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What are approved mileage allowance payments (MAPs)?

We explain the mileage allowance payment (MAP) system and give the current payment rates to help employees who drive their own vehicle in place of a company car...

Grey Cupra Formentor driving past a Shell petrol station

Running a fleet car can often be the cheapest way to carry out business travel, but what if that option isn’t open to you at the moment?

You’re likely to end up using your own car for business trips, which can be costly. Think about it – doing business miles in your own car means you’re paying for the fuel, and wearing out items such as tyres, brakes, the clutch and even wiper blades more quickly.

You’ll also hit your next service mileage much sooner than you would otherwise have done, on top of which you’ll be paying for business car insurance. And if all that isn’t enough, your car will be depreciating much more rapidly than it might otherwise have done.

Read more fleet and company car advice

In other words, you need to be properly reimbursed for the business mileage you drive. So, HMRC publishes mileage allowance payment (MAP) rates, showing just how much it thinks you should be paid back before you’ll be liable for tax.

Here we give the current rates and answer all your questions about the MAP system...

How much can I claim in mileage allowance payments (MAPs)?

The amount that you can claim is dependent on the number of miles you’ve driven on business. The reimbursement rates also vary according to how many miles you’ve covered over the tax year – a more generous rate applies to the first 10,000 miles.

Up to the 10,000 miles mark, drivers can claim 45p per mile. Once the odometer goes past 10,000 miles, the rate drops to 25p per mile. So a driver covering 12,000 miles in a year could claim £5,000 (10,000 x 45p, plus 2,000 x 25p).

Here are the latest MAP rates, which have been in force since the 2011/2012 tax year: 

The current approved mileage payment rates

 

    First 10,000 miles

    Above 10,000 miles

Cars and vans

    45p

    25p

Motorcycles

    24p

    24p

Bikes

    20p

    20p

Do the MAP rates vary depending on the type of car I drive?

Unfortunately not – there’s no difference in how much you can claim, no matter whether you drive a petrol, diesel or electric car. And neither can you claim more if you drive a car with a larger, less economical engine.

You can make the system work better for you by running a more economical car – you’ll be quids-in if you do. To find the most efficient models, see our Real MPG page

Read more: Company cars glossary

Do MAP rates apply to electric cars and vans?

Yes, as with petrol and diesel vehicles, private electric vehicle users can claim 45p per mile for the first 10,000 miles and 25p per mile after that.

How can I make the most of the MAP rates?

There are a few ways you can make the most of the available rates. The easiest one is to run a car with a small engine that doesn’t use much fuel, and which is also cheap to insure. Consumables such as brakes and tyres tend to be cheaper for small cars too.

Another way to minimise your driving costs is to not use the car at all. If your meeting is within a few miles, why not consider cycling to it instead?

You’ll be eligible for a payment of 20p per mile, which is considerably more than the amount you’ll spend on a pedal-powered journey. Clearly, this isn’t an option for longer trips, but it's worth considering two wheels when you’re visiting clients who are nearby.

Read more: The cheapest fleet cars for BIK tax

What if my employer pays less than the MAP rate?

MAP rates are not compulsory for your employer, so you can be reimbursed less than the rates suggest. However, if your employer chooses this route, you can claim tax relief on the unused balance of the approved amount.

This is called Mileage Allowance Relief (MAR), and to claim this you have to record every business journey you’ve covered, detailing how far you travelled and the date you did it on.

After that, you need to work out how much you would have been paid using the approved MAP rates, then subtract the amount you’ve actually been paid. You can then claim tax relief on the difference.

Read more: Company car tax explained

Can I claim more than MAP rates?

Only if your employer is willing to pay more. However, if you are reimbursed more than the approved amount you’ll need to tell HMRC, at which point you’ll be liable for tax on the extra reimbursement, which will be treated as part of your salary.

Do MAP payments cover all running costs?

No, but the good news is that a MAP payment should cover most of your running costs. However, incidental costs such as car parking or road tolls are not covered, so you’ll need to charge your employer for these separately.

Are MAPs the same as AMAPs?

Yes. You'll sometimes see mileage allowance payments – MAPs – referred to as approved mileage allowance payments – AMAPs. There is no difference between the two.

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