This Earth Day, Try Driving Less

Earth Day is pretty important to us at Metromile. It might sound contradictory since we work in the car industry, but we pride ourselves on incentivizing customers to drive less since they pay based on the miles they drive. Earth Day is actually a worldwide celebration — it began in 1970 and continues to be recognized in 193 countries. In the spirit of the holiday, here are tips on how to drive less and cut down on your vehicle’s carbon emissions.



Bike to work. The majority of Americans live close to their workplace. So instead of grabbing your keys to start your car in the morning, grab your helmet and start biking. Even biking one day a week can make a big impact. Check out our tips on how to enjoy your bike commute.

Walk more. Get a kickstart to your day by walking to work. You’ll get a bunch of steps in before breakfast and heat up the competition in your step challenge group.

Organize a carpool. Find a friend who lives and works close to you, and take turns driving each other to work. If no one comes to mind, here are some ideas on how to find someone to carpool with. An added bonus is that you can drive in the carpool lane all the way to work!

Or let someone arrange a pool for you. Try UberPOOL or Lyft Line, where you share a ride with other passengers on your way to your destination. This also costs significantly less than a normal Uber ride.

Invest in a hybrid car. They give off fewer carbon emissions and get better gas mileage which is definitely a win for our wildlife (and your wallet).

If these tips work for you and you find yourself driving less, pay-per-mile insurance could be a great fit for you! To learn more, or to see how much you could save, just click here.

Premium or Regular Gas? How to Choose at the Pump

If you’re like many drivers, the choice you make at the gas station is simple and you buy regular, unleaded gasoline. But have you ever wondered what the difference is between each octane and why some spend more to fill up with premium? Most gas stations offer three octane levels: regular (about 87), mid-grade (about 89) and premium (91 to 93) but we’ve broken down the facts about each so you can make the right choice at the pump.


Regular Unleaded Gas- Typically the cheapest per gallon, regular gas is the most commonly used octane. Your car owner’s manual lists the recommended gas and for those cars designed to run on regular gas, pumping up with premium will provide no additional performance, run faster or get you better gas mileage. Better quality ingredients and advances in technology make regular gas the best and most affordable option for most drivers.
Midgrade Gas- Few manufacturers suggest mid-grade gas, it’s more designed to offer a middle ground. It has slightly more additives so it could give you a small bump in fuel economy but generally the results won’t be obvious. The Federal Trade Commission says that if your engine pings, mid-grade gas could stop it.
Premium Gas- The most expensive octane, premium gas is recommended by some luxury manufacturers. Not using premium gas when it is recommended can cause engine knocking, which can eventually decrease the engine’s efficiency. Double-check whether your manufacturer requires premium or recommends premium as, according to auto experts, a recommendation means you can probably still fill up with regular, unleaded fuel much of the time. Regardless, if you know your car works best on premium stick with it.

Considering a switch to a vehicle that uses diesel instead of gasoline? Filling up at the pump with diesel instead of regular gasoline is more expensive, but premium gasoline is more expensive than diesel. Diesel does offer better miles per gallon but if you drive primarily in the city or less than 10,000 miles a year, you probably won’t save enough on fuel costs to justify a diesel purchase.

If you don’t find yourself at the gas pump very often, consider another way to save with pay-per-mile car insurance. Get a quick quote now to see how much you could save!

How to Get the Best Fuel Economy for Your Car

The following is a guest post from YourMechanic, which delivers mobile car repair by certified mechanics in over 700 U.S. cities. Their top-rated technicians can perform over 600 services at your home or office for up to 30% less than shops and dealers.

Every driver wants better fuel economy, and there are a range of methods to get every last mile out of a tank of gas. Here we look at different parts of your car that affect fuel economy, and share some tips that can save you dollars at the pump.


Change Your Air Filters

The air filter is what your engine breathes through, so it can be the case that a dirty air filter will reduce your fuel economy. This is mainly true if your car has a carbureted engine (common before 1980), as modern fuel-injected engines have onboard computers that adjust the air-fuel mixture on the fly. Still, it’s important to replace the air filter when it gets dirty. We recommend every oil change or two, especially if you live in a dusty or dirty environment.

Maintain Correct Tire Pressure

Maintaining correct tire pressure is one of the easiest ways to improve your fuel economy. Think your tires are fine? It’s worth checking: the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that one-third of cars have underinflated tires. Underinflated tires have more friction and resistance on the road, leading to increased fuel consumption (plus premature tire wear and a higher risk of blowouts). You can use the air compressor many gas stations have to check and fill your tires once a month.

Be Mindful With Cruise Control

Keeping a steady speed using cruise control is a great way to conserve fuel. On a flat and level road, your engine can maintain efficiency. However, chances are the road you’re on has changes in elevation. When your cruise control senses an incline, it opens the throttle to maintain your speed. That rate of acceleration could be more rapid than how you would accelerate on your own. Turn off cruise control when you approach hills, accelerate gently, then turn it back on when the road levels out.

Drive an Automatic

To optimize your fuel economy, it’s best to drive a car with an automatic transmission. New automatics are becoming ultra-efficient through increasing gear counts – it’s not uncommon to see eight-speed automatics these days. Continuously Variable Transmissions (CVTs) have “infinite” gears and can hold engine speed at an optimal point for fuel efficiency, even as you accelerate. Still, for enthusiasts, a few less MPG’s could be a worthwhile tradeoff for the increased fun of driving a car with a manual transmission.

Use the Correct Grade of Fuel

Your engine is tuned to run on a specific octane of gas. If you’re using premium in an engine that’s meant to run on regular, you’re pouring money down the drain – it simply won’t give you any benefit in power, performance, or efficiency. However, the opposite it not true: if your engine is rated for premium and you fill it with regular, you could see a reduction in performance between six to 10 percent. If you’re unsure, your car’s octane requirement should be under the fuel filler door.

Keep a Regular Maintenance Schedule

The fact is, the more you drive, the worse your car’s fuel economy is going to get. Normal driving will wear down your car’s components and reduce the tight manufacturing tolerances it had when it was brand new. Fortunately, this is a very gradual process that happens over tens of thousands of miles. Eventual degradation is unavoidable, but keeping a regular maintenance schedule helps maintain fuel efficiency. We can come to your home or workplace to tune up your car and make sure it’s getting the best mileage it can.

Adopt Efficient Technology

In the past, large cars and SUVs burned up a lot more gas than their smaller counterparts. However, technology is leveling the field: hybrid drivetrains, clean diesel engines and low rolling resistance tires are a few ways that automakers are improving efficiency. These advancements mean new cars have better fuel economy than ever before, regardless of size. If you’re buying a new or used car, look for these features to help maximize your mileage.

The Future of Fuel Efficiency

Governmental standards and consumer demand has led to a reaction from the auto industry: the cars of today are more fuel efficient than ever before. Additionally, with hybrid and all-electric drivetrains on the rise, there are increasing options for cars that don’t use a drop of gasoline. It’s likely that in the next decade we’ll all be driving cars that get 50 miles per gallon or hundreds of miles to the charge. Who wouldn’t want to use less fuel?