Mathew B. Sims is Editor-in-Chief and has authored, edited, and contributed to several books. He has been working in the insurance industry ensuring content is accurate for consumers who are searching for the best policies and rates. He has also been featured on sites like UpJourney.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that exis...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Apr 22, 2020

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Things to remember...

  • Many insurance companies will ask for your average annual mileage
  • High mileage leads to a higher level of risk, which may mean you will pay more for coverage
  • Low mileage discounts are often available from car insurance companies

Annual mileage varies from driver to driver. Some people put on more miles than others because of how far they live from work, the store, and other locations.

The number of miles you put on your car will affect car insurance rates. Knowing how the mileage impacts your premiums will allow you to get the best available rates.

Compare car insurance rates to find make sure you’re not overpaying for coverage. Enter your zip code above to get started.

How many miles do you drive in a year?

It’s a good idea to determine how many miles, on average, you drive in a year as it will be pertinent to your car insurance rates.

The number of miles you drive is often a question insurance companies ask.

If you live in a state where there is an annual inspection, the odometer readings are entered into a database. Insurance companies have access to this information, allowing them to estimate the number of miles you drive.

If you don’t live in a state where annual inspections are required, it’s best to be honest with your insurance company. You might be asked for your odometer reading when getting a policy.

If you have to file a claim, the odometer reading will be captured and you don’t want to have to explain a significant jump in mileage.

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More Miles Means Greater Level of Risk

Insurance companies are all about determining risk.

When you drive more miles in a year, you spend more time out on the roads, which means you are more likely to be involved in an accident.

When insurance companies calculate your rates, they will also ask for your zip code to determine where you live. The insurance company will then be able to see traffic patterns as well as the number of accidents that occur within your zip code on a regular basis.

When you live in a city where there is a large number of accidents, you are at an even higher level of risk if you spend more time on the roads.

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Mileage Isn’t the Only Thing Insurance Companies Look At

Although insurance companies look at the annual mileage, it isn’t the only factor used to calculate the cost of insurance. Other factors include:

You might not be able to do anything about the number of miles you drive, so you need to focus on areas that you can control.

Being a safer driver could help to save you a lot of money. When you’re able to show that you are a safe driver and have not been in an accident or obtained traffic violations, you are often rewarded with a more affordable premium.

If you have not been the safest driver, consider taking a driver improvement course.

Low Mileage Discounts Are Often Offered

You should always be looking at ways to save on your insurance premiums. While you can get quotes from multiple insurance companies to compare rates, you should also actively seek discounts. Many insurance companies will offer a low mileage discount.

There are plenty of reasons why you might only drive 10,000 miles or less a year.

Whatever the reason might be, you should identify that you drive fewer miles than the average driver when you get quotes from insurance companies. It’s a good idea to specifically ask for a low mileage discount.

Some insurance companies might require you to prove that you drive very little. Most companies do this by providing you with a device that allows you to track your mileage over the course of a month.

The discount varies based on some of the other factors involved with calculating car insurance. In some instances, you could save a substantial amount.

In the end, the annual mileage you put on your car will impact what you pay in car insurance premiums. The more miles you drive, the more of a risk you are for getting into a car accident.

Depending on the number of miles you drive in a year, there are options available to try and get a lower premium to save you money.

Compare car insurance quotes below to find the best one for your situation.