vehicle expenses using a flat rate for mileage. This is instead of the actual costs of buying and running your vehicle, for example insurance, repairs, servicing, fuel. These are known as simplified expenses.

You can claim one of the following, depending on your situation:

Once you use these flat rates for a vehicle, you must continue to do so as long as you continue to use that vehicle for your business.

If you’re in a full-time job and your employer only reimburses you at 35p per mile, you can claim the additional amount from HMRC. You do this as a deduction from your taxable income through your tax return.

Get ready, set, calculate

Take a look at our employed and self-employed calculator to work out how much tax you’ll end up paying as a result!

Annual self-employment income
Self-employment expenses
Select tax year
Income after tax
Income tax
Total income tax
£12,500 taxed at 0%
£36,500 taxed at 20% : £7,300
Total NI contributions
Class 2 NI: £159
Class 4 NI at 9% : £3,555
What you’re left with

Hey there! We really hope this calculator helped you. Tax matters can be a dreadful topic at times. We know. That’s why we started TaxScouts.
A stress-free way to getting your taxes done.

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How your income tax is calculated

As a self-employed you have to pay your income tax and national insurance contributions yourself during your annual self assessment. Our calculator helps you quickly assess how much payment is due.

However you may be eligible for a tax refund when:

  1. You already made tax payments for the year but your annual income ended up smaller than planned
  2. You have done things that qualify for tax relief (made private pension contributions, give to charity, etc)

In your case when you earn £49,000:

Income tax breakdown

You pay no income tax on first £12,500 that you make

You pay £7,300 at basic income tax rate (20%) on the next £36,500

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