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Compare low-mileage car insurance policies

Low-mileage car insurance

Many drivers use their car fairly infrequently, or just for short distances. If you’re one of them, you may be able to find cheaper car insurance with a low-mileage policy

By Mehdi Punjwani

Published: 11 May 2021

Woman driving car

What is low-mileage car insurance?

Low-mileage car insurance is car cover designed for motorists who only drive a short distance each year. If you cover fewer than 6,500 miles per year, a low-mileage policy could help you save on your car insurance costs.

Research from By Miles, a specialist low-mileage insurer, found that motorists who drive between 5,000 and 6,000 miles per year pay an average of £210 more for standard car insurance premiums than motorists who drive 11,000 to 12,000 miles a year.

So choosing an insurer that rewards you for driving less could well help you get cheaper cover.
Drivers with an average mileage of 5,000-6,000 pay over £200 more a year on average for car insurance than those who drive 11,000-12,000 miles

Based on fully comprehensive policies with one driver holding a full UK licence. MoneySuperMarket data collected between July and December 2020, accurate as of February 2021

 

How does low mileage car insurance work?

 

Most insurers offer low-mileage car insurance via a pay-as-you-go car insurance policy, which involves having a tracking device fitted to your car to measure how far you drive.

It often works out cheaper because the less you drive, the less likely you are to be involved in an accident. This means less risk for the insurer, so your car insurance premiums should come down too.

You normally pay a fixed annual fee when you start the policy, which will cover your car against theft, vandalism or accidental damage while it’s parked. You’ll then be charged a per-mile rate for each mile you’ve driven at the end of each month.

Your insurer will send you a tracker, which should be easy to plug in and will transfer your mileage data to your insurer. You will usually be able to review the system used in your pay-as-you-go car insurer’s app or on its website.

Some insurers offer a mileage limit and allow you to top up in 1,000-mile blocks, while others let you pay just for the distance you’ve driven every month. And if you need to make a claim, you do so in the same way as you would for a standard policy, including paying an excess fee.

 

Who can benefit from low-mileage car insurance?

 

Low-mileage car insurance coverage isn’t the right solution for everyone. If you use your car for your daily commute or to travel long distances, for instance, it’s likely you’ll be better off with a regular policy.

But a low-mileage insurance policy may be just the ticket for more occasional drivers, including:

  • OAPs who don’t often travel
  • Students
  • Employees who live close to work
  • Second car owners
  • People who rideshare to work
  • Classic car owners
 
What is considered low mileage?

 

According to the latest figures from the Department of Transport, the average car in the UK drives 6,500 miles per year. So while each insurer has a different threshold for their low-mileage car insurance policy, a limited-mileage plan could well be worth investigating if you travel less than this every year.

Cars in the UK drive an average annual mileage of 6,500

Based on data provided by the Department of Transport, December 2019

 

How do I calculate my mileage?

 

If you choose a standard car insurance policy, it’s important to estimate your annual mileage accurately. However, it’s not always easy to estimate how much you’ll drive in a year, especially if you’re doing it for the first time – that’s why car insurance companies usually allow some flexibility.

To give yourself a helping hand, take a look at your MOT certificates, which list your vehicle’s mileage at the time it was tested. As the tests are annual, you can get a reasonable idea of how far you’ve driven it each year.

Then factor in any major driving holiday plans and changes of circumstances. If you’ve recently moved job or house, for example, your commuting distance will probably change. Likewise, if friends or family move, you may see a change in mileage according to how often you visit.

 

What happens if I provide the incorrect information about my annual mileage?

 

Providing inaccurate information about your mileage – for example by underestimating it – could cause problems if you need to make a claim, especially if there’s a big difference between the figure you state and you actual mileage.

In some cases, it could result in your policy being declared invalid, or even lead to you being charged with insurance fraud.

 

What are the different types of low mileage policy? 

 

A pay-as-you-go policy with which you use a tracker to monitor your mileage is just one option for motorists who drive less than the average. Alternatives include:

 

How can I reduce my annual mileage?

Ways to reduce the mileage you do in your car include:

 

  • Car sharing with a colleague to halve the miles you cover on your commute
  • Choosing public transport where possible
  • Doing short journeys on foot or on a bike rather than in the car
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    Compare low-mileage car insurance

    It’s easy to find low-mileage car insurance with MoneySuperMarket. You can also compare it with standard fully comprehensive, third party only, and third party, fire and theft policies to help you find the best car insurance for your needs.