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: Oct 26, 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 auto insurance companies

Does mileage affect car insurance? There are a number of factors that affect auto insurance rates and mileage is one. But what does annual mileage mean and how does annual mileage auto insurance affect rates?

Annual mileage auto insurance 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.

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

Compare affordable annual mileage auto insurance rates to find make sure you’re not overpaying for coverage based upon your annual miles. Enter your ZIP code above to get started and get free annual mileage auto insurance quotes from multiple insurers.

Table of Contents

How Commute Affects Auto Insurance Rates

How many miles do you drive in a year? Why do car insurance companies check annual mileage for insurance rates? It’s a good idea to determine how many miles, on average, you drive in a year as it will be pertinent to your auto insurance rates so you can get low annual mileage car insurance.

The reason for car insurance annual mileage is simple. If you’re on the road more every day, that’s more opportunity to get involved in a car accident. You’ll have a greater risk of encountering speeding or drunk drivers and you’ll put more wear and tear on your vehicle.

On the one hand, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that approximately 47 percent of car accidents occur within five miles of home. But if you’re tired from driving a long distance and get to familiar territory, you’re more likely to let your guard down near home.

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

How does mileage make a difference to car insurance rates? Generally, the fewer miles the better. The table below shows the difference in rates for the major insurers estimated annual mileage on insurance policies.

Average Insurance Rates by Mileage
CompaniesAverage Annual Rates with a
10 Mile Commute
6,000 Annual Mileage
Average Annual Rates with a
25 Mile Commute
12,000 Annual Mileage
State Farm$3,175.98$3,344.01
American Family$3,401.30$3,484.88
Liberty Mutual$5,995.27$6,151.63
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How much do low mileage insurance companies charge for extra miles? It probably won’t break the bank, but these major insurers charge between less than 1-5 percent more for a longer commute.

Do you know how to calculate annual mileage for insurance? If you use an annual mileage calculator to find your yearly miles, that also helps. Some states have requirements like California’s insurance mileage verification. California’s REG-2018-00020 requires that an odometer is read to make sure that insurance is charged with the right mileage.

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 ever end up filing a claim, the odometer reading will be captured and you don’t want to have to explain a significant jump in mileage.

Why do longer commutes cost more to insure?

Insurance companies are all about determining risk. The CDC notes that the total cost of medical care and productivity losses that resulted from motor vehicle crashes in 2017 exceeded $75 billion.

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.

What should I put for annual mileage? To start with, you want to be honest with your insurance company and don’t try underestimating mileage on car insurance.

What happens if you go over your annual mileage on insurance? If you’re caught lying about mileage, car insurance companies will see that as voiding the agreement on your policy.

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Low Mileage Auto Insurance Discounts

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 car insurance discount.

To qualify for low mileage driver discounts on your car insurance, you need to drive less than 5,000 miles per year. 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, so you’ll know if you exceed annual mileage car insurance.

The discount varies based on some of the other factors involved with calculating auto 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 auto 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.

What is pay-per-mile auto insurance?

Pay-per-mile isn’t as easy to find as traditional auto insurance coverage, but it’s becoming increasingly popular. Pay-per-mile is also known as usage-based auto insurance.

Metromile and Allstate are just two companies that offer this type of coverage.

Before choosing any auto insurance company, you should check their ratings. A.M. Best rates companies based upon their financial strength, and J.D. Power monitors customer satisfaction.

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What is My Average Annual Mileage?

The first step is resetting the vehicle’s odometer back to 0. With an online route planner, you can determine the miles you drive weekly. Be sure to consider all of your destinations.

Refer to the service history. When you have your vehicle serviced, the mileage is usually notated. Compare the date that you had the vehicle serviced with the notated mileage to determine your average annual mileage.

Other Factors Insurers Look at to Determine Rates

Although insurance companies look at the annual mileage, it isn’t the only factor used to calculate the cost of insurance. You can still get cheap car insurance for high mileage drivers.

Other factors include:

  • Your age and gender
  • Your driving record
  • The car you drive

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. Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles notes that for Florida, you have 30 days from the citation data to select the driver improvement course as an option to lower your points from a citation.

Ready to buy annual mileage auto insurance? Enter your ZIP code below to compare FREE auto insurance quotes below to find the best annual mileage auto insurance company for your situation.