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So for the next year or so I will be working on my dissertation almost exclusively from home (teaching classes online) and my car insurance renewal is coming up. I am going to be driving probably less than 15 miles a week most weeks for the entirety of the renewal period (6 months). I asked the insurance company and they said they don't offer anything like that, so I am polling the collective FWF wisdom on this. Seems to me like someone would offer this for people who won't be driving much but still need to keep the car insured, since it'll almost guarantee (statistically) no claims being driven that little.

Anyone know of any companies that offer policies like this?

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Sadly, Milemeter has gone out of business. I was paying about half what I pay with standard insurance

PatrickM213 (Dec. 30, 2011 @ 1:49p) |

Wow that didn't last long

SUCKISSTAPLES (Dec. 30, 2011 @ 1:55p) |

I had them about 1.5 years. They started not long before that. I saw the writing on the wall when they started increasin... (more)

PatrickM213 (Dec. 30, 2011 @ 2:05p) |

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The purest example would be MileMeter, but Liberty Mutual and Progressive seem to be in the game as well. This is a comprehensive list of pay by the mile and mileage discount providers: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage-based_insurance#Commercial_pr...

I think what you need is to insure the car under the weekend car or non primary car insurance type of policy. I think the mileage limit is like 5K per year or something. Maybe like a leisure car, sunday driver car or something to that effect. See AAA if you have access to their insurance.

You don't mention where you live or how much the insurance is and it varies greatly from state to state. A couple of other options would be to just cancel your insurance and just park the car. Depending on your city, there may be a zipcar around so you can just use that when you need to drive. There are also other car sharing services popping up, just depends where you are.

I live in North Carolina, and although the university I'm attending is in a big city I live in a fairly rural town (cheaper rent) - there is no mass transport/zipcar/anything here. So I still have to insure the car - thanks for the suggestions so far, I am looking into all of them.

Currently I am paying ~$800 a year through nationwide to drive a 8 year old car with 0 tickets/accidents/anything...and I've been driving now for over 10 years since I was 16. Paying $65 a month for the privilege of driving to the grocery store and post office seems a bit excessive.

magika said:   So for the next year or so I will be working on my dissertation almost exclusively from home (teaching classes online) and my car insurance renewal is coming up. I am going to be driving probably less than 15 miles a week most weeks for the entirety of the renewal period (6 months).

Less than 15 miles a week you can walk, especially if you don't need to dress up to arrive at an office, etc. Supplement the walking with an occasional taxi service when you need one could well be cheaper and less stressful than car ownership.

Kanosh said:   magika said:   So for the next year or so I will be working on my dissertation almost exclusively from home (teaching classes online) and my car insurance renewal is coming up. I am going to be driving probably less than 15 miles a week most weeks for the entirety of the renewal period (6 months).

Less than 15 miles a week you can walk, especially if you don't need to dress up to arrive at an office, etc. Supplement the walking with an occasional taxi service when you need one could well be cheaper and less stressful than car ownership.

I'm not sure OP was soliciting transportation options in general. Weather, safety, and time make driving a car desirable and fairly essential for most of us. OP already owns and insures the vehicle, and just wants to defray that cost. I can't see the added expense of a taxi beating the cost of gasoline consumed, and walking might be healthier but the above factors might negate that benefit. Calwatch nailed it with his response.

magika said:   Currently I am paying ~$800 a year through nationwide to drive a 8 year old car with 0 tickets/accidents/anything...and I've been driving now for over 10 years since I was 16. Paying $65 a month for the privilege of driving to the grocery store and post office seems a bit excessive.

Does this include comprehensive and collision coverage? Consider dropping this if there is no loan on it.

I would call other insurance agents, I know low mileage insurance is very standard. I get 10% off for under 5k miles.

pdxmale said:   My Allstate policy gives me a discount for "under 7500 miles"

As does State Farm for me. Every year or two I need to send them a copy of something like an oil change receipt that shows the mileage entered by the shop.

calwatch said:   The purest example would be MileMeter, but Liberty Mutual and Progressive seem to be in the game as well. This is a comprehensive list of pay by the mile and mileage discount providers: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage-based_insurance#Commercial_pr...

I have used Progressive's version: the snapshot device. It basically monitors your driving habits. My wife drives very little. In fact, the service often thought the device was disconnected! I would start up the car when it had been more than a week of no driving to avoid getting their alerts. We saw anywhere from a 10-15% reduction on each of our two cars. Our discounts were similar despite the fact that she drove a lot less than I. That being the case, I am not sure it would be the best solution for the OP. However, I'm not sure of any other way to reduce your premium 10-15% either. OP might see an even great reduction if they drive very little and drive safely.

BTW, Progressive looks for hard stops and driving during high risk periods as key indicators of safe/unsafe driving.

They recently had us send the devices back. They no longer require constant monitoring. They base your discount for a year, I think, on your snapshot patterns. This might help OP when they start driving more and get to keep the discount.

I have a 10+ year old car (state of MA). No accidents or violation. I was with MetLife at first and they have a discount for under 5000/7500 miles. My premium was about 700 a year before I dropped collusion, then it became about 450 a year (I'm under 7500 miles a year).

I called around and switched to Geico. They don't offer any low mile discounts but the annual premium is pretty low - under 300 a year- no collusion coverage, 500 deductible for comprehensive).

Giving up the car is easier said than done in anywhere except the most urban cities (NY, Boston proper, SF, etc).

My insurance company actually charges slightly more for a low-mileage, pleasure use policy than a higher mileage, use-for-commute one. Their reasoning, supposedly backed up by statistics, is that people who don't drive much, are more likely to get into minor fender benders locally because their driving skills become less sharp over time.

pdxmale said:   My Allstate policy gives me a discount for "under 7500 miles"

I did this with State Farm for several years. Then my job schedule changed and I found myself driving 20K miles in 2 years. State Farm kept sending me notices demanding an affidavit of the car's mileage, but I kept "losing" them. Finally they just started charging me the normal rate. But by that time I was eligible for several "safe driver" discounts (thanks to the years of reduced mileage) and it brought my payment down to almost what it was before.

Commerce in MA offers this as well. I think it's tiered by mileage, but I don't currently remember the levels they offer.

In CA haven't been able to find anything cheaper than USAA policy even with 2-300 miles annually. Seems under 2-3k is cheapest it goes

samiam68 said:   My insurance company actually charges slightly more for a low-mileage, pleasure use policy than a higher mileage, use-for-commute one. Their reasoning, supposedly backed up by statistics, is that people who don't drive much, are more likely to get into minor fender benders locally because their driving skills become less sharp over time.

This is why I stay far away from any carshare cars (zip car, whatever) I see on the road. My logic is, if they don't drive enough to need to own a car then they probably don't drive enough to be any good at driving.

Since you live in NC, absolutely do not cancel your insurance without first turning in your plate. I found out the hard way that you're not supposed to do that when I left my motorcycle parked in the garage one summer without insurance when I was away. It sounds like you've rejected the suggestion to just park the car, but I wanted to offer this warning just in case.

State farm is the one I use, gives a discount to me for low mileage.

magika said:   Paying $65 a month for the privilege of driving to the grocery store and post office seems a bit excessive.

Well, you'd pay that much in one day if you took a taxi for running errands. You could get a "collector car" and and get collector car insurance. I pay about $50 a year for each of my vintage cars. You are limited to 2,500 miles a year and I think are required to have backup transportation whatever that means.

atikovi said:   magika said:   Paying $65 a month for the privilege of driving to the grocery store and post office seems a bit excessive.

Well, you'd pay that much in one day if you took a taxi for running errands. You could get a "collector car" and and get collector car insurance. I pay about $50 a year for each of my vintage cars. You are limited to 2,500 miles a year and I think are required to have backup transportation whatever that means.


Seriously shouldn't be hard to figure out what that means.

With a 2500 mile limit, its safe to assume most people will drive more than that in a year thus they are expecting you to either haul this car or drive another vehicle--or by some other means have another method of transportation rather than using a collector car as your primary means of transportation.

Zon said:   pdxmale said:   My Allstate policy gives me a discount for "under 7500 miles"

As does State Farm for me. Every year or two I need to send them a copy of something like an oil change receipt that shows the mileage entered by the shop.


What happens if you tell them that since you don't drive much, you have no oil change receipts?

800/yr seems high for an old car in a rural area.

I would shop around. Also, you might consider dropping comprehensive (if you live in a safe area), collision (since you dont get into accidents), and increasing your deductible (if you can afford paying the deductible). In my case, I have a high $1000 deductible and with high liability insurance (300k).

Male, unmarried, one car policy = expensive.

$2 a day for the privilege of driving is not bad.

Can anyone tell me what the consequences of using the "leisure/Pleasure" option on Geico's website vs daily driver ?
Couldn't you just select that option ?

Here's my experience with AAA. I am single male 28 from Northern California and read somewhere that there is a lot of car insurance competition where I live. I have 0 accidents/ticket and have been a member for AAA since 2003. I recently went out of the family coverage and insured my own IS250 2008. Car was brand new off the lot and AAA was charging me $99 per month, 500 deductible/comprehension. They asked me how many miles a year will I be driving per year and I got them to list this car as a 'leisure' car and that limit is 10,000 miles per year. I also just recently added a 2010 MDX and they have a rate that's called 'weekend driving' car which has a 1,000 miles limit. Now, it costs me $150/month to insure both cars. I believe in customer loyalty since I been with them for so long, am I paying too much? Thanks

Progressive lowered my insurance quite a bit when I told them that my husband drives his truck MAYBE 2,000 miles a year. They also give discounts if you tell them you're a teacher; it lowered our bill probably $100/6 months. Their customer service has always been helpful - I got into a "my fault" accident (sort of - collided my car with a parking structure, $5k-ish of damage) two years ago, but my rates aren't that much higher than they were before that, based on the adjustments that I've gotten them to make since.

I live in Texas and have a 2nd car which I insure with insurance by the mile. I take a photo with my phone and email it to them. I use the car for about 1000 miles a year and my ins is $51 twice a year. It is for 1000 miles (the minimum) every 6 mos. For this vehicle it is perfect for me. I googled it after seeing a story on the news.

thachmicu said:   Here's my experience with AAA. I am single male 28 from Northern California and read somewhere that there is a lot of car insurance competition where I live. I have 0 accidents/ticket and have been a member for AAA since 2003. I recently went out of the family coverage and insured my own IS250 2008. Car was brand new off the lot and AAA was charging me $99 per month, 500 deductible/comprehension. They asked me how many miles a year will I be driving per year and I got them to list this car as a 'leisure' car and that limit is 10,000 miles per year. I also just recently added a 2010 MDX and they have a rate that's called 'weekend driving' car which has a 1,000 miles limit. Now, it costs me $150/month to insure both cars. I believe in customer loyalty since I been with them for so long, am I paying too much? Thanks

try wanwanesa, i am 0 tix and accident like you, i left AAA for them and stayed with them ever since even though my rate was increased from $650 to $850 for 12 month coverage due to their general increase, ($650 was really too cheap so i understand their increase) , two cars, two way on the new car, one way for the 10 year old, 300/500 liability, you can still stay with AAA roadside emergency even though you switch to another insurer for you car

I am sort of surprised this generated that much discussion, but thanks for everyone contributing. I know that my rates will always be high as a single male with one car, but I thought after 10+ years of no tickets/accidents and driving an old car that rates would come down some what - of course I was paying more when I was 16, but then I was on my parents insurance and with the multiple car discount it wasn't THAT much more.

Akiri - is that a typo? Were you really able to get it to $100/6 months? What type of teacher did you need to be? I wonder if I would qualify teaching courses at a university (I'm guessing they probably only give that sort of discount to public school teachers).

I am currently waiting on quotes from AAA/Progressive/Geico. Unfortunately, Mile Meter is Texas only but I am looking into the other ones that just require odometer pictures. Im assuming its probably a good idea to stay away from any of the plans where they actually install anything in your car since they could also track your driving habits (I think I'm a good driver with safe driving habits, but everyone probably does - no need to give them a reason to increase rates).

mainomega said:   Can anyone tell me what the consequences of using the "leisure/Pleasure" option on Geico's website vs daily driver ?
Couldn't you just select that option ?
You could, but when you get in an accident on the way to work one day and kill someone, and their family sues you for $10 million, your insurance company is going to run away from you faster than you can say, "I lied on my insurance application."

I have leisure rates, since I don't have to commute everyday. It's true that a lot of companies don't offer it, but in my experience the discount you get is negligible anyway. Then again, I have lived in areas with high claims rates for the past 5 years.

Even with a spotless history, two vehicles and my wife on my policy, I'm only saving a few bucks per month being classified as a leisure driver through AAA. As far as I understand it, where you park your car at night can have more of an impact than how many miles you drive per year.

i have 2 cars on my insurance and i pay $99 on Geico, It used to be 75, but my brother did a small accident on parking lot and it increases 14 dollars. i am in Columbus Ohio area and i think that the cheapest you can get here. i kept 1 car as leisure, milage 6000/year.

magika said:   I am sort of surprised this generated that much discussion, but thanks for everyone contributing. I know that my rates will always be high as a single male with one car, but I thought after 10+ years of no tickets/accidents and driving an old car that rates would come down some what - of course I was paying more when I was 16, but then I was on my parents insurance and with the multiple car discount it wasn't THAT much more.

Akiri - is that a typo? Were you really able to get it to $100/6 months? What type of teacher did you need to be? I wonder if I would qualify teaching courses at a university (I'm guessing they probably only give that sort of discount to public school teachers).

I am currently waiting on quotes from AAA/Progressive/Geico. Unfortunately, Mile Meter is Texas only but I am looking into the other ones that just require odometer pictures. Im assuming its probably a good idea to stay away from any of the plans where they actually install anything in your car since they could also track your driving habits (I think I'm a good driver with safe driving habits, but everyone probably does - no need to give them a reason to increase rates).


No, it wasn't a typo - but I typed that I got it LOWERED our bill by that much. Sorry for the excitement. My husband teaches two sections of anatomy lab classes at our local Cal State University, and they counted that.

That low mileage on a car is terrible on the car itself. Battery and motor will suffer.

Buy a bike. 15 miles per week is nothing. Healthier and depending on where you live, at that little mileage, maybe faster and easier than driving.

sandy1saha03 said:   i have 2 cars on my insurance and i pay $99 on Geico, It used to be 75, but my brother did a small accident on parking lot and it increases 14 dollars. i am in Columbus Ohio area and i think that the cheapest you can get here. i kept 1 car as leisure, milage 6000/year.
Geico in Ohio seems to be very very cheap

nerraw00 said:   That low mileage on a car is terrible on the car itself. Battery and motor will suffer.
I don't commute everyday anymore since started to work from home. Would driving a good distance (20+ min trip) every other week keep the car from deteriorating?

mmyk72 said:   nerraw00 said:   That low mileage on a car is terrible on the car itself. Battery and motor will suffer.
I don't commute everyday anymore since started to work from home. Would driving a good distance (20+ min trip) every other week keep the car from deteriorating?


The battery will have issues for long periods of sitting. If you drive every couple of days don't worry. The motor doesnt really deteriorate from sitting...more hoses/lines/etc. Again, driving 15 miles a week is plenty. Cars that sit for 10+ months without use may have some battery issues. Don't stress his comment.

Skipping 9 Messages...
I had them about 1.5 years. They started not long before that. I saw the writing on the wall when they started increasing the minimum purchase amounts and other signs a few months ago.

There is a small upside to this though. I purchased my policy on October 11th. Received a full refund on December 23rd so I got a couple months of free car insurance.

I think my favorite thing about them was they never pulled credit(I think it's BS to base an auto insurance rate on credit score)



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