How to Save with Low-Mileage Auto Insurance

Owning a car can be pricey. There’s the potential car payment, gas, and repairs, as well as auto insurance

If you don’t drive much, you might be overpaying for auto insurance. We found that traditional auto insurance is unfair for many drivers, leaving a whopping 65 percent of drivers overpaying for coverage. So what can you do? One place to start is to look for low-mileage car insurance

Here’s everything you might want to learn about insurance for low-mileage drivers, what it means, and where you can find car insurance for low-mileage drivers without breaking the bank. 

What is considered low-mileage?

According to the U.S. Federal Highway Administration, the average American drives 13,476 miles each year. That’s about 37 miles per day. If you drive less than 37 miles per day, you’re likely a low-mileage driver.

And you’re not alone. Two-thirds of American drivers drive less than the national average of 37 miles per day, which amounts to a whopping 147 million people. 

Low mileage drivers aren’t just young city-dwellers in Chicago, San Francisco, or Seattle, either. Some common types of low-mileage drivers are:

In other words, there’s no typical low-mileage driver, which means you might be able to benefit from auto insurance discounts for low-mileage drivers. 

Is car insurance cheaper if you drive less?

If you drive less, you might think that your car insurance will be cheaper automatically, but that’s not necessarily true. You might be overpaying for car insurance, especially if you don’t drive too far or often. That’s why it’s a good idea to compare car insurance quotes and look into auto insurance for low-mileage drivers.

A good option is pay-per-mile car insurance. With pay-per-mile auto insurance, you pay as you go. How often you use your car determines the price you pay each month for your coverage. You’ll generally pay a monthly rate to help keep your vehicle covered, even when you’re not using it. Then, you’ll pay a per-mile rate for each mile you drive, usually a few cents per mile.

How can I get a low-mileage discount for auto insurance?

Not all insurance companies provide a low-mileage discount or savings for people who don’t drive a lot. But there’s good news: Chances are your lifestyle could help you save money on auto insurance if you start paying per mile. 

Many companies have shifted to working from home permanently or are implementing a hybrid approach with limited time in the office. If you work at a company with these new working schedules, chances are you no longer have to commute as you did before. 

You might not be putting in the miles like you used to if you’re only going to the grocery store once a week or going out less often. If that’s the case, it doesn’t make sense to pay the same rate for car insurance.

Consider negotiating a lower price with your car insurance company. With some insurance companies, you can let them know you’re driving less to get a discount. Some insurance companies might ask whether you drive your car primarily for business or personal leisure or ask you to take a photo of your odometer to benefit from their savings for low-mileage drivers.

Metromile has savings built into its pay-as-you-go auto insurance. Drivers don’t need to let us know or prove that they’re a low-mileage driver because they pay per mile. Your bill will go down automatically if you’re driving less in almost real-time, so there’s no need to call in or negotiate.

What types of low-mileage auto insurance are there?

Low-mileage drivers could benefit from telematics-based car insurance. These car insurance policies use technology to understand how you drive and are sometimes called usage-based car insurance

Like you might guess from the name: These policies use telematics or a type of technology to understand how you use your car. They might consider how often you drive, how much you drive, your speed, how you brake, and your general driving habits, like whether you use your phone while driving. This data-driven insurance can help you score a lower bill if you’re a low-mileage driver. 

You can try out whether usage-based insurance is right for you for free with Ride Along™. Download the Metromile app onto your phone and get a free auto insurance quote. Then, you’ll drive like you usually do for about two weeks. (You should keep your current insurance coverage during the trial to stay covered.)

During your trial, we’ll use your driving habits, including how many miles you drive, to show you your potential savings. Safe drivers can get a discount of up to an additional 15% off the initial quote, depending on the state, for their good driving while using Ride Along.

How much you can save with insurance for low mileage drivers

Low-mileage drivers could cut their auto insurance bills by switching to low-mileage insurance such as Metromile.

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

The bottom line 

Two-thirds of drivers in the United States are considered low-mileage drivers, and with more and more people working from home or visiting stores and restaurants less often, more and more drivers are becoming low-mileage drivers. Chances are you might be a low-mileage driver who could save with Metromile and pay-per-mile auto 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.