Free yourself from an annual policy with month-to-month auto insurance.
Allstate is our top pick for drivers looking to purchase monthly auto insurance policies because it has non-owner and pay-per-mile policy options. Whether you own or rent the car you drive, you can acquire affordable monthly coverage at Allstate.
Metromile is a strictly pay-per-mile insurance provider that is best for people who drive fewer than 10,000 miles annually. Metromile provides a free telematics device that counts your miles, tracks your car’s health, and provides driving data.
There are several reasons to select a variable monthly auto insurance policy. Maybe you want to maintain coverage when you are between vehicles, or maybe you began a new remote job that cuts your commute to zero. Some auto insurance companies provide non-owner policies that may suit your needs; others offer pay-per-mile policies that benefit infrequent drivers. See which monthly auto insurance policy is right for you.
Best Overall: Allstate
Best for Safe Drivers: Nationwide
Best for Pay-Per-Mile Drivers: Metromile
Best for Non-Owners: Geico
|Provider||Ranking||What it’s best for||Year founded||J.D. Power customer satisfaction rating (out of 1,000)||Discounts available||Average annual cost of insurance|
|Allstate||1||Overall||1931||826||Driver training course for teens, early signing, good student, etc.||$1,673|
|Nationwide||2||Safe Drivers||1925||850||Multipolicy, SmartRide, SmartMiles, accident-free, good student, driver training, anti-theft, auto pay||$1,614|
|Metromile||3||Pay-per-mile||2011||Not ranked||Multicar, safe driving||$662|
|GEICO||4||Non-owners||1936||828||Seatbelt use, vehicle safety equipment, military, new car, etc.||$1,194|
Allstate promises affordable coverage and a wide range of auto policies. Accessible local agents, easy-to-bundle policies, and an A+ financial stability rating from AM Best are the reasons 16 million people use Allstate. Learn more about pay-per-mile and non-owner insurance from Allstate below.
Allstate’s pay-per-mile program, Milewise, offers the same coverage and claims service as its other auto insurance products. It charges a daily base rate — for example, $1.50 — plus a per-mile rate — for example, 6 cents — for covered vehicles.
To participate in Milewise, you need a telematics device that plugs into your onboard diagnostic port (OBD-II port) and transmits data through a cell modem. The Milewise device ships on your policy’s effective date. Once plugged in, you should check the Allstate app or website to ensure trips are being recorded. Each trip should appear within 48 hours.
The Milewise device collects information on driving speed, miles, time of day, driving events, and location. If you don’t install the Milewise device, Allstate charges a default mileage use rate of 40 miles each day.
Allstate’s mobile app helps you budget your Milewise policy. You can access your policy details, account balance, mileage, and safe driving status. You’ll also be able to review trips at a glance, look over your weekly spending, and set savings goals to maximize your Milewise savings. On top of that, Milewise includes access to personalized driving feedback and vehicle diagnostics through Allstate’s car health program.
Each vehicle on your Milewise policy will receive a classification of pay-per-mile or unlimited. Pay-per-mile is best for lower mileage vehicles, but unlimited works better for cars you drive frequently, because you’ll pay a set daily rate no matter how many miles you drive. Both classifications bill conveniently when your account reaches its minimum balance.
Whereas most insurance policies charge the same premium every month, Milewise rates are variable and can change from month to month depending on how much you drive and what your rates are. Milewise bases rates on factors such as driver age, vehicle type, and driver profile and history, much like with a traditional auto insurance policy. Car insurance for young drivers is more expensive, as are premiums for drivers with poor credit.
You’ll be able to find the cheapest car insurance company if you have a clean driving record compared to someone with a ticket or accident on their driving record. If you have an at-fault accident on your driving record, you’re more likely to file a claim in the future.
In Arizona, Florida, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin, these rates fluctuate based on your driving behavior. They can increase if you go over 80 mph, brake suddenly (slowing down more than eight mph in one second), or drive between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m.
Allstate recommends you keep your tracking device plugged in even for unlimited vehicles so you can receive personalized driving feedback, account details, and Allstate rewards points.
Allstate’s non-owner car insurance benefits drivers who wish to pay month-to-month for limited coverage. Consider non-owner car insurance if any of the following statements is true:
Allstate’s non-owner policy provides liability insurance only; the policy covers bodily injury and property damage to others. It will not cover damage to your car, injuries, or commercial driving activities.
Established in 1925, Nationwide is one of the largest insurance companies in the world. From humble beginnings as the Farm Bureau Mutual Automobile Insurance Company in Ohio, Nationwide grew into a car, motorcycle, homeowners, pet, farm, life, and commercial insurance company. It receives financial confidence ratings from Moody’s (A1) and Standard & Poor’s (A+), the fifth highest of 21 ratings across both lists. Nationwide’s solution for low-mileage drivers is its pay-per-mile program, SmartMiles.
Like most usage-based auto insurance policies, you’ll pay a base rate and a variable rate assessed per mile. When you sign up with an agent you will estimate your annual mileage to approximate your first monthly payment. Your base and mileage rates adjust based on mileage data from the first billing period, but will not vary after the first month unless the policy changes.
SmartMiles uses a small in-car device for mileage tracking. Plug the device in within five days of receipt and keep it plugged in for as long as you enroll. The average driver saves $320 a year with SmartMiles.
SmartMiles gives you more control over your auto insurance costs than Nationwide’s traditional policies. You decide how much you drive and, therefore, how much you pay. You can also earn up to a 10 percent safe driving discount at the first renewal, based on behavioral data collected during the first term of your participation in SmartMiles.
Nationwide’s SmartRide program is another telematic program that works with SmartMiles. SmartRide is a safe-driving discount program where customers can earn up to a 40 percent discount. There are two ways to collect the data needed to enroll in SmartRide: via the driver-based mobile app or via a vehicle-based SmartRide device if another vehicle in the policy has SmartMiles. SmartRide measures four factors:
If you need to ensure a low-mileage vehicle, use SmartMiles on the low-mileage vehicle and the SmartRide device for all other vehicles. SmartRide only collects data for one to two policy terms for a 15 percent participation discount upon enrollment and up to a 40 percent discount at first renewal. The average driver receives a 21 percent discount using SmartRide.
SmartMiles works best for drivers who do little to no day-to-day driving. Even so, your rate shouldn’t skyrocket if you put more miles in than usual. Nationwide caps its SmartMiles variable rate at 250 miles, also called a road trip exemption. Only the first 250 miles count in a single day — Nationwide will not charge you for any miles driven above 250.
Lemonade recently acquired Metromile, a pay-per-mile car insurance provider. Metromile positions itself primarily for people who drive fewer than 10,000 miles a year. If you drive infrequently and don’t mind an app tracking your driving habits, check out Metromile’s usage-based car insurance.
Metromile tracks your mileage using a complimentary telematics device called Metromile Pulse. Like the devices Allstate and Nationwide provide, Pulse plugs into your OBD-II port and transmits driving data through a cell modem.
Pulse conveniently calculates your mileage, the main factor Metromile uses to calculate your rate. Metromile provides information on your car’s health, location, fuel economy, and trip data. Its app notifies you if Pulse detects an error code from the vehicle related to an engine, exhaust, or other systems. Pulse acts as a GPS device, but you can disable the GPS function from the online dashboard (this will also disable Metromile’s smart driving app features).
Keep the Pulse device plugged in to calculate your mileage. Metromile adds a no-signal charge to your monthly bill to cover any miles you may have driven if it does not receive a signal from your device. Don’t worry if you’re traveling — contact Metromile ahead of time. Metromile will set a grace period and will not charge the no-signal fee.
Factors that influence your Metromile insurance rates include vehicle make/model, vehicle theft rates, driving history, claims history, coverage changes, and more. These factors look at the performance of larger groups, so their impact on your specific rate can change over time.
Certain states have laws and regulations that may impact rates as well. In Arizona, Illinois, Oregon, and Virginia, Metromile uses average speed, time of day, and day of the week to determine the quality of driving. In Virginia, Metromile also considers time spent per trip to save drivers more money on their policy. These factors are tracked over time and are not based on individual journeys.
Like most pay-per-mile car insurance providers, Metromile premium billing includes base and variable rates. You pay your base rate to sign up. At the end of your first month, Metromile will charge you for your mileage from the first month and the base rate for month two. Expect to pay the base rate regardless of whether or not you drive your car during the month.
In some cases, the first month’s bill will include a prepayment, depending on the requirements for your specific policy. If that happens to you, you’ll receive a credit refund on each of their first five bills. Metromile does not charge cancellation fees.
GEICO insures 17 million drivers across the U.S. This auto insurance provider does not have a pay-per-mile policy; however, GEICO will insure a car not in your name under a non-owner insurance policy. The cost of non-owner car insurance policies tends to be less than that of full coverage policies. The average non-owner policy runs about $438 each year.
Get a quote for non-owner insurance from GEICO. GEICO’s liability coverage pays for property damage and bodily injury coverage for others injured in an accident. Here are some examples of covered instances:
GEICO’s non-owner liability coverage does not include collision, comprehensive, medical payments or personal injury protection. If you have a homeowners policy with GEICO, you can include coverage for personal liability (property and medical coverage) for yourself and members of your household, including pets.
An umbrella policy is another supplemental liability policy that can expand coverage if you drive but don’t own a vehicle. Umbrella policies cover injuries and damage that you or your renters cause. GEICO’s umbrella policy provides $1 million in coverage on top of other policy limits.
GEICO offers a military discount of 15 percent if you are on active duty, retired from the military, or a member of the National Guard or Reserves. GEICO also provides an emergency deployment discount to military members deployed in imminent danger pay areas.
These discounts are helpful for people who drive infrequently while deployed.
A non-owner liability policy will provide coverage for a rental car. Make sure you confirm with GEICO what rental car coverage is included in your non-owner policy; it’s usually cheaper to get rental car coverage from your insurer rather than from the car rental company. Your GEICO representative will tell you what rental coverage you have in your current policy or if you can add rental coverage to your policy before you travel.
We chose the best monthly auto insurance providers using a three-pronged approach:
Usage-based auto insurance is car insurance that has a fluctuating price depending on how much you drive, your driving habits, and other factors including age, car make/model, and where you live. There are two factors to your monthly rate: a base rate and a variable rate, depending on your mileage.
Pay-per-mile insurance works by tracking your driving habits and mileage through a device that plugs into your onboard diagnostic port (OBD-II port). The device transmits data to your auto insurance provider, which calculates your monthly bill based on how much you drive.
Non-owner car insurance is liability-only coverage available to drivers that don’t own cars themselves. It covers bodily injury and property damage to others. However, it will not cover damage to the car you drive, personal injuries resulting from an accident, or damage/injury sustained while you drive for a rideshare company.