A quick guide to low mileage car insurance

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Will Kerr

Low mileage car insurance is, you guessed it, car insurance for drivers that do low mileage throughout the year. Let’s get into how it all works. 

Firstly, you’re probably wondering whether you qualify as a lower mileage driver. Well, traditionally below around 7,000 miles a year was considered on the low side. However, most people are now doing a fair bit less than that. In fact, the average annual mileage for a UK driver was 5,398 in 2021 (the most recent set of MOT data). So going by the 7,000 mile standard, chances are you’re below that. 

What is low mileage car insurance?

It’s car insurance tailored to benefit lower mileage drivers. Most traditional policies don’t necessarily use mileage as an influential factor on car insurance premiums. In fact, traditional car insurance often charges lower mileage drivers more. Low mileage car insurance does the opposite.

It’s aimed at drivers that don’t use the car a whole lot. Maybe you use public transport to get around, keeping the car parked in the driveway until the weekend arrives and you fancy a road trip to visit family? Maybe you use it everyday, but only ever for short journeys. Either way, if you’re not spending huge amounts of time on the road, low mileage car insurance could work for you.

With pay-per-mile car insurance, you’re financially incentivised to drive less. At By Miles, you pay a fixed cost to cover the car while it’s parked. From there, how much you end up paying depends on how much you actually drive. 

Why use low mileage car insurance?

Low mileage car insurance
With low mileage car insurance, the more time your car spends like this (parked), the less you pay.

Common sense says that the less you drive, the less likely you are to be in an accident. You would think that would mean low-mileage drivers would get better deals. Unfortunately, in the case of traditional insurers, you’d be wrong. Mileage just isn’t that big of a factor in their pricing. And that’s mostly because they can’t accurately track it. 

Fortunately, we can. (And the same goes for the other less brilliant pay-by-mile copycats out there). Using our Miles Tracker, or the tech built into your connected car, recording mileage data is easy. We can then use that information to charge based on a per mile rate. There’s a fixed fee to cover your car while it’s parked, but other than that, the less you drive, the less your cover costs. That makes it a simple way to save if you tend to get around in other ways.

What are the benefits of low mileage car insurance?

Most insurers will ask for an estimate of your yearly mileage, but once your premiums are set, they’ll stay the same whether your car is gathering dust or kicking it up. That tends to be a bad deal for low mileage drivers. 

We actually did some research and found that drivers doing between 5,000 and 6,000 miles a year pay an average of £210 more for their car insurance compared to drivers doing 11,000 to 12,000 miles a year. Why would you get a better deal for spending more time on the road? To us, that seemed backwards – so we flipped it around. 

How do I calculate my mileage?

Guessing your annual mileage can make your car insurance more expensive, so it’s always best to try to avoid doing that. 

One way to calculate your annual mileage is by looking at your past few MoT documents (or by using our checker tool, or going online to the DVLA MoT database), which tells you how many miles you’ve driven since your last MoT exam, according to your car’s mileometer. Just take the average of the last few years and you should have a good gauge of your annual mileage.

Another option is to make a note of your mileage when you start a new car insurance policy, and then compare it with the amount of miles you’ve travelled when the car is up for renewal.

Of course, you could figure out how many miles you usually drive in a day by monitoring your driving for a few weeks, then working out the average, and then multiplying that number by 365 to give you the full year’s amount.

How can I reduce my mileage?

Pay-by-mile car insurance
If you make a lot of journeys on foot, low mileage car insurance could be for you.

Did you know that short journeys of less than a mile are the most polluting? The first five minutes of every car journey are the most harmful when it comes to pollution (that’s how long it takes for most cars’ inbuilt emissions systems to start working effectively).

With that in mind, reducing your mileage is great for the environment as well as your wallet – especially as lots of car journeys can be avoided. We’ve rounded up some inspirational tips to help you reduce your mileage:

  • See if you could share a journey with someone else that’s driving to the same place (ideally a friend, family member or colleague – strangers may not be so open to carpooling)
  • Get into cycling if you haven’t already. It’s a great way to stay physically and financially fit. Just don’t forget your helmet!
  • Walk, walk, walk. Get your step count up by walking rather than driving to the supermarket for a handful of things. You’ll feel smug afterwards, trust us.
  • Run to the gym. It’ll shorten your workout and count as a warmup.
  • Get a delivery takeaway rather than a collection. Many delivery services use eco-friendly transport like e-bikes and scooters, so it’s helping the environment too. Getting your weekly shop delivered could help too.
  • Keep an eye on your mileage. With a By Miles policy, you can keep tabs on your spending with detailed journey logs. If your mileage is a little higher than usual, see if you can scale back. You won’t pay if you’re not driving, so it’s win-win.

If you’re a lower mileage driver, pay-by-mile car insurance could work for you. Got a spare minute? Great. Getting a quote takes less than 60 seconds.

Get a Quick Quote here: