The average American drives 12,000 miles per year, but car insurance companies usually consider you a low-mileage driver if you drive less than 7,500 annual miles.
Not only does this save you money on gas and wear and tear on your vehicle, but it could also snag you a discount on your auto insurance rates.
COVID has a lot of us rethinking our driving habits. Working from home may have slashed your commute, or maybe you’re just visiting places that are closer to home. If you’re lucky, you can switch from driving to public transportation, walking, or even biking to some of your errands.
There’s a good reason for car insurance companies to reward low-mileage drivers: the less time you spend on the road, the less likely it is you’ll get into an accident. This means you’re a lower risk for insurance companies. If there’s no accident, there’s no claim for your insurance provider to cover.
So if your odometer has been ticking up slower than usual, it could be the right time to compare auto insurance rates. Insurify lets you compare personalized quotes and shows you what low-mileage discounts you could qualify for, all at the same time.
Car Insurance Providers for Low-Mileage Drivers
There are two ways car insurance companies tend to reward low-mileage drivers. One way is with a pay-per-mile car insurance premium, which charges you based on how many miles you drive in a given period. The other is a discount on your standard car insurance policy. These discounts usually take into account your total mileage and safe driving habits.
Here are some of the best car insurance companies offering discounts for low-mileage drivers.
Metromile is a pay-per-mile car insurance company. Instead of a low-mileage discount, your monthly rate is directly tied to how much you drive. This means the lower your odometer reading, the lower your premium.
There are two parts to your monthly rate. The first is your base rate. This amount is based on information usually considered by insurance companies, like where you live, what type of car you drive, and your driving record.
The second part is based on the actual miles you drive, measured by a plug-in device. When you get a quote, you’ll find out your per-mile rate. Then, you’ll be charged for every mile you drive. Metromile caps its daily mileage at 250 miles (150 in New Jersey), so even if you have a long road trip in mind in the future, you can still keep Metromile in mind.
Root is known as the first app-only car insurance company in the US. The app tracks your mileage and driving habits to determine your monthly rate. This means you’ll see your premiums fluctuate month to month, depending on how much and how well you drive.
In addition to mileage, the app measures braking and cornering habits, the time of day you usually drive, and your overall consistency. It keeps track of how safe you are on the road.
Because your monthly rate is based on your driving habits and not just your discount, Root may not be best for low-mileage drivers who are heavy-footed or impatient on the road—those habits could come back to bite you with next month’s premium.
Similar to Root, Noblr rates your driving habits through a mobile app to determine your monthly premium.
In addition to common rating factors, like the number of miles you drive and braking, this telematics insurance program also looks for lesser considered driving risks, such as road choice (whether you drive on city streets or highways) and handheld phone usage. We hope you’re not texting and driving, but if it’s a hard-to-break habit, maybe this insurance program is your incentive to stop.
Allstate’s Milewise pay-per-mile insurance policies bring the familiarity of an established, traditional insurance company together with the pay-per-mile insurance program of app-based competitors like Root and Noblr.
Using a plug-in device, Milewise records your driving habits and mileage to determine your monthly rate. Like the apps, it combines a base rate with a per-mile rate that adjusts based on your driving habits. It also helps motorists improve their driving through app feedback.
SmartRide is Nationwide’s telematics discount program. It’s optional for Nationwide customers, but comes with a high incentive: you’ll get a 10 percent discount just for signing up for the program and another 40 percent discount depending on how safe of a driver you are.
With the help of your smartphone or a plug-in device, Nationwide measures your driving habits over six months, including total miles driven, braking and acceleration, late-night driving, and idle time.
The best part about this program is that participants won’t ever see their rates increase based on their driving habits, according to Nationwide. So if the only thing you’ve changed is how much you drive, it’s worth a shot. And hey, maybe you’ll become a safer driver by the end of it too!
Low-mileage drivers have two cost-saving insurance options with Nationwide. It also offers a pay-as-you-drive insurance policy called SmartMiles, which charges per mile. However, it is not as widely available as its SmartRide program, so you’ll need to double-check to see whether it’s available in your area.
Drive Safe & Save is State Farm’s discount program. Unlike some of the other programs we’ve mentioned, this discount is renewed based on your overall driving behavior every policy period, which is usually every six months. This gives you the chance to improve your driving habits over time. Using a beacon that attaches to your rearview mirror and a phone app, the program measures your habits and total mileage.
Motorists save five percent just for signing up, with the potential to save another 30 to 50 percent based on their driving habits. And don’t worry if you’re not sure you qualify as a “safe driver,” your rates won’t go up—–you may just not see as high of a discount.
Esurance is in the process of making its mileage-based discount program available through an app, so you don’t need to worry about a plug-in device.
The DriveSense discount can save policyholders up to 25 percent on their car insurance rates. The app records information like your speed, braking and acceleration, time of day driving, and how many total miles you drive to determine your discount.
Car Insurance Quotes for Low-Mileage Drivers
Low-mileage drivers should be on the lookout for discounts and affordable car insurance policies. Your reduced miles on the road make you a little less risky to insure—which can save you money on your car insurance policy.
Here are some of the best car insurance quotes for low-mileage drivers:
Company Monthly Quote
Bristol West $86/mo
Liberty Mutual $116/mo
Commonwealth Casualty $118/mo
The General $178/mo
Easy Ways to Lower Your Mileage
Lowering your annual mileage can save you a lot of money. Think about it: fewer fill-ups at the gas pump, less wear and tear on your car, and a lower risk of getting into an everyday accident. But have you thought about how your driving habits can make a positive impact on the environment, too?
Driving less isn’t just good for your wallet. It’s also good for the planet. You can make a positive impact on your community just by using your car a little less. Keeping your car parked means fewer emissions in the air and less runoff from the street in our drainage systems.
So whether you’re looking to save a few bucks on your car insurance rates with a low-mileage discount or make a difference for the environment, here are the easiest ways to drive a little less:
- Take public transit: Do you live near a bus route or commuter train? Try taking it to work even once a week or using transit for some lightweight errands. Saving just 10 miles a week can add up to 500 miles a year on commuting specifically.
- Carpool: Carpooling with colleagues might not be ideal during COVID, but it’s a great time to plant the seed of spending some extra time en route to work.
- Walk or bike: Active transit is the triple threat of reducing your car usage. You’ll drive less and save some money, help the environment with fewer emissions, and get a safe workout in, all at the same time. Sounds like a win-win-win to us.
Affordable Car Insurance for Low-Mileage Drivers
Driving less can help you score significant savings on car insurance costs. So if you’re driving fewer miles these days, see if you can get a lower rate on your insurance by comparing quotes with Insurify. You’ll get quotes that already include any low-mileage discounts you might qualify for, so you can make sure you’re saving as much money on your premium while getting the insurance coverage you need.
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