Study: Average Miles Driven Per Year in the U.S. (2024)

Americans drive an average of 13,456 miles annually. Wyoming drivers cover the most ground, at 25,779 miles per year — nearly 92% more than the U.S. average.

Cassie Sheets
Written byCassie Sheets
Cassie Sheets
Cassie SheetsData Journalist
  • 9 years writing data-driven content

  • Lifestyle contributor to 30+ local news sites

Cassie Sheets has a background in home and garden and real estate content. At Insurify, she translates industry jargon into insights that empower insurance buyers.

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Evelyn Pimplaskar
Evelyn PimplaskarEditor-in-Chief, Director of Content
  • 10+ years in insurance and personal finance content

  • 30+ years in media, PR, and content creation

Evelyn leads Insurify’s content team. She’s passionate about creating empowering content to help people transform their financial lives and make sound insurance-buying decisions.

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Updated July 9, 2024

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Whether for a road trip, a daily commute, shopping, or simply exploring their area, Americans certainly drive a lot — but just how much?

The average American drives more than six times the number of miles logged in most other countries, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). All that driving adds up to an average annual mileage of 13,456 miles, or enough to drive coast to coast five times, according to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

Insurify dug into its proprietary data and the most recent information from the FHWA, OECD, and the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) to find out which Americans are driving the most and how our driving habits can affect average car insurance rates.

Key Takeaways

  • Washington, D.C., drivers cover the least ground, driving an average of just 6,356 miles annually. Wyoming residents drive the most, with an average annual mileage of 25,779. (FHWA)

  • People who drive the least (less than 5,000 annual miles) pay an average of $264 less per year for insurance than those who drive the most (more than 15,000 miles). (Insurify)

  • Driving 13,456 miles equates to the average passenger vehicle consuming 470 gallons of fuel yearly — or $1,454 annually on gas. (FHWA, EIA)

  • Men drive 63% more miles than women, on average. (FHWA)

What is the average number of miles driven per year?

The most recent FHWA data shows Americans drove an average of 13,456 miles in 2021. Since 2011, the average annual car mileage in America has been between 13,000 and 14,300 miles — except for 2020, when the pandemic caused a slight dip.

Average miles driven annually in the U.S. (per driver)

Americans drove more each year from 1980 until 2007, when the Great Recession began. In 2008, gas prices shot up from $3.10 per gallon in January to a record high of $4.11 per gallon in July. By December, prices had dropped to $1.75 per gallon because of a decline in demand due to the recession.

Gas prices now hover near $3.20 per gallon, and driving habits have never returned to their normal curve before the 2008 recession. Instead, normal mileage per year has plateaued around the 13,000- to 14,300-mile range we see today.

The average annual mileage fell to 12,724 miles in 2020 as many Americans switched to remote work and limited travel at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Drivers hit the roads again as lockdown restrictions loosened, and annual mileage climbed back above 13,000 miles.

YearAverage Annual Mileage
198010,511
198110,575
198210,617
198310,705
198411,068
198511,314
198611,505
198711,873
198812,440
198912,663
199012,839
199112,853
199212,980
199313,262
199413,441
199513,717
199613,836
199713,969
199814,208
199914,373
200014,410
200114,616
200214,697
200314,734
200414,907
200514,906
200614,863
200714,733
200814,288
200914,105
201014,118
201113,905
201214,016
201314,085
201414,132
201514,193
201614,318
201714,246
201814,240
201914,263
202012,724
202113,456

Average miles driven per year by state

Just as the minimum requirements for car insurance in each state are different, so are residents’ driving habits. In general, drivers in Southern and Midwestern states drive the most, while East Coast residents drive the least.

StateAverage Annual MileageAverage Annual Cost of Full Coverage
United States13,456$214
Alabama17,699$160
Alaska11,077N/A*
Arizona12,728$191
Arkansas16,657$281
California11,464$287
Colorado12,204$220
Connecticut11,122$368
Delaware11,965$241
Florida13,476$272
Georgia15,747$241
Hawaii10,869$116
Idaho14,372$137
Illinois11,660$184
Indiana16,962$144
Iowa14,087$151
Kansas15,166$204
Kentucky16,143$292
Louisiana15,920$282
Maine13,781$171
Maryland12,749$331
Massachusetts12,064$242
Michigan12,120$328
Minnesota13,799$205
Mississippi20,097$216
Missouri18,664$235
Montana15,737$193
Nebraska14,741$220
Nevada12,590$340
New Hampshire11,176$134
New Jersey11,401$230
New Mexico18,158$191
New York8,997$185
North Carolina15,162$101
North Dakota16,838$165
Ohio13,632$155
Oklahoma17,232$193
Oregon12,159$176
Pennsylvania11,286$187
Rhode Island9,975$212
South Carolina14,406$280
South Dakota14,891$179
Tennessee16,487$178
Texas15,577$250
Utah15,240$196
Vermont14,107$154
Virginia13,548$172
Washington9,849$172
Washington, D.C.6,356$187
West Virginia14,126$171
Wisconsin14,970$143
Wyoming25,779$179
*The average annual cost of full coverage in Alaska is excluded due to insufficient data.

States that drive the most

The U.S. states that drive the most are largely in the Southern and Midwestern regions. The FHWA lists the top 10 states with the most annual mileage as:

StateAverage Annual MilesTotal Annual Transit Ridership (in Millions)
Wyoming 25,7791.1
Mississippi20,0972.1
Missouri18,66431.1
New Mexico 18,1585.4
Alabama17,6994.4
Oklahoma17,2325.7
Indiana16,96217.1
North Dakota16,8381.6
Arkansas16,6573.1
Tennessee16,48716.1
U.S. Total 13,4564,469

Drivers in Wyoming have the highest annual average mileage in the U.S., at 25,779 miles per year. Wyoming is the ninth-largest state by size, at 97,093 square miles.

States that drive the most share one stand-out factor: limited public transportation options.

All of the top-10 states that drive the most have fewer public transit riders than average. Many have fewer than six million people riding public transit each year.

Additionally, these states tend to have more rural landscapes and urban sprawl than other states in America. This often equates to increased distances between home, work, and other community stores — which means more driving.

Some of these states also have a more pronounced travel culture than other states. For example, New Mexico and Wyoming landscapes feature mountains, deserts, and historical sites that many hikers, rock climbers, and other adventurers enjoy exploring. These road trips might contribute to the higher annual mileage.

States that drive the least

The 10 states that drive the least are largely on the East Coast. The table below looks at their average annual mileage compared to their average annual transit ridership, according to data from the FHWA.

StateAverage Annual MileageTotal Annual Transit Ridership (in Millions)
District of Columbia 6,35691
New York8,9971,982
Washington9,849120
Rhode Island9,9758
Hawaii10,86930
Alaska11,0773
Connecticut11,12224
New Hampshire11,1762
Pennsylvania 11,286145
New Jersey11,401159
U.S. Total 13,4564,469

The states that drive the least generally have a much more robust public transportation system than many others. New York, on its own, accounts for nearly 2 billion public transit riders annually — making its status as the state that drives the second-least unsurprising.

Similarly, while the states that drive the most tend to have more rural landscapes, the states that drive the least are typically smaller and more urban. This means less distance to travel and, consequently, less driving overall.

Insurers consider mileage when determining rates, but states where residents drive fewer miles don’t always have cheaper insurance. Washington, D.C., New York, and Rhode Island residents drive a lower-than-average number of miles but make the top 10 most expensive states for car insurance, according to Insurify data. Connecticut and New Jersey are in the top 15.

How does annual mileage affect car insurance?

Insurance companies consider your annual mileage when determining your rate. However, it isn’t the only factor, and the influence is relatively small. Car owners can usually expect to pay an additional $3 to $5 per month for every additional 2,000 to 3,000 miles driven, according to Insurify’s database.

How average annual mileage affects monthly insurance rates

Still, these small price increases can add up. People who drive the least (under 5,000 annual miles) can expect to pay $22 less per month on average than those who drive the most (over 15,000 miles). Some telematics programs offer further discounts for those who use their cars less than average, like Nationwide’s SmartMiles program.

Demographic breakdown of average miles driven annually

In trying to understand why and how the average person drives, it’s also possible to turn to demographic data. Overall, working-aged men drive the most in America, but there’s more to the story than that.

Who’s in the American driver’s seat?

Here’s what we can learn about driving demographics based on the most recent data from the FHWA 2021 report on Highway Statistics.

Gender

The data shows a clear difference between the driving habits of men and women, with men driving more miles on average. This difference could be due to various factors, including commuting habits or societal norms.

  • On average, men drive 63% more miles than women.

  • This difference becomes more pronounced with age, with men older than 65 driving 115% more miles than women older than 65.

  • The age group with the smallest difference in miles driven by men and women are those aged 1619. In this age group, men drive only 19% more miles than women.

Age

Driving habits (and insurance rates) also change with age. Working-age Americans between ages 20 and 54 drive the most: 15,195 miles, on average.

Those still working but closer to retirement age come in second place, driving 27% less than younger workers between 20 and 54. Finally, new drivers and retirees are nearly tied for last place, driving half as much as young working-age Americans.

  • Americans aged 16–19 drive 7,624 miles per year.

  • Americans aged 2034 drive 15,098 miles per year.

  • Americans aged 3554 drive 15,291 miles per year.

  • Americans aged 5564 drive 11,972 miles per year.

  • Americans 65 and older drive 7,646 miles per year.

Despite driving the fewest miles of any age group, teenagers typically have higher rates for car insurance, at an average annual rate of $377 for full coverage. Insurance companies view young drivers as a higher risk due to their inexperience and higher accident rates.

As drivers gain more years of experience on the road, car insurance companies generally view them as a lower risk and charge less for coverage. The average full-coverage insurance rate for drivers in their 40s is $190.

Insurance rates rise as Americans get back on the road

No matter how many miles you drive, Insurify’s data shows that insurance rates are rising — with full-coverage insurance rates up 24% since 2022.

YearMonthly Full CoverageYearly Full Coverage
2019$151$1,812
2020$131$1,572
2021$126$1,512
2022$143$1,716
2023$172$2,064

Driving rates dipped down during and after the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, according to the FHWA. With fewer Americans on the road, insurance rates also dipped. However, as Americans returned to the roads, rates climbed again. Rising auto repair costs and climate catastrophes also strained insurer profits, causing rates to skyrocket in 2023.

Methodology

The team at Insurify dove into the latest data courtesy of the Federal Highway Administration to power the stats you’ll find in this post. Central to our data collection was the Highway Statistics Series, a comprehensive repository of annual reports encompassing a variety of vital transportation metrics. For a closer look at annual gas prices, we turned to the trustworthy U.S. Energy Information Administration figures.

Data from Insurify comes from customers self-reporting their information when using our tool to compare car insurance quotes. This includes data such as the vehicle type, driver history, odometer readings, and the insurance quotes they receive. By analyzing this data, Insurify can find accurate data on insurance prices according to these self-reported factors.

Sources

  1. Federal Highway Administration. “Highway Statistics Series.” Accessed October 13, 2023

  2. Bureau of Transportation Statistics. “State Transportation by the Numbers.” Accessed October 13, 2023

  3. Energy Information Administration. “U.S. All Grades All Formulations Retail Gasoline Prices.” Accessed October 13, 2023

Cassie Sheets
Cassie SheetsData Journalist

Cassie Sheets has more than nine years of experience creating compelling content for clients, brands, and local news sites. She started her career at Movoto Real Estate, where she transformed dry data into interesting insights for potential homebuyers. She’s since covered a wide range of topics, from pop culture news to home and garden trends.

Before joining Insurify, Cassie wrote engaging landing pages and blog posts for medical practices at MyAdvice. Now, she uses her knack for diving into the latest data and pulling out key details to empower insurance buyers.

Cassie holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Columbia College Chicago. In her free time, you can find her exploring the city with her dog, trying not to fall over in yoga classes, and petting cats at the shelter.

Evelyn Pimplaskar
Edited byEvelyn PimplaskarEditor-in-Chief, Director of Content
Evelyn Pimplaskar
Evelyn PimplaskarEditor-in-Chief, Director of Content
  • 10+ years in insurance and personal finance content

  • 30+ years in media, PR, and content creation

Evelyn leads Insurify’s content team. She’s passionate about creating empowering content to help people transform their financial lives and make sound insurance-buying decisions.

Featured in

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