Everything You Need to Know About Car Insurance and Mileage

Close up of car speedometer

The cost of your car insurance premium is dependent on numerous factors including your average annual mileage, where you live, your occupation, the make and model of your car, how long you’ve been driving for and much more.

Car insurance premiums are essentially based on risk, so the more you drive, the more you’re considered to be at risk of having an accident, thus resulting in your need to make a claim on your policy.

In this guide, we’re going to be focusing on your car mileage and how it impacts the cost of your insurance, what you can do to be considered a 'low mileage driver' and how you can work out your average annual mileage.

How to check your car mileage

The average mileage per year in the UK in 2019 was reportedly 7,400 miles, compared to 9,200 miles in 2002. It appears that as a whole, drivers in the UK seem to be driving less and less each year.

If you’re wondering whether car insurance companies check mileage when it comes to quoting you for a car insurance policy, the simple answer is yes, they do.

It’s a good idea to be aware of your average annual mileage when it comes to applying for or updating your current car insurance policy and thankfully, there are several ways that you can check your average miles per year.

How is annual mileage calculated for insurance?

  1. Calculate how many miles you drive each day and add them up over the course of the year (this can be time-consuming and a bit of a faff, but it will help you work out an exact number).
  2. Take a look at your annual MOT certificate; this will show the previous year’s annual mileage that you drove, so you can probably make a more accurate estimate for the following year’s based on that.
  3. Check your car’s logbook; every time your car has its annual service, the mileage will be noted.

It’s important to try and get as much of an accurate estimation as possible when figuring out your annual mileage for your insurer. Underestimating mileage on car insurance can be detrimental to any claim you might need to make on your policy as it can look like you’ve misled your insurance provider into thinking you drive less than you actually do in order to get cheaper car insurance.

This can often invalidate your policy, meaning you won’t be able to make a claim and it could even mean that you struggle to get cover in the future as other providers might think you’re lying.

Read more: 7 Common Mistakes that Could Void Your Car Insurance

Types of car insurance policies for low mileage drivers

If you’re a driver who doesn’t actually drive an awful lot, you’ll be delighted to know that there are specialist low mileage car insurance policies available to you.

Some of these specialist car insurance policies for low mileage drivers include:

  • Pay-as-you-go car insurance - this involves fitting a type of tracking device in your car (like a Black Box) which measures how far you drive. The less you drive, the less likely you are considered to be involved in an accident and need to make a claim, so your policy will likely be much cheaper.
  • Classic car insurance - if you own a classic car but only drive it on special occasions or during the summer months for example, then you could be eligible for ‘classic car insurance’ which is a type of specialist policy designed for classic cars that are driven irregularly.
  • Restricted mileage - these types of policies can be offered to people such as OAPs who rarely drive anymore, students who only use their car when they’re back home from university or employees who live close to their workplace and don’t have to commute via car. Make sure to check with your car insurance provider to see if they can offer a ‘restricted mileage’ policy based on your circumstances.

Learn more: Student Car Insurance


Hopefully, the information above has given you a bit more insight into car insurance and how car mileage can affect your policies. However, we’ve also included a brief section below on the most frequently asked questions about low mileage car insurance.

What happens when you go over mileage on insurance?

While we’ve already covered what happens if you underestimate your annual mileage when getting a quote for car insurance, it’s also a good idea to avoid overestimating.

If you overestimate your annual mileage, you could end up paying much more for your premium that you need to.

However, if you estimate your annual car mileage as accurately as possible based on your previous years’ mileage, but end up going over the mileage you initially quoted for your insurance, you must inform your car insurance provider as soon as possible (preferably way before you reach your mileage limit).

This is so they can update your premium, and while your payments will now be increased, it means that your insurance provider will still cover you and won’t suspect that you tried to underestimate your mileage in order to obtain a cheaper policy.

How many miles should I put on my insurance?

Low mileage drivers have always been considered to be those who drove less than 7,500 miles a year. However, with 2019’s UK average annual mileage figures sitting at 7,400 miles, it’s a little unclear now as to what is considered to be a low mileage driver.

Typically, it’s thought that most people put a figure of around 10,000 miles per year as their estimated annual mileage.

As stated in the section above about how to check your car mileage in order to provide your car insurance provider with an accurate figure, you need to ensure that the number of miles you put on your car insurance accurately reflects what you actually drive per year.

Of course, your annual mileage may fluctuate quite substantially year-on-year, so just be prepared to update your provider on any changes so that your policy is always valid.

Read our related guides below for further information on car insurance - If you need a quote, simply tap the button to get started: