The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people across the United States drive. 

Commuters may only be traveling from room to room, and we’re all staying home more than usual. Even the way we grocery shop has changed, with delivery app drivers transporting us our food and paper towels at all-time highs. With all of these changes, there’s a good chance you’re putting fewer miles on your car than ever before. 

While the average American drives around 12,000 miles each year, annual mileage has likely plummeted for those who find themselves social distancing or working from home. Whether your driving habits have changed with social distancing, or you’ve always kept your driving to a minimum, your low odometer reading can actually save you money on your car insurance rates

Car insurance companies know that the less time you spend on the road, the less likely you are to be involved in an accident. This can lead to serious car insurance discounts for policyholders that drive less than most.

If your commute has been reduced—or eliminated—due to changes in your employment or social distancing, it may be time to find an insurance policy that rewards your safer situation with lower rates. Insurify takes all of your information into account to help you find the best deal on car insurance, whatever your driving record may be.

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Cheapest Car Insurance Quotes for Low-Mileage Drivers 

The number of miles you drive each year is only one rating factor when getting a quote, but with the right policy, it can make a big difference. Here are some of the cheapest quotes out there for low mileage drivers

CompanyMonthly Quote
Clearcover$54/mo
Mercury$72/mo
Bristol West$86/mo
Aspen$91/mo
Kemper$96/mo
SafeAuto$98/mo
Quantum$102/mo
Jupiter$103/mo
Travelers$105/mo
Elephant$115/mo
Apparent$115/mo
Liberty Mutual$116/mo
Commonwealth Casualty$118/mo
Infinity$123/mo
GAINSCO$145/mo
Pronto$157/mo
The General$178/mo

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Best Companies for Low-Mileage Drivers 

#1 Esurance

Esurance’s DriveSense program rewards motorists with low mileage and good driving habits. While the program used to be offered through a plug-in device, at the time of this writing, Esurance is transitioning its participating members over to a mobile app on a state-by-state basis. 

Esurance DriveSense Highlights

  • Driving requirements: Any Esurance policyholder can sign up for DriveSense
  • Driving habit recording method: Mobile app for Android or iPhone
  • Available discount: Up to 25 percent 
  • Driving characteristics measured:
    • Speed
    • Hard braking or acceleration
    • Time of day driving 
    • Miles driven

#2 Progressive 

Progressive’s usage-based discount program is called Snapshot. Depending on the state where you live, you can participate in Snapshot by downloading a mobile app or using a plug-in device. Although Progressive claims the average participant saves $145 on their premium, it’s not the best choice for drivers with less-than-stellar driving habits. Progressive will use the data collected, whether good or bad, to adjust your premium—meaning you could be assessed a surcharge for dangerous habits. 

Progressive Snapshot Highlights

  • Driving requirements: You need to drive at least 4,000 miles per year to be eligible, but Progressive doesn’t specify what’s considered “low mileage.”
  • Driving habit recording method: Mobile app download for Android or iPhone, or plug-in device
  • Available discount: Average savings of $145 at program completion
  • Driving characteristics measured:
    • Hard braking and acceleration
    • Late-night driving
    • Handheld phone usage while driving
    • Miles driven 

#3 Nationwide

Nationwide’s usage-based program, SmartRide, is also available as an app or plug-in device. The data collection period can last four to six months, and during that time, you’ll be able to review your progress with weekly discount estimates and feedback. This means you can adjust your driving habits to improve your rating over the course of the program. 

The good news is you only have to participate once. When the program is over, you’ll just return your device and reap the benefits of your discount for as long as you renew your policy. Signing up saves you 10 percent, and based on your driving habits, you can save up to 40 percent more on your premium. 

Unlike some other usage-based insurance programs, Nationwide won’t punish you if you’re not the safest driver. While you’re not guaranteed to get a discount if you score poorly for the measured factors, your premiums will never increase based on the data collected. In this case, there’s little risk in giving the program a shot, whether you’re looking to reform your driving habits or already consider yourself a safe driver.

Nationwide SmartRide Highlights

  • Driving requirements: Any Nationwide customer can sign up for the program
  • Driving habit recording method: Mobile app download for Android or iPhone, or plug-in device
  • Available discount:
    • Sign-up discount: 10 percent 
    • Safe driving discount: up to 40 percent 
  • Driving characteristics measured: 
    • Hard braking and acceleration
    • Late-night driving
    • Idle time 
    • Miles driven 

If you don’t love the idea of tracking all of your driving habits for a discount, Nationwide also offers a pay-per-mile insurance policy called SmartMiles. Rather than considering your driving habits as a whole, SmartMiles is a pay-per-mile policy. Calculated with a base-rate monthly premium and variable per-mile fee, each month’s premium will depend on how many miles you drive during that period. However, this discount is only available in select states, so you’ll need to check with your insurance agent to see if you qualify. 

#4 State Farm

State Farm’s Drive Safe & Save program measures both how much you drive and how you drive. One of the app’s highlights is the 2-Week Driving Score. With real-time feedback, you can review individual trips that have knocked points off your score over the previous 14 days. This gives you the chance to understand your driving habits and make improvements, helping you save money in the long run. 

The Drive Safe & Save program is ongoing, which means you’ll have to keep up your good driving habits for longer than a policy period. Not only can this help you drive safer overall, but it also gives you the opportunity to increase your savings over time as your driving habits improve.

State Farm Drive Safe and Save Highlights

  • Driving requirements: You need to drive at least 4,000 miles per year to be eligible, but State Farm doesn’t specify what’s considered low-mileage
  • Driving habit recording method: Mobile app download for Android or iPhone, or plug-in device
  • Available discount: Up to 30 percent
  • Driving characteristics measured:
    • Hard braking and acceleration
    • Time of day driving
    • Handheld phone usage while driving 
    • Cornering 
    • Speed
    • Miles driven 

#5 Safeco

Safeco is the only company on this list that doesn’t use some form of telematics to track your miles. Rather than recording multiple driving habits, Safeco is purely mileage based. To qualify, Safeco will periodically ask you to record your odometer reading with an email or postal reminder. All you need to do to maintain your discount is to record your latest odometer reading when you receive your reminder and log fewer than 7,500 miles annually.

Although Safeco’s low-tech method doesn’t give you valuable driver feedback or factor in other driving habits, it’s a good option for low-mileage drivers who don’t want to feel like they’re being tracked or monitored by their insurance company. 

SafeCo Low Mileage Discount Highlights

  • Driving requirements: Fewer than 7,500 annual miles
  • Driving habit recording method: Record odometer reading periodically via your online account
  • Available discount: Up to 20 percent
  • Driving characteristics measured: Mileage
Company Discount
Esurance DriveSense Up to 25%
Progressive Snapshot Average annual savings of $145
Nationwide SmartRide 10% for signing up; up to an additional 40%
State Farm Drive Safe & Save Up to 30%
SafeCo Low Mileage Discount Up to 20%

Pay-per-Mile Insurance

Some car insurance companies base their quotes entirely on telematics. This means instead of an optional usage-based discount program, mileage and driving habits measured through mobile apps are driving factors in your insurance rate

If your car is spending more time in your driveway than on the road, these pay-per-mile insurance policies could really help cut your insurance costs. This can be especially beneficial for policyholders who use public transportation, carpooling, or biking, as you’ll only be charged for actual vehicle usage. 

Metromile 

Metromile is a true pay-per-mile insurance company. Using a plug-in device provided by the company, Metromile records actual miles driven each day. As for how much it costs, policies are quoted with a base monthly premium plus a per-mile rate. 

Noblr

Noblr is similar to some of the more well-known companies we covered earlier, in that premiums are based on a holistic driving profile, with data collected through a mobile app.

The Noblr app measures: 

  • Hard braking and acceleration
  • Handheld phone usage while driving
  • Road choice (city streets or highway) 
  • Time of day driving 
  • Mileage

Root

Root is another pay-as-you-drive app that bases its rates on driver data collected through a mobile app. It has a claim to fame, too, as the first app-only car insurance company in the country.

The root app measures:

  • Braking 
  • Time of driving
  • Cornering
  • Consistency
  • Mileage

How to Find Cheap Car Insurance 

When it comes to getting a good deal on your car insurance premiums, auto insurance policies are never one size fits all. Discounts can make a difference, but you want to ensure you get the coverage you need and prioritize important perks based on what’s important to you—like roadside assistance or accident forgiveness. Insurify can help you compare personalized quotes based on the coverage you need, so you can make sure you get the best policy at the best price. 

Try Insurify today to see how much you can save on your car insurance premium

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Updated July 2, 2020

Mandie Kelleher is a freelance content writer for financial services and personal finance. With a background in financial administration, and teaching, she crafts content that deepens her readers' understanding by making complex topics simple. You can learn more about Mandie by visiting her site, mandiekelleher.com.