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Drive Less Pay Less: The Benefits of Pay-Per-Mile Car Insurance

Introduction to Pay-Per-Mile Car Insurance

Car insurance is a necessary expense for driving legally, but it can be a significant financial burden for low-mileage drivers. Pay-per-mile insurance is a new money-saving hack that could be a game-changer for people who don’t drive much but still need car insurance.

In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into pay-per-mile insurance, its requirements, and who could benefit from it. What is Pay-Per-Mile Car Insurance?

Pay-per-mile insurance, also known as mileage-based insurance, is a different type of car insurance that charges drivers based on the number of miles they drive. Traditional car insurance policies charge a flat rate every month, regardless of how many miles the driver travels.

However, pay-per-mile insurance charges drivers based on the number of miles they drive, making it an excellent option for drivers who don’t drive much.

Requirements for Pay-Per-Mile Insurance

To qualify for pay-per-mile insurance, drivers need to install a telematics device in their vehicle, which tracks their driving behavior. This device records information about drivers’ speed, time of day, and location, allowing insurance companies to have a better understanding of their clients’ driving habits.

Another requirement for pay-per-mile insurance is to submit odometer photos regularly. This is to ensure that the mileage recorded by the telematics device is accurately reported.

The telematics device also records the number of miles driven, which is how the insurance company calculates the driver’s monthly premium.

Driving Data

The data collected by the telematics device isn’t just to monitor car mileage; it’s also used to evaluate how safe drivers are on the road. Insurance companies analyze the data to understand the driver’s behavior, such as hard braking, hard cornering, or harsh acceleration.

The analysis of this data may help insurance companies to identify high-risk drivers who deserve higher premiums. Who Could Benefit from Pay-Per-Mile Insurance?

Pay-per-mile insurance is an excellent option for drivers who don’t rack up many miles throughout the year. If you’re a driver who commutes to work via public transport and has a car sitting unused in the driveway, pay-per-mile insurance could save you a significant amount of money.

Similarly, if you’re someone who car-pools with a colleague, pay-per-mile insurance could help you save on insurance premiums. Pay-per-mile insurance could also benefit retired individuals, stay-at-home parents, and people with disabilities who don’t drive much but still need car insurance.

If you’re someone who only uses their car for weekend getaways or only drives a few miles a week, pay-per-mile insurance could be an excellent option to consider.


In conclusion, pay-per-mile car insurance is a great alternative to traditional policies for low-mileage drivers. This type of insurance can help drivers save money while still driving legally.

With the telematics device installed, drivers can have peace of mind that their driving behavior is being monitored, and insurance premiums are being calculated based on their usage. If you’re a low-mileage driver who wants to save money on car insurance, pay-per-mile insurance is definitely worth considering.

3) How Pay-per-Mile Insurance Works

Unlike the traditional car insurance policies, pay-per-mile insurance uses a telematics device to track the driver’s behavior and usage of the vehicle. Insurance companies issue telematics devices that connect to the car and constantly monitor the vehicle’s usage.

These devices track each individual trip made by the driver, including the number of miles driven, time of day, speed, acceleration, and braking.

Data Collection

The collected data is transmitted to the insurance company, which then uses it to calculate the driver’s monthly premium. The data collected by the telematics device is critical to determine how many miles a driver has traveled, which is the primary factor for determining their insurance premium.

In addition, the device records driving behavior, which is important in evaluating risk levels and justifying the premium paid. Apart from counting the miles traveled, the data collected by the telematics device also enables the insurer to evaluate risk and tailor their services better to the specific driver.

The data collected provides valuable insights to the insurer, such as the driver’s speed, time of day, braking patterns, acceleration, and regular routes.

Calculation of Monthly Payment

The driver’s monthly payment is calculated in two parts: the base rate and the per-mile rate. The base rate is a flat fee every month that covers the basic cost of insurance.

The per-mile rate is the variable fee that the insurer charges per mile traveled, and it’s the key component of pay-per-mile insurance. The base rate is calculated based on factors such as the driver’s age, residence, and vehicle.

The per-mile rate is calculated by multiplying the number of miles driven with the per-mile rate, which is agreed upon by both the driver and the insurer. The actual number of miles driven is calculated by subtracting the last known odometer reading from the current one during the next reading interval.

In summary, insurance premiums are based on the base rate and the per-mile rate, both of which are determined based on the data collected by the telematics device. 4) Pay-per-Mile Insurance vs.

Low-Mileage Discount

When a driver maintains low mileage, they have two options for reducing the cost of their car insurance: pay-per-mile insurance and low-mileage discounts. Low mileage discounts are offered by some insurance companies and provide a way for low-mileage drivers to pay less for insurance.

Differences between Pay-per-Mile and Low-Mileage Discount

The primary difference between pay-per-mile insurance and low-mileage discounts is their approach to determining the driver’s mileage. Pay-per-mile insurance accurately calculates the number of miles driven by drivers, while low-mileage discounts do not offer exact mileage tracking.

Low-mileage discounts typically follow the honor system in which drivers-self report their mileage or rely on the miles reported in their annual inspection.

How Savings are Calculated for Both Options

For low-mileage discounts, savings are calculated based on mileage thresholds. Each insurer has different mileage threshold levels, for example, 5,000 miles per year, which can differ from one manufacturer or insurer to another.

Drivers who drive less than the threshold are eligible for a discount. On the other hand, pay-per-mile insurance calculates savings based on the per-mile rate.

The less a driver drives, the less they pay per mile they drive, and the cheaper their monthly premium becomes. If a driver doesn’t drive at all, they pay nothing for driving insurance.


In conclusion, low-mileage drivers have two options when it comes to reducing their car-insurance costs: low-mileage discounts or pay-per-mile insurance. Although both options have their pros and cons, pay-per-mile insurance offers more accurate tracking and tailored premiums suited to each driver’s situation.

For drivers who travel fewer than the mileage thresholds, low-mileage discounts can be an appropriate option. Nonetheless, if a driver travels significantly fewer miles than the insurance company’s thresholds, pay-per-mile insurance can be more affordable and accurately tailored to their driving habits, potentially saving them a significant amount of money.

Regardless of which option they choose, drivers should do research and assess their driving habits to decide the best alternative for them.

5) Pay-Per-Mile Car Insurance Availability

Pay-per-mile car insurance is a relatively new insurance concept, and not all insurance companies offer it yet. However, with the rising demand for affordable car insurance, more companies are starting to offer pay-per-mile insurance.

The following is an overview of some of the companies that offer pay-per-mile insurance:

Allstate – Allstate offers pay-per-mile insurance under its Milewise program. The program uses a telematics device to track drivers’ mileage and offers discounts for safe driving habits.

Drivers under the program are charged a low base rate monthly fee, and then a per-mile rate based on the number of miles driven. Nationwide – Nationwide also offers pay-per-mile insurance under its SmartRide program.

The program uses a device to track mileage and driving behavior, offering discounts to clients who drive safely. Nationwide’s program has different tiers based on the driver’s mileage, with rates structured to ensure savings regardless of the miles driven.

Metromile – Metromile is a pay-per-mile insurance company that operates in eight states in the U.S. Metromile uses a device that connects to a car’s on-board diagnostics system to track mileage and collect data on driving behavior. The device then calculates the driver’s monthly insurance premium based on the distance driven and the base rate.

Mile Auto – Mile Auto is another pay-per-mile insurance company that offers car owners tailor insurance options that better reflect their driving habits. Mile Auto offers liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage, while still allowing drivers to achieve 25%-50% savings from traditional auto insurance coverage.

Mile Auto offers pay-per-mile coverage in Georgia, Oregon, and Illinois, but plans to expand to the whole country soon.

States Where Pay-Per-Mile Insurance is Available

Pay-per-mile insurance has been gaining popularity among low-mileage drivers, and many states have started offering it as an alternative to traditional auto insurance. Although pay-per-mile insurance is not yet available in every state, it’s slowly gaining momentum in many regions.

Currently, pay-per-mile insurance is available in the following states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. 6) Who is Pay-Per-Mile Car Insurance For?

Pay-per-mile car insurance is an ideal option for drivers who travel fewer miles every year. Financially, pay-per-mile insurance has been known to be the best choice for low-mileage drivers, offering them significant savings on their insurance premiums.

Moreover, it’s also an excellent choice for environmentally conscious drivers who prefer carpooling, cycling, or taking public transportation. An average American drives 12,000 to 15,000 miles per year.

According to some pay-per-mile insurance companies, drivers who travel fewer than 10,000 miles per year may be eligible for significant savings on their insurance premiums. However, the actual threshold saving mileage varies from company to company, with some capping it at 7,500 miles per year.

Another demographic that benefits from pay-per-mile insurance is senior citizens. Generally, elderly drivers are less likely to be involved in car accidents than younger drivers, which means that they most likely have and maintain low mileage on their vehicles.

Pay-per-mile insurance offers senior citizens a chance to save on their auto insurance premium while still having the necessary protection on the road.


Pay-per-mile car insurance is an excellent alternative to traditional auto insurance, especially for low-mileage drivers. As more drivers become conscious of the environmental effects of their driving habits and the rising cost of fuel prices, pay-per-mile insurance is the financially sound choice for many.

Drivers should assess their driving habits, consider the pros and cons of each insurance option, and research the available pay-per-mile insurance companies and programs available in their state.

7) Saving Money with Pay-Per-Mile Car Insurance

Pay-per-mile car insurance can be an affordable option for low-mileage drivers looking to save money on their car insurance. Here are some examples of monthly rates and calculations from popular pay-per-mile insurance providers:

Metromile Example – Metromile’s pay-per-mile insurance rates vary between states and depend on factors like the driver’s age, the type of car insured, and driving history.

For instance, drivers in California could pay a low monthly base rate of $29 plus six cents per mile driven. Drivers who travel less than 500 miles per month may qualify for a low-mileage discount.

Allstate Milewise Example – Allstate’s Milewise rates are similar to Metromile but are available in more states, including Arizona, Illinois, and Ohio. Allstate’s Milewise program charges drivers a low base rate, usually less than $10 per month, plus a variable rate that increases based on the number of miles driven.

Tips For Saving Money on Car Insurance

In addition to pay-per-mile insurance, there are other ways to cut down the cost of car insurance. Here are a few cost-saving tips to consider:


Compare multiple quotes – Insurance providers operate differently, and thus offer varying rates, discounts, and perks. Comparing multiple quotes gives you clarity on which provider offers the best deal for your specific needs.

2. Adjust your coverage – Reducing the level of coverage, you need on your vehicle helps to lower the cost of insurance.

For example, older cars may not require comprehensive coverage because their value is significantly lower. 3.

Consider raising your deductible – This option might reduce your monthly premiums, but it means you’ll need to pay more out of pocket for damages, in case you are at fault in an accident. 4.

Check for discounts – Most insurance providers offer an array of discounts for various reasons, such as safe driving, good student discounts, and bundling multiple policies.

8) Frequently Asked Questions about Pay-Per-Mile Car Insurance

Pay-per-mile car insurance is still a new concept that many have reservations about, and for this reason, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions:

Is pay-per-mile insurance worth it? Pay-per-mile insurance only makes sense for drivers who do not drive often.

If you are a low-mileage driver, this policy can significantly bring down your financial burden. However, higher mileage drivers will not see many savings and may find regular insurance rates more cost-effective.

Does pay-per-mile insurance always collect data on my driving habits? Some insurers offer a no-data-option pay-per-mile insurance option, which means you pay-per-mile, but the company does not receive any data on your driving habits.

While some drivers are not comfortable having their driving habits monitored, most people tolerate the idea, given the financial benefits. Does the telematics device drain my car battery?

The devices used by pay-per-mile companies are designed to consume very little power and only work when the vehicle is turned on, preventing any adverse effects to the car battery. What are some features to watch out for when selecting a pay-per-mile insurance program?

Pay-per-mile insurance companies have varying features, so it’s important to research and compare them to select the right provider for you. Some considerations include the driving data collected, coverage options offered, state availability, and affiliated services and discounts.

It is also essential to carefully read through the fine print in the policy to understand the details, restrictions, and any potential loopholes.


Pay-per-mile car insurance is a new and innovative way to save money for low-mileage drivers. If you do not drive much, this policy can reduce your financial burden, and with more insurers now offering this type of coverage, it’s worth exploring this option.

Don’t forget to do your research, compare offers, and carefully read through policy details to determine the pay-per-mile insurance options that work best for your needs. Pay-per-mile insurance is a modern way for low-mileage drivers to save on car insurance expenses.

This article has explored the definition, requirements, and benefits of pay-per-mile insurance, along with companies that offer it, states where it is currently available, and the process of calculating monthly premiums. It has also provided tips for saving money on car insurance and frequently asked questions about pay-per-mile insurance.

By considering your mileage and driving habits, comparing insurance quotes, and understanding policy features and fine print, you can make the most of pay-per-mile insurance to reduce insurance costs, monitor driving behavior, and enjoy tailored coverage.

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