When you ask for a car insurance quote you will be asked several questions about the nature of your vehicle usage, do you use your car for business, do you have a garage, and you will also be asked to calculate your yearly mileage.
Now, this can seem daunting, but as with all the questions, accurate answers are needed to ensure you do not run into difficulties when making a claim should the need arise.
The Department of Transport worked out that in 2017 the average mileage was 7800 miles, so if you do less than that you may fall into the low mileage car insurance category.
Mileage Changes the Cost
It would make sense that the higher your mileage, the more time you are spending on the roads. Now, this translates to more of a risk than someone who does less, but do not be tempted to lie.
If you regularly drive for work or pleasure and rack up 25,000 miles a year, there is no point giving your estimate at 5,000 miles to try and lower your premiums. You will be caught out, and your insurance would be invalidated.
But, generally speaking, you might be considered to have lower mileage if you fall below the average; however, each insurer will have their own criteria.
There is little disputing that someone who averages 5000 miles a year would be considered low mileage.
How to Estimate
If you have no idea how far you will be driving, it can be hard to estimate. One place you could start is by considering your average week. How far do you drive most days, maybe to and from work, school runs, etc.?
What do you do at the weekends, do you regularly travel to see friends and family, or do you tend to stay home and pop to a nearby supermarket? Now multiply this by 52, and you have an idea of an average year.
If you spend three weeks of the year on holiday and drive extensively, maybe over to Europe or right to the other end of the country, you might want to add this on and consider whether you need to add a bit more.
It is better to slightly overestimate because if an insurance company checks your mileage when you claim, and there is a discrepancy you might find you are not paid a penny.
Lowering Your Mileage
If you are shocked by your estimate and want to try and genuinely reduce it, there are things you can do. Consider a carpool with colleagues who might live nearby, meaning you may only have to drive one week out of three.
Public transport is considered more environmentally friendly anyway, so maybe you could use the bus or train to get to work.
Walking and cycling are other options, and if they are not suitable for your working week, perhaps you can make a deal with your family that the car is off-limits at the weekends aside from any sudden emergencies of course.
If you can genuinely lower your mileage, you might find your car insurance quote comes down, as well as your fuel bill and wear and tear.