Insuring a Low Mileage Car

Low-mileage car insurance is for people such as retirees who may not drive a lot. They can save 5 to 10 percent with low-mileage car insurance.

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A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Written by Laura Berry
Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

UPDATED: Jun 2, 2022

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Here's what you should know...

  • Buying a used low mileage car or keeping your own car’s mileage low can get you discounts on car insurance
  • Semi-retired or retired individuals typically have lower annual mileage, so they are more likely to qualify for the discount
  • Shopping around and comparing rates, as well as carpooling and taking public transport whenever possible, will help lower your premiums
  • You can save 5 to 10 percent on your rates with low-mileage car insurance.

There are a number of circumstances where you can get a break on the cost of your auto protection, and one of them is for low mileage. Car insurance companies evaluate the level of risk that an applicant presents when they decide whether to extend to coverage. Lower risk means lower rates for car insurance buyers.

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A person who spends a lot of time behind the wheel is statistically more likely to be involved in an accident. Even the best drivers can become distracted when on the road, and icy conditions during the winter months can make driving treacherous. A person who limits his or her time spent in the car is less likely to be involved in an accident.

Is car insurance cheaper if you drive less?

When you apply for car insurance coverage, the company will pull your driving record before making a decision about how much to charge for premiums. Not only does it look at whether you have any accidents on your record, but it also checks for moving violations. If you are a person who doesn’t use his or her car often, you are less likely to have accumulated any tickets.

Tickets and accidents count when you are buying car insurance coverage. These details stay on your record for up to five years. As long as they appear, you will be paying more for your coverage.

If you can get away without using your car to go to work every day, it pays to do so. Consider using your local public transportation system through the week and save using your car for weekends. Another alternative is to start or join a carpool so that you aren’t using your own vehicle every day. Finally, pay as you go car insurance options are also starting to be offered.

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Seniors Low Mileage Car Insurance Discount

Car insurance companies also offer price breaks to seniors who are buying car insurance. You may not think of it at first, but when you are retired or semi-retired, your annual mileage drops. Once the daily commute to and from work is no longer part of your daily routine, you may qualify for a low-mileage discount.

Seniors are some of the safest drivers on the road, which means that they can also qualify for discounts on their car insurance coverage. If you are in this age group and you aren’t getting a discount, you approach your current provider to ask whether it offers better pricing for customers in this age group. If you don’t get the answer you are looking for or if you simply want to find out how much other providers would charge, it’s time to start considering all of your options.

Shop Around for Best Low Mileage Car Insurance Rates

Each insurance company uses its own formula for determining risk and calculating rates. While low annual mileage should qualify you for better rates, not all companies will give this factor the same weight when deciding how much to charge customers. The way to get the lowest possible pricing for your coverage is to get quotes from several companies.

Drivers of any age should make a point of shopping around for car insurance rates. The best time to start getting quotes for coverage is several weeks before your current policy is due to expire. Starting early will give you the time you need to consider the quotes you get back carefully.

If you are going to start getting quotes for your car insurance coverage, you should also take the time to think about your car insurance needs. The type and level of coverage you want to have in place does change as circumstances in your life do. For example, if you are driving an older vehicle, you may not need to keep full coverage on it. Dropping the collision coverage will save you money since the insurance company will only pay out based on the vehicle’s cash value — not its replacement value — if your car is totaled in an accident.

If you decide to make a switch, buy the new policy and get confirmation that it is in force before you cancel the old one. If you have paid your premiums in advance, the insurance company will issue a refund as of the date you canceled the policy.

Low annual mileage can save you money on your insurance costs. Keep track of how much you are driving and share this information with your insurer to qualify for better rates.

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