Julie Santiano is a Los Angeles native armed with a duo of Tesla vehicles and a penchant for helping to create a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly future. She shares her Tesla Model S and Tesla Model X on Turo to help people live out special moments. Julie chose Metromile car insurance to benefit from the transparent pay-per-mile pricing.
You own two Teslas! What’s the appeal for you?
I moved up to the San Francisco Bay Area a couple of years ago to work at an electric vehicle company. I’m a huge fan of a sustainable future, and a big part of that is improving cars on the road. I normally wouldn’t be able to afford a Tesla, but hosting through Turo had made it a lot more affordable and accessible.
Are the people who book your cars on Turo techies like you?
Definitely — A lot of the reservations I get are out-of-towners, who have never driven a Tesla, and Bay Area locals who want to do a test drive before committing to owning and garaging one.
Your Turo profile shows you’ve completed training on enhanced cleaning and disinfection practices. Is this something you did because of COVID-19?
I’m a neat freak anyway, so I’m always cleaning and detailing my cars! It’s my way to check in with the car between rentals. I want my guests to enjoy their experience, knowing they’re safe.
How have Turo bookings changed because of COVID-19?
In the past, there were more bookings for weddings — brides and grooms wanting to roll up in style to their rehearsal dinner — just to add another special experience to their whole wedding weekend. Since COVID-19, I’ve seen more folks booking luxury weekend getaways — lots of trips down to Monterey and Santa Cruz. Some people will even rent one of my Teslas for a week to head down to Los Angeles or Yosemite.
How did you hear about Metromile?
I had been anxiously waiting for your partnership with Turo to launch since you announced it last year! I got really excited about Metromile and being able to remove the renters’ miles from my personal expenses. Anything that simplifies my processes — I’m all about it!
What was your old car insurance like compared to Metromile?
I had been with my last insurance company for 10 years. I hated that I was double paying for insurance, with my policy and Turo’s coverage. I always meant to shop around for car insurance but never did. There was always so much ambiguity.
I like Metromile because it’s super transparent. I don’t feel like you’re trying to give me a run for my money, and that alone makes it worth it. Teslas are really expensive, but with Metromile, I’m able to have the coverage I need; and I’m seeing about an 80% savings! Now I have peace of mind that I’m not leaving money on the table. Knowing I’m not getting ripped off is great.
What is your favorite Metromile feature?
I like that my bill is paid automatically. I don’t have to think about my coverage, and I’m still being taken care of. Your process for filing a claim is so seamless compared to my previous insurer. Setting up and plugging in the Pulse device was super easy. I love it!
Wouldn’t it be great if we could cut down one of our most expensive bills by paying only for what we use? Some car insurance companies say they want to do exactly that with pay-per-mile auto insurance. Low-mileage drivers could save with pay-per-mile car insurance, but it can be hard to understand what that means. You might ask: If I drive every day, am I a low-mileage driver? Alternatively, how low is low?
We have the answers. Consider this guide if you’ve ever wondered about pay-per-mile car insurance or how you can keep car insurance costs low.
What is pay-per-mile auto insurance?
Pay-per-mile car insurance is insurance based on how far you drive. Instead of paying a flat rate that doesn’t change like with other insurance companies, your actual driving determines your car insurance premiums.
While different companies might offer pay-per-mile car insurance, sometimes called “pay as you go” car insurance or “pay as you drive” car insurance, Metromile is the leading pay-per-mile car insurance company in the U.S. The company started to create a new type of insurance personalized to each driver and their unique lifestyle.
After you get started with pay-per-mile car insurance, you’ll notice your bill includes two parts: a low monthly base rate and a per-mile rate.
The monthly base rate helps keep your car covered, even when you’re not driving. You can think of the monthly base rate like the fee your cell phone provider might charge you to keep your telephone number and line open.
The per-mile rate counts how far you drive. The rate doesn’t consider how long you are in your car, so you won’t ever get penalized if you’re stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
For example, if your base rate is $29 per month and your per-mile rate is 6 cents per mile, your bill would be just $56 if you drove 450 miles that month.
As an added value, pay-per-mile car insurance often comes with a daily cap. Your miles are free after you drive 250 miles (150 in New Jersey) in a single day. The bonus lets you avoid any surprises on your bill and can help prevent stress. There’s no worry of “going over” with pay-per-mile car insurance.
How are pay-per-mile car insurance rates determined?
Unlike traditional insurance, pay-per-mile car insurance rates focus on someone’s actual driving.
Driving behavior, including how many miles someone drives, and the coverage selected, are the main factors Metromile considers. Other factors include the vehicle and type of insurance policy. Depending on the state, Metromile also considers how long someone’s had insurance before, claims history, and other information.
In contrast, traditional insurance rates may weigh more heavily on a driver’s age, gender, marital status, credit score, ZIP Code, or driving records, depending on the company, policy, and state. Often, insurance companies rely on these factors to determine the risk of large groups of drivers and might not personalize rates on a more individualized basis. Instead, Metromile uses technology and observed driving to help price rates down to the mile for each driver.
How much can you save with pay-per-mile auto insurance?
The savings can add up with pay-per-mile car insurance if you don’t drive much. Drivers saved $741 a year on average when they switch to Metromile, according to a recent survey of new customers who saved.
But drivers can save even more if they drive less.
Metromile also offers customers additional discounts to drivers who insure multiple cars on the same policy or install an anti-theft device or other equipment to make their vehicles safer. Drivers could also benefit from lower rates for their safe driving.
Who should get pay-per-mile car insurance?
Most Americans could find value by switching to pay-per-mile auto insurance. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Americans drive about 13,500 miles a year on average. Now, with more and more people working from home and taking fewer personal trips, chances are you are using your car even less.
If you drive 37 miles or fewer per day, you could save money on your premiums with pay-per-mile car insurance.
Drivers who could benefit from pay-per-mile car insurance include:
Even if you commute regularly or spend a lot of time in your car, you could save. Pay-per-mile car insurance doesn’t charge you for how long you drive because it focuses on miles driven.
How does pay-per-mile auto insurance work?
With pay-per-mile car insurance, your driving determines how much you pay for car insurance each month. This can give you more control over your costs, especially helpful if you keep a close eye on your car budget.
Metromile provides drivers with the Metromile Pulse device, a small wireless device that connects you to your car. The device accurately and securely counts the miles you drive to help bill you every month.
Installation is easy and can take minutes because the device plugs into your vehicle’s onboard diagnostic port, generally next to the driver’s side door, beneath the steering wheel, or around the center console. The onboard diagnostic port is the same connection your mechanic might use to check your car’s health in the garage.
The Pulse device needs to stay connected to your vehicle at all times, and Metromile customers are glad they do. The device helps power some smart-driving features. You can find your car’s location, know when street sweeping is happening in select cities, check your miles, review your trips, and more.
Some connected vehicle owners may not need a Pulse device or other additional equipment. Soon, owners of eligible Ford vehicles with built-in connectivity can opt in and connect their vehicle so that Metromile can count any miles driven directly from the vehicle’s odometer.
What type of coverage does pay-per-mile car insurance provide?
Metromile offers four different levels of liability protection and choices for your comprehensive and collision deductibles.
And your car will be covered, even when you’re not paying your per-mile rate. For example, when your car is parked, Metromile will cover your vehicle with comprehensive coverage when relevant.
How do claims work with pay-per-mile auto insurance?
Pay-per-mile car insurance provides the same types of coverage as other insurance companies. Licensed insurance specialists are available, and you can file a claim 24/7, online through the mobile app or Metromile website or by calling.
Drivers can also add roadside assistance to cover lockouts, flat tires, and towing, and an allowance for rental car reimbursements, to their policy.
Metromile also has a direct repair program, which can help expedite claims by making repairs more seamless. For example, Metromile customers can get notified of updates for their repair, changes to pricing, or service delays when they work with a participating repair shop. Metromile customers can use the Metromile app or log into their online account to find a nearby participating repair shop or see if their favorite garage is on the list.
The bottom line
Don’t be fooled: For many drivers, pay-per-mile car insurance can provide the same coverage as other insurance companies at a lower cost.
You don’t need to sacrifice your driving experience with pay-per-mile auto insurance, especially if you don’t drive much or are driving less than you have previously.
If you’re a new driver, you might feel like you still have your training wheels on. Your car could give you more independence. You can drive to school, drive to work, or run errands without relying on anyone else to help you get around. Unfortunately, this newfound freedom might also come with expensive car insurance premiums until you get some more experience under your belt. But if you drive less frequently than other people you know, you might save money with pay-per-mile car insurance. Metromile puts you in the driver’s seat when it comes to your car insurance because you pay for the miles you drive.
What makes you a new driver?
When it comes to new drivers, car insurance companies generally think about four types of people:
Teenagers who get their driver’s licenses while they’re still in school
Adults who start driving later in life
Adults who might have a gap in their driving record because they canceled their insurance when they sold their car in the past, for example
Immigrants or others who are new to the U.S.
If you have less driving experience in the U.S. than others, you may be considered a new driver.
Why is car insurance so expensive for new drivers?
When setting your rates, auto insurance companies look at things like your driving record and insurance history, including how many years you’ve had your driver’s license.
But if you’re a new driver, you might not have much to show for yourself yet.
Your years of experience as a driver can be more important than your age. It’s a common myth your car insurance rate will go down automatically once you reach a certain age, but it’s not true. Auto insurance companies know you don’t become a safe driver overnight on your 18th birthday when you become an adult.
Car insurance can also be expensive if you can’t demonstrate a track record of safe driving or continuous insurance coverage over time. And if you’re a teenager or immigrant, you might not even have a credit score, which some insurance companies use to determine your rate.
How much does car insurance cost for new drivers?
Because new drivers come from all walks of life, it’s hard to put a price tag on auto insurance. Many factors influence the rate you might pay.
But here’s what we can tell you.
Insurance companies focus on risk and whether certain groups of drivers might be more likely to get into an accident when driving.
It’s not uncommon for some new drivers, such as teenagers, to pay more for car insurance than experienced drivers who have a speeding ticket, car accident — or even a DUI conviction on their record.
We also found that people who don’t have established credit histories (like immigrants) can pay about the same premium as someone with a DUI.
What is pay-per-mile auto insurance?
With pay-per-mile insurance, you pay for the miles you drive.
Metromile charges you a base rate as low as $29 per month, plus a few cents for every mile you drive, which we count with a secure device plugged into your car.
How much could Metromile save me on car insurance?
Here’s a look at just how much money low-mileage drivers can save with Metromile:
7 reasons why pay-per-mile insurance makes sense for new drivers
New drivers are diverse, and there’s not a single type of new driver. Whatever stage of life you’re in, you might not drive very much because you don’t feel as comfortable behind the wheel or might not need to drive as much as a more seasoned driver with more years of experience.
Let’s take a look at the various types of new drivers who could save money with Metromile.
1. You’re still in school
Students tend to be part-time drivers.
Getting behind the wheel every now and then gives you a sense of freedom, but you don’t rely on your car to get around.
If you’re in high school, you might be able to take the bus. Similarly, many college students live on campus and might leave their cars at home with their parents because they can walk or bike to classes.
Either way, you probably don’t put too many miles on your car. So with pay-per-mile insurance, you could save money by paying for the miles you drive.
2. You started driving later in life
If you start driving later in life, insurers will still consider you a new driver, even if you are a little bit older.
For example, you might be a new driver if your spouse used to do all of the driving, but you recently need a way to get around yourself.
Some people may have lived in the city their whole lives and never had any reason to get a car because they relied on public transportation. But now they’re moving somewhere else where they need a car to get to work and run errands.
Whatever your circumstances may be, you could save money with pay-per-mile insurance if you drive occasionally.
3. You took a break from driving
If you’re looking to return to the driver’s seat after an absence, you might be considered a new driver. Even though you have previous driving experience, auto insurers like to see continuous coverage over time.
You could also be a new driver if you got rid of your car when you moved to a big city. You might also want to slowly ease back into driving because you’re used to getting around without a car.
So if you’re putting fewer miles on your car than most adults, you could probably save money with pay-per-mile insurance.
4. You just moved to the U.S.
Immigrants and others new to the U.S. might be considered new drivers.
Even if you’ve driven your whole adult life in someplace else, you might not have a driving or insurance record in the U.S. It can sometimes feel like starting from scratch, as some insurance companies might consider you to have no driving experience or a motor vehicle report they can consider.
But if you don’t plan on driving very often, you could lower your costs with pay-per-mile insurance. Unlike traditional insurance companies, Metromile focuses on someone’s actual driving, primarily how often you drive, to determine the price you pay.
5. You drive an older car
It’s less expensive to insure an older car.
Older vehicles tend to be easier to repair because parts are more readily available or cheaper for you or your mechanic to purchase and install.
A good way to save is by purchasing a used vehicle. Not only could you save big bucks by avoiding the brand-new sticker price, but you could also lower your expenses by removing collision and comprehensive coverage, which is designed to help you replace or pay for repairs to your vehicle. The extra coverage might come with a deductible that’s higher than the car is worth. This is because cars generally lose their value over time.
You can personalize your coverage with Metromile, giving you the confidence that your policy is right for your lifestyle or needs. Metromile’s pay-per-mile auto insurance offers four different levels of liability protection and choices for your comprehensive and collision deductibles so that you have greater control over how much you want to pay.
Having a defensive driving class under your belt demonstrates that you know the rules of the road and how to respond safely to dangerous situations when you’re behind the wheel. It also shows an insurance company you’re taking steps to become a safer driver.
7. Your car has safety features
In some states, Metromile offers discounts to drivers whose cars have certain safety features and anti-theft equipment. This might include automatic seat belts, airbags, alarms, tracking devices, and vehicle recovery devices.
Having these safety features on your vehicle might reduce the likelihood of getting into an accident, which car insurance companies could reward with a discount or lower premium.
Just starting out as a new driver? You could save by getting your insurance coverage with Metromile. If you drive less often than most people you know, find out how much you could save with a free quote from Metromile.
To say Southern California resident Leon is a “car guy” is an understatement. Even with his collection of cars — now in the double digits, ranging from a Nissan Versa sedan to a high-end Maserati Ghibli — he manages to save on his insurance with Metromile’s fractional car insurance.
How did you start hosting on Turo?
I’ve always been a big car fan, even since I was a little kid. I’ve met a lot of great people from hosting, and it’s been a way to make a bit of extra income.
How many cars do you share on Turo?
At most, I had 22 vehicles on Turo. I started with just a few and then was able to find good deals and add more over time. The only thing is insurance is the number one issue when you have this many cars. I try to be organized, but I was juggling six to seven different insurance policies at once across different companies. I wouldn’t have had the success on Turo if it hadn’t been for Metromile — it’s so much easier now!
How do you keep track of all of your cars?
I use the Notes app on my iPhone to make different lists, like which are due for maintenance. All of the numbers and cost breakdowns are in Excel; and my wife helps me out, too. It’s much easier to manage the insurance costs now that all of them are on Metromile!
With so many cars on Turo, have you seen a pattern in your bookings?
Absolutely. I’ve been doing this for so long now that I can almost pinpoint which car a customer is going to book. Younger customers tend to go for the Maserati over one of the economy cars.
When did you find out about Metromile?
Turo’s CEO chats with “power hosts” to get feedback and hear about our experiences at the end of the year. I had asked about the progress of your partnership with Turo and was eager to know when it was getting started. Once it launched, I hopped right on it!
Have you seen changes in Turo reservations because of COVID-19?
During the initial stay-at-home order, I took all my cars off Turo. I have many listed now and am only getting about half of the reservations I typically do since people aren’t really traveling or taking leisure trips. Lately, my economy vehicles have been getting reserved by guests who need to work since public transit is less common in Los Angeles.
What’s been the best part of your Metromile experience?
When I became a customer, I was excited to try out the Metromile app. I love it, even from my first experience interacting with it. The opening messages and visuals are very inviting and very easy to figure out. It was also so easy to install the Pulse device.
Now that you’re retired, we wouldn’t be surprised if you drive less often than before because you’re not commuting to work every day.
Chances are you’re probably putting fewer miles on your car.
That means you might save money by switching to pay-per-mile car insurance. Metromile’s pay-per-mile car insurance policies only charge you for the miles you drive, which gives you more control over how much you pay.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at why Metromile might be the best car insurance for senior citizens.
5 reasons pay-per-mile insurance makes sense for seniors
Let’s take a look at how senior drivers could save money with Metromile:
1. You’re not ready to give up your keys just yet.
Seniors are driving later in life than ever before.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, more than 45 million people who were 65 years or older had a driver’s license as of 2018, the most recent year for which data is available. That means about 72% more senior drivers are on the road than 20 years prior in 1998.
That might not surprise you, but what’s more astonishing is that more than 4 million of these senior drivers are at least 85 years old.
We believe driving can give seniors a sense of independence. If you have your own car, you don’t have to rely on family or friends to get around; you can continue to take care of yourself instead of depending on others.
That’s a great reason to stay behind the wheel, and as a responsible driver, you’ll need a car insurance policy that matches your driving habits and lifestyle.
2. You don’t drive as much these days
While you still enjoy driving, you probably don’t get behind the wheel as much as you used to.
Seniors drive an average of 7,646 miles per year, which is about half as much as most drivers, according to the Federal Highway Administration.
This sharp decline might be a reflection of the fewer responsibilities you have at this stage of life. For example:
If you recently retired, you no longer have to drive to work five days a week.
If you’re an empty nester, you probably stopped driving your kids around a while back.
You also might have cut back on driving for health reasons.
Older adult drivers are more than twice as likely to report having a medical problem that makes it difficult to travel, according to a recent U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.
One such problem is arthritis, the National Institute on Aging points out.
Your joints may get stiff, and your muscles may weaken as you get older, the institute explains.
The National institute on Aging continues: “Arthritis, which is common among older adults, might affect your ability to drive. These changes can make it harder to turn your head to look back, turn the steering wheel quickly, or brake safely.”
That’s not to say you don’t drive at all anymore. Just that you don’t drive as often as you used to.
Whatever the reason may be, if you’re driving less frequently, you might save money with Metromile’s pay-per-mile car insurance.
3. You’re living on a fixed income
You might be living on a smaller income in retirement.
If you don’t have a large nest egg and you’re mostly relying on Social Security checks, you could be facing a tighter budget than you did when you had a full-time job to pay for your expenses.
With pay-per-mile car insurance, control how much you pay each month. Car insurance can be one less thing you have to worry about.
We recognize that your decades of experience behind the wheel usually translate into safer driving practices.
Generally, older adults drive more safely than other age groups, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Older adults are more likely to wear seat belts, drive when conditions are safest, and don’t drink and drive.
These safe driving habits can help you avoid accidents. “Even at 85, senior drivers crash less often, per mile, than teens,” a Consumer Reports study found.
5. You drive an older car
Insurance companies consider the type of car you drive when determining how much you might pay for car insurance. Older vehicles tend to be cheaper to insure.
So if you drive an older car, we’re happy to pass the savings on to you.
How much do Metromile customers save?
People who don’t drive often (the majority of Americans) and switch to Metromile can save hundreds of dollars. The table below shows you just how much the average driver can expect to save based on how many miles they drive each year, month, or week.
Keep in mind: seniors drive an average of 7,646 miles per year, which means they could save between $500 and $700 a year.
When you break it down by gender, older men drive 10,304 miles per year, while older women drive only 4,785 miles per year.
As life slows down, you might find yourself driving less than you used to when you had a job to get to or kids to bring to school.
That’s why today could be the perfect time to switch to pay-per-mile car insurance. If you’re driving less than you did before, find out much you could save with a free quote from Metromile.
Eric is an entrepreneur, freelance writer, and self-described personal finance expert from Ventura, California. He knows a thing or two about finding the best deals to maximize a budget. He switched to Metromile four years ago because it fits his family’s low-mileage lifestyle and now saves half of what he used to pay by paying per mile.
How did you find Metromile?
When we moved to Portland, Oregon, my old insurance company raised our rates, and the customer service was pretty bad. On a really heavy driving day, I’m only putting 10 miles on the car at most. It got me thinking: why would I pay so much when I’m driving so little?
I like to shop around every few years to see if there is a better price out there. I came upon Metromile and got a quote. The math made sense when I saw the rates. We switched and are now saving 50% of what we used to pay! Over the years, our family has grown. Even when we moved to Southern California, we stayed with Metromile and have continued taking advantage of the great savings!
How has Metromile affected your family’s budget?
Having Metromile makes it manageable and affordable for us to have two cars. My wife’s minivan gets the most use with errands and toting the kids around. Since I’m not traveling to conferences or going into the office these days, my car just sits in the garage. You would think that it wouldn’t be worth having a secondary car that barely gets driven, but because of what we’re saving, it not only makes sense for us to keep it — it’s affordable!
Metromile is the perfect service for having that extra car. On the occasional road trip, we appreciate the cap on the miles. We don’t feel like we’re getting gouged when we take our kids to visit their grandparents out of state.
What do you think about usage-based insurance pricing?
Metromile’s fair, pay-per-mile pricing has changed how I think about how I buy and use other products and services.
Soon after switching to Metromile, I did the same for my cell phone. I’ve moved away from a standard provider that charges a flat rate for data usage to one where I can pay per gigabyte of data. I’m saving $10 a month there, which doesn’t feel like a lot, but when you add that up over a year and compound potential interest earnings, it can make a huge difference in your budget and is worth checking out.
How can you save money by unbundling services?
There’s a lure with having everything bundled under one policy, in one place, on one bill. But it should be about the per unit cost and being a savvy consumer. I’m a big fan of unbundling insurance and other services. People tend to be more comfortable paying a bill that’s a consistent amount, even if it’s technically more expensive. But if I’m able to pay less overall, who cares if it’s a different balance every month?
Think of it like shopping at the grocery store: sometimes, the price per ounce is different based on the size of the container. With Metromile, I have that same insight and transparency into the pricing of my family’s car insurance. I know my per unit cost based on what I drive. If you have traditional insurance, that’s a lot harder to figure out. Metromile has revolutionized the way I think about my recurring expenses and spurred me to seek alternatives that bill more fairly based on how I’m using those services.
I’m a travel “hacker” too. I always thought roundtrip tickets were the best value, but now with dynamic pricing, it’s sometimes less expensive to buy each flight separately. Take advantage of those rate aggregators. For a multi-city European vacation I took a few years ago, I was able to add another destination for free just by breaking up how I booked my flights!
What do you like most about Metromile?
I consider myself a “good millennial” who wants to “self-serve” everything on the Metromile app. I appreciate that I can handle most of everything I need there, but I also know I can call someone when I need help with my policy.
One of my favorite features is the check-engine-light tool. If anything lights up on my car’s dashboard, I check to see a warning code on the app. There was one instance where I got an alert and, since I knew what the code was, I knew it was minor enough that my car could make the drive to the shop without complicating the issue. I showed up and, since I could already tell them what was wrong with the car, they were able to give me a better repair estimate!
Michael Johnson is a self-made businessman from San Leandro, California. His entrepreneurial spirit, love of sports cars, and dedication to providing top-notch service recently helped him become one of Turo’s top new hosts in the San Francisco Bay Area. As an industry insider, he recognizes the value of an excellent customer experience and holds the companies he works with to a high standard. In his view, Metromile fits the bill. He’s saved $500 a year by switching to pay-per-mile car insurance.
How did you get started as a Turo host?
I’ve always been into cars. When I was in college, I had an internship at Enterprise Rent-a-Car. I was previously working for Coca-Cola full-time and renting my car out as a side hustle when I wasn’t driving on the weekends. Then I added a second sports car, and it just snowballed from there. Now I host on Turo full-time. It never feels like work because I’m doing what I enjoy.
Did your internship influence how you run your business on Turo?
For sure — I had gone through an intense training program as a part of my internship. Enterprise likes to recruit college students and athletes: people with a type-A personality and a competitive spirit. I tried to soak everything in so I could learn how to be the best salesman. Now I’m able to take all of this insider industry knowledge to make my business that much better. I’ve even co-authored an e-book on how to build a business sharing cars on Turo.
What attracted you to Metromile?
I heard about your partnership early last year on calls with Turo’s upper management. Prior to Metromile, insurance was the main pain point for other Turo hosts and me because we were essentially paying for double insurance that covered when I drove andwhen a guest drove. I was eagerly waiting for Metromile to go live. I kept calling them, asking if it was a “go” yet!
There are a lot of insurance options out there, but they only offer really high deductibles. I don’t use my cars for personal use very much, so being able to have affordable coverage that only charges me for the miles I drive and not the miles driven by guests — that’s huge.
How have Turo reservations changed during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Before COVID-19 hit, I worked to scale my business, where I could still be cash flow positive. About half of my Turo business is from people traveling to the San Francisco Bay Area. To adjust, I’ve been running ads targeted at locals for staycations, folks who aren’t comfortable taking BART or other public transportation, or essential workers who don’t want to have to pay for a rideshare every day. Fortunately, I’ve seen my reservations pick back up to a pretty normal pace lately since I was able to pivot my business so quickly.
How do you get your business on Turo?
I get a lot of customers through word of mouth because my business is so local. I share my Turo profile on Instagram. With Turo, you can be more specific to what you want compared to traditional rental cars where your choices are pretty much limited to the class of car: economy or mid-size.
I’ve built up my sports car fleet based on my interests. People on Turo are more niche; they want that sports car experience, driving up to Napa or down the California coast. They’re willing to pay more for the experience, and I want to make sure they have the best experience possible.
What have you enjoyed most about Metromile?
I’m extremely satisfied with the product I’m getting from Metromile. The Metromile app is straightforward. Navigating the app is really easy; I’m able to see everything on the dashboard, like how many miles I’ve driven at any particular time.
Customer service is the biggest thing; it’s very personal for me. Every time I’ve called Metromile customer service, I’m able to get through to someone really quickly. I was on hold for 45 minutes with my old insurer, just to cancel my insurance policy.
I usually drive whatever car isn’t rented. My personal car is a 2016 Camaro XS, and with Metromile, I’m now saving more than $500 a year or about 70% compared to what I used to pay!
You might have heard some insurance companies are offering car insurance refunds because policyholders aren’t driving as much during the pandemic.
The savings typically range from 10% to 25% of your premiums.
Unfortunately, those discounts don’t match the decline in driving we’ve noticed from many of our customers. We don’t think that’s fair. If the risk goes down for insurers, so should the price you pay.
That’s why Metromile offers pay-per-mile car insurance. So if you’ve reduced your miles by more than 25% during the COVID-19 pandemic, you could save even more with us simply by driving less.
3 reasons why pay-per-mile insurance makes sense during COVID-19
To see how driving habits are changing in response to COVID-19, Metromile looked at the traffic patterns in three cities — San Francisco, Portland, Oregon, and Seattle — in June 2020 and June 2019.
The changes are staggering.
We found 22% fewer cars on the road in June 2020 than there were a year earlier, and those who still got behind the wheel drove 30% fewer miles.
What does that mean for you?
1. You could save money on car insurance wherever you live
Metromile customers in all three cities are driving far less often than they used to.
Seattle noticed the biggest decline with people driving 33% fewer miles.
In Portland, people drove 30% fewer miles.
While people in San Francisco drove 28% fewer miles.
Even in San Francisco, which experienced the smallest decline, drivers could still save more money with a pay-per-mile policy than traditional auto insurers’ discounts.
Metromile customers saved about 30% on average on car insurance, beginning in April, because they pay per mile. Unlike with other insurers, they didn’t need to ask for a discount or let us know their driving habits had changed—their bills dropped automatically when they stayed home or drove less.
2. You could save money on car insurance if you’re working from home
We also looked at how many miles people drive on weekdays compared to the previous year.
In Seattle, people drove 33% fewer miles.
In Portland, people drove 31% fewer miles.
In San Francisco, people drove 29% fewer miles.
It looks like people may be working from home, and they are spending much less time on the road because they don’t have to drive to work. These drivers have a lot to gain from switching to pay-per-mile insurance.
3. You could save money on car insurance if you’re following a stay-at-home or shelter-in-place order
We also looked at how many miles people drive on weekends.
This gives us a better idea of how shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders are changing driving behaviors when people are not working and have more time to get out of the house for a few hours or take a weekend trip.
In San Francisco, people drove 20% fewer miles on weekends.
In Seattle, people drove 30% fewer miles on weekends.
In Portland, people drove 31% fewer miles on weekends.
Even though people are more likely to drive on the weekends, they’re still spending significantly less time behind the wheel than they did before COVID-19. Even if you take an occasional weekend road trip, you could save money by switching to pay-per-mile insurance because you’re likely driving less overall.
How much could Metromile save me in a post-pandemic world?
Some studies suggest the decline in driving may be even greater.
Between March 19, the start of many shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders, and April 20, 2020, Metromile customers collectively drove 58% fewer miles than they did last year.
Similarly, the Brookings Institute reports traffic has declined at least 53% in every major metropolitan area across the country, based on StreetLight Data’s statistics that use drivers’ cellphones to track vehicle miles traveled.
You might be wondering when things will get back to normal?
They might not.
The coronavirus pandemic has forced many companies to rethink their remote work policies and pushed consumers toward online shopping more than ever before. If these changes and others like them continue, it’s possible driving patterns may never fully recover, even after health officials come up with a vaccine for COVID-19 and society returns to normal.
Notably, the accounting firm KPMG sees a future where Americans drive 270 billion fewer miles each year than they did before COVID-19, which would represent more than a 9% decline in traffic.
If you see yourself driving less in the long run, Metromile might make more sense, because you’ll only be charged for the miles you drive.
Right now could be the perfect time to switch to pay-per-mile car insurance. If you’re driving less during the COVID-19 pandemic, find out much you could save with a free quote from Metromile.
From Day 1, we set out to provide drivers with a new type of car insurance. Traditional car insurance doesn’t meet drivers’ needs: high rates, mediocre service, and policies that don’t consider how people’s lifestyles and driving behaviors can change.
Today’s news is the start of a fundamental shift: Metromile is teaming up with Ford to provide owners of eligible Ford vehicles with built-in connectivity with personalized car insurance that will be more affordable and fairer.
This is an important milestone for Metromile, and it’s even more important for drivers. That’s why I’m so excited about it. It’s a tangible example of how car insurance can adapt more closely to how our lives are changing — where we live and work (for many of us, that’s the same place right now), how we drive, and where we drive. Connecting your car directly to your insurance is a big step toward making insurance much more personalized to your driving habits. We’ll see more convenience, customization, and savings than ever before.
On the surface, Metromile and Ford might seem like an odd couple. Ford, founded in 1903, is among the top 15 largest corporations in the U.S. by revenue, and Metromile is a VC-backed startup launched less than ten years ago. Still, both companies share several things in common. We’re both fiercely passionate about the future of mobility. We’re both committed to delivering meaningful experiences to vehicle owners, and we’re both eager to use connected vehicles to create new ways to save on insurance and reduce the cost of ownership.
For us, Ford will help us rapidly evolve how we price insurance, measure real-time risk, and put drivers in control of an individualized pay per mile rate based on how and how much you drive. Connected vehicles like Ford’s — packed with sensors and safety features — open up myriad opportunities for us to leapfrog ahead in each of these areas.
For Metromile customers: know that we’re relentlessly striving to make car insurance as fair, personalized, and advanced as we possibly can. Ford is just one example of how we’re making that happen (for example, we invented fractional insurance so that vehicle owners can avoid overpaying for too much coverage).
I, and many Metromilers, are customers ourselves. Our parents, friends, and families are also Metromile customers. We’re proud of what we’re building, but for us, that’s not enough. We want to save you money and make you smile when you open the Metromile app. We want to be the kind of company that you tell your friends and family about. You have enough companies in your life that feel like an obligation, or like you chose the lesser of two evils. That’s not the company we’re building, and it never will be. We’re continually exploring ways to set the bar higher and finding ways to improve your savings and experience. You have my word. As we progress — both with our work with Ford and more broadly in our march for fairer insurance — I’ll be sharing more of my thoughts on the Metromile blog and LinkedIn.
For many of us, a commute is a reality of life, whether it’s to work or the local shops for our everyday necessities. Most of us don’t have the good fortune to live close to where we work and need to shop. If you can’t travel by car, here is a guide of alternative transportation methods, so you can get where you need to go.
Should I start riding a bike?
Bicycles are an eco-conscious, healthy, and affordable option for transportation. Once you buy the bike, you don’t need to worry about expensive fuel, maintenance, or car insurance. After all, you power the bike yourself.
Cities are increasingly becoming more bike-friendly, adding new bike lanes and cracking down on dangerous driver behavior threatening cyclists. Fortunately, these steps are making the streets safer for those of us who don’t ride a bike, too.
A common choice for cyclists is an electric bicycle. You can generally fold the bikes in half for easy storage in seconds and ride them as traditional bikes. For added convenience, some electric bikes charge your smartphone and come with companion apps to track your distance or even turn on built-in LED lights to ride in style.
If you’re nervous about purchasing a bicycle because of cost, especially when some bicycles can now cost thousands of dollars, look into whether your city has a network of public bikes you can rent. Cities big and small, including New York, Portland, Oregon, and San Francisco, have bicycle stands with bikes available for rent, and there are now apps that have “dockless” bikes. These bike-sharing apps can help you find a bicycle that’s closest to you and can be more convenient. Often, there are also monthly or annual pass options suited for more regular riders, which could cut down your commute cost as well. And with docking stations located throughout bustling business areas of downtown, they offer a convenient alternative to hunting down an open parking space.
Pros of commuting on a bicycle:
Many cities are limiting through traffic on some main streets and expanding their network of bike lanes to make cycling safer
Healthy for you and the environment
Can be more affordable: you can purchase your own bicycle cheaply or rent a shared bike to keep costs low
Cons of commuting on a bicycle:
Regular car traffic can be dangerous, especially in congested areas
Your office or home may not have space for you to store your bike securely
Some bicycles, including electric bikes, may be expensive to purchase or maintain over time
Should I buy a moped to commute?
Mopeds often bring to mind driving along some idyllic European coastline, but they can be a great way to get around here in the U.S., too. Like bicycles, mopeds can keep commute costs low, as they’re cheaper to purchase and maintain than cars.
If you’ve never driven a moped, companies now make it easy to start riding. In some cities, app-based moped rentals are becoming commonplace and usually cost just a few dollars. And there’s no need to own a helmet for the occasional ride — these companies often provide helmets in the cargo trunk, ready for riders!
Pros of commuting on a moped:
Can be more affordable: typically cost a few dollars to unlock and ride
Ready-to-ride with helmets often readily available
Faster than biking and less exerting on your body
Cons of commuting on a moped:
Congested streets can be dangerous or scary, especially for new moped drivers
Limited storage space for your bag, briefcase, or shopping bags
Is public transportation safe for commutes?
Public transportation, whether by bus, rail, or subway, can be a convenient way to get to work and around town. In many major cities and suburbs, it is the most common method of transportation. Generally, costing just a few dollars, it is also the most cost-effective. Plus, when taken instead of driving a car, public transport can be a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and reduce the effects of climate change on the environment.
Pros of commuting on public transportation:
Generally the most cost effective: fares can range from a few cents to a few dollars
You can be more productive while commuting: multi-tasking gives you the opportunity to read your emails or a book
Can be less stressful: you don’t need to worry about traffic because someone else is driving
Cons of commuting on public transportation:
Can be very crowded and uncomfortable during peak morning and early evening commute times
Wait times can be long because of COVID-19, as some agencies have cut frequencies of service
Limited personal space or social distancing when crowded
Cleanliness may be an issue in heavily frequented routes, stations, or stops
Should I continue commuting by driving?
While carpooling may be less common because of health concerns stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, many car owners are finding more value in their vehicles now more than ever. Driving with your family or people who you live with can help alleviate some cleanliness and hygiene concerns.
Pros of commuting by driving:
Convenience of getting on the road straight from your home
If you’re able to commute with a partner, friend or coworker, you can take advantage of the carpool lane for a potentially quicker ride
Could allow you to better maintain social distancing and personal space
Cons of commuting by driving:
Heavy traffic or accidents on the road can slow you down and stress you out
Driving is a significant contributor to climate change
Gas prices and car maintenance can be costly
Car insurance can be expensive and is another added cost to owning a car
If you find yourself driving your car less during the week or with a changed routine, Metromile’s pay-per-mile car insurance could be a great way to save money. When you drive less, you can save more because your bill is based on the miles you drive.
Demi Greco is a communications specialist, plant mom, and under-baked cookie connoisseur from San Francisco.