Specialist advice for Locum Doctors

Working as a Locum can give you flexibility and a varied work experience, but making sure you are being paid correctly and not storing up trouble with HMRC can be more difficult, which is where we can help.

Contact us today

Motor Expenses as a Locum

Claiming for Motor Expenses as a Locum Doctor

There are two methods available to claim motor expenses but which is the best method will depend on how you are paid as a locum:

  • Method 1 – you claim a mileage rate of 45p a mile for your business miles, reducing to 25p per mile after 10,000 miles.
  • Method 2 – youkeep records of all your motor expenses for any vehicles that you use for your business and claim the business percentage of these costs. If you use this method you can also claim for something called Capital Allowances, which is effectively an allowance for the depreciation on the vehicle.

Note that the mileage from your home to surgery will be considered by the Revenue as private mileage and not business mileage.

Self Employed

As a Self Employed locum GP both Method 1 and Method 2 are available to claim motor expenses.

If I chose method 2, how would this work?

So, as an example, if you used your car 50% for business and 50% for private use, you could claim a tax deduction on the costs as detailed below:

Example Total Annual Running Costs
Petrol: £2,600
Insurance: £1,000
Repairs: £500
Road tax: £120
Annual service: £800
RAC/AA: £75
Total: £5,095

Less 50% for private use: £2,547
Allowable expense £2,548

How do Capital Allowances work?

You can also claim capital allowances on the cost of the car. The rate of capital allowances you can claim is dependent upon the CO2 emission level of your vehicle. The amount you can claim can range from 100% to 6%. A 100% capital allowance claim accelerates the available tax relief.

To qualify for 100% first year capital allowances, there is an upper CO2 emissions limit of 50 g/km which was introduced from 6 April 2018 and will last until 2023. The car must be bought new.

For a sole trader with a top rate of tax at 40% who would use the car with 50% private use the following tax savings would be made:

Example Costs
Based on: BMW i3 Electric 12 ah Auto.
Purchased: 2019/20 Tax Year
List price: £35,125
Capital allowances claim: £35,125, but restricted to 50% business use, therefore tax relief £17,562 at 40% tax plus 2% NIC.

Tax saving in year of purchase: £7,376 (42% x £17,562)
This means that, after tax, cost of the vehicle is an effective £27,749.

The following link shows the current 285 vehicles that qualify:

Which method is best?

If you are buying a car which you are using mainly for business and doing a large amount of business miles, then method 2 (the Capital Allowance Claim) usually gives a higher tax relief.


You will almost always make a claim using Method 1, the mileage claim.

Limited Company

You will almost always claim using Method 1, the mileage claim.

Umbrella Company

The umbrella company will dictate what expenses you can claim. You will nearly always use Method 1, the mileage claim.

How we can help

In both Method 1 and Method 2 you need to know the level of your business mileage. We ask clients to keep mileage records to enable us to do calculations for both methods. We determine which method is best for you and therefore help keep your tax to a minimum.


Contact us for specialist medical accountancy services for Locums

If you’re looking to plan your finances for the future or trying to find an answer to a problem then get in touch today.



Are you in danger of being hit with a huge tax bill on your pension growth? Our NHS Pension Review Service can provide an advance warning of impending pension issues.

Learn more →



HMRC have increasingly got GPs in their sights and many Practices have been subject to lengthy tax investigations. Make sure you’re covered with our annual insurance scheme.

Learn more →



Talk to one of our Medical Accounting Team for free. We can discuss your circumstances and how we can help you achieve better financial management, reduce your tax bills or plan for the future with a tailored fixed price plan.

Meet our team

We have a panel of subject experts and a team of professional accountancy support staff to make sure your specific needs are met reliably and cost effectively.


A specialist healthcare team to advise you
Call free for support at any time
Keep you up to date with the latest changes
No fuss, smooth process to change to us
Members of AISMA - Association of Independent Specialist Medical Accountants

What our clients say…

Dr Ravi Bansal, Locum GP

I’ve been with Nichols and Co for nearly 10 years with Debra being my accountant. I first contacted them when I received letters for tax arrears due to the wrong tax codes being applied during my hospital jobs.

Debra sorted this matter out and has always provided helpful and honest advice regarding tax matters. She has also helped my wife with her tax returns. I would definitely recommend their services for accounting matters with a special interest in helping doctors with their tax affairs. They are approachable, helpful and efficient.

Dr Jayran Mistry, Locum

Thank you for everything you at Nichols & Co have done for me with regard to my tax returns to date. I have always felt I am able to approach you with any question and that the answer is always helpful and thorough.

I am very grateful for how detailed, clear and efficient you are with tax returns and letters and for expediting things when needed. Every time I make contact with you I am met with polite staff and helpful advice and I have spoken with many of my friends about the service you provide and how good I think it is. I always recommend you. Thanks very much again, I really appreciate your hard work and help.