April 19, 2021

Historic CRA automobile allowance rates


If you have a mileage reimbursement claim or tax return from 2020 or another previous year, it’s important to know that the CRA updates their automobile allowance rates each calendar year. This means that the 2021 rates will not apply, and you will instead need to use the rate for the relevant financial year. If you’re in a rush, you can scroll further down to see all prior years' rates. Otherwise, here’s a quick refresher on the cents per km rate:

Each year, the CRA issues the standard mileage rate for the coming year. The rates cover the cost of using your personal vehicle for work-related driving.

If you want to know more, we have written quick guides to deducting your business-related driving expenses for self-employed and business owners, as well as a guide for employees to be reimbursed for your mileage.

Be aware that the standard automobile allowance rates are optional — your employer may use different rates. 

What was the mileage rate in 2020?

Between January 1st and December 31st, 2020, the automobile allowance rates were:  

  • $0.59 per kilometre for the first 5,000km driven for business; and
  • $0.53 per kilometre driven for business after that.
  • For all business-related driving in the Northwest Territories, Yukon, and Nunavut, there is an additional allowance of $0.04 per kilometre.

Do you have a list of prior years' rates?

Absolutely! For detail, just check out the table right below. 


Financial Year Automobile allowance rate for the first 5,000km driven Automobile allowance rate per km above 5,000

Additional business travel allowances in the Northwest Territories, Yukon, and Nunavut.

2021 59c 53c 4c
2020 59c 53c 4c
2019 58c 52c 4c
2018 55c 49c 4c
2017 54c 48c 4c
2016 54c 48c 4c
2015 55c 49c 4c

Who decides the mileage rate, and how?

To determine next year's rate, the CRA looks at the average costs of owning and operating a vehicle over a year.

In short, the rate for business use is based on the average cost of ownership plus the average operating costs of a car. If you are from Quebec or the rest of Canada, the rates are the same. You can find the full overview here.

That’s it for our guide to historic automobile allowance rates set by the CRA! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out to us for more information about mileage rates and tracking.

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This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only, and should not be taken as professional advice from Driversnote. You should consider seeking independent legal, taxation, or financial advice from a professional to check how this information relates to your own circumstances. Relevant laws also change from time to time.