GPS Log Book - In the News

The GPS log book has been mentioned in quite a few publications over the last year. Below is an extract of the articles published.





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PC WORLD Review: GPS Log Book

The GPS Log Book is an Australian-developed product that makes it laughably easy to claim mileage expenses from your company, or as a tax-deductible expense for the self-employed.


Product type: Automatic in-car trip recorder
Editors rating: Editor


RRP incl GST: $129 (incl. first year's online service, then $29/year)

  • Logs all trips without user input
  • Plugs into car cigarette lighter socket
  • Works as a USB smartphone charger
  • Reporting accessible through website

Takes the tedium out of claiming vehicle tax and mileage.


The GPS Log Book is an Australian-developed product that makes it laughably easy to claim mileage expenses from your company, or as a tax-deductible expense for the self-employed.

If you’ve ever tried to claim mileage for your personal vehicle before, you’ll know that it’s not as simple as guessing how far you drove – or even keeping a detailed log of all your business trips. In fact, you need to keep a detailed log of all your trips – business and personal – for at least three months out of the year. This is a requirement of the IRD, which can’t be skirted unless you’re a fan of tax fraud (we’re not).

Enter the GPS Log Book – a nifty combination of unbelievably simple hardware and a slick piece of cloud-based software.

Let’s start with the hardware. It’s a tiny device that plugs into your car’s power/cigarette lighter socket, about the same size as the car-chargers you get for phones and GPS systems. Only, the GPS Log Book device is itself a tiny GPS. There’s no screen, no buttons, just a single multi-coloured LED status indicator. You plug it in, the light goes from red to green once it’s found satellites (it takes no more than 30 seconds, less than most GPS systems I’ve tried), and it starts recording your trips – simple as that.

Want to charge your phone, but you’ve only got one power socket in your car? A 1000mA USB output on the GPS Log Book allows you to charge most smartphones, along with many other USB-powered gadgets.

The second part of the GPS Log Book is the cloud-based software. You get a year’s subscription included with your $129 purchase, and after that it’s $29/year for continued access. Without the cloud service, the hardware is essentially just an expensive car-charger, so you do need to keep subscribing if you intend to use it. However, if you’re not going to save at least $29/year through your expense or tax claims, it’s probably not worth claiming mileage in the first place.

You upload data from your in-car device to the cloud service, using a small piece of downloadable software for PC or Mac. All the software does is send the data from your device to the web (which takes just a few seconds) and update your device with the latest ‘GPS assist’ data which shortens the satellite-acquisition time when you start up the car.

Once your trip data has been uploaded, you log into the GPS Log Book website and classify your trips. This just means assigning ‘zones’ on a map (Google Maps, for familiarity) to the start and end points of your journeys. Zones represent a single place, such as ‘work’, ‘home’ or ‘client A’, but can be assigned a larger radius or outline – say, the streets you commonly park in outside your workplace.

A zone can be marked as either ‘business’ or ‘personal’, which lets the GPS Log Book make assumptions about your trips. For example, a trip from business-to-business is automatically called a ‘business’ trip, whereas from personal-to-personal, or personal-to-business are considered ‘personal’ trips. You can change the type of any trip with a single click, regardless of the end zones.

Once you’ve defined a zone, you don’t have to do so again – so after the first few times, all your regular destinations will be automatically identified by the GPS Log Book and you’ll only have to create zones for totally new destinations (e.g. a new client, or a restaurant you haven’t visited before).

From the website, you an export reports for workplace expense claims, IRD-compliant logbooks for tax-exemption claims, or even raw data in .CSV format for your own analysis or accounting system.
The whole process is so painless, the website so well-designed, the cost so low, and the time investment so minimal, that the GPS Log Book cannot possibly score less than a PC WorldPlatinum award.

We’ve been told to watch out for upcoming versions with live tracking and automatic trip upload over 3G: we’ll have to see what the costs are like, and whether future products offer the same beautiful simplicity, but our hopes are high. In the mean time, we thoroughly recommend the GPS Log Book to anyone that uses their personal vehicle for work journeys. If claiming back mileage is a pain, or so difficult that you don’t bother at all, consider this our prescribed pain-relief.
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Issue October 2012

Technology: GPS Log Book

in Feature. 11 Oct 2012. 280 views.

GPS (global positioning systems) seem to be dime a dozen these days and it appears as if the flow of products designed to ensure we operate at peak efficiency and don’t get lost is never ending.

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One such device that found its way into my hot little hands recently was the GPS Log Book.

Unlike the usual products that are GPS enabled, this interesting gadget was a little different from others I have encountered in that it keeps a comprehensive log of where you have driven.

Being a bit smaller than a stick of Brut 44 deodorant, the GPS Log Book is totally perfect for the blokes among us and has what must be the most simple operating system out there, that being a plug-and-go operation. There are smartphone apps which do something similar but they suck battery juice, and I have not yet seen anything as simple to use as this button-less device.

I tried the GPS Log Book over a period of about two weeks. Like most males, the first thing I did after ripping the packaging apart was to have a (very) quick scan over the instructions, before plugging the unit into my car. With no buttons to play with, it was all too easy, but the downfall I found was that like almost all electronic aftermarket devices these days, it plugged into the cigarette lighter socket, necessitating the removal of my in-car navigator. On the upside, at least it had a built-in USB outlet, so I was still able to charge my cell phone, while leaving the GPS Log Book plugged in.

It was easy to see that the unit was working correctly, as the status light quickly turned from red to green, indicating that it was recording my every move. According to the manufacturers, the units contain GPS-assist thanks to a U-Blox chip. This enables super-fast connection to satellites, all in a matter of seconds – I wish one of those chips was part of my in-car navigator hardware.

After driving around for a week, I thought it was time to see what information the GPS Log Book had gathered. Just like when I 'installed' the unit, the 'un-installation' proved just as easy – remove from the cigarette lighter socket and it's all done. After using various devices that require a piece of cardboard packing to stop them popping out of the cigarette lighter socket, one thing I noticed with the GPS Log Book is that the unit doesn't jiggle loose and I was subsequently told that it was a 'no-jiggle loose' design – clever.

Downloading the info from the device to my PC (it's also Mac compatible – Ed), was initially a cause for concern, as I didn't pay attention to the set-up instructions. However, once this was sorted, it was all good.

As with most things these days, setting up the unit prior to the first download requires about five minutes of filling in information and uploading to a secure online server, or the Cloud, as some marketing bright spark has named it. To be honest, I was a little apprehensive about registering the make and model of my car, as well as a few other details, but this soon dispelled when I realised that, despite the belief of my parents and ego, I'm really not that important in the world and registering to the GPS Log Book site is not much different to signing up for other internet-based products.

Once up and running, the downloading of information just requires the unit to be plugged in and everything happens automatically in a matter of seconds.

So, the big question? What does the GPS Log Book actually do? Well, a lot more than appears at first glance. Essentially the unit keeps a record of everywhere you drive. When downloaded, this information is available on screen in a map format. This is then further analysed to tell you where you have been, how far you travelled and how fast you were driving.

So, for argument sake, one day I travelled from work to home during rush-hour traffic (a distance of 16.58 km). It took 34 minutes and I did an average speed of 29kph. Facts like these interest me, as they probably do most blokes, and I took great satisfaction in comparing different routes to find the most efficient ways to travel.

A lot of the people I know with GPS tracking systems actually use them as I did, as a reviewing tool, and this is where the GPS Log Book excels. Some time-critical companies (couriers come to mind) benefit from live vehicle tracking, but with data charges this can sometimes be a cost that smaller companies decide they can to do without. Running a GPS Log Book is very affordable, with an annual subscription of $29 being all that is required. To entice buyers, the first year is included in the purchase price.

Like a lot of businesses these days, my company doesn't own any vehicles and instead pays a mileage rate for business use. Generally this involves keeping a log book and there are times when I have forgotten to enter mileage details, meaning that I have been unable to claim a travel allowance. Thanks to GPS Log Book, this is now a thing of the past, as every trip is recorded.

One special feature that will be beneficial to truckies is the ability to split trips and allow certain portions of a trip to be 'tagged'. This means that a user can separate out areas which are 'off-road' to help claim the refund of Road User Charges. Alternatively, the split trip function also means that certain portions of business trips can be marked as 'personal use', something that will please company accountants.

Another feature is that 'zones' can be set up to record when vehicles pass into (or beyond) a certain area.

However, the device doesn't remove the need for log books in which commercial drivers must keep an active record in case they are stopped, but it is nevertheless a good tool for companies to check the accuracy of the drivers' log books. In the case of a friend of mine who left his log book at home and who operates a similar GPS system, he was able to send the GPS logged printout to police after he was stopped at a checkpoint. After checking the GPS log was correct, he was let off with a warning. If he had a GPS Log Book installed, it would have provided the same information, making the $129 for a unit suddenly sound very affordable.

In conclusion, would I recommend the GPS Log Book as a worthwhile piece of kit? Absolutely. It won't stop your vehicle from being stolen or an errant teen (or worker) from driving it, but it will tell you where they've been and how fast they were going. Now that is money well spent. n

For more information contact Clive Kemp, ph 0800 GPS LOG or visit