What is low mileage car insurance?
If you don’t drive your car very often, or you just use it for very short distances, you may be able to benefit from cheaper car insurance for low mileage drivers.
What, then, counts as low mileage? Well, the average annual mileage of a car in the UK in 2019 was 7,400 miles, according to the Department for Transport. If you drive fewer miles than this, you could be classed as a low mileage driver and save money on your insurance.
Insurance providers will have their own criteria for a low-mileage car insurance policy. Some even specialise in it, so it’s important you compare quotes to get the right deal for you.
Who can benefit from low mileage car insurance?
There are several reasons why you might cover less mileage than the average driver. You may be able to benefit from insurance for low mileage drivers if:
- You’re working from home more now due to the coronavirus pandemic, or you walk or cycle to work
- You’re a student who leaves your car at home during term time and only drives in the holidays
- You’re retired and just use your car for shopping trips and visiting family locally
- You’re in a household with more than one vehicle and want car insurance for a low mileage second car
- You’re the owner of a classic car who only takes to the road for motor shows or runouts on sunny days
How do you estimate your annual mileage?
Before taking out a car insurance policy, you have to estimate how many miles you do in a year. If you’re not sure, it’s a bad idea to just pluck a figure out of thin air. Try to be as accurate as possible. Car insurance providers will allow some margin of error, but if you’re way out with your estimation you run the risk of your policy not paying out if you need to make a claim.
A good place to start is to look at your previous MOT certificates as these list the mileage on your car when it was tested. You can use these figures to work out how many miles a year you do on average. You may also need to take into account changes to your lifestyle that might affect your annual mileage. For example, working from home more often or, on the flip side, using your car more to get to work instead of taking public transport.
Also think about your social life. Do you travel long distances to see family and friends at weekends, or do you just tend to stay local?
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Frequently asked questions
What’s the best car insurance for low mileage drivers?
The type of car insurance you choose is up to you and based on your personal circumstances, but if you have very low mileage, you may be able to save money by taking out a specialist policy. Here are some different types of low mileage specialist policies:
- Telematics insurance involves having a small black box fitted to your car. This tracks your driving habits then sends the information back to your insurance provider. If you stay within your agreed mileage limit, your insurance provider will usually offer you a discount or additional miles.
- Pay-as-you-go insurance allows you to only pay for the amount you drive. Like telematics insurance, your mileage is monitored by a tracking device fitted to your car or through an app on your phone. You’ll be charged a fixed monthly or annual fee and pay extra for each mile or hour driven.
- Classic car insurance is for classic and vintage car enthusiasts who only drive their vehicle a few times each year. Please bear in mind that you can only compare car insurance for vehicles manufactured from 1970 onwards with us.
- Restricted mileage car insurance is offered by some specialist insurance providers who will give you a discount on your policy if you drive less than a set number of miles per day.
Will low mileage always reduce my car insurance premium?
Not necessarily. The general thinking is that the more miles you drive, the more expensive your insurance is likely to be as there’s more chance of you being in an accident. But it doesn’t always work like that. Some insurance providers may consider the possibility that drivers who cover very few miles are less likely to know the road well, so may actually be more likely to be in an accident.
Ultimately, when searching for car insurance, you just have to be as honest as you can about how many miles you drive in a year.
Do I still need car insurance when I’m not driving my vehicle?
The law says that if your car is on the public road, it needs to be insured whether you drive it or not. You can only stop paying for insurance if you declare it off-road by making a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) via the DVLA.
Once you’ve declared your car off-road, you can’t drive it on a public road and you’ll need to park it in a garage, on your driveway or on private land.
Where can I compare low mileage car insurance policies?
However many miles you drive, you can find a range of competitive insurance quotes right here at Compare the Market. Shopping around is one of the easiest ways to get a cheaper quote. Our price comparison tool is quick and easy to use, giving you a list of quotes based on your needs, in a matter of minutes. Why not compare car insurance with us today to see if you can save?
How much does car insurance cost?
|Fully comprehensive car insurance could cost from £536 a year**||50% of over-70s customers could achieve a premium of up to £269***||Learner driver car insurance could cost from £532 a year****|
**50% of people could achieve a quote of £565.64 per year for their fully comprehensive car insurance based on Compare the Market data in May 2021.
***50% of over 70s could achieve a quote of up to £269 for their car insurance based on Compare the Market data in June 2021
**** 50% of learner drivers between 17-24 years old could achieve a quote of up to £532 for their car insurance based on Compare the Market data in June 2021.
That’s just the average cost of car insurance. If your annual mileage is low, your premiums could be even cheaper.
What do I need to get a quote?
To get a car insurance quote you’ll need to provide us with your:
- Name, age and address
- Registration number or model and age of car
- Annual mileage
- Length of no-claims discount
- Details of your driving history - accidents and motoring convictions for example
Why use Compare the Market?
|Get a quote in 5 minutes^^^||50% of customers could save up to £267^^^^|
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Car insurance products
We compare prices for 139 car insurance products to help you find the right low-mileage car insurance cover.†
†Correct as of June 2021.
From the Motor team
What our expert says
“If the coronavirus pandemic has led to you working from home more and using your car less, it’s worth letting your insurance provider know as they may offer you a discount. Also, a reduction to your estimated annual mileage could bring down your premium the next time you come to renew your policy.”