MMany people make a lot of quick stops for business, which should get logged as a stop in your mileage log as well. The problem with making lots of short stops is that, well, they’re short! And you are busy.
It’s totally unrealistic to expect yourself to remember to write down every stop in a mileage log. In fact, it’s unrealistic to expect you to remember even half of your stops, which is why most people choose to use a mileage tracker instead.
There are various choices for automatic mileage trackers and we’ve already looked at how inaccurate mileage tracking apps can be, but you usually just compare their overall accuracy versus your odometer. That’s a big piece of the puzzle, but an accurate log also matters a lot.
What causes a mileage tracker to log a stop?
It depends on the mileage tracker you are using. Here are the main ones:
If your car’s power port turns off with the car, Mileage Ace will log your stop as soon as you turn off the car. If the power port is always on, your trip ends 5 minutes after the car has stopped moving.
Mileage Tracking Apps
Apps guess by trying to figure out how fast you are moving. Since you will get out of the car and start walking and moving around, usually a stop won’t get logged for about 15 minutes or more.
It depends on the tracker. Some will work like the Mileage Ace while others that run on rechargeable batteries will be more like apps.
How to capture more stops
You may be thinking, “Can’t it just log a stop when I’m stationary for a few minutes?” It does sound simple – except what happens when you hit a long red light? Or get stopped in heavy traffic? Mileage trackers are designed to capture those times you’ve really stopped while not capturing the times you may be still, but haven’t actually made your stop yet.
The best way to record these stops as accurately as possible is to use a mileage tracker device like Mileage Ace. If the power port it’s connected to turns off with the car, it logs the stop – guaranteed.
Power port doesn't turn off with the car?
Just stop by a car stereo shop and ask to have a new power port or USB jack added that will shut off with the car. It may cost a few bucks, but the accuracy it adds to your log can be well worth it.
Making Apps Log Stops
Unfortunately there’s no automatic way to do this, and there isn’t even an easy way unless the app has a built-in option to “end a trip” – which almost none of them have.
Instead, you can just kill the app, then just re-open it. This is about the only way to force the apps to end your trip. And it may not be as easy as that, either.
The key thing to understand is that the most accurate way to record your stops is to use a Mileage Ace or Real Time Tracker that connects to the car’s power – ideally in a power port that shuts off with the car. This way when you turn off the car, your stop gets logged.
Yes, you’ll have a lot of stops. But is that a bad thing? If you are audited, the IRS will be focused in its quest to find any rule you’ve broken. When a mileage log is presented with hundreds, even thousands of pages of trip information, it’s overwhelming and they won’t waste their time trying to disprove it.