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How to Store a Car Long-Term if You Don’t Drive Much

Whether you’re going on vacation, taking public transportation more frequently, or simply driving less, you might want to know how to store your car long-term.

If you don’t plan on driving for an extended period, you might want to consider long-term car storage. Before you put your car away, you might want to consider these tips to help make sure your vehicle stays in good shape. After all, you don’t want to be stuck with a dead car battery or an engine issue the next time you want to take your car for a spin.

car storage

Where should you store your low-mileage vehicle? 

The best place to keep your car for a long time is typically in a covered or indoor garage. Storing your vehicle in a garage can prevent car theft and protect it against the elements, such as the blazing summer sun or a torrential downpour of rain.

If you don’t have access to a garage, you can look into a car storage service. Most major storage companies offer car storage.

If your most viable option is keeping it outside, you might want to consider purchasing a waterproof car cover to keep your vehicle clean.

How to store a car long-term?

If you don’t plan on using your car for a month or more, consider these best practices to keep your stored car in good condition.

    1. Keep your car clean and covered

Dirt and residue can eat away at your car’s exterior if left on for a long time. It may feel odd to get your car nice and spiffy just to keep it locked away, but a clean car can help prevent other issues later.

Keeping your vehicle covered in a garage or wrapped in a weatherproof car cover can help keep your car clean and safe.

    2. Fill up your gas tank before you go

While you won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, it is a good idea to fill up your gas tank before you go. A full gas tank can prevent moisture from accumulating inside the fuel tank.

Excess condensation in your fuel tank can lead to acceleration problems. It can also cause a fuel line freeze in the winter, which can cause issues when you want to run your car engine.

If you plan to store your car for a very long time, you may want to purchase a fuel stabilizer to prevent your gasoline from becoming gummy.

An added benefit of a full gas tank? You’ll thank yourself when you get back and need to drive again.

    3. Evaluate your oil situation regularly

Oil changes are a part of keeping your car well maintained. If you’re looking into long-term car storage for 30 days or more, you may also want to change your oil.

Old oil may damage your car engine. Before you store your car, make sure to drive it around a bit so that the new oil gets circulated in the engine.

    4. Keep your car battery topped up

All vehicles typically experience a tiny amount of battery drain, even while turned off.

Mechanic Matt suggests purchasing a battery tender, a small charger that keeps your battery topped off every day.

Alternatively, you can also have a trusted friend turn on the engine every couple of weeks to help maintain your car battery.

    5. Don’t engage the parking brake

Though you might be tempted to engage your parking brake, you’ll want to avoid it if you’re storing your car for months. Brake pads could get stuck or fuse with the rotors after a long time.

To avoid issues with your parking brake, look into wheel chocks that can act as a tire stopper instead.

    6. Get some air in your tires

Another must-do for your car maintenance checklist is the air level in your tires.

If the tires are under-inflated, head to the gas station to add some air to your tires. Flat spots can develop as the vehicle’s weight presses down on the tires, even while idle.

It could also help to have an air compressor on hand to quickly inflate a flat if you can’t make it to a gas station.

    7. Protect your car from animals

Believe it or not: Animals, including cats and rodents, may make your car home when idled or stored. These animals could chew parts of your car, hide in exhaust pipes, or cause other types of wear or maintenance issues.

The key to protecting your car from animals is to cover parts, such as the exhaust pipe and other areas with free space to prevent them from entering when you’re away.

    8. Get pay-per-mile auto insurance for your car

Don’t forego your car insurance during long-term car storage.

Consider pay-per-mile auto insurance if you don’t frequently drive, as you’ll want to keep your car protected, even while it’s in storage. Because you won’t be driving your car while it’s stored, pay-per-mile coverage could help you save considerable amounts of money while it’s stored.

Taking your car out of long-term storage

Once you’re ready to take your car out of long-term storage, do a quick inspection before starting the engine. You’ll want to make sure your vehicle is safe to operate before driving.

Check the windshield wipers, tire pressure, fluid levels, brakes, and under the hood to see if anything looks off. Then, make any necessary maintenance or repairs to get your vehicle in good condition.

If you’re often leaving your car unused and don’t drive that much, consider switching to Metromile pay-per-mile insurance to pay for how much you drive. Drivers could save 47% a year on average, according to a 2018 survey of new Metromile customers who saved.

Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer, podcast host of the Mental Health and Wealth show, and author of Dear Debt. She’s a cat mom to two jazzy cats, Miles and Thelonious, an amateur boxer, music lover, and needs coffee to function.

Top 10 U.S. Cities With Best Public Transportation

There’s no doubt driving can be expensive. It all adds up between paying for gas, car insurance, car repairs, parking, and a potential car note. Fortunately, public transportation can be good for your wallet and the environment as a healthy alternative to driving. 

If you’re thinking of moving or just want to see if your city makes the rank, here are the 10 U.S. cities we believe have some of the best public transportation systems. 

10. Miami, FL

Miami offers three options to help you get where you want to go: Metrobus, Metrorail, and Metromover. 

You can take the Metrorail throughout the city on its 25 miles of elevated rail, including to and from the airport and downtown. Miami also offers a free Metromover that makes a loop from downtown to the nearby Brickell financial district. Rounding out the public transportation network, Miami’s Metrobus has 95 routes with over 1,000 buses. 

Miami ranking by ridership from Census data: 9th

Miami transit score: 88 trips per capita

Miami transit fare: $2.25 one-way

Total score: 57 

9. Minneapolis and Portland, Oregon (tied) 

Minneapolis, MN 

Minneapolis is a growing public transportation hub with light rail trams, buses, and commuter trains that can help you get to where you need to go. You can even take the light rail to the airport or between the twin cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. The city also has bus-only lanes and pilot programs to test out new transportation ideas. 

Affordability is another positive: One-way bus fares range from $2.00 to $3.25 depending on the time of day and whether the trip is an express route. Trips within the downtown area cost only $0.50, and there are also “free-ride” buses along Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis.

Minneapolis ranking by ridership from Census data: 10th

Minneapolis transit score: 91 trips per capita

Minneapolis transit fare: $2.50 one-way non-express fare during rush hour

Total score: 54

Portland, OR

Portland, Oregon, has various public transportation options, including buses, a light rail, the Westside Express Service commuter rail, and even the Portland Streetcar. Portland is also well-known for its biking culture and has a bike-share system available downtown and the city’s inner eastside. 

According to TriMet, the local transit authority, “Each weekday, Portland-area residents take more than 316,700 trips on TriMet to jobs, shopping, services, and recreation. That adds up to nearly 100 million trips per year! And 78% of those riders choose TriMet over driving.” 

All of this makes Portland a city with some of the best public transportation in the U.S.

Portland ranking by ridership from Census data: 11th

Portland transit score: 97 trips per capita

Portland transit fare: $2.50 two-and-a-half hour fare

Total score: 54 

8. Seattle, WA 

Similar to its Pacific Northwest brother city Portland, Seattle has many different public transportation options to choose from: You can take the bus, streetcar, light rail, or even Amtrak trains or the ferry. It’s also a very bike-friendly city, and the city boasts a robust bike-sharing program. 

Seattle ranking by ridership from Census data: 8th

Seattle transit score: 97 trips per capita

Seattle transit fare: $2.25 one-way

Total score: 47

7. Philadelphia, PA 

Philadelphia has the sixth-largest public transportation agency in the U.S. The system in Philly serves 13 million customers every day and offers rides through trains, subways, buses, and trolleys. 

Philadelphia ranking by ridership from Census data: 7th 

Philadelphia transit score: 98 trips per capita

Philadelphia transit fare: $4.00 one-way, with increasing fares for travel to zones further away or New Jersey

Total score: 43

6. Los Angeles, CA 

Los Angeles may be best-known for its car culture, but it’s working hard to expand its public transportation options.

Los Angeles has buses, bike-sharing options, and a metro rail with six lines that span from the LAX airport to the neighboring cities of Long Beach, Hollywood, Pasadena, and Santa Monica. 

There is currently a project underway to expand service around LAX to serve more communities and decongest the region’s famously busy freeways. Additional work is also underway to complete projects by the 2028 Summer Olympics.

Los Angeles ranking by ridership from Census data: 6th 

Los Angeles transit score: 96 trips per capita

Los Angeles transit fare: $1.75 one-way

Total score: 41

5. Chicago, IL 

Chicago makes it in the top five due to its robust public transportation system. The Chicago Transit Authority serves a whopping 35 different suburbs and millions of riders, making it a city with some of the best public transportation in the U.S. One of the main perks for residents and tourists is the direct rail service to the two major Chicago O’Hare and Chicago Midway airports. 

Chicago ranking by ridership from Census data: 2nd

Chicago transit score: 98 trips per capita

Chicago transit fare: $2.50 one-way

Total score: 24

4. Washington, D.C. 

The nation’s capital has one of the most frequently used and busiest public transportation systems. The public transportation network connects Washington’s four quadrants and serves communities nearby in Virginia and Maryland. It also is one of the primary U.S. cities with a subway system.

The local transit authority, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, has been around since 1967 and provides the Metrobus or the DC circulator, which costs $1 and frequents some of the major points of interest around the city, including the National Mall, Union Station, and in the summer, the Smithsonian National Zoo.

Washington, D.C. ranking by ridership from Census data: 4th

Washington, D.C. transit score: 99 trips per capita

Washington, D.C. transit fare: $2.00 one-way, with higher fares for express routes and subway trips to zones further away or travel at peak times 

Total score: 23

3. Boston, MA 

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority manages Boston’s public transportation system. The subways, buses, trolleys, and even boat service are often referred to by locals as the “T.”

Boston ranking by ridership from Census data: 5th

Boston transit score: 99 trips per capita

Boston transit fare: $1.70 one-way, with higher fares for commuter rail, subway, and ferry rides and trips of longer distances

Total score: 20

2. San Francisco, CA 

San Francisco has some of the best public transportation in the U.S., if for no other reason than its dizzying amount of options in the city, including Bay Area Rapid Transit commuter subway, Muni buses, light-rail trams, streetcars, and the world-famous cable cars. 

San Francisco ranking by ridership from Census data: 3rd 

San Francisco transit score: 99 trips per capita

San Francisco transit fare: $2.50 one-way, including two hours of transfers; BART fares start at $2.10, with higher costs when you travel longer distances or between counties or to an airport

Total score: 19 

1. New York, NY

New York City is well-known for its 24-hour subway, and as a result, the city is often touted as having the best public transportation in the U.S. 

The Metropolitan Transit Authority manages the subways and bus systems. You can get around New York with its comprehensive subway system and buses that connect seemingly all parts of the city and its various boroughs. There’s also the ferry and a bike-sharing program.

New York is the top-ranked city for public transportation use by percentage by APTA and the Census. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s our top city for public transportation in the U.S.

New York City ranking by ridership from Census data: 1st 

New York City transit score: 100 trips per capita

New York City transit fare: $2.75 one-way for most bus and subway routes

Total score: 14

Our Methodology

To determine the best public transportation, we looked at the total ridership, affordability, and how public transit affects health in the top 11 metropolitan areas in the U.S.

We used data from the American Public Transportation Association 2020 Factbook and Public Transportation Fare Database, Census data from the top 11 city metro areas, local transportation authorities, as well as the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Transportation and Health Tool.

We scored each city metro area on a scale of one to three points and calculated the rank by multiplying the points scored by the city’s rank in each category and adding all the points together. The city with the fewest points achieves the highest overall ranking.

For example, New York City ranked ninth in affordability, first in ridership volume, and first in health impact. It earned a total of 14 points: nine points for affordability (one point x ninth place), two points for ridership (two points x first place), and three points for health score (three points x first place) for a total of 14 points.

The bottom line

If you take public transportation often, you’re likely a low-mileage driver

Low-mileage drivers and people who take public transit, even occasionally, can save on their auto insurance with Metromile. Drivers can save 47% a year on average, according to a 2018 survey of new customers who saved with Metromile, by switching to pay-per-mile car insurance

Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer, podcast host of the Mental Health and Wealth show, and author of Dear Debt. She’s a cat mom to two jazzy cats, Miles and Thelonious, an amateur boxer, music lover, and needs coffee to function.

Top Tips from a Personal Finance Expert: How to Have a Blowout Summer “Vaxication”

As the United States begins to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans are making their summer plans if they haven’t done so already. 

Pent-up demand will likely fuel increased spending for everything from “vaxications,” or the first vacation after someone is fully vaccinated. Farnoosh Torabi, a Metromile customer and personal finance expert, partnered with Metromile to explain how Americans can celebrate the start of a potential post-pandemic future without making costly financial mistakes

Here are some of Farnoosh’s top wallet-friendly ways to save money and get away.

1. Assign a theme for your summer.

It’s important to pace yourself, Farnoosh says. Summer is a four-month experience, and it can be easy to get carried away with a big summer trip. She advises Americans to be intentional and purpose-driven.

An easy way is to assign a theme, such as relaxation or reconnection. 

If your theme this summer is reconnection, you can avoid spending in any categories that don’t meet this goal, such as an expensive solo trip abroad, according to Farnoosh. Instead, you might opt for a budget-friendly backyard barbecue with your friends or take a local trip with family members you haven’t seen for a long time.

2. Revisit your budget.

Many of us consider and set budgets at the beginning of the year, but it’s important to revisit our budgets whenever our life shifts, according to Farnoosh.

During the pandemic, we may have picked up new habits that might stick going into the future. This is why it’s important to reassess where you are now and where you want to be this summer and beyond.

Consider setting a new budgetary plan. You could give up some subscriptions you signed up for in the last year or plan around any new expenses you might have to take on going forward.

3. Don’t let car costs get in the way.

Summer is always a popular time to hit the road, and summer trips, even on the road, can be pricey.

Farnoosh recently became a Metromile customer, a switch that she says saved her over $1,000 a year during the pandemic with pay-per-mile auto insurance. And she believes she will continue to drive a lot less: Farnoosh doesn’t expect to go back to a five-day-a-week commute — what she calls her “new normal.” 

Farnoosh recommends Metromile to drivers who might be looking to take road trips this summer. She likes that any miles driven after 250 miles in a single calendar day are free (150 miles in New Jersey), which can keep auto insurance costs down

The bottom line

Americans can take control of their finances for a blowout summer by switching to pay-as-you-go auto insurance. Because you pay a low monthly base rate and then a small cost for only the miles you drive, you could keep your insurance bill low and car costs in check.

Drivers can get a free quote from Metromile and take a Ride Along™ trial before they buy to see if pay-per-mile coverage makes sense for their lifestyle.

As a multi-bestselling financial author, Contributing Editor to Time Magazine’s NextAdvisor, CNBC host and creator of the Webby-nominated podcast “So Money,” Farnoosh Torabi has become a favorite go-to money expert. 

Farnoosh’s work and advice have been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Forbes, Time, Marie Claire, Glamour, Redbook and USA Today. She appears on major news and television shows and series. Highlights include Netflix’s “Money, Explained,” NBC’s “Today Show,” CNN, MSNBC, “Good Morning America,” “Dr. Oz,” “The View” and “Live! With Kelly and Michael.”

How I Recovered my Stolen Vehicle with Metromile

After thieves stole Isabel's car from a covered garage in Oakland, Calif., Isabel used the Metromile app. She then recovered her stolen vehicle.

As a long-time Metromile customer — and former Metromile employee! — Isabel is well-versed in the ways of pay-per-mile auto insurance and Metromile’s insurance coverage.

But Metromile still found a way to surprise Isabel.

Now that she’s working from home, her odometer may be taking a break, but her Metromile insurance is still hard at work — most recently helping her recover her stolen Audi in February 2021. Here’s how Metromile reunited Isabel with her car.

What’s been your experience as a car owner living in the city?

Let me start by saying I’ve had terrible luck with parking garages: a popped tire here, a yanked-off bumper there. 

I never had a problem when I lived in San Francisco and would park on the street. You would think someone would have broken in then! Half of the time, I would forget what street I parked on, so I always pulled up the Metromile app to find my car. 

Now I live in Oakland, California, in an apartment building that has an attached covered garage. During the day, it’s open to the public as paid parking. Since I’ve been working from home this past year, I don’t drive very often, and I don’t check the app as frequently anymore. 

How did you find out someone stole your car?

One night I received a text alert from Metromile saying my check engine light was on. It was really bizarre.

I brushed it off, thinking my car was parked safe and sound downstairs. It wasn’t until the next day, around noon, that I discovered my car was missing. I just wanted to get the pack of La Croix I had left in the backseat!

I remembered, from my time on the Metromile customer experience team, when I helped people find their stolen cars; I immediately pulled up the Metromile app to find my car’s whereabouts. 

Luckily, the thieves hadn’t spotted my Pulse device or thought to pull it out. I could see them driving around in Oakland, California. I called the police, and we waited for a few hours until the car stopped moving. It ended up only a mile and a half from my house behind a motel.

How did they manage to get your car out of the garage?

The people who stole my car were very professional. On the security footage, you could see them drive into the garage in another Audi. They managed to start my car without breaking any of the doors or windows. It took them less than five minutes, so they were in and out before they had to pay for parking. 

They exited the garage with both cars close together so they could get out in one go before the barrier arm came down. The police said the way they stole my car is very common nowadays. 

I would have thought that would only be the case in public parking garages. That’s why I pay extra for my parking spot in the first place! 

What state was your car in when you found it?

The thieves had tinted the windows, spray-painted the wheels, and changed the license plates in just a few hours. 

The engine was fine, but they must have tried tinkering with something under the hood, which had prompted the Metromile alert earlier. 

The interior was full of trash and all of the tools you would need to steal cars, like power tools and batteries. There was a cell phone, computer parts, and some people’s identification cards. Thankfully I hadn’t left many personal items or valuable items in the backseat, so I’m really lucky. 

It was pretty inconvenient and feels a little violating, but it could have been much worse had I not had Metromile. 

Having gone through this, what advice do you have for other occasional drivers like yourself?

My tip for other drivers out there: even if you have covered parking, beware. 

Without the help of the Metromile app, I wouldn’t have gotten my car back. Metromile has saved me money, and now, having recovered my car, I love it even more!

The bottom line

As Isabel learned, things can happen to your car, even when you’re not driving much, or take precautions like purchasing covered parking in a garage. This is why it’s important to have the right amount of auto insurance coverage for your lifestyle and budget.

Metromile has reunited drivers with their lost or stolen vehicles. We even boast a 90% stolen vehicle recovery rate as of the end of February 2021.

Not sure if Metromile is a fit for you? 
Take a Ride Along™ to try before you buy. Download the Metromile app and get a free auto insurance quote. You’ll keep your current coverage and drive as you typically would for about two weeks. Then, we’ll consider your actual driving to provide you with an accurate rate. You could even save up to an additional 40% off your quote in select states for your safe driving.

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.

What’s The Best Car Insurance for Twenty-Something City-Dwellers?

Ah, twenty-something city-dwellers: You’re out on your own, overpaying for a small but great apartment in a chill neighborhood. You’re moving up in life. Done are the days of working a meaningless gig — you’ve got a “real” job now. Heck, maybe you’ve finally parted ways with your rickety old dresser from college. But more importantly: you’ve got bills. You’re doing it. You’re #adulting.

The truth is, your first car insurance policy was likely possible thanks to your parents adding you on to their coverage, maybe even bundling with their homeowner’s insurance. At 16 and freshly licensed, you shoved your insurance card in the glove box and hit the road.

Just like filing your taxes, crafting an eye-catching resume, or making sense of a lease agreement, shopping around for car insurance and figuring out the right coverage is just another necessary life skill no one teaches you. 

4 things you should know about car insurance

1. Car insurance is required in most cases.

Car insurance is an important purchase if you want to drive. You know being insured is basically mandatory after first hearing about it during your driver’s ed course, but the instructor never goes into much detail about what it all means. What you should know is that it can help protect your car, your bank account, and your well-being if you’re in a car accident or your car is damaged or stolen.

2. There are many types of coverage.

Like many aspects of adult life, car insurance comes with its own bag of terms. What you should know is that in most cases, you can personalize your policy. There can be a lot of car insurance jargon, so understand you might want more coverage and higher limits for extra peace of mind. 

It can pay off to do some research before you buy and to make sure your current coverage still works for you.

3. It doesn’t always pay off to bundle your car insurance.

To bundle or not to bundle? Chances are, you’re probably still on your family’s cell phone plan. Data plans are typically more economical when split between family members, but this isn’t necessarily the case with car insurance. 

You may be living in a different city than your parents, so it doesn’t make much sense to still be included in their policy. 

Other than renter’s insurance, you also may not have additional insurance needs that would even warrant a bundle, which may actually be less economical. Insurance companies might mask higher rates in their all-in-one-bill convenience when really, having separate policies can be more budget-friendly overall.

The moral of the story? It can pay to shop for car insurance and to shop regularly.

4. Most people could save with pay-per-mile car insurance.

You pay for the miles you drive with pay-per-mile auto insurance. You can think of it as a pay-as-you-go plan for your car.

Metromile charges a base rate as low as $29 per month to keep your car covered and a few cents for each mile you drive. If you don’t drive very often or very far, you could save on car insurance.

6 reasons why pay-per-mile auto insurance makes sense for young city-dwellers

With all of the different coverage options out there, pay-per-mile auto insurance might make sense for you if you are in your 20s and live in a city.

1. You recently moved (or are thinking about it).

Chances are, the pandemic may have you considering moving. Or, if you’ve already jumped on a new place with a pandemic discount — congrats! 

When you move, you need to let your car insurance company know. Where you park your car each night usually impacts the price you pay, and your rate could go up, stay the same, or go down. 

One way to help lock in any savings is to switch to pay-per-mile car insurance. Whatever your circumstances might be, you could save money with pay-per-mile insurance if you only drive occasionally.

2. You recently got a car.

Whether it’s brand new or new to you, this might be the first time you’ve had a set of wheels in a while. 

If your tried and true hand-me-down Camry is still kicking, you’re in luck: it’s less expensive to insure an older car. Used cars are typically a more affordable option to buy. They tend to be easier to repair because parts are more readily available or cheaper for you or your mechanic to purchase and install. 

A pay-per-mile auto insurance policy can also help you cut down on expenses further.

3. You can personalize your coverage to only pay for what you need.

In terms of coverage, you might not need comprehensive and collision coverage. These coverage options help you replace or pay for repairs to your vehicle and may come with a deductible that’s higher than the car is worth. This is because cars generally lose their value over time. By opting out of coverage you might not need, you could lower your insurance bill overall.

You can personalize your coverage with Metromile, giving you the confidence that your policy is right for your needs and lifestyle. 

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.

4.. You’re now working from home.

#OOTD: Business on top, pajamas on the bottom. 

You might be thrilled to have done away with your morning commute. If you’ve traded mind-numbing bumper-to-bumper rush hour traffic getting home for Zoom fatigue, you’re probably not driving as much these days.

Your WFH routine could result in lower auto insurance bills if you switch to pay-per-mile insurance. Other drivers have cut down on their bills by switching.

5. You take trips on the weekends.

Burnout is very real, and your home office view is getting a little stale. All the more reason to get away on the weekends, right? 

If you’re a weekend warrior, taking longer trips out of town now and then for a much-needed change of scenery, Metromile could still be the right coverage option for you since all miles over 250 (or 150 for New Jersey drivers) in one day are free! 

6. You’re going back to school.

Perhaps you’re making most of this crazy year and, with more time on your hands now than ever before, have decided to go back to school. Students, like work-from-homers, tend to be infrequent drivers. When you’re spending the majority of your time at home, you probably don’t put too many miles on your car. In this case, it just doesn’t make sense to pay for expensive insurance coverage that you don’t use. With pay-per-mile insurance, you could save money if your car insurance bill considered the miles you drive.

What’s next?

With so many life changes this year — from moving to working from home — it’s more important than ever to find the car insurance coverage that best fits your lifestyle. With most insurance companies, you pay a flat rate no matter how much you drive. We don’t think this is fair. It’s like going out to dinner and then being forced to split the bill four ways when you only ordered an appetizer while Becca over there ordered two palomas and the flatbread for herself.

With Metromile, you can control how much you pay for car insurance because your rate is based on your driving. We know one size doesn’t fit all.

Find out how much you could save with Metromile’s pay-per-mile car insurance. Get a free quote in minutes or download our app and Ride Along to see if pay-per-mile is right for you.

How to Update and Manage Your Car Insurance When You Move

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned many former office employees into remote workers, and with their jobs no longer tying them down to a particular location, some are leaving the cities they used to call home for greener pastures.

If you find yourself in this situation, it’s important to let your car insurance company know you’re moving, so they can update your address. 

Location affects the price you pay for car insurance, so your premium could change. This means it could also be a good time to look for a new auto insurance policy if your rate increases. Metromile’s pay-per-mile car insurance charges you for the miles you drive, so drivers who don’t drive often or long distances can save hundreds of dollars by switching.

We all know how stressful moving can be. Between finding a new place to live and packing, car insurance is probably the last thing on your mind right now. But this is one more item you should add to your moving to-do list.

Why is it so important? Let’s find out.

Why do you have to change auto insurance when you move?

There are two important reasons why you need to update your auto insurance when you move. 

  1. Your car insurance company might not operate in the state where you’re moving. Each state has its own licenses for insurance, so you’ll want to make sure your car insurance company operates in your new state. You might need a new auto insurer if your old insurance company isn’t available where you are moving.
  2. Even if they do have a presence there, they might want to adjust your premiums based on your new address.
    Location matters. Many insurance companies consider where you usually park your car each night to determine the price you pay.

What if I don’t tell my car insurance company I moved?

It could be tempting to not say anything, especially if you’re concerned your premiums will go up. 

But there are a few reasons why you’ll want to let your auto insurer know you’re moving:

  1. If you move out of a state, you’ll need a new auto insurance policy before you can register your car. Failing to register your car could get you into trouble with your new state.
  2. If you get into a car accident and need to file a claim, your insurance company might cancel your policy when they find out you moved without telling them. That means you might not be covered if something goes wrong. Not to mention, driving without insurance is illegal in most states.
  3. If that doesn’t get your attention, this might: Not updating your address could be a form of insurance fraud.

We’re not trying to scare you, but we think it’s important you understand the consequences of not updating your auto insurance policy when you move.

Of course, if you’re just out of town on vacation, you don’t need to update your address.

The same goes if you’re only moving temporarily, but plan to return home in a few months. But each insurance company might have a different timeline for what constitutes a temporary move. So you should check with your provider to be sure.

Does your ZIP Code affect your car insurance? 

Your auto insurance rate is based on a number of factors, including where you live and:

  • Age
  • Driving experience
  • Safety record
  • Vehicle type and age
  • Location

So if you move, your auto insurer might update the price you pay to match the rates in your new location.

Why does your car insurance go up when you change your address?

No matter how safe a driver you are, your location is bound to impact your car insurance.

There are three reasons why the price you pay for car insurance might go up when you change your address:

  1. You move to a place with a higher rate of car accidents.
  2. You move to a place with a higher rate of stolen cars.
  3. You move to a place with higher or different state minimum insurance requirements.

So we’d expect your car insurance premium to go up if you move from a small town where there are fewer cars or more patient drivers to a big city with heavy traffic and drivers who might speed or run red lights.

But of course, changing your address doesn’t always mean your premiums will increase. On the flip side, your car insurance rate could go down if you’re leaving an urban area to someplace where there are fewer drivers or hazards on the road.

If you’re looking for more value from your car insurance, Metromile could help low-mileage drivers (most Americans!) save money.

What are the state minimums where I’m moving?

Each state has different minimum coverage requirements for auto insurance.

Metromile can help you figure out what the minimum requirements for insurance coverage are if you’re moving to one of the eight states where we operate:

When should you change your car insurance when you move out of state?

Whether you’re moving out of state or across town, it’s essential to update your address.

Depending on where you go, you might also need to register your car with the local department of motor vehicles or the licensing department and get a new driver’s license. 

But with so many moving pieces, it can be confusing to figure out what to do first, and when to do it. So we put together a few steps for you to follow.

1. Let your car insurance company know before you move 

Each car insurance company has its own policies. 

So it’s important to communicate with them early and often to figure out if they offer car insurance where you are moving, how much it will cost, and exactly when you should update your policy.

2. Don’t cancel your current car insurance policy before you move 

Driving without insurance is illegal in most states.

Even if it’s only for a few days, you risk having no insurance coverage if you get into an accident.

You should also know that canceling your old insurance policy before you start a new one could increase your premiums. Auto insurers will refer to this as a “gap in coverage,” and they see it as a sign that you might be a risky driver. 

So you should wait until after you line up a new policy to cancel your old one.

3. Update your address after you move

After you move, call your insurance company and give them your new address.

Typically, you have 30 to 90 days to update your insurance, but you should verify these details with your car insurance company when you call to let them know about your upcoming move.

4. Shop for a cheaper car insurance

If your auto insurance company doesn’t operate in the new state you’re moving to, or charges too much, you can also shop for another car insurance policy.

People who don’t often drive or drive too far should look at Metromile. Metromile customers pay for the miles they drive and can save hundreds of dollars if they are a low-mileage driver. 

5. Get a driver’s license and register your car in your new state 

Once you update your car insurance, you can head over to the DMV to register your car.

The DMV will want to see proof of insurance before they approve your vehicle registration and give you new license plates. Most states will give you at least a month to register your car, but keep in mind some states require you to do it immediately! It might take a while to schedule an appointment, so it’s important to get on top of this as soon as you move. 

While you’re at the DMV, this could also be a good time to get your new driver’s license so you can knock two things off your to-do list at the same time.

What is this “pay-per-mile insurance” you keep talking about?

Pay-per-mile auto insurance lets you pay for what you use.

Most car insurance companies bundle up everything into one big insurance policy and don’t know how much you drive. But with pay-per-mile insurance, you pay for how much you drive.

At Metromile, you’ll pay a base rate, starting as low as $29 per month, plus a few cents for every mile you drive, measured accurately through a secure device you plug into your car.

That means the less you drive, the more you save on car insurance.

How much could Metromile save me?

Let’s take a look at how much low-mileage drivers could save with Metromile:

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

What’s next?

If you’re moving, it might be the perfect time to switch to pay-per-mile car insurance

It might seem easier to stick with your current car insurance company. But because you have to update your policy anyways, you might as well shop for the best rates while you do that.

Find out how much you could save with a free quote from Metromile.

What’s the best car insurance for teens?

Metromile could help teenagers and their parents save money on car insurance. Car insurance for teenagers doesn’t need to be expensive.

There’s nothing like the feeling of getting your first car.
But before you surprise your teenage driver with the keys to an old car on their 16th birthday, you should know car insurance might cost more than the car itself.
Teenage drivers are expensive to insure because they tend to get into car accidents more often than experienced drivers. But they also don’t drive as often as most adults. If the teenager in your family only drives to school and their part-time job, you might be able to save money with pay-per-mile car insurance.

Metromile’s pay-per-mile car insurance charges you for the miles you drive.

Why is car insurance so expensive for teens?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers.

Out of some 300,000 teenagers who get injured in car accidents each year, the U.S. Centers for Disease and Control (CDC) found 2,364 are involved in fatal accidents.

That comes out to more than six teenagers who die every day in car accidents.

So, naturally, it can be more expensive to insure teen drivers.

But if your teenager doesn’t drive very often, you might be able to minimize the expense by signing up for pay-per-mile insurance.

How much does car insurance cost for teenagers?

Car insurance rates gradually decline as your teenager gets older.

According to Business Insider, teen drivers can expect to pay between $1,260 and $6,777 per year on average for traditional car insurance, depending on their age and driving record:

But at Metromile, your car insurance rate is based on how much you drive. So teenagers who don’t drive as often as their parents or other drivers might save money.

For example, younger, teenage drivers, who are the primary drivers on Metromile, can pay considerably less for their car insurance.

Median base and per-mile rates for primary drivers in June 2020
** Costs calculated from median base and per-mile rates and average monthly miles driven in June 2020 for primary drivers, annualized and rounded to nearest dollar

What are the biggest risks for teen drivers?

According to the CDC, some of the leading causes of teenage car accidents include:

How can I keep my teen driver safe? 

The best way to keep your teen driver safe is to establish a clear set of rules: 

  • Buckle up. Always wear a seat belt.
  • Keep your eyes on the road. Your teenager shouldn’t use their cellphone, change the music or radio station often, check their makeup, eat or drink while they’re driving. 
  • Take your time. There’s no need to speed or tailgate, even if you’re running late.
  • You shouldn’t be drinking, especially not if you’re driving. Be strict about driving when alcohol might be involved. “Buzzed” driving, or driving while intoxicated but under the legal limit to be considered drunk driving, can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. No one, especially not teenagers under the age of 21, should consider driving after drinking.
  • Don’t drive when you’re tired. Consider setting a curfew to help ensure your younger drivers operate a vehicle only when they’re most alert.
  • No friends in the car without a responsible adult to supervise.

It’s also important for parents to lead by example. If your teenage driver sees you breaking the rules, they might think they can get away with it, too.

Is it better for teenagers to get their own car insurance or be added to their parents’ policy?

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you make your decision.

Can teenagers get their own car insurance policy?

You might be thinking about getting your teenage driver their own car insurance policy, especially if they drive their own car.

This can be a good way to shield the rest of the family from expensive insurance premiums. 

Unfortunately, teenagers might have trouble getting car insurance on their own because they’re underage. But if a parent co-signs, that could make it easier to separate the teen driver’s policy from the family’s policy. 

Should parents add a teenage driver to the family’s car insurance policy?

If your teenager drives the family car, you might be required to add them to your auto insurance policy, as they are a potential driver in your household.

This could raise your insurance rates.

But if you have a good driving record, your experience could help reduce the rate your teen would pay if they have their own car and took out a separate insurance policy. 

The catch to adding a teen driver to the family’s insurance policy is if they get a ticket or crash the car, it could raise the whole family’s rates.

5 reasons why pay-per-mile insurance makes sense for teen drivers

Teenagers drive fewer miles than any other age group.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, teenagers drive an average of 7,624 miles per year, which is about half as many miles as adults drive, except senior drivers.

The less you drive, the more you could save with Metromile.

1. You only drive to school

If you use your car to drive to school instead of riding the bus, you probably don’t spend that much time behind the wheel.

So you might as well pay for the miles you drive.

2. You’re at college, but left your car at home

If you’re away at college for most of the year, you probably don’t put too many miles on your car. Instead, you might spend more miles on public transportation, ride-sharing, or your bike. 

With pay-per-mile insurance, you don’t pay for miles you don’t drive. College and student drivers can pay less than other drivers who might have to commute far distances for work or drive more regularly.

3. You drive an old car

It’s less expensive to insure a used or older car. Insurance companies provide lower rates because the vehicle might be cheaper or easier to repair than a newer model or a luxury car.

You also might not need as much coverage for an older car because cars tend to drop in value over time. You don’t want to have a deductible that costs more than how much your car is worth, for example.

4. You took a defensive driving course

In some states, Metromile offers discounts to teenagers who take defensive driving classes. 

Being proactive about improving your driving can demonstrate responsibility and show your insurer you are a lower-risk driver.

5. Your car has safety features

Metromile offers discounts to drivers whose cars have certain safety and anti-theft equipment. This might include automatic seat belts, airbags, alarms, tracking devices, and vehicle recovery devices.

If your vehicle is equipped with features that make your driving safer or decreases the likelihood of an accident or other car-mishap, you could be rewarded with a lower rate.

What’s next?

Does your teenager only drive to school and work?

If they don’t get behind the wheel that often, find out how much you could save with a free quote from Metromile.

What’s the best car insurance for women?

Women could be overpaying for car insurance. Metromile could help women save money on car insurance with personalized pay-per-mile policies.

Women tend to be more responsible drivers. Compared to men, they drive less often, get into fewer car accidents, and are more likely to wear seatbelts. But in many cases, women pay just as much — if not more — for car insurance than men.
That’s where Metromile comes in. If you’re a safe driver who doesn’t get behind the wheel very often, you might be able to save money with one of our personalized pay-per-mile car insurance policies.

How much do women drive?

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, women drive about 40% fewer miles than men.

The average driver logs 13,476 miles each year.

Now, take a look at how those miles are split up between men and women:

You’ll notice that in every age group, men outlap women in total miles driven each year, and the disparity only grows with age.

So by default, women drive less than average.

Why does it matter that most women drive less than men?

When it comes to insurance, the fewer miles you drive, the less risk you carry. With a pay-per-mile policy, the insurance company passes the savings onto you.

So you can reap the benefits of driving less often.

What’s the difference between regular car insurance and pay-per-mile insurance?

Most car insurance companies charge drivers a large flat rate. But if you don’t drive very much, that’s sort of like paying for an all-you-can-eat restaurant buffet when you’re only hungry enough for a small salad.

You’re overpaying to compensate for other people who drive more than you.

The way pay-per-mile car insurance works, by contrast, is you pay for the miles you drive. It’s fairer and can be more affordable. 

At Metromile, you’ll pay a base rate, starting as low as $29 per month, plus a few cents for every mile you drive, which is measured accurately through a secure device you plug into your car.

Because you get charged by the mile, a pay-per-mile insurance policy could make sense for women who drive less often than men.

How much could Metromile save women drivers?

Low-mileage drivers who switch to Metromile save hundreds of dollars on average:

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

Are women better drivers than men?

Not only do women drive less often than men, but they’re generally also more responsible on the road.

“Women tend to be better drivers than men — much better, judging by the number of deaths they cause on the road,” Nicholas Bakalar wrote for The New York Times.

But it gets worse: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety claims “crashes involving male drivers often are more severe than those involving female drivers.” According to the institute, male drivers are more than twice as likely to be killed in a car accident. 

If you look at the causes of those fatal car accidents, male drivers are about four times more likely than women to be caught speeding, or drinking and driving.

As you might imagine, the safer you drive, the more you can save on car insurance. In some states, Metromile even offers good drivers a discount on their car insurance premiums.

5 reasons why Metromile makes sense for women

Whether you’re a college student who walks to class, a young professional who commutes to work, or a stay-at-home mom who drops her children off at school, if you don’t drive very often, you could probably save a bunch of money with pay-per-mile car insurance.

1. You’re a student

Students put fewer miles on their cars than most other drivers, and this is especially true among women.

If you’re in high school, your parents might only allow you to drive to school or a part-time job, or you might be getting around mostly by carpooling with friends.

While some college students who live on campus might not bother taking their cars with them to college during the school year, choosing to take public transportation or ride their bike when classes are in session.

Either way, if driving is more of an occasional task than a necessity, you could save money with pay-per-mile car insurance.

2. You’re a young professional

After you graduate, you might rely on your car more often to get to work.

Young professionals, especially women between the ages of 20 and 34, drive more than any other group of women. But they still put fewer miles on their cars than the average driver. After all, chances are the office is accessible by public transportation or isn’t too far away from home.

That means they could save money by switching to pay-per-mile car insurance.

3. You’re a stay-at-home mom

If you’re a stay-at-home mom, you might not get behind the wheel that often.

Whether you’re dropping your kids off at school, sports practice, or picking up groceries, if you’re not the primary driver in your family, you could probably save money with a pay-per-mile car insurance policy.

4. You’re a grandma

If you enjoy driving once in a while to visit your grandchildren or only get behind the wheel to run occasional errands, you might save money with pay-per-mile car insurance. Women who are over the age of 65 drive less often than any other group of female drivers.

And because you can control how much you want to spend each month with pay-per-mile insurance, you can reduce the chances of any surprises on your bill, especially helpful if you’re on a fixed budget or income.

5. You’re married

Regardless of your age or gender, married drivers tend to be safer drivers. They take fewer risks on the road, so they’re cheaper to insure.

If you haven’t done so already or recently got married, consider letting your insurance company know about the major milestone. You could be due for a discount or a lower rate.

What’s more: If both you and your partner drive your own cars, you could save money by adding both vehicles to the same insurance policy to take advantage of the multi-vehicle discount Metromile provides.

What’s next?

If you only drive once in a while, you might be able to save a small fortune with pay-per-mile car insurance.

Find out how much you could save with a free quote from Metromile.

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!