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Low-mileage drivers stung by insurance firms

Patrick Christys
Mar 8, 2019

Low-mileage motorists are being swindled by insurance firms - they're being charged more than motorists who rack up the miles.

Those who drive less than the UK average of 7,134 miles a year are paying more for their insurance than higher mileage drivers - those who drive 12,000 miles and above - research by car insurance provider By Miles claimed.

On average, motorists who say they travel between 5,000 and 6,000 miles a year are paying more for their insurance than drivers who cover more than 12,000 miles.

Some 19 million motorists are understood to be in the lower mileage echelon - which means the majority of drivers (some 60%) - are being overcharged.

It could lead to those drivers paying, on average, an extra £230-a-year on their insurance.

James Blackham, co-founder of By Miles, a car insurance firm that conducted the research, said: 'Those who don't drive as much are being treated unfairly. They're being charged more to subsidise the insurance of higher mileage drivers.

'The current state of play presents motorists with a Catch 22 situation – either tell the truth about how much you're driving and pay over the odds, or lie to get the cost down but risk having your insurance invalidated when you need to make a claim.

'This needs to change. If you don't use your car much, it doesn't make sense to charge you the same as a longer distance driver as the odds of you having an accident are significantly lower. 

'Pay-by-mile insurance means that people who drive less are rewarded, and rightfully pay less.' 

The research also found that those aged between 25 and 29, who are estimating to drive 5,000 miles a year, are paying a whopping £229 more than those driving 11,000 – 12,000 miles.

Even the most experienced drivers are getting over-charged, with 50 to 64-year-olds driving 5,000 miles a year paying a massive £100 more than those driving 11,000-12,000. 

Blackham continued: 'Department of Transport figures show us that the average UK driver is only racking up 7,134 miles a year. This means that around 19 million low-mileage drivers are being charged more for driving less. This isn't fair.

'To work out if you're one of them, take a look at your annual MOT certificate. This will show you how many miles you drove last year and help you make an educated estimate for the coming year. 

'You could also look at your car's service record, or just stick your reg plate into the quick quote on the By Miles website and we'll check the DVLA database for you!

'If you've driven below 7,000 miles a year you might be able to save by opting for pay-as-you-drive car insurance. It's best to get a few quotes to compare prices and the level of coverage you're getting. 

'But whatever you do, don't fudge the numbers – being caught out driving significantly more or less than you tell your traditional car insurer could invalidate your cover.' 

When did you last switch your car insurance provider?

Last year 65% of customers didn't switch their car insurance to try and get a better deal.