Over estimation of business mileage is real, it happens. Fact.
Whether you go with the widely touted figure of around 25% or not you have to know that it occurs to some extent in every organisation in the UK/Europe/World. It’s not always a case of someone deliberately manipulating figures in order to make a few quid either. Genuine mistakes made by honest people contribute too!
On-line journey planners are widely used to gather information on business trips, look at any office in the first week of every month and you will see people cross referencing diaries, Google maps, Bing maps, AA route planner etc. in a bid to produce the monthly mileage claim. It is often argued that this is an exercise that should not be done in work time but, hey, every month in every office it happens.
All of these mapping technologies are very accurate however; if you apply a modicum of local knowledge they fall down. If I travel to anywhere east of my home I am told to go North for a few miles, South for a few miles and then East for a few miles, all in all 19.5 miles to junction 12 of the M4 – I never do this, I use my local knowledge and arrive at junction 12 in just over 11 miles. Using my best efforts to produce an accurate record of my trips I make a “profit” of 16 miles on this first leg of any journey.
Until accurate GPS measured journey information is used over estimation of business mileage is as certain as night following day.
By the way, Fleet Innovations can help. Actual mileage, real trips without a hint of big brother and a HMRC compliant mileage claim produced in 5 minutes.