The 6 Best Logbook Apps for Claiming Car Expenses in 2019

Credit: Pexels by Tom and Sini

You’re up to your neck in work obligations.

Spending time keeping a paper logbook doesn’t help here. But say you’re a tradie or an accountant who’s driving around during your work hours. Keeping a logbook will probably be the only effective way to claim your car expenses.

However, missing out on your car tax deductions is the worst-case scenario, because what you may be missing out on isn’t trivial.

Want some numbers? No problem. Even if you don’t cover big mileage, you can still get reimbursed a decent figure. Say you drive 4500km a year driving between clients or different offices, and you use the ATO’s cents per kilometre method. That’s AUD$3000 back in your pocket in tax returns.

Sounds like a good enough deal to us.

Now imagine getting your money back on your tax return with minimal time spent on your part. With smartphones and a host of intelligent apps out there, it’s now entirely possible.

Meet the 6 best logbook apps for claiming car expenses in 2019. And what’s more you’ll be able to submit your ATO-compliant logbook with almost no effort at all.

What Are the Best Logbook Apps for Claiming Car Expenses in 2019?

Before zooming in on each logbook app, check out our comparison table. The table compares the specs of our top 6 logbook app selections. It’ll give you an easy overview and help you make a better and informed buying decision.

Feature
GOFAR
ATO Logbook
Vehicle Book GPS
Driversnote
Vehicle Logger
DriverDirect
ATO CompliantYesYesYesYesYesYes
IRS CompliantYes
Works in 50+ countries
No
Works in other countries, such as New
No
Tax Compliant for
Yes
Works in 50+ countries
Yes
Supports FBT, BAS,
No
Zealand, UK, Canadamost other countriesand DVLA formats too
Logbook Mileage TrackerYes
Automatic,
Set-and-forget
Yes
Automatic,
Have to have the phone on you
Yes
Manual
Yes
Automatic start and stop and unlimited trips: Paid only
Yes
GPS tracking or manual
Have to have the phone on you
Yes
GPS tracking or manual
Have to have the phone on you
Monitor Car HealthYes: Car Fault AlertsNoNoNoNoNo
Fuel SavingYes: 10-30%NoNoNoNoNo
Reduce CO2 EmissionsYes: Driver Behaviour FeedbackNoNoNoNoNo
PricePaid: GOFAR
FREE: iTunes, Android
Paid: iTunes
FREE: Android
FREE: iTunesPaid: Basic and Enterprise Versions
FREE, Lite Version: iPhone, Android
FREE (with in-app purchases): iPhone, AndroidFREE: iPhone, Android
Ongoing CostsNoNoNoYesYesNo
Lifetime UpdatesYesYesNoNoNoYes
CompatibilityApple iOS
Google Android
Apple iOS
Android
Apple iOS onlyApple iOS
Android
Android onlyApple iOS
Android

 

Note: Many of these apps rely on your mobile’s GPS software. For frequent use, have a power brick or extra phone charger at hand.

1. GOFAR

GoFarGet GOFAR and simplify your vehicle business expenses. We say ‘simplify’ and we mean it to the letter. GOFAR is a full-featured logbook app. But it goes beyond typical logbook app functionality.

Let’s get straight to the point.

Like most other logbook apps, GOFAR will save you hours with automatic trip logging. Then it will neatly layout your records on a spreadsheet come tax time.

However, GOFAR is the Rolls Royce of logbook apps and an OBD diagnostics tool – an all in one. Here’s a list of features that set GOFAR apart from other GPS/3G trackers and apps.

  • The app will track your miles even if your phone battery dies. So, no more losing dollars when your phone plays tricks on you. You know how your phone battery dies when you need it the most!
  • Keep a handle on other car running costs as well your car-related tax deductions. GOFAR uses OBD2 scanner technology to connect to your car computer. What you get is a unique insight into your car diagnostics so you can save money on car repairs. You also get real-time feedback from an intelligent “Ray” device that teaches you how to save fuel.
  • GOFAR competes well with budget apps. It’s not the cheapest, but you pay once and save $1000s in fuel and other car expenses.
  • Claim car expenses from anywhere in the world. The app works in 50+ countries and is ATO and IRS compliant.

Get GOFAR and start claiming your car expenses effortlessly. Calculate how much you can save with GOFAR.

Cost: Device only: $99. Device + Ray: $129. App is included, no ongoing fees and lifetime updates.

Developer: GOFAR

Download: iTunes StoreGoogle Play

2. ATO Vehicle Logbook

ATO Vehicle Logbook
Screenshot from Australian Taxation Office

ATO Vehicle Logbook will help you log, calculate and export your business miles. And as the name suggest, the app will make sure you’re fully ATO-compliant.

A simple, no-fuss user interface allows you to send your tax report in a breeze whether to your employer, accountant or an ATO agency.

For an app that’s got a reputation of basic functionality, ATO Logbook boasts some decent features:

  • It sends you important notifications and alerts reminding you of your tax obligations.
  • It allows you to choose multiple logbook periods.
  • It offers both GPS and manual trip logs.
  • It allows you to claim car expenses for multiple vehicles.
  • Its myDeductions tool captures data on the go and stores them in your expense and income records.

Cost: $1.49

Developer: John Lyons

Download: iTunes Store, Google Play

3. Vehicle Book GPS

Vehicle Book GPS
Screenshot from Vehicle Book GPS

Vehicle Book GPS is an ATO logbook that does a good job at tracking mileage for tax return.

The app’s well-suited to those that don’t want to miss out on their tax deductions, but want a logbook app on a budget.

Yet, this has got a less pretty side to it as well. Getting a budget app means you’re missing out on some cool functionalities.

Still, if staying within budget is your final call, this app is a good choice for you. Here’s what you’ll be able to get out of it. The app uses GPS tracking to:

  • Log business expense mileage and fuel fill-ups.
  • Record start and end times of your trips, as well as the distance travelled.
  • Track all your trip locations and log fuel-related receipts.
  • Offer backup of your data, either on Dropbox or your phone.

However, the app’s compatible with an iPhone only.

Cost: Free

Developer: Teklabs

Download: iTunes Store

4. Driversnote

Driversnote will help you keep your car miles and expense records neat. It automates your mileage logging so your records are ready for hand-over at tax time.

The app comes in handy whether you work as an employee, you have your own business, or you’re working as a sole trader. It enables you to document your personal and business trips that are ATO compliant.

Below are other useful features of this app. Driversnote:

  • Uses your phone’s GPS to automatically track miles. Keep your phone with you and the app will record your trips as you go. Or add a trip later manually.
  • Supports multiple vehicles. This enables you to split your trips between different cars and workplaces.
  • Stores your data and keeps it secure. Your data won’t be lost, even if you lose your smartphone.
  • Connects with an iBeacon for truly automatic logging. You will have to buy the iBeacon on your own or get if for free as part of a yearly subscription. The iBeacon currently only works for iPhones.

Cost: Lite Version: Free / Basic Subscription $9.50/month

Developer: Driversnote

Download: iTunes Store /Google Play

driversnote digital tracker
Image from: Driversnote

5. Vehicle Logger

Vehicle Logger
Image from: Vehicle Logger

Vehicle Logger enables you to track distance travelled, log your car expenses and more.

It comes with a trip trigger feature that automates tracking your trips. The feature is, however, available to Premium users only.

The app’s developers hit the sweet spot when it comes to the user interface. Making a great compromise between simplicity and functionality.

In addition to that, here are some more Vehicle Logger specs. The app allows you to:

  • Switch between GPS tracking or manual entry
  • Have a clear insight into your trips using calendar integration feature
  • Store your reports in cloud platforms such as Google Drive, DropBox, Box & OneDrive

Unfortunately, the app is available only to Android users.

Cost: Free (with in-app purchases)

Developer: Michaelsoft

Download: Google Play

6. DriverDirect

Driver Direct
Image from: DriverDirect

If you’re a Toyota driver (novated lease cars qualify as well), DriverDirect is a good logbook app for you. The app has a unique feature of locating nearby Toyota fuel sites. Which makes it easy to compare prices and save on fuel.

So, if you’ve decided to ditch your old Toyota and replace it with a new one, the app makers thought about that too. They’ve included a dealer locator feature as well.
Now, let’s shortlist other important features DriverDirect offers to its users. The app will:

  • Give you an overview of your trip history and lay it out in convenient graphs.
  • Allow you to track expenses and generate reports.
  • Enable you to create reports in PDF or CSV formats and send them to your accounts team via email.
  • Give you access to Novated Lease tools that comes with a comprehensive price calculator.

Cost: Free

Developer:Toyota Fleet Management

Download: iTunes Store / Google Play

Let the Logbook App Do the Legwork for You

There you go. Your best logbook app list for 2019 all done and dusted. Each of the apps will save you time and nerves associated with claiming your tax return. Let the smartphone software do the hard work for a change!

Now, how should you decide between the apps? It’s easy. Make your choice based on the following criteria:

Choose an app that:

  • Suits your specific needs.
  • Saves you the most time and money.
  • Is compatible with your device.
  • Has a nice balance between price and functionality.
  • Is good value for money.

Getting an app like GOFAR will yield you multiple benefits. Not only will you be able to track your business miles without having to fiddle with your phone, but you’ll also be able to save on fuel expenses and car servicing.

Track Work Mileage With GOFAR

  • Log, calculate and export business expenses at the press of a button
  • No ongoing fees
  • Available on iOS and Android

Get GOFAR now

GOFAR mileage tracker app on a white smartphone screen
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