Travel expenses are generally allowed as a business expense where all of the following conditions apply:
A permanent workplace is defined as somewhere you attend regularly, which forms a ‘base’ to work from, or where you must attend to perform certain duties. For example, if you work in the same office, nine-to-five, Monday to Friday.
However, HMRC also look for patterns in your travel. So, for example, if your work regularly involves a meeting at a specific office every Monday afternoon, this could be a ‘pattern of travel’ and mean that this mileage can’t be claimed.
To be considered a valid business trip, the journey must be from one workplace to another, for the purpose of work.
Here are some exceptions:
The 24 month rule
A workplace will be regarded as permanent if the following apply:
A workplace can be a geographical area, even if you perform work there for different clients. See more on HMRC’s guidance on the matter.
If you do have a permanent workplace, then any travel, rent and subsistence expenses for that location and journey won’t be allowable as a business expense, because the travel would be considered ordinary commuting.
The workplace becomes permanent from the moment that you show intent (by signing a contract for example) to remain there for more than 24 months. You can claim for any travel to the temporary workplace up until the point of forming this intention.