Getting A Low Mileage Discount On Your Auto Insurance

A low-mileage auto insurance discount can save you up to 25 percent on your monthly car insurance rates. Student drivers, senior citizens, and high-risk drivers can benefit from low-mileage discounts.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Insurance Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Jun 6, 2022

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What You Should Know

  • You could be eligible for a low-mileage auto insurance discount of up to 30 percent off your policy.
  • Auto insurance for low mileage is cheaper than it is for those with a long commute.
  • Rates can be five percent higher if you drive over 6,000 miles per year versus a short commute.

As we all know, the higher risk you are to insurance companies, the higher your auto insurance premium will be. For example, car insurance for 16-year-old drivers is much higher than for someone with years of driving experience. Because of this, it makes sense that the less amount of time you spend behind the wheel of your car, the cheaper your insurance rates end up being. That’s where low mileage car insurance discounts come into play.

After all, if you drive less, you’re less likely to get into a car accident or have your vehicle stolen or vandalized. Therefore, insurers in the United States often give out low-mileage discounts and/or usage-based discounts, which reward drivers who don’t drive that much.

It’s easier than you might think to get affordable car insurance.

You may be eligible for an annual mileage discount with a shorter commute and a low-mileage discount for auto insurance. Make sure you are getting the best low-mileage rates from your car insurance provider. Ready to buy low-mileage auto insurance? Enter your ZIP code to get FREE quotes from multiple insurers.

Why is a low-mileage auto insurance discount based on your commute length?

Many people simply do not drive that much. A lot of us have very short commutes. Some of us prefer to take public transportation on certain days. Others prefer to ride bicycles because it’s good for the environment and our health. Many of us like to take breaks from driving from time to time.

The table below shows the availability of low-mileage discounts for these major insurers and low-mileage auto insurance companies.

Low Mileage Auto Insurance Discounts Offered by Company
CompaniesLow Mileage Auto Insurance Discount Available
21st CenturyNo
American FamilyYes
AmicaYes – 10%
Country FinancialYes
EsuranceYes – 15%
Liberty MutualYes
Safe AutoNo
SafecoYes – 20%
State FarmYes – 30%
The GeneralYes
The HanoverYes
The HartfordYes
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Most of these major insurers offer some kind of discounted insurance for low mileage. You can get Allstate, Geico, Safeco, and Progressive low-mileage discounts. There’s also a low-mileage discount from State Farm, and military personnel can even get one with USAA.

The low-mileage discount can be taken advantage of by people in many different situations. The table below shows average rates for these major insurers based on commute length. As you can see, a longer commute translates to higher rates.

Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates by Commute Length
CompaniesAverage Rates for
10 Miles Commute
6,000 Annual Mileage
Average Rates for
25 Miles 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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As you can see, auto insurance for low-mileage drivers is cheaper. Your long commute may be increasing your auto insurance rates.

Let’s say you recently moved closer to work. Maybe you gave up your big house in the suburbs for a smaller apartment in the city to lower your commute time. You used to drive your car 50 miles per day, in traffic.

Now, you walk to work and basically only use your car on the weekends. In cases like this, it’s best to call up your insurance agent and ask for a low-mileage discount.

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Who is most likely to get a low-mileage auto insurance discount?

These groups often see the biggest drops in mileage and therefore should inquire immediately about low-mileage discounts:

  • Senior citizens – If you’re recently retired or are now working fewer hours, you’ll see a significant drop in commuting time. Not needing to drive to and from work means that you’ll drive fewer miles annually.
  • Carpoolers – If you recently joined a carpool to get to and from work, school, or any other place you go daily, you’ll naturally drive fewer miles.
  • People who moved – Moving to a more convenient location, such as a neighborhood with subway and bus stops, may cut back on the time you spend driving.
  • Students – If you are or have a teenage driver who only drives the car to school and back, make sure you let your car insurance provider know this! Teens often have the highest auto insurance rates because they’re high-risk, so finding any way to save is important.
  • Secondary car owners – If you buy another car to drive only on weekends, for example, your driving time for your primary car will likely decrease. You should let your insurance company know immediately if you purchase a second vehicle.

Is 15,000 miles a year a lot? A recent study by Quadrant Information Systems found that people who drive 5,000 miles annually pay over eight percent less on their yearly auto insurance rates than people who drive 15,000 miles annually.

What’s the average mileage for a vehicle per year? If you’re thinking, “There’s no way I drive 15,000 miles a year, this doesn’t concern me,” think again. The US Department of Transportation estimates that the average American driver drives around 13,500 miles per year.

If you spend any significant amount of time behind the wheel, chances are that your annual mileage is getting up there. That’s why it is so important to learn about the different insurance coverage options available.

How can you get a low-mileage auto insurance discount?

If you’ve been driving less recently, or have always driven fewer than 5,000 miles per year, it’s crucial that you contact your insurance company and ask about discounts.

A recent survey by Princeton Survey Research Associates found that only 16 percent of Americans have asked their insurer for discounts. The same study found that only 18 percent of drivers ever inform their insurance company if their daily mileage changes.

What should I put for annual mileage for a discount? No matter what, you should be honest. Auto insurance companies have the right to deny a claim and cancel your coverage if you were dishonest when you first got the policy.

In fact, lying can be considered fraud. And you certainly don’t want to have your claim denied after an accident because your annual mileage for auto insurance is incorrect.

Remember, like most companies, insurance policy providers are in business to make a profit. Therefore, many insurance companies will not give you discounts unless you ask for them.

The best policy is to continually check with your insurance company to see which new discounts may be available to you. Thousands of Americans are leaving hundreds of dollars on the table annually just because they haven’t asked for discounts. Don’t let yourself be one of them.

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Which states have the biggest low-mileage auto insurance discount?

As stated above, drivers save an average of eight percent on their insurance policy when they drive 5,000 miles as opposed to 15,000 miles. The percentage saved varies from state to state. Some states see greater savings than others.

These five states have the greatest low-mileage discounts:

  1. California – 16.5 percent
  2. Washington, D.C. – 11.1 percent
  3. Alaska – 11 percent
  4. Alabama – 9.8 percent
  5. Hawaii – 9.7 percent

The following states, however, do not have such a significant discount for cutting back on miles:

  1. North Carolina – zero percent
  2. Utah – 1.2 percent
  3. Texas – 2.5 percent
  4. Connecticut – 2.8 percent
  5. Rhode Island – 3 percent

California insurance companies most likely charge high rates to high-mileage drivers because of the sheer number of drivers on California roads. The more traffic a city has, the more likely drivers are to bang into each other.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, North Carolina drivers see the least amount of savings from driving less. This is because North Carolina has much more rural driving than California does. Driving on sparsely populated country roads is much safer than weaving your way in and out of traffic in Los Angeles.

We’ve added a few more FAQs below.

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#1 – What is the limit for a low-mileage auto insurance discount?

This depends on the insurer. Some start this discount under 7,500 miles per year while others start it under 6,000 miles per year. If you feel like this applies to you, it’s a good idea to reach out and update your mileage.

#2 – What are the auto insurance mileage brackets?

Again, this does vary slightly with the insurer. But, typically these brackets will be different:

  • 6,000 miles per year/10 miles commute
  • 12,000 miles per year/25 miles commute

You can expect to pay more with more miles.

#3 – Is pay-per-mile auto insurance right for me?

Is pay-per-mile auto insurance for me?

Traditional auto insurance isn’t the only option anymore. You now have the option of pay-per-mile or usage-based auto insurance. There are new rules for drivers who drive fewer than 50 miles a day.

If you have a longer commute, though, usage-based insurance is probably not for you.

Looking for low-mileage discount car insurance? Let us help you out with your low mileage insurance. Enter your ZIP code and get FREE low-mileage auto insurance quotes from multiple insurers. Start saving with affordable low-mileage car insurance today.

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