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Low mileage car insurance

  • If you’re driving less often or for shorter distances, you could benefit from cheaper car insurance
  • Compare prices from 170 provider products to find the right cover for you[1]
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[1] Correct as of March 2024.

What is low mileage car insurance?

Low mileage car insurance is specialist cover for drivers who spend less time on the road  each year. Policies vary, but low mileage car cover is typically available for drivers who do fewer miles than the national average. Because less time driving typically means less chance of an accident, it can mean cheaper car insurance.

The average mileage for UK car drivers in 2021 was 5,300 miles, according to the Department for Transport (DfT). That’s a significant drop since the coronavirus pandemic — down from 7,400 miles in 2019, and it remains to be seen if this trend will continue. But if you do clock fewer miles than average, you could qualify as a low mileage driver and save money on your car insurance.

Insurance providers have their own criteria for a low-mileage car insurance policy. Some even specialise in car insurance for low mileage drivers, so it’s important you compare quotes to get the right deal for you.

Who can benefit from low mileage car insurance?

People who drive less than the average mileage might be able to benefit from low mileage car insurance. There are several reasons you might cover less mileage than the average driver. For example, if you are:

  • Working from home
  • A student
  • living in a city and only using your car occasionally
  • Retired
  • In a household with more than one vehicle
  • Choosing to walk or cycle more to lower your carbon footprint
  • The owner of a classic car.

The price you pay for your car insurance is always based on your annual mileage to some degree. It’s one factor of many that comes into play when insurance providers calculate your car insurance premiums. You can typically expect to pay less if you drive fewer miles. 

However, for those who cover well below the average amount of hours, specialist low mileage car insurance cover could be an option. With limited mileage car insurance, you can pay just for what you use, by selecting a mileage cap, or choosing pay as you go cover. Depending on the policy you choose, you may be sent a device to fit in your car or an app to keep track of your miles.

What is classed as low mileage on a car?

Every car insurance provider will have their own definition of what counts as low mileage. But it’s likely to be below the average miles driven per car each year in the UK.

Not sure how many miles you drive each year? When you need to estimate your annual mileage, a good place to start is to look at your previous MOT certificates as they list the mileage on your car when it was tested. The mileage should also be recorded on your car’s logbook each time it’s serviced. You can use these figures to work out how many miles a year you do on average.

It’s also a good idea to make a note of your car’s mileage whenever you take out a car insurance policy or renew an existing one. This means you’ll have another annual record of your mileage, which you can use when you’re shopping around at renewal time.

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Frequently asked questions

Is low mileage classic car insurance available?

Specialist classic car insurance providers consider whether you’ll likely be driving your classic less than a regular car when they price up your premiums. Some policies will offer a limited mileage discount if you agree to stick to a certain mileage. Others may impose a limit on how far you can drive your pride and joy throughout the year.

Is there low mileage car insurance for seniors?

Drivers over 60 may benefit from cheaper car insurance, especially if they have a low annual mileage. Some limited mileage policies won’t insure drivers under 25, but as a senior you may still be eligible for specialist low mileage cover. Just check the policy for any upper age limits, and bear in mind that you may get a better deal with cover designed specifically for seniors.

What should I put for my mileage on my car insurance?

When you compare car insurance or buy a policy, you’ll need to accurately estimate how many miles you drive a year on average. It's important to estimate your mileage accurately. A good way to check how much you usually drive is to use the mileage history on your MOT certificate or compare your mileage figure from your annual service with the previous year.

Think about whether your driving habits are likely to change. For example, if you're about to retire will you not be commuting so much or will you be off travelling now you've got the time? Underestimate and you could invalidate your insurance. Overestimate and you could end up paying more than you need to.

Do car insurance companies check mileage?

Yes, they can do, especially if you make a claim. Insurance providers can also check your MOT to see if your estimate matches what’s been recorded by the test centre.

If you’re considering underestimating your mileage to save on your car insurance, beware. If your estimate is way off, your insurance provider may assume you’ve deliberately misled them, and could cancel your policy. That’s why it’s so important to estimate accurately, and to notify your provider if it looks like you’ll go over.

Will low mileage always reduce my car insurance premium?

Not always, because some insurance providers may consider you a less experienced driver and therefore more likely to be in an accident. The price of your car insurance depends on several factors – your mileage is an important one, but it’s not the only one.

Do I still need car insurance when I’m not driving my vehicle?

UK law says that if your car is on public roads, it needs to be insured whether you drive it or not. That means even if it’s just sitting on the street collecting dust.

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. And remember, if your car gets damaged while parked up, you won't be able to claim if it's not insured.

Is car insurance cheaper if you drive less?

It could be. Driving less is one way you can drive down the cost of your car insurance, but the price of your premiums depends on several factors, including where you live and what kind of car your drive. One of the best ways to find a great deal on car insurance is to shop around. We can help you find a policy that works for you at an affordable price. 

Comprehensive car insurance could cost less than £924 a year[2] 51% of over-70s customers could achieve a premium of up to £493[3] Learner driver car insurance could cost up to £772 a year[4]

That’s just the average cost of car insurance. If your annual mileage is low, your premiums could be even cheaper.
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51% of our customers were quoted less than £923.46 for their comprehensive car insurance in March 2024.

[3] 51% of over 70s could achieve a quote of up to £492.35 for their car insurance based on Compare the Market data in March 2024.

[4] 51% of learner drivers could achieve a quote of up to £771.49 for their car insurance based on Compare the Market data in March 2024.

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
  • Occupation
  • 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 just 6 minutes[5]

51% of customers could save up to £549[6]

[5] Correct as of March 2024.
[6] Based on Online independent research by Consumer Intelligence during March 2024, 51% of customers could achieve this saving on their car insurance through Compare the Market.

What’s the best car insurance for low mileage drivers?

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

  • Telematics insurance involves a black box tracking your driving. If you stay within your agreed mileage limit, your insurance provider may offer you a discount.
  • Pay-as-you-go insurance allows you to only pay for the amount you drive.
  • Classic car insurance is for classic and vintage car enthusiasts who only drive their vehicle a few times each year. You can compare car insurance for vehicles manufactured from 1970 onwards with us.
  • Restricted mileage car insurance offers a discount if you drive less than a set number of miles per day.

Looking for a better deal on your car insurance? 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.

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Page last reviewed on 11 JANUARY 2023
by Julie Daniels