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Seeking advice: Can I Drive Instead of Fly? (and claim mileage)

Seeking advice: Can I Drive Instead of Fly? ...

As the short desc. says, I'm heading to Northern Spain for a 3 day conference. I'd rather drive then fly for various reasons, including wanting to spend a few days driving back for a short break. I'm considering the consequences of this and would love input from someone wiser and with more tax experience than I!

  • I'm wondering if HMRC would deem a road journey to Spain as unreasonable (for a mileage claim). If this is the case, would it mean not being able to claim ANY travel costs back, or is there some rule or other about only being able to claim up to what the cost of budge airfare would be?
  • As on the way back I'll be spending a couple of days break (it will be the weekend), will this mean the entire trip is deemed as not 'exclusively' for business use?
  • If so, what is the best way to handle this? Would it be best to just not claim for the travel back at all, or only claim the mileage that I'd have claimed without the personal/weekend break part of the trip? (Of course I won't be claiming for ANY expenses such as accommodation for the personal break (I've zero interest on trying to claim anything above business costs) I just wonder what implications the personal couple of days or so after the business trip will have on claiming back the business expenses.

By way of an example, as I'll be driving to Dover, hoverspead to Calais, then drive to Northern Spain, attend a 3 day conference, then spend, say, 3 days on a short break before driving back, would the following be possible?

  1. Claim mileage to Dover as business expense
  2. Claim Hoverspeed crossing as business expense
  3. Claim mileage to Northern Spain as business expense
  4. Claim conference ticket as business expense
  5. Claim accommodation whilst at conference as business expense
  6. Claim food whilst at conference as business expense

Then, after leaving accommodation after conference:

  1. Do not claim any personal mileage for the 3 or so days on short break
  2. Do not claim ANY expenses during this time either (food/accommodation)
  3. Do not claim mileage back from Norther Spain to Calais
  4. Do (repeat, DO) claim hoverspeed fee back (it'll be a return ticket)
  5. Do not claim mileage back from Dover to city of residence.

Do people thing the above would be deemed as fair?

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By Kevkava
23rd Feb 2016 13:06

You give a lot of information, and ask multiple questions. Unfortunately though you've missed some crucial details, without which no-one can hope to answer you: are you an employee? self employed? trading via a Limited Company? How does the conference relate to your trading activities if you are trading? 

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