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How I Drive: A Former Insurance Agency Owner Dispels Myths About Auto Insurance

Metromile customer Dennis Loney today (left) & in the Sunset District of San Francisco circa 1952 (right)

It can be tough to find the best car insurance for mature drivers or retirees. Car insurance tends to get more expensive as drivers get older, and seniors drive more miles than they have before.

This is not the case for Washington state resident Dennis L. Dennis and his wife who switched from their traditional insurer of 27 years to Metromile’s pay-per-mile car insurance more than two years ago. Now, the 70 year old retiree is helping to clear up some common misconceptions about new types of car insurance. 

As a seasoned driver, what prompted you to shop around for car insurance? 

A few years ago, my wife and I moved from Seattle to a small town where everything is within walking distance. After a few months, we realized we really weren’t driving as much anymore, so I got in touch with my insurance agent. I wanted to see if they could re-rate our cars, given our lower usage. But when I received the new rate breakdown, they explained they simply couldn’t rate us both to reflect the low-mileage and one car had to be priced as “standard” high-mileage usage. 

I used to own an insurance agency years ago, so I understand how insurance rating works. I just thought there has to be a way that car insurance can be done honestly. So I started investigating alternate auto insurance options, and I came across Metromile. 

Did you know how pay-per-mile auto insurance would fit your lifestyle? 

Though most months, our mileage is pretty minimal, we do like to take one road trip a year. I had some hesitation that we would get penalized for long trips, but I was pleased to see that there is a cap for miles driven in a day. With that, I thought it would be worth trying out. With Metromile, we’ve saved about $70 a month for coverage on our two cars, and I know that we’re paying a fair price. 

How has pay-per-mile car insurance affected your budget?

Not only am I saving on my insurance bill, but since I drive my car so infrequently, I only buy gas once a month

Another side benefit of paying by the mile is that I find myself planning my driving. If I know I’m going to be out, I can tie a few errands together instead of making separate trips during the week. Good for my bill and good for the environment!

Why should people switch to pay-per-mile car insurance?

Especially with this year and seeing how things have changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, other insurers aren’t able to keep up with adjusting ratings based on changes in usage. Metromile can. 

I think the biggest selling point is that you can “get it and forget it.” I know I’m covered and can rest assured knowing that my bill will self-adjust to changes in my driving habits. Metromile keeps me rated accurately, automatically. I don’t have to get in touch with an agent since you already know how I drive. And it’s more than just the price. The responsiveness of the customer service agents, especially when I’ve needed roadside assistance and filed claims, has been great. 

I can’t even tell you the number of people we’ve recommended Metromile to because they’re in a similar situation to us. I’ve shared a couple of my own testimonials on Facebook and Twitter and have some family members who are interested in switching car insurance. The only complaint is that they live in states where you don’t offer coverage yet!

The Top 5 Misconceptions About Pay-Per-Mile Car Insurance, According to Dennis

1. It is not difficult to adjust to a different insurance company.

Dennis says it hasn’t been an issue at all to switch to a different kind of insurance company: The fact that it was a newer company and a newer take on car insurance was really attractive to me.

Metromile is an honest way to approach insurance because you are only paying for what you’re using. You don’t have to play the game with the agents to lower your rates; you just pay as you go

2. You can depend on the customer service.

The service is very prompt and very friendly. Every time I’ve needed to file a claim or get in contact with customer service, it’s always been a positive experience. And that’s the thing that has really impressed me: everyone I’ve talked to is genuinely very friendly.

Metromile’s licensed agents are available through a variety of means: phone, email, online chat, SMS, and Facebook Messenger.

3. Filing a claim isn’t a hassle.

I did have a little fender bender. I was in a carwash, and I came off the track. Right away, I opened up the app to start the claim, and, as usual, I received very friendly customer service. I didn’t have to worry about anything.

4. Roadside assistance is available when you need it.

I like how the Pulse device not only helps me track my miles but monitors engine health, too. One day I got a text message alerting me of an issue with the oxygen sensor on my Subaru. So I ran it down to my mechanic and told him what was going on, and he confirmed that the part had to be replaced. I would have never known had it not been for the alert.

My wife also has a habit of leaving her phone at home when she takes her car on the ferry over to Seattle. With the car location feature, I can see if she’s on the returning ferry and know how much longer until she’ll be home.

5. An insurance company that’s tech-based is not too complicated.

I was going to the grocery store one day and got a flat tire. I didn’t want to get out of my car to deal with it since it was snowing, so I called Metromile roadside assistance. They gave me a status of where they were, and the tow truck arrived in 15 minutes. They took me to a tire center and rushed me right in. It was really amazing. From the time I left the house, it was only an hour and a half later, and I was home with groceries and new tires! I have no doubt that if I have an issue, it will get resolved quickly, and that’s why I’ve stayed with Metromile for so long.

The bottom line

If you don’t drive frequently or are looking for a new way to save on car insurance, Metromile might be right for you. People who don’t drive very far can save hundreds of dollars when they switch to pay-per-mile auto insurance. For more per-mile mythbusting, check here.

Not sure if Metromile is a fit for you? Take a Ride Along with us to get a free quote based on your actual driving and see how much you could save — no strings attached.

How I Drive: I Am a Turo Host to Help Pay for My Teslas

Julie S. shares a Tesla Model S and Tesla Model X on Turo. She covers both cars with Metromile and claims to save 80% on her car insurance bill.
Julie & her Tesla Model S – fresh off the production line!

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!

What’s the Best Car Insurance for New Drivers?

Car insurance for new drivers can be expensive. Metromile could help you save money on car insurance if you’re a new driver because it considers how you drive.

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.

So the less you drive, the more you save on car insurance.

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:

*Average annual car insurance savings by new customers surveyed who saved with Metromile in 2018.

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.

6. You took a defensive driving course

Metromile offers discounts to new drivers who take a defensive driving class in some states.

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.

What’s next?

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.

How I Drive: I Insure My Car Collection with Metromile

Leon with his pair of black Maseratis

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.

How I Drive: A Finance Expert Saves Half by Switching to Pay Per Mile Car Insurance

Eric Rosenberg enjoying the views in Ventura, California

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!

How I Drive: Pay-Per-Mile Car Insurance Is for Sports Cars, Too!

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 and when 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! 

Save Money on Your Commute with these Transportation Alternatives

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.

How I Drive: A British Expat Prefers Driving on This Side of the Pond

We’re seeing double! Metromile customer Marc Cowan & Drop Stop inventor Marc Newburger

Metromile customer Marc is a British expat who currently resides in Los Angeles. He works with a favorite product of ours, Drop Stop, a “Shark Tank”-backed company manufacturing vehicle gap fillers that block off the area between the side of your driver’s seat and middle console. Driven by a similar passion, Marc’s hunt for the best deal led him to Metromile.

We have to ask: has it been hard to learn to drive in the U.S.?

Surprisingly, no! It actually works out better for me since I’m right-handed and drive a stick shift, so I’m not forced to be ambidextrous. 

Thanks for being a Metromile customer! What spurred you to switch insurance companies? 

I was on the hunt for better insurance and pricing. During my extensive research, I read a lot of your reviews. The Metromile representative I spoke with was so good; they answered so many questions for me so quickly. My OBD-II port is used for a heads-up display, and the representative assured me I could still receive the same benefits and functionality of the Pulse device by opting for your cigarette lighter adapter. Seeing what I’d save with pay per mile insurance and having a great interaction with your service team was huge for me.

I’ve had zero issues, am paying a price that I’m happy with every month. I really believe in your company.  

Was your previous coverage different compared to Metromile?

I was paying more with my previous insurer — around $200 per month. I think they are really ripping people off. With Metromile, I’m saving $50 every month, even with a newer, better car!

Have your driving habits changed in recent months, during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Oddly enough, I’ve been driving more these days. Prior to COVID-19, my trips were more direct, to-and-from errands. Now, I’m making more of an effort to get out of the house to get some fresh air and take in the nature and scenery around Los Angeles.

Which Metromile feature do you enjoy the most?

I use the online dashboard the most. It’s cool to have quick access to all of my information in one place.

I’m also very active with my referral link. If I find a really good product or company, I want to spread the word about it!

In the fast lane: Speed-round questions!

Are you a better driver or passenger?

As I love driving and exploring, I’d have to say I’m a better driver, so I can be behind the wheel and start the adventure! 

If you could take a road trip with anyone, who would it be?

I’d love to show a family member who is no longer here around the beautiful city of Los Angeles and all of the favorite spots I think they’d love!

Do you like to listen to any music when you drive?

I love listening to Spotify and my various playlists. Each playlist is a little different!

How I Drive: A Self-Proclaimed Insurance Nerd Keeps Metromile in the Family

Meet Kalona R., a Metromile customer from a suburb of Philadelphia, who knows a thing or two about insurance. Despite working for another insurance company, she has signed up her friends and family, including her grandmother, aunt, and mother, with Metromile because of the helpful customer service. She also says she saved with pay-per-mile car insurance, even when she had a long commute every day.

Kalona with her mother and grandmother – 3 generations of Metromile policy holders!

How did you find out about Metromile? Is it because you are already in the insurance industry?

I was shopping around for a new car with the help of my uncle, who’s a car salesman. He was a Metromile customer and recommended it to me. I was having a hard time getting car insurance and finding a reasonable rate; other insurance companies were dinging me because I had a year-long gap in coverage where I didn’t have a car and wasn’t driving. 

I had been commuting 100 miles a day then, and my quote with you was still better than any other insurers I had shopped around with! You were definitely the most practical option for me. 

Wow, a car salesman and an insurance insider — your family is a one-stop-shop! What have you learned about insurance?

Before I started working in insurance about four years ago, I had no idea about different kinds of coverage, but now I’m an insurance nerd. All of my friends come to me to help them with explaining the different terms and what to look for in a quote. I always recommend Metromile, even over the insurance company I work for!

Is there a story about Metromile you sometimes tell to your friends and family?

I like being able to make changes myself, right on the app. And I love the gas feature and the check engine decoder. I once got an alert that there was something wrong with my car. I had no idea! It hadn’t been driving differently or making any weird noises. Immediately I took it in to a repair shop and was able to nip the problem in the bud. It would have cost me so much more had I not gotten that message!

What do your friends and family think about Metromile?

My 60-year-old mom is on my policy, and my 85-year-old grandma has her Metromile policy, too; so does my aunt. Particularly with my grandma, I like being able to see her trips on the app and know that she’s staying close to home. I’ve referred so many friends and family members to Metromile that I’ve maxed out on the gift card rewards! 

That’s awesome! What did you do with all of the gift cards you earned?

Since my job now has me working from home, I treated myself to a nice office chair! I even had a balance left over to get my cousin a gift to celebrate their graduation.

What’s driving like for you these days now that you’re working from home?

With my new job, I was only driving 15 minutes from home. Now, with COVID-19, my bill is even lower, even though I have two cars on my policy.

What do you like most about Metromile?

I love the pay-per-mile structure. I can see the relief in my premium when I drive less.

Overall, the customer service has been really helpful and is a big part of why I’ve stayed with you for so long. No other company has asked how they can serve us better or for suggestions. I really appreciate you wanting to do better and wanting to have a conversation with me. It shows you meant it.

In the fast lane: Speed-round questions!

Are you a better driver or passenger?

I’m a better driver, hands down. I’m much more comfortable in a car when I’m the one driving!

If you could take a road trip with anyone, who would it be?

To be fair, I’m not a fan of road trips. If I had to pick a road-trip partner, it would be my best friend, Keisha. We have so much fun together, and that is important when you’re stuck in a car with someone for hours. We have the same music taste, so that helps! 

What’s your ideal weekend getaway: driving into the city or heading out to the coast?

My ideal weekend is having work off and being able to catch up on my sleep and Netflix shows.

How I Drive: A Mother of Two Saves Money with Pay Per Mile Insurance

Courtney with her two young sons

Courtney Welch is a mother of two from Hayward, California, who, during the recent shelter-in-place order and her recent maternity leave, noticed her driving habits changing. She switched to Metromile — and inspired her parents to do so as well! — and has been putting money back into her family’s budget with what she’s saved with Metromile.

How long have you been a Metromile customer, and what inspired you to check us out?

I’ve been with Metromile since April of this year, so about three months. I saw your commercials and thought “that seems like a nifty idea!” You’d be helping the environment, helping fight off the pandemic by sheltering in place, and you’d be saving money by not driving.

This was literally one of the greatest decisions to help with expanding my maternity leave budget.

Was the insurance you had previously different from Metromile?

I was driving a lot, a lot, a lot before COVID-19. I was driving about 40 miles a day round-trip, previously. I had moved farther from my son’s school so my commute was considerably longer.

In the first six weeks of my maternity leave, I only drove about 180 miles in total.

There was a considerably big drop in my mileage, as I was barely driving my car anymore — just to the grocery store down the street if that. It was the perfect time to switch to Metromile; I love it.

How has your driving changed? Do you think this is your new normal?

I recently got a new job — only about seven miles from my house. I definitely won’t be driving nearly as much as I was previously since I’ll be working remotely for the foreseeable future. My son’s new school is considerably closer to home as well.

Shortly after I switched over to Metromile, my 67-year-old parents did too. They drive even less than I do! They had been paying $250 a month on car insurance for a car that they weren’t using; it was just sitting there collecting dust. They’re on retirement income and want to be mindful about their spending.

My mom had a great conversation with the representative when she signed up and is happy she can speak with a human, and now they have money back in their budget. They only drive to doctor’s appointments and the occasional errand.

Do you use the Metromile app?

Yes, I do! When I financed my car and switched from my previous insurance company, I had to send over my insurance information and coverage details. It was super easy for me to go in and download my proof of insurance card. All of those documents were super easy to find right in the app, to download, and email them over.

I think the budget tracker (trip tracker) is such a cool feature, too. I don’t go to the gas station as often anymore, but it’s nice to have just in case you might forget how much you have left in your tank.

I’m also glad the diagnostic portal is there just to let me know if and when something might be going on.

Do you have any feedback for us?

Thank you for existing. My next goal is to get a larger car since I have a larger family. 

With Metromile, I have the ability to track and control how much I’m spending because I’m paying per mile. I can put more money towards a new vehicle since I’m not spending so much on insurance. That frees up my budget for other things like diapers!