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

How many miles does the average person drive in a year? More than 13,000, can wear down your vehicle and can make car insurance rate go up.

Key Takeaways

  • The average American drives about 13,476 miles per year, varying by age, gender, and location.
  • Insurance rates can be affected by annual mileage, with high mileage increasing premium costs.
  • The highest-mileage states are mostly rural, with Wyoming leading at 18,072 miles per year.
  • Urban areas and specific states like New York see significantly lower average annual mileage.

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

The average American drives approximately 13,476 miles per year, as reported by the United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration. This figure can fluctuate based on various factors including age, gender, and geographic location.

Understanding your average annual mileage is crucial for reasons such as influencing your auto insurance rates and determining the frequency of car repairs.

It’s also relevant to your health, as more driving means less engagement in physical activities like biking.

To calculate individual yearly mileage, drivers can track daily miles driven and extrapolate to a yearly total, adjusting for any significant trips to ensure accuracy.

How Many Miles Does the Average American Drive In Month, Week, and Day?

The average American driver travels approximately 1,123 miles each month, equating to around 259.15 miles weekly and 36.92 miles daily. This monthly distance is akin to a journey from New York City to Kansas City, requiring about 17 hours of continuous driving.

However, driving habits vary significantly based on factors such as gender and age. Men aged 34 to 54 typically drive the most, with about 1,500 miles per month, while women over 65 drive the least, covering only about 400 miles monthly.

Weekly driving primarily consists of errands and shopping (45% or 116.62 miles), social and recreational trips (27% or 69.97 miles), and commuting (15% or 38.87 miles), with Fridays being the busiest and Sundays the quietest driving days.

On a daily basis, Americans spend about 55 minutes behind the wheel, covering 36.92 miles.

Top 5 Highest-Mileage States Nationwide

The top five states in the United States with the highest annual mileage per person are Wyoming, Alabama, Mississippi, New Mexico, and North Dakota, with Wyoming leading at 18,072 miles.

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

These states, predominantly rural, see their residents driving significantly more due to the sparse population and limited transportation alternatives.

Rural living often necessitates driving long distances for basic needs, such as work or groceries, as public transportation options are scarce.

In addition, these high-mileage states are among the poorer in the nation, where lower-income individuals are less likely to have the option to work from home, thus relying more on driving.

This results in higher expenditures on auto insurance and car repairs due to increased vehicle use.

Additionally, states like Mississippi and Alabama offer lower gas prices, making driving a more economical choice for many.

In Mississippi and Alabama, gas prices were notably low, at $2.94 and $2.99 per gallon respectively in January 2022, further encouraging driving as a primary mode of transportation.

Top 5 Lowest-Mileage States Nationwide

The states with the lowest annual vehicle mileage in the United States are Washington D.C., New York, Alaska, Rhode Island, and Hawaii, with Washington D.C. recording the lowest at 5,261 miles.

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

These regions are predominantly urban, with the exception of Alaska, which has unique factors contributing to its low mileage.

Urban residents typically drive less due to the pedestrian and bicycle-friendly nature of cities, along with shorter distances to destinations and the availability of robust public transportation systems, such as the Metro in Washington D.C. and the Subway in New York City.

Urban areas also tend to have higher income levels, allowing for more flexibility in working from home, which reduces the need for daily commuting.

High gas prices in these areas, such as the average of $4.34 per gallon in Hawaii in January 2022, also discourage frequent driving.

Alaska’s low average mileage, despite being the least populated state, can be attributed to its vast wilderness areas that limit driving distances and the frequent inclement weather that keeps residents indoors.

What About Mileage in the UK?

In the UK, the average annual mileage for a car is approximately 6,800 miles, significantly lower than the roughly double figure seen in the United States. This represents a decline from previous years, such as in 2002 when the average was 9,200 miles.

Various factors contribute to this lower mileage in the UK and across Europe more broadly, compared to the US.

Post-World War II economic disparities played a pivotal role, with many Europeans unable to afford cars during the 1940s and 1950s, a time when car ownership surged in America. This led to urban development in the US being more car-centric than in Europe.

European countries, including the UK, have invested in more extensive public transportation networks, responding to a greater need during the post-war rebuilding phase.

Zoning laws there also often ensure that essential services and amenities are within walking distance for most residents, reducing the dependency on cars for short trips.

How Mileage Impacts Insurance Rates

Car insurance rates are influenced by the number of miles you drive annually.

Auto insurance companies consider high-mileage drivers to be at greater risk of accidents, leading to potentially higher insurance premiums. Conversely, driving fewer miles typically results in a lower risk of crashes, which can lower your insurance rates.

However, mileage is just one of several factors insurers consider; your driving record and location also affect your premiums.

To qualify for a low mileage discount, you generally need to drive under 7,000 miles per year, significantly less than the average. For those driving more than 20,000 miles annually, insurance rates may substantially increase.

Low mileage insurance, which offers lower base rates with charges based on actual miles driven, is an economical option for those who drive infrequently.

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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