By Miles Car Insurance Review: Want to Pay Per Mile?

By Miles Car Insurance Review: Want to Pay Per Mile?

By Miles has a really interesting business model - you pay your car insurance based on actual mileage - and they're award winning!

Good for

  • Those who don't drive a lot
  • Paying car insurance by mileage
  • App to track insurance costs per trip
  • "Find my car" feature

Bad for

  • Customer service phone lines closed at the weekend

Editor's Rating

4.0/5.0

The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.

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Read about By Miles to see if their mileage-based car insurance might be suitable for you. Find out how By Miles features compare, how existing policyholders rate By Miles' customer service and why they won "Best Car Insurance Provider" and "Best Insurance App" at the Insurance Choice Awards 2019.

In This Review

By Miles Car Insurance Overall Review

By Miles is a unique car insurance brand, which can be particularly suitable for those who don't drive a lot, or for those who like tracking their usage and costs with an app (e.g., like watching how much electricity you used today on your smart meter). By Miles charges you according to your actual mileage each month—technically, you'll pay a fixed, annual premium according to where you normally park, and a per mileage amount on top of this which is charged monthly.

While you do plug a miles tracker into the OBD-II socket of your car (in all cars made after 2002, and normally located under your car's dashboard), this is not a typical "black box" policy. Black box policies analyse your driving style (e.g., how aggressively you brake and accelerate) and may use this information to increase your premium, but the By Miles tracker only uses your mileage when determining your premium. They use this information to charge you for insurance.

While you don't need to install the app (or if you don't have a smartphone), doing so will let you see how many miles you've driven and, perhaps more interestingly, the cost of insurance for each trip. The app offers a few other features, such as the "find my car" function which is super useful if you've forgotten where you parked—or if your car is stolen.

By Miles policies are underwritten by a panel of insurers including AXA (one of the biggest UK car insurance companies) and Tradewise Insurance.

Features

While By Miles comprehensive plans are relatively stripped back, missing a few "must have" features as recommended by the Money Advice Service. If these aren't important to you then By Miles might still be a great option for you.

This is a high-level summary for policies bought direct from By Miles through their website—remember, these are always subject to conditions and exclusions, which you can read about in the policy documents.

How Good is By Miles Car Insurance?A Good Policy IncludesDoes By Miles Deliver?By Miles Comprehensive Black Box Coverage
"Must Have" Features
WindscreenFull repair or replacement
thumbs up add on
Some policies/if you buy the add on
Belongings£200+
red x
Up to £100
Keys£300+
thumbs up add on
If you buy the add on
Protected NCD2 times in 3 years (standard or optional extra)
thumbs up add on
If you buy the option, protected up to 1 fault claim within the period of one policy year.
Car recovery after accidentIncluded
thumbs up add on
Included
Courtesy car (repairs)Minimum 14 days
question mark
If you use their repairer; for drivers over 21 years old
Repairs guaranteed12-month guarantee
red x
Not included
"Should Have" Features
New car replacementTheft or damage at least 60% of list price; cars up to 12 months old
red x
Not included
Stereo and satellite navMarket value for manufactur fitted
question mark
Up to £250
Alternative transport & Hotel after accident£250+
red x
Not included
24-hour emergency helplineStandard
thumbs up
Included
Courtesy car (total loss or theft)Standard or add-on extra
question mark
Included, up to 7 days
Motor legal expensesStandard or add-on extra
thumbs up
Included
Breakdown coverStandard or add-on extra
thumbs up add on
If you buy the add on
"Could Have" Features
Same cover in EUStandard or add-on extra
thumbs up add on
Up to 28 days if they agree and you pay an extra premium
Child car seat replacement after accident, theft, fireIdeally replaced even if no visible damage
red x
Not included
Larger/premium courtesy carStandard or add-on extra
red x
Not available
No fault NCD protectionStandard
thumbs up
Fault or Split Liability claims will affect your No Claims Discount
Uninsured driver NCD protectionStandard
red x
Not convered
Cancellation feeNo more than £50
red x
Range of fees from £0 to £100, in addition to cancellation fees from insurance provider

By Miles Car Insurance Customer Service Reviews and Ratings

By Miles achieves excellent customer service scores from existing policyholders. We scoured online customer review sites to find out what customers are really saying, both positive and negative. Here's what we found:

By Miles Ratings & Customer Reviews
Trustpilot customer service rating4.8 out of 5
Smart Money People4.94 out of 5
defaqto4 out of 5

By Miles Trustpilot

Over 1,000 existing customers have rated By Miles with an average of 4.8 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot—a very high rating for a car insurance company. In fact, a remarkable 89% of customers on Trustpilot gave By Miles a 5-star "excellent" review.

Here are some comments by real customers to give a flavour of the By Miles experience. First, some positive customer comments:

"The staff were very helpful by phone, the app works well to show detail of every journey the monthly billing is clear. And over the year I will save roughly 25% compared with my previous policies. This seems like a much fairer way to finance car insurance."

"Sensible, competitive alternative for low mileage driving."

"Truly excellent. And the cheapest insurance."

The negative comments are few and far between, and we didn't see any consistent issues. In fact, only 2% of customers have given negative reviews. Here are a few:

"£50 CANCELLATION FEE, £50 RETAINER FOR A DEVICE I HAVE YET TO RECEIVE, POLICY NOT EVEN DUE TO START TILL A WEEK LATER, NO COOLING OFF PERIOD, CUSTOMER SERVICE AREN'T HUMAN THEY'RE ROBOTS KEEP SAYING THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER AGAIN QUOTING T&C'S AVOID!"

"The bit you need to connect to your car basically flattens your battery."

We should mention that a car alarm constantly use up power, and the Miles Tracker will occasionally use your car's battery when the engine is off, too. Cars that aren't driven often are more prone to the battery losing charge. Especially if your battery is older, it's cold out and you don't drive much, you should try to run your engine at least once a month or keep the battery on a trickle charger to avoid any issues.

Another 1,200+ customers have rated By Miles with 4.94 stars out of 5 at Smart Money People.

Cancellation & Administration Fees

By Miles cancellation fees are typically £50, even during the 14-day cooling off period. While this fee is around average for a car insurance cancellation fee AFTER the first 14 days, it is on the high side for cancellations DURING the first 14 days. However, keep in mind that By Miles has costs involved in setting up tracker-based policies, since they need to send them out[symbol[:m-dash]if your car is "connected" and doesn't need a tracker, you still pay the same cancellation fees, however.

On the plus side, you're not likely to pay admin fees for amendments like changing your address since you get 3 free administrative charges per year. Of course, if the computers say your admin changes are a higher risk (e.g., depending on their experience in your new neighborhood or the driving history of an additional driver) your premium may rise due to an admin change.

Cancellation Fees
CancellationTypically £50
Admin fees (e.g., adding a named driver, change your address, etc.)3 changes per year free of charge (however, your premium might change)

Important By Miles Car Insurance Phone Numbers

By Miles customer service is available over the phone on weekdays only, from 9am - 6pm—but their webchat is open 9-6 weekdays and also 10-6 on weekends.

By Miles Car Insurance Contact Numbers
Customer Services0330 088 3838
Claims0330 088 3838

Policy Documents

By Miles policy wording will explain the full terms, conditions and exclusions—we always recommend reading the policy documents before signing up.

FAQs

By Miles only started selling car insurance policies in 2018, but have already won "Best Car Insurance Provider" and "Best Insurance App" at the Insurance Choice Awards 2019.
By Miles is underwritten by a panel of insurers, including AXA Insurance UK Plc, one of the UK's biggest car insurance companies, and Tradewise Insurance Company Limited.
To make an admin change on your By Miles policy, use the live chat in your app or web dashboard. As with all car insurance, your premium may change (in the base of By Miles, your annual cost and per-mile rate) if you make any changes to your policy.
Yes, you pay for car insurance with By Miles based on the mileage you drive, which is particularly suited to low-mileage drivers. To clarify, you pay both an annual fixed cost and a per-mile rate.
Policyholders pay a £50 fee to cancel By Miles car insurance, even during the first 14 days. And, as with all car insurance policies, you'll also need to pay for any period/miles of cover you received.
You can cancel your By Miles policy using the live chat in your app or on their website.
Around 21 days before your renewal date, By Miles will email you with your new fixed premium and your new per-mile rate for the next policy year. When your current policy expires, they'll automatically renew your policy for a further 12 months. If you don’t want to renew, tell them as soon as soon as possible and certainly many days before the renewal date.
Yes, you have 7 days to plug the Miles Tracker in (giving it time to get to you), from the time you purchase your policy. During those 7 days your insurance is valid even if you haven't plugged in the tracker yet.

Other Car Insurance Reviews

If you'd like to compare By Miles to other car insurance companies, see our other car insurance reviews below:

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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