Odometer inconsistencies

This article explains what odometer inconsistencies are, why they occur, and how to fix them. It also explains the most common reasons for odometer inconsistencies and how to avoid them in your log. If you would like to learn more about the odometer function in general and how it works, please see this article on How to set your odometer.

In this article

What are odometer inconsistencies?

If you have added an odometer reading to your odometer log in the app that is less than what the app has tracked since your last added odometer reading, then you will have an odometer inconsistency in your log. Such inconsistencies will be flagged and highlighted in yellow in reports when you generate them.

Example
You add an odometer reading at 100 miles. In the following days, you add trips totaling 50 miles to your log. Then you enter your next odometer reading at 140 miles. This results in an odometer inconsistency because you have 10 more miles recorded in your log than what your odometer had recorded.

Do I need to fix my odometer inconsistencies?

If you have odometer inconsistencies in your log, it is important to distinguish between small inconsistencies of 1-3% and larger inconsistencies of more than 3%.

While the app uses your phone's GPS to measure the distance traveled, your car odometer calculates the distance based on the number of revolutions of the tire and the tire's circumference. Both are prone to errors eg. from wear and tear of the tire and loss of tire pressure. Normally the odometer calculation in the app and readings added by you should stay within 1-3% of each other.

For a fully tax-compliant logbook, it is important to fix any odometer inconsistencies where the difference between the app’s calculation and your added reading is more than 3%. This is because an odometer inconsistency means that you have tracked and logged more mileage for a certain period of time than what your car has driven in that same time. 

Why do inconsistencies occur and how do I avoid them?

There are different reasons why odometer inconsistencies can occur in your log. Below we have listed the most common reasons and we recommend that you go through them if you already have odometer inconsistencies that you need to fix, or if you wish to avoid them in the future.

1. The odometer reading was added at the incorrect time

When you have read the odometer in your car, it is important that you add the reading to your log in the app immediately, so it will be dated correctly relative to the trips in your log. if you have an inconsistency, the first thing to check is that the reading in question is dated correctly.

2. The odometer reading was added for the wrong vehicle

If you have more than one vehicle in your app, it is important that you make sure to pick the right vehicle when you add an odometer reading. Also, if you get a new car, it is important that you add it to the app as a new vehicle and start a new odometer log for it. If you have an odometer inconsistency, please make sure that you haven’t added an odometer reading to the wrong vehicle in the app.

3. You have double entries in your trips list

If you are using the app with the same account on more than one device, then your trips might get tracked more than once. This is one of the reasons that we strongly advise against using the same account on more devices simultaneously. If you do so anyway and have odometer inconsistencies in your log, please make sure that you do not have double-entry trips in your log.

4. You are auto-tracking using Smartphone ‘Motion’ Detection and have irrelevant mileage in your log

If you are using the Motion Detection auto-tracking function that allows you to track your trips automatically using only your Smartphone (and not the iBeacon), please make sure that there is no irrelevant mileage in your log. When you use this form of auto-tracking, the app starts tracking when you move above a certain speed and apart from drives, it might also log bike rides, runs, and trips with public transportation. Irrelevant mileage of this kind can cause inconsistencies in your odometer log if you have tracked and logged irrelevant mileage to the car that you are reading the odometer for.

5. You are adding odometer readings at the same time as adding manual trips

When you add a manual trip in the app or on the website, the end time of that trip will automatically be set to the exact time that the trip was added, unless you change it manually. This happens on the assumption that you add the manual trip after you have driven it. If you instead add the manual trip before you have driven it, the start and stop time of that trip as suggested by the app will be incorrect as the trip is backdated. Therefore, you might end up with inconsistencies in your odometer log if you are adding odometer readings and manual trips at the same time and before you have driven the trip in question.

In general, it is important to double-check that the start and stop time for manually added trips is correct if you are adding odometer readings on a regular basis. 

How do I fix odometer inconsistencies?

If you have a small inconsistency of a 1-3% difference between an odometer reading and the distance tracked by the app, you can choose to either edit your odometer reading, or you may simply ignore it.

If you have inconsistencies larger than 1-3%, we recommend that you either edit inconsistent odometer readings or delete mileage entries in your log corresponding to the inconsistencies.

We recommend that you start by going through the list above to see if you can identify the reason for the inconsistency and edit the odometer reading or your mileage log accordingly to remove the inconsistency.

As an alternative, you can delete the extra mileage in your log that doesn’t figure in your car’s odometer. 

Example
If you have added an odometer reading that is 10km more than the last added reading, but the app has tracked 20km in the time between those two readings, then you will need to delete 10km of your mileage for that same time period. If you are tracking personal mileage as well as business mileage, then we recommend that you delete personal mileage corresponding with the inconsistency.

On the web

The easiest way to edit or delete inconsistent odometer readings is by signing in to your account on the website and going to the Generate report page. 

Click on Reports > Create report. Once you have set the filters (vehicle, workplace, date, trip type, and odometer) at the top of the page, you will see a report preview where your odometer inconsistencies will be highlighted. Click on them one by one to edit them.

In the app

Odometer inconsistencies will also be highlighted on the Generate report page in the app. However, it is not possible to edit the inconsistencies directly from the report preview, as it is on the web. Therefore, you will have to make a note of the inconsistencies on the Generate report page and then go to your odometer readings log to fix the inconsistent readings.

Go to Report and tap on the little + in the top right corner. Once you have set the filters (vehicle, workplace, date, trip type, and odometer) at the top of the page, you will see a report preview where your odometer inconsistencies will be highlighted. Make a note of inconsistent readings and continue to Settings > Odometer readings to edit them.

Common questions

Q: Do I have to fix odometer inconsistencies?

It depends on how large the inconsistency is. If it is small and your reading and the app's calculation stay within 1-3% of each other, then you can leave it as it is or edit the odometer reading. If the inconsistency is larger than that, then we do recommend that you try to fix it by going through the 5 most common reasons for inconsistencies as listed above to see if you can't find and fix the problem.

Q: Can I generate a report without fixing my odometer inconsistencies?

Yes, it is technically possible to create a report without fixing an inconsistency. The inconsistency will not be highlighted on the generated and saved report, but if you choose to have the odometer shown on your report and you look more closely at the odometer for the trip following the inconsistent reading, then you will be able to see the inconsistency.

Q: Can I fix odometer inconsistencies in the app on my phone?

Yes, you can fix an inconsistent reading in the app as well as on the web. However, you will only be able to edit an inconsistent reading directly from the Generate report page on the web and not in the app. Therefore, we do recommend that you fix any inconsistencies you may have from the web by signing into your account on www.driversnote.com, instead of in the app, as that is the easiest to do it. 

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