Our study of car insurance costs found that USAA offers the lowest annual rates, on average, for low-mileage drivers, or motorists who drive 6,000 miles or fewer per year. USAA’s sample rate is $955, versus the national average rate of $1,491.
USAA car insurance is available exclusively to members of the military community, so most low-mileage drivers will want to explore offerings from other insurers. State Farm had the second-lowest sample rate for low-mileage drivers in our study, at $1,158 per year. Geico had the third-lowest: $1,182.
USAA, State Farm, and Geico are among six insurers in our study that offer rates cheaper than the national average for low-mileage drivers.
Our analysis found that low-mileage drivers pay an average of $1,491 per year for car insurance. USAA, State Farm, and Geico have the cheapest low-mileage sample rates, but a number of other insurers in our study also offer rates below the national average. Farmers and Allstate had the highest sample rates in our study.
These are the cheapest average annual rates we found for low-mileage drivers:
It’s important to remember that low-mileage rates vary and often depend on state insurance regulations. For instance, low-mileage drivers in California may save more than their counterparts in other states. That’s because California law mandates that car insurance companies consider estimated annual mileage costs when setting premiums.
According to 2022 United States Federal Highway Administration data, the average driver travels almost 13,500 miles per year, roughly 1,125 miles per month. If you drive less than average, you may be considered a low-mileage driver.
The definition of “low mileage” varies by insurer, as do discounts. If you think you may qualify for a low-mileage discount or incentive program, contact your insurer (or multiple insurers, if you’re shopping around) to find out. Keep in mind that some insurers limit eligibility to drivers who have been policyholders for a certain number of years or who have hit a certain mileage level.
There are several variables that play into your auto insurance premiums, including mileage. In general, drivers who spend more time on the road have higher premiums. If you’re driving less, you may be eligible for lower rates. How much you save depends on your driving record, location, insurer, and any low-mileage discounts, plans, or programs available.
According to our rate analysis, drivers who average 6,000 miles per year pay $1,491 annually for car insurance. That’s $56 per year less than the national average rate of $1,547 for drivers who average 12,000 miles per year.
You may be able to further lower your car insurance rate with:
- Low-mileage discounts
- Usage-based insurance (UBI) programs
- Pay-per-mile policies
Most car insurance companies offer eligibility-based auto policy discounts, with some extending specific discounts for low-mileage drivers. If you’re not adding a lot of miles to the odometer each year, it’s worth giving your insurer a call to see if they offer discounts to policyholders who drive less than a designated number of miles each year.
Some insurers in our study, including USAA and American Family, offer low-mileage discounts that can help drivers reduce their premiums.
Contact your car insurance provider to find out about possible low-mileage discounts and other savings opportunities that might be available.
Usage-based auto insurance (UBI) programs use a telematics device or app on your phone to monitor your driving habits. Every program is different, but most car insurance tracking programs base your rate on things like mileage, in-car phone use, braking habits, speeding, and other behaviors that can increase or decrease the risk of an accident.
Car insurance that uses an app or other form of electronic monitoring to keep track of your driving habits is often called black box car insurance.
What Usage-Based Insurance Options Do Low-Mileage Drivers Have?
*Information was provided by the insurer’s website and is subject to change.
It’s important to note that not every UBI program offers a discount for low-mileage, even if it tracks how far you drive. Before you enroll in a program, find out if mileage is tracked and whether or not it’s factored into your rate.
Further, even though a UBI program may lead to lower rates, a discount isn’t guaranteed. Always check with your insurer to find out if your rates may increase based on telemetric device data.
Policyholders should also keep in mind that not all of these programs are available in every state.
Shopping around, learning about availability, and comparing rates can help you find an insurer and UBI program that best fits your needs.
Pay-per-mile insurance is auto coverage that is based on the number of miles you drive. In most cases, pay-per-mile plans also feature a base rate. Total costs vary based on factors such as the type of vehicle, your age, and your driving history.
Pay-per-mile policies tend to include full coverage, meaning the policy provides at the minimum:
Additionally, many pay-per-mile car insurance plans cap the number of miles that you pay for in a day. Anything after that is free, meaning you can still take road trips without worrying about having to pay a higher premium.
What Pay-Per-Mile Insurance Options Do Low-Mileage Drivers Have?
While several insurers have added usage-based options to their coverage portfolio, fewer offer a true pay-per-mile insurance option. It’s also important to note that pay-per-mile plans are state-limited, so coverage may not always be easy to find. Allstate and Nationwide, two insurers in our rating of Cheap Car Insurance Companies, offer such programs.
Allstate’s Milewise program charges a daily rate, and in addition, drivers pay a per-mile rate. Nationwide’s SmartMiles program is similar to Allstate’s pay-per-mile policy. Each month, drivers pay their base premium plus a cost-per-mile rate.
There are other insurers that focus exclusively on pay-per-mile coverage. Both Metromile and Mile Auto offer mileage-based insurance coverage that combines a base rate with a per-mile rate, allowing low-mileage drivers to spend less on auto insurance.
If you’re considering these options, note that they are not available in every state. Metromile is available in Arizona, California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington. Mile Auto coverage is available in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin.
For more information about auto insurance, see the following guides:
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