A new year may also mean a new fiscal year and, if you have a bad habit of not logging the mileage you drive for work, there are apps for that. Whether you’re self-employed, a small business owner or corporate employee, these apps can keep close tabs on all your mileage for tax and business purposes.
Free for Lite version, $2.99 for Full version
Available at: Apple App Store, Google Play, Windows Marketplace
What this app lacks in aesthetics, it makes up for in execution. It lets you input everything from rate per kilometre, the purpose of a trip, which car you’re driving and other expenses that include gas, parking, tolls or valet, for example.
You can manually tap in the odometer reading yourself, or have the app use your phone’s GPS to measure the distance for you and tally up the amount per kilometre based on your rate. If you tend to drive a certain route often, you can save it as a trip, where the origin, destination and purpose are left intact, along with other details. What’s especially convenient is that trips can be exported as reports in either HTML, CSV or both.
There are some gaping holes to consider, depending on the version you use. While Dropbox support was added to the Windows version, it was at the expense of SkyDrive integration. The Android version still doesn’t offer GPS, and the iOS version doesn’t sync with any cloud-based service. Reports can only be exported via syncing with iTunes or through e-mail.
Free, $5.99 for Pro Unlocker version
Available at: Google Play
This app uses a decent interface and is loaded with a number of inclusive features that would benefit not only a road warrior, but also someone managing more than one vehicle.
Where aCar scores extra points is in how it integrates a vehicle’s maintenance into the bigger expense picture. And it can do it in a way that’s more automatic than the manual process required with MileBug, which doesn’t have anything specific for service at a garage or dealership. There’s even a section for expensing parts. Importing and exporting records could be a little smoother, but there are workarounds that are easy to figure out, if you need them.
All of this is on top of the main focus, which is mileage. Since aCar has so much information, it’s able to give you empirical data in the form of stats and charts to show you what the numbers and expenses mean. It may be overkill for some, but could also relieve a headache or two when tracking multiple vehicles.
Available at: Apple App Store
Trip Miles has a sleeker interface that is also easier to use in a number of ways. Starting a trip and inputting all the details is simple enough. It doesn’t have the depth of aCar nor the reach of MileBug (which is on Android and Windows, too), but is a worthy alternative if your main concern is just recording mileage expenses.
Routine trips can be saved, so that you don’t have to always tap in the details repeatedly, although it’s missing departure and arrival times, which the other two apps offer. Another flaw is that it doesn’t let you input an inclusive period within a day. The app naturally tallies up your rate per kilometre seamlessly, but doesn’t include anything to do with gas. There’s no price per litre to note, nor anything to do with prices at the pump. At least the status reports are neatly organized and easy to export.
With what’s missing, Trip Miles isn’t really worth the same cost as MileBug, but it looks better and is easier to use because it focuses only on logging mileage. Drivers who only care about that will appreciate the simplicity, whereas those who need more should consider one of the other two.
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