Driving less means saving more
If you drive less than the national average per year, you might rightfully believe you should pay less for car insurance. But the concept of low-mileage driving is a varied term across insurance companies and sometimes even your state. However, we can surmise that a low mileage driver hovers between 7,500-15,000 miles per year. If you fall into this range, your insurance company might offer you a discount based on what they see as less-risky driving behavior. And as we all know, less driving risk means less financial risk for insurance companies, which means more savings for you. Let's explore all that comes with being a low-mileage driver.
As we stated, the number of miles it takes to be considered “low” is dependent on the company you are insured by. And while this minimum can also change depending on the state you live in, our data shows that you begin to see some premium savings when you drive less than 7,500 per year.
While some drivers on the west coast might enjoy savings from driving less, for other states, things like your annual mileage might not be a huge rating factor. Overall, between drivers that drive 0-7,500 miles and drivers that drive over 15,000 miles, there’s a difference in about $71 per year in premium.
Average premium based on mileage
While $71 isn’t something to turn your nose up at, if you’re looking for a significant drop in your premium, you should consider how other rating factors impact your premium more substantially. For a full list of rating factors as well as other ways to save, see our guide here.
Usage-based insurance, usually backed by telematics, is a relatively new but growing division of insurance. Essentially, a device is implanted in your vehicle that tracks your driving behavior in order to give the insurance companies a more accurate representation of your driving, then design your premium accordingly. Currently, your insurance is derived from your driving record as well as other things that can predict (but are not exact reflections of) your driving record — such as credit score, age, homeowner status, etc.
Because many states and institutions feel these non-driving rating factors are unfair, companies have started implementing usage-based programs in order to meet new regulations. Here are some companies that participate in these types as programs as well as their estimated discount amounts:
|Progressive's SnapShot||Average of $130|
|Allstate's Drivewise||Average of 10-25%|
|State Farm's Drive Safe & Save||Up to 15%|
|Nationwide's SmartRide||Up to 40%|
|Liberty Mutual's RightTrack||Average of 5-30%|
You should consider, however, that not all states are offering these types of plan. Each company has their own set of states where usage-based insurance is used. Consult with your company to see if it is offered in your state.
As we've stated, your ability to see substantial savings simply because you drive less isn't a guarantee. Only in California, where many rating factors commonly used across the US aren't, your mileage can be quite impactful. Still, the absolute best way to save if you want your mileage to be considered is to think about usage-based insurance programs. See how much you could be saving here.