Best Car Insurance Company for People Who Don’t Drive Often (Deals & Tips)
USAA, GEICO, and State Farm are the best car insurance companies for people who don't drive often, followed closely by American Family and Nationwide. Low mileage driver insurance can be combined with pay-as-you-drive or pay-how-you-drive programs to save you even more. Likewise, having a clean driving record and good credit will always make your car insurance for infrequent use more affordable.
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UPDATED: Oct 5, 2021
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- If you don’t drive often, you may be eligible for big savings on your car insurance
- Insurance providers have differing criteria for what “driving often” looks like
- Switching to usage-based car insurance can save you 20% or more
- Drivers with good credit and a clean record could receive even more savings
In search of affordable car insurance for infrequent drivers? It’s true that traveling fewer miles than the average driver can lower your car insurance rates.
But what are the best car insurance companies for people who don’t drive often? And how exactly can car insurance for infrequent use save you money?
With this guide, we’ll help you compare car insurance for infrequent drivers, so you can decide on the best option based on your needs.
We’ll also explain how pay-per-mile and pay-how-you-drive insurance programs can lower your car insurance rates—as well as how much you can actually expect to save.
Once you get an idea of the car insurance options available for people who don’t often drive, enter your ZIP code in the free tool above to compare car insurance quotes for people who don’t drive often.
What is the best car insurance company for people who don’t drive often?
To find the best insurance companies for people who don’t drive often, let’s take a look at the companies with the top market share in the car insurance industry.
Rates for low mileage driver insurance vary, but we can get an idea of how much car insurance for infrequent use costs by looking at quotes for an average motorist who drives less than 12,000 miles in a year.
For reference, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) found that Americans drive 13,476 miles in a year on average, as of 2018.
|Company||Monthly Car Insurance Rate – 6,000 Annual Miles||Monthly Car Insurance Rate – 12,000 Annual Miles|
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Looking at the table above, USAA is the most affordable car insurance available for people who don’t drive often. However, only active-duty or retired veterans, their spouses, and their children are eligible for USAA.
Other than USAA, GEICO and State Farm offer the least expensive low mileage driver insurance rates. American Family and Nationwide aren’t too far behind in terms of affordability.
But does this mean they’re the best car insurance companies for people who don’t drive often? Or is there more to it than that?
Keeping the above quotes in mind, there’s more than your annual mileage alone that can save you on car insurance. Keep reading to find out how infrequent drivers can lower their car insurance rates.
How can you lower the cost of car insurance for people who don’t drive often?
By being a person who doesn’t drive often, you’ve already lowered your insurance costs compared to the average driver.
That said, you can save even more if you meet certain other criteria:
- Having good credit
- Having a clean driving record
- Being 35 or older
- Joining pay-as-you-drive or pay-how-you-drive insurance programs
You should expect your car insurance provider to check your credit before giving you a quote unless you live in Massachusetts, Hawaii, Michigan, or California — states where doing so has been banned.
When it comes to improving your driving record, some states offer driving record point removal programs.
While drivers without a clean record may not be able to wipe the slate clean completely through these programs, seeing what you can do to be seen as a safer driver can greatly reduce your car insurance costs.
As for pay-as-you-drive and pay-how-you-drive programs, we’ll talk more about how these programs can benefit people who don’t drive often, so keep reading below.
Why do people who don’t drive often sometimes pay more for car insurance?
Even if you’re an infrequent driver, you may be paying more for car insurance compared to the average driver if any of the factors below apply to you:
- Having a poor credit score
- Having a bad driving record
- Being 24 or younger
Once again, you may live in a state that prevents insurance providers from considering your credit score when calculating rates. If so, you won’t have to worry about a poor credit history increasing the cost of your insurance.
On the other hand, you also won’t be able to take advantage of any programs that offer cheaper car insurance for people with good credit.
Unlike with credit scores, there’s no getting around a bad driving record. If you have had any marks on your record within the past three to five years, expect your rates to increase accordingly.
When comparing the best insurance companies for people who don’t drive often, keep in mind that accidents, DUIs, and traffic violations can increase your rates by more than 50% in many cases.
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Is usage-based car insurance worth it?
Yes, if you’re an infrequent driver you should at least look into usage-based car insurance as the savings can be considerable. People who don’t drive often can save 10% or more on car insurance by opting into usage-based insurance programs.
These insurance programs come in two main forms: pay-per-mile and pay-how-you-drive. Since both use some form of GPS tracking to determine how much to charge you, you should decide if you’re comfortable with that before signing up.
How does pay-per-mile car insurance work?
Pay-per-mile programs, as the name suggests, track how many miles you travel and adjust your monthly rate accordingly.
Pay-per-mile programs can be great for drivers whose annual mileage is well below the average (around 12,000 miles in the U.S.) or who drive their vehicle infrequently.
How does pay-how-you-drive car insurance work?
Like pay-per-mile, pay-how-you-drive car insurance tracks your driving to determine your rates. But unlike pay-per-mile, pay-how-you-drive looks at much more than just how far you travel.
If you sign up for a pay-how-you-drive program expect the following to start affecting your rates:
- How well you keep space between yourself and other vehicles
- How smoothly you brake
- How often you drive at high speeds
While you may be a good driver generally, factors outside of your control like bumper-to-bumper traffic can end up affecting your rates, so you should consider what your daily commute looks like before signing up.
Do the best car insurance companies for people who don’t drive often offer usage-based car insurance?
GEICO, State Farm, Nationwide, American Family, and USAA all offer some form of usage-based car insurance.
Many of these companies offer initial discounts of at least 5%, meaning you’ll save just for signing up.
- GEICO DriveEasy
- State Farm Drive Safe and Save
- Nationwide SmartRide
- American Family KnowYourDrive
- USAA SafePilot
Many car insurance companies other than those listed above also offer usage-based insurance programs, so be sure to ask any car insurance provider you contact if they offer a pay-per-mile or pay-how-you-drive plan.
Should infrequent drivers buy non-owner car insurance?
If you expect to regularly borrow a friend or family member’s vehicle, you should consider purchasing non-owner car insurance.
All of the best car insurance companies for people who don’t drive often offer non-owner car policies. However, rates can vary widely based on the particular provider and your risk level as a driver.
Expect to pay more than $30 a month if you buy non-owner car insurance.
How does non-owner car insurance protect you?
Keep in mind that if you do elect to purchase non-owner car insurance, you’ll want to purchase an option with a coverage limit that exceeds that of your friend or family member’s vehicle insurance.
This is because non-owner car insurance kicks in after insurance that covers the vehicle itself.
Essentially, if you get into an accident with a friend’s car, your non-owner insurance will need to cover any liability costs that exceed your friend’s primary coverage, or you could be paying the remainder out of pocket.
Since non-owner car policies are a secondary form of insurance, you also won’t have to pay a deductible with most plans—a nice bonus.
Here are the Best Car Insurance Plans for People Who Don’t Drive Often
Low-mileage driver insurance from USAA, GEICO, State Farm, Nationwide, or American Family are great options for infrequent drivers looking to save.
You can benefit from even lower rates if you opt into one of these companies’ usage-based car insurance programs as well.
Pay-per-mile policies are ideal if you drive fewer than 11,000 or so miles annually.
And pay-how-you-drive programs are a great choice if you’re a safe driver looking for easy savings.
Before you buy insurance from one of the best car insurance companies for people who don’t drive often, try our free online quote tool to find insurance for infrequent drivers in your community.