Log Books and 1 ton Utes

Log Books and 1 ton Utes.

With the increased popularity of 1 tonne utes like the Ford, Holden and 4WD dual cab utes that are used for business use as well as private use the following question is often asked. Does a log book need to be kept to show the personal use of a one ton ute? Well, the answer is both No and Yes.

Is the Ute a Vehicle?

The are 2 methods for claiming a deduction for a car, cents per kilometre and the log book method, A car is defined as a motor vehicle (excluding motor cycles or similar vehicles) designed to carry a load of less than 1 tonne and fewer than 9 passengers. This is the “No” answer to the question as the vehicle is greater than 1 tonne it isn’t included in the definition of a car and a log book is not needed.

Now for the Yes part.

The Australian Taxation Office has a rule that basically says if you have an expense that is both used for business and private use then you need to apportion the expense accordingly. To show the apportionment of the expense of the vehicle a “diary” aka log book needs to be kept outlining either the business use or private use of the one tonne ute. The expenses of the ute will the be reduced by the personal use of the vehicle.

My Thoughts.

Let’s say that you are a plumber and you have a single cab ute with a canopy on the back and your ute is full of tools and materials then the likelihood if audited that you would be requested to show your personal use calculation of the vehicle would be low. If you have a dual cab ute that looks like it would be used for both personal and business use I would be seriously thinking about having your log book filled in.

Photo credit: racin jason Holden via photopin (license)


  1. I own and drive a private commodore ute to and from work carrying my work tools and gear. Can I claim?

  2. Hi,
    re: one tonne vehicle – do you have a list of models that come under that definition eg most duel cabs one tonne claimincludes passengers & sometimes even fuel capacity??

    1. As 1 tonne Ute is excluded from the definition of a car, therefore the methods of claiming a tax deduction for a car do not apply to a Ute. But, the ATO still requires that if an expenses is not 100% for business, an apportionment of the expense is required. For a motor vehicle the ATO suggest keeping a log book for 12 weeks meets the requirements.

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