The Infrequent-Driver Discount


Thanks to trains, scooters, and bikes, my car now sits in the garage 99% of the time. So, when a friend told me about an auto insurance carrier that charges by the mile, I figured it was a no-brainer for me to make the switch. As it turns out, it was.

While I don’t drive often or far, I love my car, love long road trips, and love the freedom of knowing that I have a car in the garage waiting for a simple trip to the grocery store or a long weekend in Mammoth. In other words, I’m not ready to ditch my car altogether, at least not yet.  If you’re pondering that avenue, check out Kari Jean’s experience in The Art of Letting Go.  If you insist on keeping your car, but only drive sporadically like I do, it may be worth considering a pay-per-mile insurance carrier. I recently switched to Metromile.

How it Works

As soon as I enrolled online, Metromile sent me a plug-in device, so they can track the miles I drive. I’m currently paying a monthly base premium of $44 + 6.8 cents per mile. By my estimates, I’ll end up paying an average of $60 per month compared to the $150 I was paying previously and yes, my coverage is virtually identical.

In my wildest dreams, I never thought that changing my auto insurance provider could be, dare I say, fun. Much like how the Waze app enhanced the driving experience, I admit to getting a kick out of the phone app and the overall simplicity of the experience.  It’s all paperless (except for the registration card) and I can use their app to view my policy, file claims, track my miles, and get street sweeping alerts and engine warnings.

The Unknowns

If you’re constantly fretting about privacy, you might not like all of your driving data being in the hands of someone else. It also may not be worth the hassle of changing over unless the cost savings is substantial, especially if your auto insurance is bundled with your home and umbrella policies. I can’t vouch for how much my premiums will creep up over time or how efficient their claim-filing process is (hopefully I never will need to find out). But so far so good.

For me, 15 minutes actually saved me hundreds on car insurance. You can get a quote based on the expected miles you drive and see if it’s worth a closer look. Customers also get Amazon gift cards when they refer their friends to get a quote – so if this is the start of a new hip trend, 15 minutes might also get you quite a shopping spree.

Happy planning,