Average Mileage Per Year

Did you ever wonder how many miles the average car travels in a year? From long road trips to daily commutes, the facts and numbers may surprise you and make you rethink how much you’re putting your own wheels to the test.

What is “Average Mileage Per Year”?

“Average Mileage Per Year” refers to the typical distance traveled by a vehicle over the course of one year. It is a measure commonly used in the automotive industry and by car owners to understand how much a vehicle has been driven on average annually. This metric can provide insights into the usage patterns of a vehicle and can be useful for assessing its condition, depreciation, and potential resale value. Driving is an essential part of our daily lives, whether it’s commuting to work, running errands, or going on road trips. Meanwhile, driving habits and annual mileage are important factors to consider when it comes to car insurance rates as well as during vehicle shopping. They can be discovered through the implicit and explicit data found on many resources, such as DMV papers and vehicle history reports. Many insurance companies take into account the average number of miles driven per year by an individual to determine their risk profile and premium rates. In this article, we will explore various aspects related to average miles per year on a car and its impact on insurance rates.

What should I consider when using mileage statistics to buy a car?

When using mileage statistics to buy a car, consider the following factors:
  1. Overall Mileage: Evaluate the total mileage of the vehicle. Lower mileage typically indicates less wear and tear on the engine and other components, potentially leading to fewer mechanical issues and a longer lifespan for the car.
  2. Yearly Average: Look at the yearly average mileage. A consistent and moderate yearly mileage may suggest regular use and maintenance, while extremely high or low yearly averages might raise concerns about how the vehicle was used or stored.
  3. Driving Conditions: Consider the driving conditions in which the car accumulated mileage. Highway driving typically causes less wear than city driving due to fewer stops and starts. Similarly, harsh weather conditions or off-road driving can accelerate wear and tear.
  4. Service History: Review the vehicle’s service history to ensure that it has been properly maintained. Regular maintenance, such as oil changes, tire rotations, and fluid checks, can help offset the effects of mileage.
  5. Type of Mileage: Determine whether the mileage is primarily highway or city driving. Highway miles are generally less stressful on the engine and transmission compared to stop-and-go city driving.
  6. Price: Adjust your expectations regarding price based on mileage. Lower-mileage vehicles often command higher prices, while higher-mileage vehicles may offer better value but could require more maintenance in the long run.
  7. Vehicle Age: Take into account the age of the vehicle relative to its mileage. A newer car with high mileage may have spent a lot of time on the road, while an older car with low mileage might have spent significant time inactive, potentially leading to issues with seals, hoses, and other rubber components.
  8. Warranty Coverage: Check whether any remaining manufacturer’s warranty or extended warranty coverage is still applicable. This can provide added peace of mind, especially when buying a higher-mileage vehicle.
By considering these factors in conjunction with mileage statistics, you can make a more informed decision when purchasing a car and better assess its overall condition and value.  

How many miles do individuals drive on average each year?

According to data from the Federal Highway Administration, Americans drive an average of 13,500 miles per year. The average annual mileage per driver varies depending on several factors. This number can fluctuate based on demographics, location, personal circumstances, and others such as; Commuting distance: The distance a driver has to travel to and from work or school can greatly impact their annual mileage. Those with longer commutes will generally have higher annual mileage compared to those with shorter commutes. Daily driving habits: Some drivers may have a need to drive more frequently for personal or professional reasons, increasing their annual mileage. Others may have a more sedentary lifestyle and drive less frequently, resulting in lower annual mileage. Type of vehicle owned: The fuel efficiency and purpose of the vehicle can influence the annual mileage. Larger vehicles such as trucks or SUVs tend to have lower fuel efficiency and may be used for activities that require more driving, resulting in higher annual mileage. Smaller and more fuel-efficient cars may be driven less frequently, resulting in lower annual mileage. Location: The geographic location where a driver resides can impact their annual mileage. Drivers living in urban areas with extensive public transportation options may drive less compared to those living in rural areas where public transportation is limited. Personal preferences: Some individuals simply enjoy driving and may take more pleasure trips or road trips, resulting in higher annual mileage. Others may have limited interest in driving and only use their vehicle for essential purposes, resulting in lower annual mileage. Lifestyle and activities: Different activities or hobbies may require more driving. For example, someone who frequently participates in outdoor activities such as hiking or camping may drive longer distances to reach these destinations, resulting in higher annual mileage. Traffic and road conditions: Drivers residing in areas with heavy traffic or poor road conditions may spend more time on the road, ultimately increasing their annual mileage. Vehicle ownership and usage: Multiple-car households or those who use their vehicles for commercial or business purposes are likely to have higher annual mileage compared to single-car households or personal use only. Fuel prices: Fluctuations in fuel prices can influence driving habits. Higher fuel prices may encourage drivers to drive less and find alternative modes of transportation, reducing their annual mileage. Environmental concerns: Growing environmental awareness may lead individuals to adopt sustainable practices like carpooling or using public transportation, resulting in reduced annual mileage.

Do different age groups have different average miles driven per year?

Yes, different age groups tend to have varying average miles driven per year. Teens (16-19 years old): The average miles driven per year for this age group is typically low, around 3,000 to 5,000 miles. This can be attributed to various factors such as limited driving experience, school commitments, and the need for parental supervision. Young adults (20-29 years old): On average, individuals in this age group drive around 10,000 to 15,000 miles per year. This higher mileage is primarily due to the independence that comes with early adulthood, including commuting to work, social activities, and possibly relocating for education or career opportunities. Adults (30-59 years old): During this stage of life, the average miles driven per year range from 12,000 to 15,000 miles. This is often a period of stability in terms of work and family life, leading to consistent commuting distances and regular errands, such as grocery shopping or taking children to school and extracurricular activities. Older adults (60-79 years old): The average miles driven by individuals in this age group usually tend to decrease to around 7,000 to 10,000 miles per year. As retirement approaches, there may be less need for daily commuting, and older adults may prefer closer proximity to various amenities. Furthermore, health concerns and changes in mobility might result in a reduction in overall driving. Seniors (80+ years old): The average miles driven per year for seniors typically drop even further, ranging from 4,000 to 7,000 miles. With age, many individuals may experience physical limitations, which can impact their ability to drive safely. Additionally, alternative transportation options, such as public transport or assistance from family and caregivers, may become more prevalent. These averages are approximate and can vary depending on personal circumstances, location, and lifestyle choices. It is important to note that individual driving behaviors and preferences may differ significantly from these general trends.

State Highest & Lowest Average Miles Driven Per Year

States with robust public transportation systems and compact urban areas tend to have lower average annual mileage per driver. Other states with lower mileage have well-connected public transit options, making it easier for residents to commute without relying heavily on personal vehicles. Here is a list of the average miles driven per year (in miles) for each state, including the District of Columbia:  
State Average Annual Mileage
Alabama 17,817
Alaska 11,111
Arizona 13,090
Arkansas 17,224
California 12,524
Colorado 12,899
Connecticut 12,117
Delaware 12,609
District of Columbia 7,013
Florida 14,557
Georgia 18,334
Hawaii 11,688
Idaho 14,417
Illinois 12,581
Indiana 18,024
Iowa 14,745
Kansas 14,781
Kentucky 16,305
Louisiana 14,951
Maine 14,215
Maryland 13,490
Massachusetts 13,109
Michigan 14,307
Minnesota 17,909
Mississippi 19,966
Missouri 18,521
Montana 15,880
Nebraska 14,836
Nevada 14,016
New Hampshire 11,570
New Jersey 12,263
New Mexico 19,157
New York 10,167
North Carolina 16,073
North Dakota 17,671
Ohio 14,278
Oklahoma 17,699
Oregon 12,218
Pennsylvania 11,445
Rhode Island 9,961
South Carolina 14,941
South Dakota 15,541
Tennessee 15,287
Texas 16,172
Utah 15,516
Vermont 13,004
Virginia 14,509
Washington 10,949
West Virginia 16,876
Wisconsin 15,442
Wyoming 24,069
Please note that these figures represent approximate averages and may vary.  

Miles Driven Per Year FAQs

What are some alternatives to commuting by car?

To drive fewer miles per year, individuals can explore alternative transportation options such as carpooling, biking, walking, or using public transportation whenever possible. Carpooling with colleagues or friends can help reduce the number of miles driven during daily commutes.  

How can telematics and mobile apps help individuals reduce their annual mileage?

Telematics systems and mobile apps can help individuals reduce their annual mileage by providing insights into driving habits and encouraging more efficient driving behaviors. These technologies can track mileage, monitor driving patterns, provide optimal routes on maps, and provide feedback to drivers, helping them make informed choices that can lead to fewer miles driven over time.  

How does annual mileage affect car insurance?

Now that we have a better understanding of the average miles driven per year, let’s delve into how annual mileage affects car insurance. Do insurance companies take into account the number of miles driven annually when calculating insurance rates? The answer is yes. Insurance companies consider annual mileage as one of the key factors in determining insurance premiums. The rationale behind this is that the more you drive, the higher the risk of getting into an accident. Statistics show that people who drive more miles are more likely to get into accidents compared to those who drive fewer miles. Therefore, individuals who drive more miles annually may face higher insurance rates due to the increased risk. The relationship between annual mileage and car insurance rates is significant. Insurers typically use mileage brackets, such as 0-7,500 miles, 7,501-10,000 miles, and so on, to determine insurance premiums. Generally, the lower the mileage bracket, the lower the insurance rates.  

How does mileage affect car insurance rates per state?

Car insurance companies consider annual mileage as one of the determining factors when calculating insurance rates. Several problems may develop in a vehicle over a long period of time and upon covering vast distances. Therefore, individuals who drive more miles annually may face higher insurance rates due to the increased risk. Insurers generally classify drivers into different mileage brackets to adjust their rates accordingly. However, these are just some factors among many that insurers use to calculate insurance premiums, and individual circumstances, such as criminal record and driving history, still play a significant role.  

Do insurance companies offer discounts for low mileage?

Yes, many insurance companies offer discounts for low mileage. These policies, known as low mileage or pay-as-you-go policies, provide discounted rates for individuals who drive fewer miles. To qualify, insurers may require tracking methods such as telematics or mobile apps that monitor and record the number of miles driven.

How can driving habits and demographics affect the average miles driven per year?

Driving habits play a significant role in determining the average number of miles driven annually. Aggressive driving, frequent long-distance trips, and inefficient route planning can contribute to higher average annual mileage. On the other hand, adopting fuel-efficient driving techniques and avoiding unnecessary trips can help reduce the average miles driven per year. Demographics also play a part in the average miles driven per year. In general, factors such as age, gender, and socioeconomic status can influence the average annual mileage. For example, younger individuals and males tend to drive more miles compared to older individuals and females.  

What are the implications of driving fewer miles per year?

Driving fewer miles per year can have positive environmental impacts. Each mile driven contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. By reducing the average miles driven, individuals can contribute to a cleaner environment and help combat climate change as well as prolong the life of the vehicle. On the other hand, there can be drawbacks to driving fewer miles per year. Limited access to public transportation options in certain areas may make it challenging for individuals to rely less on their cars. Additionally, driving fewer miles per year may result in fewer opportunities for road trips and travel adventures. Sometimes, the fuel cost and maintenance costs may prove significantly pricier versus commuting by walk or public transport.