How Many Miles Does the Average American Drive Each Year?
Car insurance is all about risk. The number of miles you drive each year plays a crucial role in determining your risk.
How many miles does the average American drive each year? Do you drive more or less than the average American? Do you drive few enough miles per year to qualify for an insurance discount?
According to most insurance companies, the average American drives 10,000 to 15,000 miles per year.
Of course, average mileage varies widely. Drivers in downtown New York, for example, tend to accumulate fewer miles on their vehicle than drivers in suburban Houston or rural Wyoming.
Insurance companies use dozens of factors to calculate insurance premiums – including average mileage. Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about average annual mileage and how it works.
The Average American Drives 13,476 Miles Per Year
Insurance companies have their own definitions for “average mileage”, and this definition varies between cities and states.
However, the United States Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration reports that the average American now drives an average of 13,476 miles per year.
Average mileage has risen in recent years. Today, the average American drives over 1,000 miles per month.
Average Mileage Varies By Age and Gender
The Federal Highway Administration’s annual mileage report breaks down data by age and gender. Some demographics, for example, drive over 18,000 miles per year on average, while other demographics drive fewer than 5,000 miles per year.
Here are some important notes from the latest average annual mileage report:
- Females over 65 have the lowest average annual mileage of any demographic, driving just 4,785 miles per year, on average
- Males over 65 drive over twice as much as their female counterparts, driving 10,304 miles per year on average
- Males between ages 20 and 64 drive more than any other demographic; men between ages 20 and 34 drive 17,976 miles per year; men between ages 35 and 54 drive 18,858 miles per year; and men between ages 55 and 64 drive 15,859 miles per year
- Working-age females (ages 20 and 64) drive significantly less than their male counterparts; females between ages 20 and 34 drive 12,004 miles per year; females between ages 35 and 54 drive 11,464 miles per year; and females between ages 55 and 64 drive 7,780 miles per year, on average
- Teenagers have low annual mileage compared to any other demographic; the average male teenage driver (age 16 to 19) drives 8,206 miles per year, while the average female teenage driver drives 6,873 miles per year
- On average, men drive more than women in all age groups
Average Annual Mileage by Age
Young drivers have low annual mileage when they first start driving. As they enter working-age, annual mileage increases. Towards retirement and beyond, mileage drops significantly.
16 to 19: 7,623 miles per year
20 to 34: 15,098 miles per year
35 to 54: 15,291 miles per year
55 to 64: 11,972 miles per year
65+: 7,646 miles per year
Average Annual Mileage by Gender
Across all age groups, men drive significantly more than women. Here’s how annual mileage breaks down overall:
Males (All Ages): 16,550 miles per year
Females (All Ages): 10,142 miles per year
How to Qualify for Low Mileage Insurance Discounts
If you drive significantly less than the average person, then you may qualify for certain insurance discounts. Low mileage insurance discounts, also known as usage-based insurance discounts, can help you save up to 30% on insurance premiums.
If you work from home, for example, and only leave the house to get groceries, then you will accumulate much fewer miles per year than someone who commutes back and forth to downtown every day.
Some insurers will let you qualify for low mileage discounts simply based on your reported annual mileage. You might report that you drive fewer than 8,000 miles per year, for example.
Other insurers offer a more substantial discount if you install a driver tracking system. These telematics systems track average mileage and driving habits, then provide a discount based on this data.
If you believe you drive significantly fewer miles than the average person, then ask your insurance company about usage-based insurance and other low mileage insurance discounts.
Average Annual Mileage Varies By State
Someone living in an urban area with good public transportation is expected to drive fewer miles per year than someone who lives in a rural area 50 miles from the nearest town.
The Department of Transportation releases annual reports that back up this concept. Generally, drivers in rural, sparsely populated states put significantly more miles on their vehicle than drivers in more densely-populated urban areas.
Drivers in Wyoming, for example, drive over 21,500 miles per year – more than any other state.
Oklahoma, New Mexico, Minnesota, Indiana, and Texas are also among the top ten states with the highest average annual mileage, with the average driver in each state driving more than 16,000 miles per year.
Other states have the lowest average annual miles per year. Drivers in Washington D.C., New York, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Illinois, and Massachusetts all drive fewer than 8,200 miles per year, on average. These are also some of the most densely populated states in the country.
There are a couple surprising states on the list: many are surprised to discover that drivers in Alaska drive fewer miles per year than drivers in virtually any other state, for example. Alaska is a big state, yet it has fewer miles of roadway than many smaller states. Hawaii has low mileage for similar reasons: there just aren’t as many roads in Hawaii and Alaska compared to other states.
The United States Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration states that the average American drives approximately 13,476 miles per year.
However, average annual mileage varies widely across genders and demographics. Teenagers and adults over 65, for example, drive significantly fewer miles than working-age adults between ages 20 and 64.
Similarly, insurance companies have their own definition for annual mileage based on location. Some cities and states have higher average annual mileage than others, for example. Drivers in certain ZIP codes may have higher annual mileage than others.
Car insurance companies treat annual mileage in different ways. Compare insurance quotes today to find the best insurance provider for your unique needs.