Identifying how to keep track of mileage for taxes can certainly seem like a daunting task – the modern world of technology offers so much and yet it is often difficult to parse. And then, there’s the alternative: time tracking your mileage on an Excel spreadsheet or a paper-based miles tracker. In today’s article we’re going to explore the reasons why a mileage tracker app is vastly superior to any of its alternatives in expert opinion. Then, we’ll examine the 7 best apps available on the market – paying special attention to their features and pricing in a general sense.
The Superiority of a Mileage Tracker
Those in business to make money understand that claiming tax deductions on their business expenses is part and parcel of being successful. This rings true for business owners, independent contractors, and self-employed people the world over. Business mileage itself can often be a massive of those expenses.
The question then becomes how efficiently one can track work-related mileage – luckily, the answer is simple – with a mileage tracker app. Even a simple mileage tracker will do the job, but the reality is – this is a competitive market and there are lots of good options out there. A little later we’ll examine those options but first – let’s get into the most important part: the features.
The Most Essential Mileage Tracking Features
Later we’ll take a look at all of the features available across the market – but first – let’s peruse the features that are absolutely essential.
Automatic Mileage Tracker Modes
Generally speaking, there is one main method that is used by these apps – and that’s vehicle movement monitoring. Exclusively available for those who pay monthly for any app out there, this method works similarly to many fitness apps which already exist – monitoring your vehicle’s movement and tracking that movement via an indexed mass distance calculator, GPS, or a combination of the two.
Of course, there are other options out there too. Bluetooth auto-tracking is one, as is Plug’N’Go technology which allows the user to simply plug in their phone to a USB port located in their vehicle. One of the top 7 contenders today, MileageWise, offers all three modes, though most companies only offer vehicle movement monitoring.
A Team’s Dashboard
Whether you run a small business or work as an employee at one, you know mileage reimbursement is an important part of accounting for mileage done during work hours in the service of a business goal. That’s why you need an app that tracks an entire team’s mileage in a shared database – making workflows easy for employees and employers alike.
A Web Dashboard & A Mileage Tracker App
It is also essential that your software provider gives you both of these – with the app on your phone being responsible for the tracking itself, and the web dashboard giving you the chance to modify details, print out logs, or in some cases reconstruct retrospective mileage logs (more on that later).
Similarly, the app is a needed component as it is there that the automatic tracking occurs.
Pricing Structures and Free Mileage Tracker Apps
Most apps begin with a free version in order to tempt you into paying for the full version with your credit card. That’s nothing new, but it’s crucial to know how each provider handles their free versions, because some, like Everlance, offer an indefinitely free version with the caveat that you can only record 30 trips per month. MileageWise, on the other hand, offers a 14-day trial period to try out their full version. As with other things, if you want additional information about the free offers any firm gives, go to their website.
Deciding on the best free mileage tracker app isn’t easy because while providers like MileIQ offer 30 free drives per user – trying out the full version of an app with all the bells and whistles completely risk-free sounds like a much better proposition.
The rates themselves range from $5 to $15, with each tier offering more functionality. However, most organizations display these monthly sums in their pricing plans — but the amounts displayed presume that you sign up for a year.
Potential Pitfalls and Issues with Mile Tracker Apps
There are many pitfalls to avoid, so let’s list them in a logical fashion. We encourage you to do further research via the forthcoming table and outside of this article.
- Lack of manual tracking and editing
- Issues with battery consumption
- Limited auto-tracking options
- Poor customer service (this means no available agent to answer your queries)
The Top 7 Mileage Tracker Applications
Moving now finally to an overview of the market, we’re going to examine the full picture. All of the apps here are available via Google Play or the App Store and can be downloaded for both Apple devices and Android phones, too.
See the comparison table to find all the best mileage tracker apps and their features – a cross-section of the best on the market.
As you can see, this chart paints a clear picture: MileageWise is the best mileage tracker app purely in terms of features. But maybe features are not what you are looking for – MileIQ, TripLog, and Everlance all offer simple mileage trackers that get the job done in a way that is good enough. One might also wonder about MileageWise’s more unique features – namely the in-built IRS auditor and their mileage log preparation service.
The former uses AI-based technology to check 70 possible logical conflicts that could occur in your mileage logs – for example, if your odometer readings don’t match what your mileage numbers seem to suggest. It could also be the case that a certain trip was not possible, in which case the AI tech will also catch that. It’s quite a profound system, and we must say we were slightly impressed that such a feature would come from a lesser-known provider on the market.
As for a mileage log preparation service – MileageWise says it means how it sounds – simply outsource your logs to the company directly and they will make sure that everything is good to go when it comes time to submit everything to the IRS. This is, naturally, an additional cost, but it can be worth it if you’re in a bind and you need to avoid getting slapped with a large fine from the IRS!