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 2019, the average car in the UK drove 7,400 miles—down 20% from 9,200 miles in 2002. British motorists drive less now, primarily driven by a drop in business driving and private driving. Commuting mileage has held steady at 2,700 miles a year on average per car. From 2002 to 2019, business mileage is lower by 900 miles a year, commuting mileage is flat and other private driving is lower by 700 miles a year.

Change in UK Driving HabitsBusiness MilesCommuting MilesOther Private MilesAverage Total Miles
20021,3002,7005,1009,200
20194002,7004,4007,400

The average car journey for these care 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 Mileage per Day, Week, Month and Year

How much do we drive per day, week or month? On a daily basis, cars in the UK drive an average of 20 miles a day, 142 miles a week, 617 miles a month and 7,400 miles a year.

Average Car Mileage per Day, Week, Month and Year2019
Per Day20
Per Week142
Per Month617
Average Total Miles per car7,600

Calculating your own annual car mileage

If you want to calculate how much you drive a year (perhaps you're trying to figure out how many miles to declare on your car insurance), use the table below to get an idea of your annual mileage based on your daily, weekly or mileage driving habits:

How Much do You Drive a Year?

DailyWeeklyMonthlyAnnually
10703053,650
151054585,475
201406107,300
251757639,125
3021091510,950
352451,06812,775
402801,22014,600
453151,37316,425
503501,52518,250
553851,67820,075
604201,83021,900
654551,98323,725
704902,13525,550

But remember to include any longer trips such as visiting family or holidays when calculating your annual mileage for insurance purposes. You need to declare enough miles, or your car insurance company could invalid your policy—so it's better to overestimate than underestimate (but don't overestimate too much, higher mileage means a higher premium).

Average Car Mileage by Fuel Type

While the average UK car travelled 7,400 miles in 2019, those driving petrol cars drove 33% less on average compared to diesel cars. Diesel cars drove 9,400 miles on average, while petrol cars covered 6,300 miles in 2019. 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
Petrol6,300
Diesel9,400
Average7,400
chart showing how mileage in the UK in 2019 including by fuel type
The average UK card drove 7,400 miles in 2019

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.

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