How does annual mileage affect the cost of car insurance?

One of the main factors used to calculate your car insurance quote is the amount of miles you drive on average per year.

So how can you work out how many miles you drive in a year, and what deals can low mileage drivers find?

One of the main factors used to calculate your car insurance quote is the amount of miles you drive on average per year.

So how can you work out how many miles you drive in a year, and what deals can low mileage drivers find?

Daniel Hutson
From the Motor team
minute read
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Posted 8 SEPTEMBER 2021

Why does my annual mileage matter?

Car insurance premiums are based on risk. The further and more often you drive, the more likely you are to be involved in and accident and need to make a claim. So, the higher your annual mileage, the higher your premium is likely to cost.

So will restricting my annual mileage reduce my car insurance?

It could do. Our recent data shows the average top premium for 11,000 to 11,999 miles is £508.24**. For 0-999 miles, it increases to £850.06**.

However, your insurance provider will also consider other important factors too, such as your age, where you live, your claims history and the car you drive.

**Based on Compare the Market data from 1 October 2020 to 1 January 2021.

How do I work out how many miles I drive?

National Travel Survey statistics show that UK motorists driving a privately owned vehicle rack up an average of 7,800 miles each over the course of a year.

But how can you work out your own personal mileage?

  • Check your annual MOT certificate, which will show the miles you drove the year before so you can estimate mileage for the coming year.
  • Check your car's service record. Mileage is noted in your logbook every time your car has its annual service.
  • When you take out a new car insurance policy, make a note of the mileage on your car's dashboard so you can look back and see how many miles you've driven when your policy's up for renewal.
  • Alternatively, you could calculate how many miles you drive each day and add them all up.

Can’t I just guess how many miles I drive?

Don't try to guess. It's important to be as accurate as possible when estimating your mileage.

  • If you underestimate your mileage and need to make a claim, it could invalidate your policy and your insurance provider could refuse to pay out. If you're deemed to have knowingly misled your insurance provider in order to get cheaper car insurance, you may find it difficult to get cover in the future. And if you do, your premiums could be very expensive.
  • If you overestimate your mileage, you may be paying more for your premium than you need to.

Are there specialist policies for low mileage drivers?

Yes there certainly are, especially if you drive fewer than 25 miles per day. You could be a student and only drive when you're back home for the holidays, a parent who only uses the car for the school run and to drive to the shops, or you're retired and no longer need to commute to work.

If you have genuinely very low mileage, you may be able to save money by taking out a specialist policy.

Classic car insurance

If you drive a classic car and use it rarely or only during the summer months, you might want to consider specialist classic car insurance to cover your vehicle. Please note that you can only compare car insurance for vehicles manufactured from 1970 onwards with us.

Restricted mileage policy

Some insurance providers offer specific low-mileage insurance policies such as discounted policies if you drive less than 25 miles per day. Always compare with mainstream providers before you opt for such a policy, just to make sure you're genuinely able to save money.

Telematics insurance

Telematics insurance involves a small black box fitted to your car (or you can download an app to your phone), which monitors how you drive then relays the information back to your insurance provider. If you drive safely, they may reward you with a reduced premium.

Another advantage of the telematics device is that it will also accurately record the number of miles you drive.

Where can I compare cheap car insurance quotes?

Whatever your mileage, comparing car insurance quotes with our price comparison service is a quick and easy process that could save you time and money. By simply comparing quotes, you could save up to £267*** on your car insurance premium.

***Based on Online independent research by Consumer Intelligence during May 2021 50% of customers could save up to £267.92 on their car insurance premium.

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