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How Many Miles Does The Average Person Drive In A Year?

Last updated: January 14, 2022
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It’s no secret that Americans love their cars.

We rely on them to get us where we need to go, and in many cases, they are an essential part of our lives.

But how much do we actually use them?

How many miles does the average person drive in a year?

Turns out, it’s more than you might think!

How Many Miles Does The Average Person Drive In A Year?

The average American driver drives about 13,476 miles a year, according to the United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration.

Yet, these numbers can vary depending on factors such as age, gender, and where a person lives.

The average annual mileage you drive matters because it can affect your auto insurance rates and the number of repairs that you must make on your car every year.

Your daily miles can also affect your health because driving means you aren’t taking part in healthier activities like biking.

But, exactly how many miles does the average person drive a year?

Here, we break down the statistics by several factors so that you can find the information that best suits you.

You Might Also Like: How many miles can a car last?

Information to Consider When Calculating Yearly Mileage

The easiest way to calculate your yearly mileage is to subtract the number of vehicle miles you had this time last year from the amount you have now.

But, many of us, myself included, don’t keep track of our annual mileage.

In this case, the best way to figure out your average annual mileage is to keep track of your daily miles.

There are many ways to do this, but our recommended method is using one of the best mileage tracker apps to make things easier.

Then multiply them to figure out the entire year.

Thus, for one week, you should write down your daily miles driven.

You can reset the odometer each day if doing so makes it easier for you.

Then, you should add up all your miles and divide that number by 7 (because you’ve counted over one week or seven days).

The number that you now have is your average daily miles.

Finally, you will multiply your average daily miles by 365 to get your average annual mileage.

Also, make sure that you take into account any long trips that you have taken throughout the year.

A trip across three states and back can add a lot to your yearly mileage.

Example Average Annual Miles Calculation

So, say you keep track of your average miles for one day, and you get the following numbers: 3, 10, 22, 11, 11, 32, 88.

You would then add all seven of these numbers, which equals 177.

Next, you would divide 177 by 7 to get 25.29.

Thus, you have driven 25.29 miles a day on average.

Lastly, multiply 25.29 by 365, which gives you 9,230 miles.

So now you know that your average annual mileage is about 9,230 miles.

You can also add in any big trips you take.

Like, for example, say you drive from Washington, D.C. to Dayton, Ohio, every year for Thanksgiving.

Thus, you can also add the 940 miles you would drive round trip to your yearly average mileage.

How Mileage Impacts Insurance Rates

Overall, your car insurance company determines the rates you get based on your mileage.

So, some may offer higher or lower rates depending on how your mileage compares to the average driver.

But why do auto insurance companies care about how many miles you drive a year?

Well, because high mileage drivers are at a higher risk of getting into more accidents.

Conversely, those who drive fewer miles have a lower crash risk.

Yet, your mileage isn’t the only factor insurance companies use to determine how much you pay.

Your driving record and where you live also decide your premium.

What Average Annual Mileage Do I Need to Get a Discount?

Rules differ based on your car insurance company and the state you live in.

But, for the most part, you need to drive under 7,000 miles a year to get a low mileage discount.

You will notice that this number is about half of what the average driver drives in a year.

Similarly, those with an average yearly mileage of more than 20,000 may see a large increase in their driving rates.

What is Low Mileage Insurance?

Low mileage insurance is a type of car insurance where your insurance company determines your driving rates based on your mileage.

Usually, you have to pay a low monthly rate, and then the insurance company will bill you depending on how many miles you drive.

Thus, this type of auto insurance is great for people who do not drive much.

It’s perfect for them because they can get lower rates than the average American.

Top 5 Highest-Mileage States Nationwide

stock image of a map of the united states for the states with the highest mileage vehicles blog post

The states where people drive the most, determined by average miles per year per person, are:

  • Wyoming – 18,072
  • Alabama – 14,561
  • Mississippi – 13,663
  • New Mexico – 13,040
  • North Dakota – 13,001

For the most part, the majority of people in the United States who rack up high mileage on their vehicles live in rural states.

For example, Wyoming, North Dakota, and New Mexico are all within the top six least populated states.

Often, drivers who live in rural areas lack other options to get to work or sometimes even the grocery store.

Thus, they have no other choice but to drive there.

Also, many rural areas don’t have access to public transportation.

Furthermore, many of the states where people have high vehicle miles are also some of the poorest states in the United States.

And the higher a person’s income, the more likely they are to have the option to work from home.

Thus, drivers in low-income states like Mississippi, New Mexico, and Alabama are more likely to drive to work every day.

So, people from the poorest states also tend to spend the most on auto insurance and car repair because of their high car mileage.

Finally, high mileage states also tend to have low gas prices, which makes driving cheaper.

For example, Mississippi and Alabama have some of the most affordable gas prices at $2.94 and $2.99, respectively, for a tank of gas in January of 2022.

If you aren’t in one of those states, however, we’d recommend that you consider buying one of the best gas mileage cars as your next ride.

Top 5 Lowest-Mileage States Nationwide

The states where people drive the least are:

  • Washington DC – 5,261
  • New York – 6,324
  • Alaska – 7,464
  • Rhode Island – 7,567
  • Hawaii – 7,664

Overall, the states with the lowest mileage vehicles tend to be primarily urban.

(Except Alaska, which has its own reasons for being a low mileage state).

Usually, people who live in urban areas have lower average miles than the average American.

They drive less because cities are much more pedestrian and bike-friendly than rural regions, which often have long stretches of highways with no sidewalk.

Also, since cities are much denser than the countryside, it is usually much more comfortable to walk or bicycle to most places.

Thus, people in cities like Washington, D.C, New York City, and San Francisco have a much easier time walking or cycling around their living spaces than those who live in Wyoming or North Dakota.

Similarly, small and dense areas tend to have better public transportation.

For instance, Washington DC and New York City have the Metro and Subway, respectively, which residents can use instead of driving.

Lastly, these states tend to be areas with higher incomes.

So, they often have more work-from-home days.

These states also have higher gas prices.

For example, in Hawaii, a gallon of gas in January 2022 averaged $4.34.

Why Does Alaska Have a Low Annual Average Mileage?

Alaska is the least populated state in the United States.

But it ranks number three when it comes to the lowest average miles.

These facts go against how we understand mileage.

Alaska has a lower mileage because instead of having lots of rural areas, Alaska actually contains a lot of impassable wilderness.

Thus, most Alaskan drivers only drive in the city, making Alaska’s driving habits more akin to an urban state.

Additionally, Alaska often has inclement weather.

These storms keep many people inside their houses for a large part of the year.

How Many Miles Does the Average Driver Drive in a Month?

The average American driver drives approximately 1,123 miles every month.

This amount is the same as driving from New York City to Kansas City, or about 17 hours of straight driving.

But, mileage differs depending on factors like gender and age.

For example, men between 34 and 54 drive the most at about 1,500 miles per month.

On the other hand, women over 65 years old drive the least at only about 400 miles a month.

How Many Miles Does the Average Driver Drive in a Week?

American drivers drive about 259.15 miles a week.

Overall, most of this driving is for:

  • Running errands and shopping (45% or 116.62 miles)
  • Social and recreational trips (27% or 69.97 miles)
  • The daily commute (15% or 38.87 miles)

Also, we tend to make the most driving trips on Fridays and the least on Sundays.

How Many Miles Does the Average Driver Drive in a Day?

The average daily miles driven in the United States is 36.92.

This number equals about 55 minutes a day of driving.

What is the Normal Mileage for a Car Per Year in the UK?

Generally, the average UK citizen only drives about 6,800 miles a year.

This number is less than half what the average American drives.

Also, this percentage is much lower than what UK drivers drove in the past.

For example, in 2002, the average was 9,200 miles.

Why Do People Drive Less in the UK?

One of the main reasons Europeans generally drive less than people in the United States is because of differences following WWII.

After this war left much of Europe poor compared to the US, many Europeans couldn’t afford cars when they became popular in the 1940s and 1950s in America.

Because of this occurrence, America built up its cities much more around cars and roadways than European countries where, for the most part, only wealthy people owned cars.

Another significant reason is that European nations, like the UK, tend to have better public transportation systems.

They built better systems because there was more of a need for them when they re-built their towns after WWII.

After all, fewer Europeans had cars.

Finally, European zoning laws make it much more likely that people live within walking distance of places like grocery shops and dentist offices.

Wrapping Up

So, the average American driver drives 13,476 miles a year.

This amount is the same as driving from Anchorage, Alaska, to Jacksonville, Florida, three times.

All of this driving wears on your car and even makes your vehicle insurance rates rise.

Thus, whenever possible, it is best to find an alternative to driving.

Taking public transportation, biking, or walking are all good options.

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