AutoInsurance.com
January 18, 2023

Average Miles Driven in a Year

The average American drives more than 13,000 miles a year.

The amount you drive each year can greatly affect the cost of your car insurance, especially if you participate in usage-based programs. And because COVID-related stay-at-home orders have been lifted and many people are back to working in an office, driving has increased since the dark days of 2020 and 2021. Perhaps your insurance has gone up too. Here’s how much people in the United States drive each year on average and how that could affect your auto insurance premium.

Average Annual Mileage

The average car racks up anywhere from 10,000 to 20,000 miles per year. To find your vehicle’s average car mileage per year, divide the number on your odometer by the car’s age.1

By State

Collectively, people in the U.S. drive a total of 2,903,622,000 miles per year, or nearly 3 trillion miles, according to the most recent publicly available data from the Federal Highway Administration. See how many miles were driven in your state below.

State Total annual vehicle miles traveled in millions, 2016
Alabama 67,921
Alaska 5,306
Arizona 65,758
Arkansas 33,919
California 299,812
Colorado 48,642
Connecticut 29,845
Delaware 8,345
District of Columbia 3,030
Florida 208,076
Georgia 115,967
Hawaii 8,785
Idaho 17,406
Illinois 94,121
Indiana 76,608
Iowa 29,751
Kansas 27,854
Kentucky 46,536
Louisiana 48,374
Maine 13,086
Maryland 50,885
Massachusetts 54,127
Michigan 86,547
Minnesota 51,619
Mississippi 39,665
Missouri 72,797
Montana 12,104
Nebraska 19,432
Nevada 25,231
New Hampshire 11,956
New Jersey 66,341
New Mexico 23,756
New York 102,477
North Carolina 106,342
North Dakota 8,768
Ohio 103,115
Oklahoma 42,000
Oregon 32,298
Pennsylvania 87,982
Rhode Island 6,864
South Carolina 53,972
South Dakota 9,743
Tennessee 76,392
Texas 260,582
Utah 30,251
Vermont 6,007
Virginia 76,110
Washington 53,658
West Virginia 16,054
Wisconsin 57,600
Wyoming 9,800

States Whose Drivers Drive the Most

Not surprisingly, the states with the highest number of licensed drivers tend to have more driving. California, for example, had the highest number of licensed drivers in 2016, with over 26 million. It’s also the state where people drove the most, not only due to California’s large population, but also its lack of public transportation.

States With the Most Driving

States Whose Drivers Drive the Least

Conversely, smaller states and areas with lower populations of licensed drivers usually have the least driving. D.C., for example, had the second-least number of licensed drivers in 2016, beat only by Wyoming, and unsurprisingly had the least amount of driving.

States With the Least Driving

Factors That Affect Annual Mileage

What factors affect how much you drive? It’s not only your work commute, but also your age and sex, according to the hard numbers.

Commute

Commuting miles are the distance someone travels to and from their workplace.3 In 2019, the last time the U.S. Census Bureau posted this data publicly, the average one-way commute was 27.6 minutes, or about half an hour. However, the plurality of commutes, 15 percent, were between 15 and 19 minutes long.4

Travel to work time for those 16 and older who did not work from home, 2016 Percentage
Less than 5 minutes 3%
5 to 9 minutes 9%
10 to 14 minutes 13%
15 to 19 minutes 15%
20 to 24 minutes 14%
25 to 29 minutes 7%
30 to 34 minutes 14%
35 to 39 minutes 3%
40 to 44 minutes 4%
45 to 59 minutes 9%
60 to 89 minutes 7%
90 or more minutes 3%

People with longer commutes usually drive more miles, so your travel time to and from work will likely affect your annual mileage.

CheckDID YOU KNOW?

In 2019, those who drove alone when commuting had an average travel time of 26.4 minutes, while those who carpooled took 28.5 minutes on average to get to work. People who took long-distance trains, commuter rails, or ferries had the longest average travel times: 71.2 minutes.

Age

Age is another factor that plays a role in the amount of miles driven and, subsequently, the highest average miles per driver by age group. Teen drivers and seniors drive the least, while people age 20 to 54 drive the most. That makes sense, as younger and older people are less likely to have daily work commutes and thus drive more infrequently.

Age Total vehicle miles driven on average annually
16-19 7,624
20-34 15,098
35-54 15,291
55-64 11,972
65+ 7,646
Average 13,476

CheckFYI:

Those over the age of 65 have the lowest employment rate in the country, with only 18 percent still employed in 2021, compared to 32 percent of 16- to 19-year-olds. In contrast, an average of 76 percent of people ages 20 to 54 were employed.5

Sex

Men drive an average of 63 percent more miles per year than women, which is one of the reasons why men pay more for car insurance than women.

Sex Male Female
Average annual miles per driver in 2016 16,550 10,142

As for why there’s such a gap between genders in the number of miles driven, it could be because more women stay at home to care for children and men are more likely to work in driving-related industries like trucking, among other factors.

Age and Sex

When you combine age and sex, you find that the demographic that drives the most is males between the ages of 35 and 54. Women age 65 and up drive the least — specifically, a whopping 64 percent less than the rest of the population.

Age Male average annual miles traveled, 2016 Percent higher than average Female average annual miles traveled, 2016 Percent higher than average
16-19 8,206 -39% 6,873 -49%
20-34 17,976 33% 12,004 -11%
35-54 18,858 40% 11,464 -15%
55-64 15,859 18% 7,780 -42%
65+ 10,304 -24% 4,785 -64%

COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID made car insurance more expensive due to the pandemic causing a labor shortage, broken supply chain, and higher prices for cars and their parts. But in 2020, when national stay-at-home orders were in place and most nonessential workplaces shut down, people drove less than usual. From 2019 to 2020, highway congestion in most U.S. cities dropped from 51 percent congested to 43 percent. Annual delays went from 54 hours in 2019 to 27 hours in 2020, while vehicle miles traveled dropped by 11 percent from 2018 to 2020.

Interestingly, even though people were driving less because of the pandemic, vehicle ownership and licensure increased during this time, just at a slower rate.6

How Annual Mileage Affects Insurance Rates

The more miles you drive per year, the higher your insurance premium will be. However, unless you’ve signed up for a usage-based insurance program like Allstate Drivewise, mileage is not the only factor auto insurance companies take into account when determining rates. It’s just one factor, combined with your driving history, home address, vehicle type, and more. Still, how many miles you drive per year will have an effect on the cost of your car insurance.

What’s Considered Low Mileage?

Since most people drive about 10,000 miles annually, low mileage is around 7,500 miles or less.

Low-Mileage Discounts

If you’re a low-mileage driver, you can get discounts by enrolling in a usage-based insurance program. With some of these programs, you’ll get a discount just for signing up, plus bigger discounts if you have low mileage and drive safely.

Program Allstate Drivewise GEICO DriveEasy Liberty Mutual RightTrack Nationwide Smartride Progressive Snapshot State Farm Drive Safe & Save USAA SafePilot
Maximum savings 40% or more; varies by state Not specified 5-30% 25% Average savings of those who saved: $156 annually (excludes Alaska, Hawaii, and New York) 30% 30%

When enrolled in one of these programs, your mileage will be tracked with either an app or a physical device installed in your car. Along with mileage, some of these programs track driving behaviors like hard braking, rapid acceleration, and distracted driving. The less you drive and the safer you drive, the more you’ll save.

Along with usage-based programs, there are also insurance companies that run entirely on a pay-per-mile model, such as Metromile and Root. Thanks to this structure, these insurers have the lowest average annual prices of any company we’ve tested: $662 and $829, respectively. Always compare auto insurance quotes between providers to find out how much you can save by driving fewer miles.

How to Calculate Your Mileage

So, what is your mileage? There are two ways to find out.

  1. Track your mileage for a month. Track your mileage for a month using your odometer, then multiply the number by 12 to get your annual mileage. Of course, this result could be a bit skewed if you took any vacations by car in the past year and consequently drove more than usual.
  2. Check maintenance records. Compare your mileage on your car’s scheduled maintenance reports a year apart from each other.

Conclusion

You can lower the cost of your auto insurance by driving less, especially if you participate in a usage-based program. Learn more about average miles driven per year in our frequently asked questions below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is driving 15,000 miles per year a lot?

Driving 15,000 miles per year is not a lot, as the average person drives anywhere between 10,000 and 20,000 miles per year.

What is a good mileage per year?

A good mileage per year is under 12,000.

What mileage is too high for a used car?

Any mileage over 100,000 miles is too high for a used car. When mileage exceeds 100,000, the car will likely need more frequent and expensive maintenance, depending on the vehicle’s model and condition. But for cars manufactured in 2000 or after, vehicles may be able to exceed 200,000 miles with fewer issues.

How many miles should a seven-year-old car have?

A seven-year-old car should have about 70,000 to 84,000 miles on it, based on an average of 10,000 to 20,000 miles driven annually.

Citations

  1. What is good mileage for a used car? Progressive.
    https://www.progressive.com/answers/used-car-mileage/

  2. Highway Statistics 2016. U.S. Department of Transportation. (2020, May).
    https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation/statistics/2016/vm2.cfm

  3. Commuting Miles vs. Business Miles: What’s the Difference? Indeed. (2021, Aug 4).
    https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/commuting-miles-vs-business-miles

  4. Travel Time to Work in the United States: 2019. Census.gov. (2021, Mar).
    https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2021/acs/acs-47.pdf

  5. Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2022, Jan 20).
    https://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat03.htm

  6. Transportation Statistics Annual Report 2022. U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics. (2022, Jan 20).
    https://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat03.htm