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Travel Allowances in South Africa. The Income Tax Act No.58 of 1962 allows taxpayers who receive a travel allowance to claim a deduction for using their private vehicles for business purposes.

Once you have taken down these readings and worked out your total travel for the year, you can start calculating your travel deduction. First, you need to calculate what portion of the total kilometres travelled was for business use. You are now ready to calculate the amount of your claim.

It is important to note that travel between your home and place of work cannot be claimed and is regarded as private travel. To claim a deduction, the first step is to record your vehicle’s odometer reading on 1 March each year (the first day of the tax year for individuals) and again on the last day of February the following year (the last day of the tax year for individuals). The difference between the closing and opening readings will give you your total
kilometres travelled for the year.

As a taxpayer, you have two choices:

  • You can calculate your claim based on the Fixed Cost Table supplied by SARS each year using the costs linked to the value of your vehicle in the relevant table.
  • Alternatively, you can calculate your claim based on the actual costs. You will have to keep an accurate record of all your expenses during the year, including fuel, maintenance, lease, and insurance costs.

It is now compulsory to keep a logbook of all your travel in which you record your business kilometres if you want to claim a travel deduction. The logbook must contain the following minimum information relating to your business travel:

  • Date of travel
  • Kilometres travelled
  • Travel details (where to and reason for the trip)

Vehicle logbooks come in many shapes:

  • There’s an App. Visit the Google Play or App Store to find a vehicle logbook app.
  • Vehicle Tracking Companies. Your provider might have this functionality as part of your vehicle tracking service.
  • Stand-alone USB & OBD port GPS Loggers. Google USB/OBD logbook.
  • Excel spreadsheet.
  • Pen & paper.

An electronic vehicle logbook records even when “Life Happens” and is worth the investment. Without a logbook, you cannot claim a travel deduction. Don’t get caught short at the end of the tax year!


  • Please note that you must retain your logbook for at least five years, as you may be required to submit it to SARS to verify your claim. SARS accepts electronic logbooks as an acceptable record.
  • The claimant can not claim fuel costs if he/she has not borne the total fuel cost for the vehicle.
  • The claimant can not claim maintenance cost if he/she has not paid the total cost of maintaining the vehicle (e.g. if a maintenance plan covers the vehicle’s maintenance).
  • If the claimant used more than one vehicle during the year, the claimant should keep a separate logbook for each vehicle.
  • The fixed cost must also be reduced pro-rata if a vehicle is used for business purposes for less than a year.
  • SARS uses the distance travelled during a tax year, and the distance travelled for business purposes (substantiated by a logbook) in that tax year to determine the allowed costs claimed against a travel allowance.