If You Drive Fewer than 50 Miles a Day, Can You Get Cheap Low-Mileage Car Insurance?
Some insurance companies claim that if you drive under 50 miles a day, you could get cheap low-mileage car insurance.
Between the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown restrictions, work models have changed drastically worldwide, with many people being forced to work from home.
Now, with the worst of the pandemic over, many of us have continued to work from home on some days, resulting in our mileage decreasing a lot.
Maybe you are retired or a stay-at-home parent? You may not need to use your car that often, or may only need to make short trips.
This could mean that you are also a low-mileage driver and as a result, you may be eligible to pay less for your car insurance.
In this article, we take a closer look at whether driving fewer than 50 miles a day will get you the discounted rates that many insurance companies advertise.
We also outline how to save on your car insurance premiums if you are a low-mileage driver.
What Is Our National Average Mileage?
The United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) reports that the average motorist currently drives roughly 13,500 miles per year, or 1,100 miles per month.
This equals about 38 miles per day.
This figure has remained relatively constant, and with insurance companies advertising reduced insurance premiums for driving 50 miles or fewer, it’s likely that you on average are traveling fewer miles than that.
This means that you could qualify for low-mileage auto insurance with discounted car insurance premiums.
Key Point: How To Check Your Daily Average Driving Distance
The best way to work out your mileage per day is to take a reading from your odometer before you start driving for the day, and another reading once you have finished.
Do this for a standard week where you aren’t driving more than usual.
Add up the total miles per day for all the days you took a reading, and divide that number by the number of days you took a reading. This will give you your average miles per day.
What Is An Odometer?
An odometer is a device on the dashboard, close to the speedometer, that measures the distance your car has traveled. In modern cars, this will be a digital display.
Are You a Low-Mileage Motorist?
If you drive fewer than half the national average monthly distance of 1,100 miles, or 20 miles per day, you will be considered a low-mileage driver by auto insurance companies.
It’s important to note that each insurance company works a little differently and may have different distances that they consider low mileage.
Some auto insurance companies consider anything under 12,000 miles per year to be low mileage.
Other insurance providers will only reward you with low-mileage discounts if you drive under 5,000 miles per year.
What Is Low-Mileage Auto Insurance?
Low-mileage auto insurance offers reduced auto insurance premiums for motorists who have an annual mileage of fewer than 12,000 miles.
If you don’t drive far or don’t drive very often, low-mileage or pay-per-mile car insurance may be exactly what you need.
There are several car insurance companies that will provide you with a discounted auto insurance premium or will offer you pay-per-mile insurance.
The reason why an auto insurance company is willing to give you a discounted car insurance premium is because they believe that you will be less likely to have an accident.
As a low-mileage driver you won’t be on the road as often—as opposed to more frequent road users—meaning that you will be less likely to make a claim.
Most insurance companies will ask you how many miles you drive per year and base your car insurance rates on this information. They will also base your auto insurance rates on:
- Your age.
- Your credit score.
- Your driving record.
- Where you live.
- Where your car is parked at night and during the day.
- The age, make, and model of your car.
Insurance companies may also want to know how many miles you drive to and from work, as this can also determine your level of risk to them.
For example, your commute may be in a country area, in which case your risk is low.
However, if you frequently drive in a large city or a busy town, your chances of having an accident will increase.
If you drive less than the national average, reach out to your insurance company to see whether you can save money on your car insurance rates.
What Is Pay-Per-Mile, or Usage-based Car Insurance?
Otherwise known as usage-based insurance products, pay-per-mile insurance rewards you with discounted premiums if you drive well.
You will also be rewarded with lower insurance rates if you don’t use your car often, or drive short distances.
To understand your driving habits, most auto insurance companies will use telematic devices to monitor your driving.
A telematics device is a plug-in product provided by your auto insurance company that records your driving behavior.
The information that it records during your journey includes:
- How fast you drive.
- How hard you brake.
- The distances that you drive.
Many insurance companies that offer this pay-per-mile insurance option will reward you with lower car insurance premiums if you practice good driving habits.
With pay-per-mile insurance, you only pay a premium for the cover that you need.
The telematics plug-in device will collect all the information about your journey and send this information to your auto insurance company.
You will also be able to monitor your driving habits and distance for each journey driven, as most telematics devices link to a mobile application that you can install on your phone.
What Are the Benefits of Pay-per-Mile Auto Insurance?
Pay-per-mile insurance is a great option if you don’t drive far or often.
This type of auto insurance policy is also a good idea if you drive carefully, and don’t brake hard or drive over the speed limit.
Because most insurance companies that offer pay-per-mile insurance will offer you a telematics device, this insurance option is also great if you have multiple drivers who use your car, like teenage children.
You will be able to track the driving behavior of your children easily by using the mobile app linked to your telematics device.
Is It True That If You Drive Under 50 Miles per Day You Will Pay Less for Car Insurance?
It’s true that low-mileage drivers can pay less in auto insurance rates and will enjoy low-mileage discounts.
If you have a clean driving record, it’s likely that you will also pay less for car insurance.
Considering that most American drivers only clock 38 miles per day, why do we see adverts that offer 50 miles a day discounted insurance?
Ultimately, all that this advertising is referring to, is insurance for low-mileage drivers.
There is no doubt that the fewer miles you drive every year, the less you will pay in car insurance premiums.
How Do I Take Advantage Of Low-Mileage Insurance Discounts?
To take advantage of these auto insurance discounts for low-mileage drivers, you will need to keep a record of the distances that you drive for at least a month.
You will also need to make sure that your mileage is consistent month-on-month.
To work out your annual mileage, multiply the monthly distance you drive by 12, and then provide your insurer with this figure.
From here, you can ask your current insurer for a reduced insurance premium, or shop around for better rates elsewhere.
The easiest way for low-mileage drivers to find the best insurance premiums is through a quote generator like ours at CheapInsurance.com.
Simply enter your zip code and see the top auto insurance quotes in your area. Most insurers will offer low-mileage drivers a good rate as they are seen as less of an insurance risk.
Who Qualifies for Low-Mileage Car Insurance?
As we’ve mentioned earlier, recent statistics from the FHWA indicate that the average motorist drives roughly 13,500 miles per year, or 38 miles per day.
When looking at how far you drive every year, insurers will generally place you into the category of a high-mileage driver, average-mileage driver, or low-mileage driver.
- Low-mileage: These are drivers who travel fewer than 7,500 miles per year or 10 miles per day.
- Average-mileage: This refers to drivers who travel 7,500–14,000 miles per year or 20 miles per day.
- High-mileage: Drivers who travel 14,000+ miles per year or 40 miles per day.
Placing yourself into one of the categories above will determine how much of a discount you will be eligible for.
It will also help you understand whether you should opt for low-mileage insurance or pay-per-mile insurance.
If you are looking for the cheapest auto insurance for low-mileage drivers, you will need to choose between traditional low-mileage car insurance, or pay-per-mile car insurance.
This will be based on your specific needs and driver profile.
1. Traditional Low-Mileage Car Insurance
This option is offered by most car insurance companies and provides reduced auto insurance rates when you drive fewer miles.
If you drive under 7,500 miles per year, or 10 miles per day, you will be eligible for this discount.
2. Pay-per-mile Car Insurance
If you are comfortable with your auto insurance company installing a telematics device in your car to track your driving habits, pay-per-mile car insurance could be a good option for you.
You will be charged a premium only for the distance you drive, and be rewarded for driving well.
Typically, you will need to drive around 20 miles per week for this insurance option to be cheaper than traditional low-mileage auto insurance.
How Do You Get Low-Mileage Auto Insurance?
If you work from home on a regular basis, are retired, or don’t need to drive far or often for any reason, you should definitely consider low-mileage car insurance.
Here’s what you will need to get the best quote on your auto insurance premiums:
1. List the details of your car
To get a quote from an insurance company, you will need a few of your vehicle’s details:
- Make of the vehicle.
- Model of the car.
- Year of manufacture.
- The car’s vehicle identification number (VIN).
2. Make sure you have your personal details ready
When asking for a quote on auto insurance, you will need to provide some of your personal details. This includes your:
- Date of birth.
- Social security number.
- Driver’s license number.
- Home address.
- Address where your vehicle will park at night and during the day.
Finding Cheap Low-Mileage Car Insurance in Your State
It’s important to know that insurance regulations differ by state.
In California for example, insurance companies must request your average annual mileage when working out your premium, while in other states like New Jersey, this is not necessary.
Each state also has its own laws regarding the minimum liability insurance coverage that you must legally have in place to drive.
Get a Cheap Insurance Quote for Low-Mileage Car Insurance Today
The best way to kickstart your search for the cheapest auto insurance quote is to first use our free quote generator.
This will allow you to get an immediate idea of how much you could be spending on car insurance.
From here, you can decide which insurer you would like to get a formal quote from.
Getting car insurance should be a stress-free process. With CheapInsurance.com we’ve got you covered!
Once you’ve entered your zip code, you can start comparing quotes today.