Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager Chris Harrigan

UPDATED: Aug 18, 2021

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Typically, car insurance companies offer two types of plans: low mileage and high mileage
  • Enhanced mileage plans are currently offered by State Farm, Sequoia Insurance, and the Automobile Club of Southern California
  • Online comparison shopping is by far the easiest way to find the low-cost auto insurance in your state Car insurance companies

Car insurance companies offer premiums to their customers based on a number of factors, mostly involving risk.

These factors range from a driver’s age, to how many accidents they’ve had, and even how many miles they drive.

Typically, car insurance companies offer two types of plans: low mileage and high mileage. Generally speaking, a low mileage plan is designed for consumers who drive their vehicles less than 7,500 miles per year.

Anyone above that level is considered a high mileage driver. Enter your zip code into our FREE comparison tool above and start comparing for FREE!

How can you get lower insurance premiums as a low-mileage driver?

Drivers who put less than 7,500 miles on their car each year are considered far less of a risk than road warriors who are constantly driving between Point A and Point B.

Since they’re on the road less often, and for shorter differences, it’s far less likely that they’ll get into a major accident and require assistance from their insurance provider.

Insurance companies recognize this reduced risk and reward low mileage drivers with savings on their premiums. On average, drivers can save between ten and fifteen percent per payment period just for driving less often.

Additionally, high mileage drivers who have found themselves on the road less often can change to a low mileage plan on their auto policy at any time and reap the benefits of a lower monthly rate.

If you work from home, for instance, or you take public transportation to work instead of commuting every day, there’s a good chance you’re a candidate for a low-mileage discount.

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What other low-mileage discounts are available?

While most states only offer plans that differentiate between a low or high mileage driver, some states have even more incremental plans that can more accurately pinpoint the number of miles a customer travels each year.

By using smaller increments between each level of coverage, customers can save an additional one or two percent per year on their auto insurance policies.

Check out state car insurance rates to ensure you are receiving the best deal!

The best example of these more incremental low mileage driving plans is in California, where drivers can choose not just between low mileage or high mileage, but between 39 different mileage increments.

These enhanced mileage plans are currently offered by State Farm, Sequoia Insurance, and the Automobile Club of Southern California.

Getting the best rate on these unique plans will, as always, require comparison shopping between the three providers. But, with 39 different levels of coverage, almost all consumers are bound to pay less than with traditional options.

What is pay-as-you-drive insurance?

In addition to California’s incremental mileage standards, many states are implementing what is known as “Pay As You Drive.” These plans are best for low mileage drivers and do exactly what their name implies: they require drivers to pay for only the amount of coverage that their mileage demands.

The system works by asking consumers to estimate their mileage and charging them based on that estimate.

They then report back to their insurance company regularly, giving them the exact number of miles they’ve driven during the reporting period.

If they fall within their specified coverage range, the insurance company takes no action.

However, drivers who exceed their mileage cap pay a slightly higher rate for the reporting period, as they are considered to have extra liability.

Similarly, drivers who consistently drive less than the number of miles that their premium covers can find themselves receiving future discounts or cash-back bonuses.

It’s easy to see that “pay as you drive” benefits those who drive less. Higher mileage drivers will still want to opt for the higher price, and more certain pricing structure, of a traditional high mileage premium.

How can you get cheaper auto insurance rates?

It isn’t just important to comparison shop for auto insurance quotes in California or other states with more incremental plans.

Indeed, auto insurers nationwide have different definitions of what a “low mileage driver” really is, and some have their own unique levels of coverage that may be more incremental than just low or high mileage.

Online comparison shopping is by far the easiest way to find the low-cost auto insurance in your state.

When comparison shopping, drivers will be asked to estimate their annual mileage when filling out the initial form for a quote.

The resulting comparison of results will take that into account and show consumers the various levels of mileage coverage from each auto insurance company.

Also, if you don’t qualify for a low-mileage discount, there are plenty of other insurance discounts and programs you may be able to take advantage of. You might be eligible for an auto insurance discount if you have safety features or anti-theft devices on your car, for instance, and many companies offer a good student discount.

Ask your auto insurance provider if they have a usage-based insurance program. These programs use a mobile app or plug-in telematics device to monitor your driving habits and reward you with a discount on your insurance premium for being a safe driver.

Discounts and programs like these can significantly lower your auto insurance costs.

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Why not just underestimate your mileage?

Low mileage insurance plans are a great way to save money if you drive infrequently, live in an urban area where driving is rare, or are simply covering a second vehicle which gets used less often.

However, some users may be tempted to select the plan for its cost savings and still drive more than the 7,500 miles it covers.

That would be a pretty sizable mistake. In the event that a driver does get into an accident and has to file a claim, their insurance company will, without a doubt, check their mileage.

If the insurance company discovers that the vehicle has exceeded the 7,500 annual mileage cap on a low mileage premium, they will require the driver to upgrade their coverage.

Of course, a significant number of miles above the low mileage cap may raise suspicions of more serious offenses, such as insurance fraud.

Report your actual mileage to your insurance carrier so you don’t run into any trouble.

What’s the bottom line?

Low mileage car insurance plans are increasingly popular in a world defined by budgetary cutbacks.

They are a great way to save on car insurance each month, and an increasing number of states are implementing more incremental mileage plans to help drivers save money.

Even “pay as you drive” plans are increasingly popular with cash-strapped consumers. Always comparison shop before selecting a plan in order to get the best rate.

Compare car insurance companies for FREE with our search tool! Enter your zip code below and start comparing car insurance quotes today!


  1. https://www.statefarm.com/
  2. https://www.autoclubmo.aaa.com/
  3. https://www.allstate.com/tools-and-resources/car-insurance/ask-agent-premium-deductible-limit.aspx
  4. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/laura-adams/have-low-mileage-you-may-_b_7338458.html