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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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The cost of an accident or another type of mishap on the road can be expensive, and car insurance is a common way drivers pay for related expenses. At least a minimum level of car insurance is actually required for drivers in most states, but how much you drive can play a role in your insurance rates. In fact, you may be able to make a few adjustments to your lifestyle to reduce your mileage and to save a small fortune on your premium as a result.
How Mileage Affects Insurance Rates
All auto insurance companies determine coverage rates for their drivers by analyzing numerous factors from a statistical standpoint, such as age, gender, and many other factors.
Generally, drivers who put more miles on their vehicle are more likely to be involved in a car accident than drivers who do not use their vehicles as heavily.
When you get quotes for new auto coverage, insurance agents typically will ask you approximately how many miles you plan to drive within a year, and those who drive less can save a substantial amount of money on their premium. When you understand more about how mileage affects the cost of your insurance premium, you can more strategically take advantage of low mileage to save money.
The Potential Savings Through a Low Mileage Discount
In fact, if you rarely drive, you may even qualify for a low mileage discount on your auto insurance policy. For example, if you work from home or very close to your home, you may only put a few miles per day or less on your car.
In some cases, you may only get in your car a few times per week at most, such as to run to the grocery store or to get to a doctor’s appointment. With this type of regular driving experience, a low mileage discount may be added to your already low insurance rates to save you even more money on your premium.
Where You Live Can Affect Car Insurance Rates
If you are thinking about relocating closer to your workplace to decrease your commute length, it is important to understand how this can potentially affect your car insurance rates.
You may be able to qualify for lower rates and even a low mileage discount on your auto coverage policy when you relocate closer to your work. However, your zip code may change, and this can impact your rates as well.
Statistics for automotive thefts and car accidents are analyzed per zip code, and this means that moving even a few miles down the road can either help or hurt your insurance rates.
Before you decide which zip code to move to, it is smart to ask your insurance agent for information about which areas are more or less affordable to live in from an auto insurance standpoint. You should be aware, however, that these statistics are constantly changing, and a zip code that has more affordable rates today may have more expensive rates next year.
Mileage Can Affect Vehicle Value
Your vehicle’s replacement value will also affect your insurance rates, and mileage plays a role in this as well. Coverage limits are typically established at your vehicle’s current replacement value, and this can decrease over time as you put more miles on your car.
Cars with more mileage may have a reduced replacement value, and this means that you may be able to set up lower coverage limits.
Replacement value also plays a role when you file a claim against your policy. Insurers only pay for repairs or a replacement up to the value of the car.
This means that if your car is severely damaged and has a low replacement value because of mileage and depreciation, the insurance company may choose to total it out rather than repair it. Being forced to replace your car because the insurance company totals it out can be inconvenient if you were not preparing to make a new car purchase in the near future.
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Ideas to Reduce Your Mileage
Most drivers find it cost-effective to keep miles off of their vehicle as much as possible, and you may be looking for realistic ways to accomplish this goal if you have a busy, active lifestyle. There are several options to consider if you want to potentially qualify for a low mileage discount on your current auto insurance policy, and these include:
- Relocate closer to your workplace or telecommute
- Live within walking distance of stores and services
- Carpool or ride your bike when possible
These ideas can also help you to keep fuel expenses lower and to preserve the value of your vehicle as much as possible for greater financial benefit.
Smart Ideas to Reduce Auto Insurance Rates
Putting low miles on your car is just one way to save money on your car insurance premium regularly, and you may enjoy more affordable rates when you combine several money-saving ideas together. You can choose the savings strategies that are most realistic for your current situation to more easily benefit from financial savings opportunities.
Adjusting Your Deductible
Requesting a higher deductible from your car insurance company is one of the easiest ways to save money on your premium, and this can be accomplished with a single phone call to your provider with immediate results.
Consider adjusting your deductible up to $750 or $1,000 per claim rather than keeping it at the standard amount of $500.
This can be a hefty amount of money for many people to pay out of their pocket when filing a claim, so always ensure that the deductible amount that you establish for your car insurance policy is affordable for your budget or available in your savings account.
Bundling Your Policies
Many drivers pay for multiple types of insurance, such as life or home policies as well as auto coverage. Top insurance companies typically offer multiple types of insurance rather than focusing only on auto coverage, and getting your coverage from the same provider can yield tremendous savings.
These companies usually offer at least a modest discount if you bundle different types of coverage together because of their own savings on related account administration fees.
For example, you may purchase your auto insurance policy from your life and home insurance company in order to qualify for this discount.
It can take more work to get quotes for bundled policies, and this is because you may need to get multiple quotes from insurers for your automotive needs as well as for your life and home coverage needs.
However, the savings available to you on all of your policies can be substantial, so this effort can help you to reduce overall monthly expenses with great results.
Shopping for New Coverage Periodically
The statistics that auto insurance companies use to determine your rates change periodically, and your own factors that affect insurance rates can also change. This includes everything from your age and credit scores to your driving history and more.
Comparing auto insurance rates from top providers every six months is a wise idea that can help you to keep your car insurance premium as low as possible.
To shop for rates, begin by selecting excellent insurance providers to request quotes from. Remember that you may also need to get quotes on your home and life coverage if you want to take advantage of savings through a bundled policy. Select reasonable coverage levels, and always request similar coverage quotes from each provider to simplify the rate comparison process.
While your primary focus may be to keep your car insurance costs as low as possible, low mileage is just one of several strategies you can employ to reduce your regular coverage expense. If you want to keep this expense very low for months and years to come, you can easily combine a low mileage strategy with other money-saving methods for maximum results. Check out what rates are the best for you with our free insurance comparison tool below!