How to Track your Mileage Automatically, Using the MileIQ app on your iPhone

— How to Track your Mileage Automatically, Using the MileIQ app on your iPhone —

UPDATE: MileIQ will give you $40, and give your friends 20% off an annual subscription, when you refer them using your special link. You could pay for your own account through referrals, assuming you have enough friends.

MileIQ is an iPhone mileage tracker, and you need it if you have to keep track of your business-related mileage. Maybe you get reimbursed by your company, or maybe you need the miles for your taxes. I used to track my mileage in a little notebook, or rather I tried to, but it was easy to forget to do it, and that’s exactly what I did! At tax time I would simply guess how many miles I drove for work and I either cheated myself or the IRS.

That’s not going to be a problem for me in 2016 because now I’m using the MileIQ iPhone app.

MileIQ icon

MileIQ keeps track of everything! Turn it on once and let it do its thing in the background– it’ll know where and when you start a drive, and where and when you stop. (If you turn MileIQ off it won’t be able to track your drives automatically. You’ll get a warning message if you do turn it off, in case that happens accidentally.)

Think of MileIQ as “FitBit for your car.” That pretty much sums it up.

You can categorize your drives immediately upon arrival or (usually) sometime later, when you think to do it. Doesn’t matter at all– MileIQ remembers the drives forever, including little maps of starting and stopping locations, so you’ll be able to recognize and categorize things down the road (so to speak).

MileIQ is working really well for me and I’ll bet it will work for you too.

MileIQ is free (at the App Store) for up to 40 drives per month. You can upgrade to unlimited drives for $5.99/month, or save 20% and get a year for $59.99. The cost is probably tax-deductible so the real cost is even less.

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MileIQ will discount the annual plan by another 20% if you use this link (and MileIQ will give me credit for referring you, so we both win). That gets your first-year cost down to $47.99. Once subscribed to an annual plan, you can refer others and receive a referral fee yourself when they upgrade to an annual plan. Do that enough times and you’re playing with house money.

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The app is easy to set up and it’s even easier to use. After installing the app on your iPhone you’ll create a MileIQ account and you’ll allow MileIQ to access your location. The app walks you through a three-step tutorial and you’ll know enough to use the app after that. From then on, it’s as easy as swiping left or right (left for personal drives, and right for business). Here’s an example of a drive that needs classifying. Since this was a personal drive I will swipe left.

MileIQ trip card

MileIQ lets you combine two (or more) trips into one (maybe you stopped for gas on the way to your “real” destination– that would show up as one trip to the gas station and another to the destination, until you combine them). It also lets you throw away trips that shouldn’t count– maybe you were on a bus, maybe you were on your bike, maybe someone else gave you a ride. You can even tell MileIQ about your business hours— that way, all drives outside those hours are classified as “personal” automatically. Of course you can change a drive to “business” from “personal” but in most cases you won’t have to.

MileIQ provides a convenient web interface for viewing and editing your driving statistics. Here’s what that looks like (click it or tap it for a larger version):
mileIQ_website (full size)

They also deliver statistics by email, right from the app, and it’s only a couple of taps. Tap the button at top right (highlighted below with a red arrow), then one more tap and you’re done. You’ll get a summary report and a detailed report as CSV files which you can open with Excel or Numbers.

Where to tap
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Super easy.

On top of being a handy little app, MileIQ has an informative website, an interesting blog and a very good introductory tutorial. Check out their support pages— fabulous.

I really like MileIQ. It’s easy to use, it works, and it solves a real problem. Yes, it’s a smallish problem, but it’s a problem I have every day, and with MileIQ it’s one less problem for me to deal with. Remember, you can get a free trial, so download the app and play around with it now, then hit the ground running in January 2016. If you decide to upgrade to an unlimited annual plan, remember to use this link to get your additional 20% discount.

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2 thoughts on “How to Track your Mileage Automatically, Using the MileIQ app on your iPhone

  1. Try Expensify app,, it looks to be more full featured than MileIQ.. Expensify does the accounting and adjusts for the type of mileage as well. IRS has different rates for types of deductions.

    1. Hi Rob. Yes, Expensify is much more full-featured than MileIQ, but MileIQ does the mileage tracking automatically. With Expensify it looks as if I have to remember to turn tracking on and off– that is, I have to activate the tracking before each trip and stop it when I arrive. With MileIQ it’s tracking all the time. Maybe I’m wrong about that but that’s how it looks to me.

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