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Average Miles Driven per Year by Americans (2022)

U.S. drivers drive an average of 12,785 miles per year according to data from the Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHA). The FHA's most recent annual report compiled data on transportation, including the number of licensed drivers, average car mileage by state and more. We analyzed this report to draw correlations between annual mileage and states, age and sex. We also look at how the coronavirus pandemic affected the national average annual mileage, likely due to quarantine protocols and the increase of remote working opportunities.

Average Miles Driven Per Year by State

U.S. citizens drive, on average, 12,785 miles per year based on the most recent report from the FHA. However, this figure can vary significantly by state. Here is a state-by-state breakdown of the average annual mileage per driver.

State

Average Annual Mileage Per Driver

Alabama

16,800 miles

Alaska

10,226 miles

Arizona

11,574 miles

Arkansas

15,747 miles

California

11,102 miles

Colorado

11,314 miles

Connecticut

11,897 miles

Delaware

10,064 miles

District of Columbia

5,818 miles

Florida

13,240 miles

Georgia

15,418 miles

Hawaii

9,533 miles

Idaho

13,542 miles

Illinois

11,443 miles

Indiana

16,901 miles

Iowa

13,113 miles

Kansas

13,897 miles

Kentucky

16,016 miles

Louisiana

14,158 miles

Maine

12,488 miles

Maryland

11,424 miles

Massachusetts

10,956 miles

Michigan

12,317 miles

Minnesota

12,620 miles

Mississippi

19,664 miles

Missouri

17,090 miles

Montana

14,640 miles

Nebraska

13,505 miles

Nevada

12,270 miles

New Hampshire

11,275 miles

New Jersey

10,647 miles

New Mexico

16,126 miles

New York

8,404 miles

North Carolina

13,924 miles

North Dakota

16,266 miles

Ohio

12,730 miles

Oklahoma

16,467 miles

Oregon

10,968 miles

Pennsylvania

9,852 miles

Rhode Island

9,381 miles

South Carolina

13,818 miles

South Dakota

14,804 miles

Tennessee

15,663 miles

Texas

14,750 miles

Utah

14,072 miles

Vermont

13,034 miles

Virginia

12,879 miles

Washington

9,232 miles

West Virginia

14,571 miles

Wisconsin

13,346 miles

Wyoming

22,939 miles

U.S. drivers drive an average of 12,785 miles per year.

States Where People Drive the Most

Data from the FHA showed that the following 10 states have the highest average annual mileage per driver:

  • Wyoming: 22,939 miles per year

  • Mississippi: 19,664 miles per year

  • Missouri: 17,090 miles per year

  • Indiana: 16,901 miles per year

  • Alabama: 16,800 miles per year

  • Oklahoma: 16,467 miles per year

  • North Dakota: 16,266 miles per year

  • New Mexico: 16,126 miles per year

  • Kentucky: 16,016 miles per year

  • Arkansas: 15,747 miles per year

Ninety percent of the states with the highest average annual mileage per driver are located in the southern and midwestern regions. Five of the ten states with the highest annual mileage (Mississippi, Alabama, Oklahoma, Kentucky and Arkansas) are in the southern region. Four states (Wyoming, Missouri, Indiana, North Dakota and New Mexico) are in the midwestern region. New Mexico is the only state in the western region to rank among the ten states with the highest annual mileage.

Half of the ten states with the lowest annual mileage are rural states. Rural states with less sophisticated public transportation may require more drivers to use their personal vehicles to get around, contributing to a higher annual mileage per driver.

States Where People Drive the Least

The ten states with the lowest average annual mileage per driver are:

  • New York: 8,404 miles per year

  • Washington: 9,232 miles per year

  • Rhode Island: 9,381 miles per year

  • Hawaii: 9,533 miles per year

  • Pennsylvania: 9,852 miles per year

  • Delaware: 10,064 miles per year

  • Alaska: 10,226 miles per year

  • New Jersey: 10,647 miles per year

  • Massachusetts: 10,956 miles per year

  • Oregon: 10,968 miles per year

The northeastern and western regions hold the states with the lowest average annual mileage per driver. The northeastern region holds 60% of these states (New York, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and Massachusetts). The remaining four states (Washington, Hawaii, Alaska and Oregon) are located in the western region.

States with a higher distribution of public transportation commuters are typically in the northeastern and western regions according to a 2019 U.S. Census report. New York, Boston and Newark (New Jersey) are especially transit-heavy metro areas in the northeastern region. With a higher percentage of drivers using public transit, fewer drivers racking up mileage on their personal vehicles.

Regional Trends

Our research showed that there is a correlation between a state's region and its annual mileage. States with the highest annual mileage per driver are located in the southern and midwestern regions, while the states with the lowest annual mileage per driver are concentrated in the northeastern and western regions.

average miles driven per year in the us

Annual Mileage Decreased During the Coronavirus Pandemic

The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic in March 2020. The national average annual mileage per driver dropped from 14,328 miles (2019) to 12,785 miles (2020). Most states experienced a 6% to 16% decrease in average annual mileage per driver from 2019 to 2020 — a period when many states initiated quarantine protocols. Delaware experienced the largest decrease in average mileage (down 20%), while Mississippi, Kentucky and Connecticut experienced the smallest decrease (down 2%).


2019

2020

Percentage Change from 2019 to 2020

Average Annual Mileage Per Driver

14,328 miles

12,785 miles

11% decrease

Total Annual Mileage (in millions)

3,276,482 miles

2,917,383 miles

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Do Different Demographics Play a Role in Annual Mileage?

Our analysis showed that there are some correlations between annual mileage and a driver's age and sex.

Average Annual Car Mileage by Age

The most recent data from the FHA showed that annual mileage can vary based on your age.

Age Range

Average Annual Mileage

16-19 years

7,624 miles

20-34 years

15,098 miles

35-54 years

15,291 miles

55-64 years

11,972 miles

65 and older

7,646 miles

Source: Federal Highway Administration

Drivers ages 16 to 19 have the least annual mileage, on average, at 7,624 miles. A portion of these drivers are likely learner's permit drivers and may not commute as regularly as working adults.

The drivers with the highest annual mileage are ages 20 to 54. Annual mileage in this age group is nearly double that of teenagers and adults 65 years and older. Drivers ages 20 to 54 likely hold stable jobs and commute regularly and further for work (compared to teenage drivers that may hold a local part-time job or retirees).

Drivers with high annual mileage are more likely to have higher car insurance premiums than a driver with a lower average miles per year.

Average Annual Car Mileage by Sex

Our analysis of data from the FHA showed that men drive more miles than women, on average, across all age groups.

Age Range

Average Annual Mileage per Male Driver

Average Annual Mileage per Female Driver

16-19 years

8,206 miles

6,873 miles

30-34 years

17,976 miles

12,004 miles

35-54 years

18,858 miles

11,464 miles

55-64 years

15,859 miles

7,780 miles

65 years and older

10,304 miles

4,785 miles

Total

16,550 miles

10,142 miles

Source: Federal Highway Administration

Overall, the annual mileage for men is 63% higher than that of women. This equates to about an additional 6,408 miles, on average, for male drivers over women.

Commute time and frequency may partly explain the difference between the sexes. Studies have shown that men are more likely to commute further for work. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics also suggest that men are more likely than women to work over 40 hours per week, which can lead to more frequent commuting on top of longer commute times.

How Does Annual Mileage Affect Insurance Rates?

Drivers with high annual mileage are more likely to have higher car insurance premiums than a driver with a lower average miles per year. If you spend more time on the road, then you increase the likelihood of filing a car insurance claim — a driver who commutes seven times per week is more likely to get into an accident than someone who drives only once a week. Insurance companies generally charge higher car insurance premiums to reflect the increased risk associated with higher-mileage drivers.

Low-Mileage Drivers and Pay-Per-Mile Car Insurance

A pay-per-mile auto policy is a type of auto insurance in which the number of miles you drive directly affects your premiums. Pay-per-mile policies can be an affordable alternative to traditional auto insurance if you're a low-mileage driver — typically 10,000 annual miles or fewer. If you're a retiree, a stay-at-home parent or somebody who works from home, then pay-per-mile auto insurance may lead to considerable savings.

FAQs

How many miles do people drive a year?

The most recent data from the Federal Highway Administration showed that the average miles driven per year for a U.S. driver is 12,785 miles. The average car miles per year can also vary based on state, age and sex.

What's a good average for miles driven per year?

If you are driving around 12,000 miles per year, your annual mileage is roughly similar to the national average annual mileage for a U.S. driver (12,785 miles). However, car lifespan and gas efficiency will vary by the vehicle's year, make and model, which can make "good annual mileage" situational to the vehicle.

Is 10,000 miles to 15,000 miles a year a lot?

The most recent data from the FHA showed that the average annual mileage for a U.S. driver is 12,785, which falls roughly in the middle of a 10,000 to 15,000 mileage range.

Is 20,000 miles a year a lot for a car?

Compared to what is generally considered low mileage (10,000 miles or fewer) and the national average miles driven per year for a U.S. driver (12,895 miles), 20,000 miles per year is quite high.

What is the national average commute to work?

Data from Statista showed that 54% of U.S. drivers have a one-way commute time of 30 minutes or less. Seventeen percent reported commute times of 30 to 59 minutes, while far fewer (5%) had commute times of one hour or more. The remaining 25% of respondents reported that they do not commute.

Lower Mileage Is Your Opportunity To Save on Auto Insurance

Annual mileage has dropped in recent years partly due to the pandemic and likely the rise of remote working. If you're driving fewer miles, you may be able to save on car insurance with a new policy or even a pay-per-mile premium structure. If you drive a lot, there are prices out there for you too.

With so many options available, SmartFinancial may help narrow your choices down to one policy that will cover you with the high pricetag. After answering a few questions, we analyze insurance partners in your area to match you with a policy based on your coverage needs and budget. Just enter your zip code below to get started on your free quote!

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