Motor Insurance

Average Car Mileage UK 2020

How much ground does the average British driver cover each year? We've run the numbers to understand how typical mileage changes for purposes like commuting and business, as well as differences between petrol and diesel cars.

Average Car Mileage UK

In 2018, the average car in the UK drove 7,600 miles—down from 9,200 miles in 2002. British motorists drive 17% less now than than they did in 2002, a decrease that's primarily driven by a drop in business driving. From 2002 to 2018, business mileage is lower by 900 miles a year, commuting mileage is down 100 miles a year and other private driving is lower by 500 miles a year.

Change in UK Driving HabitsBusiness MilesCommuting MilesOther Private MilesAverage Total Miles

This annual mileage made up of car trips where the average car journey is 8.4 miles long.

chart showing how mileage in the UK has changed over time
UK motorists are driving less, especially for business

During a time when cars are being driven less and less, it's interesting to note that the number of cars licensed in the UK has continued to rise steadily—so while the mileage per car has dropped, you could argue that as a country we are driving more.

Average Car Mileage by Fuel Type

While the average UK car travelled 7,600 miles in 2018, those driving petrol cars drove 30% less on average compared to diesel cars. Diesel cars drove 9,400 miles on average, while petrol cars covered 6,600 miles in 2018. This is not surprising as those who drive more tend to gravitate towards diesel cars due to better gas mileage, especially given that the average motorist spends over £1,000 a year on car fuel.

How Many Miles do UK Motorists Drive Each Year?Mileage
chart showing how mileage in the UK in 2018 including by fuel type
The average UK card drove 7,600 miles in 2018

Why You Should Track Your Annual Car Mileage

Having a good understanding of your annual mileage is more important that you might think. Car insurance quotes and contracts are based upon a certain estimated mileage and if you go over that, a claim that might otherwise be valid might be denied. To some extent this is a reasonable position on the part of car insurance companies, because the more you drive the higher the odds of an accident and associated insurance claims. Insurance companies charge higher rates for cars that drive more, and expect car owners to pay for the risk they present.

Erin Yurday

Erin Yurday is the CEO, Co-founder and Editor of NimbleFins. Prior to NimbleFins, she worked as an investment professional and as the finance expert in Stanford University's Graduate School of Business case writing team. Read more on LinkedIn.