Work Related Travel Expenses – Motor Vehicle claims

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January 25, 2022

It really does pay to learn what you can claim at tax time but also keep records of through the year as you prepare to complete your taxes.

If you are using your car for work related travel, you are entitled to claim the related costs.

This applies if you personally own the car. Any car that is owned by your employer or forms part of your salary package through salary sacrifice, means you are unable to claim any costs.

For travel in a car that you do not own you may be able to claim the direct costs associated with your travel, this would include fuel, toll fees, parking etc.


Logbook method

What you can claim

The logbook method allows you to claim the work-related portion of your actual car expenses.

Expenses you can claim include running costs such as

  • fuel, oil
  • servicing
  • registration
  • insurance
  • decline in value
  • interest portion if motor vehicle is financed

How to prepare a logbook

Your logbook must cover at a minimum 12 continuous weeks. If you started using your car for work-related purposes less than 12 weeks before the end of the year, you can extend the 12-week period into the next financial year.


  • Depending on your nature of travel, the running costs can result in a significantly higher claim
  • You can also claim an additional cost that is depreciation

Once your logbook is prepared, it is valid for 5 years*



  • Can take some time to prepare
  • Receipts are required to be kept for substantiation
  • May need to prepare a second log book if your travel situation changes

You can access our easy-to-use template to help you prepare your logbook.

*If your circumstances change (for example, if you change jobs or move to a new home) and the logbook no longer represents your travel, you will need to complete a new 12-week logbook.



Cents per km

What you can claim

This method allows you to claim a maximum of 5,000 work-related kilometres per car.


The cents per kilometre rate factors the decline in value/depreciation, registration and insurance as well as maintenance, repairs and fuel costs. You cannot add these expenses on top of the rate when calculating your deduction.

You need to be able to show how you worked out your work-related kilometres. To do this you would keep a travel diary of work related trips.

You will also need to have evidence that you own the car.


How to prepare

You can access our easy to use template to help you prepare your cents per km travel.


  • Easier to prepare and maintain
  • No need to substantiate with receipts


  • Maximum claim is travel of 5,000 kms even if you may have travelled more than 5,000 kms,  you can only claim 72 cents per kilometre for the 2020–21 financial year.


Which car tax deduction method is best for me?

Knowing which method is best for you is important as claiming motor vehicle expenses on your tax return can return significantly higher $$$ back in your pocket during tax time.

Although the pandemic and COVID19 has slowed down our travel, it still pays to keep track of your work-related trips.

As with all tax deductions, to claim a deduction.

  • you must have spent the money yourself and weren’t reimbursed
  • it must be directly related to earning your income
  • you must have a record to prove it.* (click here for our handy hacks on record keeping)
  • You can only claim the work-related part of expenses. You can’t claim a deduction
    for any part of the expense that relates to personal use.


Still got questions, feeling confused or simply unsure of your personal position, feel free to get in touch with us. We can be reached here.

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