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Mileage mayhem: Are you gambling on invalidating your policy?

11 million motorists guess their mileage on their insurance policy

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Up to 11 million motorists are putting their insurance policy at risk by making one simple error, according to new uSwitch research.

The research found that a quarter of UK motorists (28%) make an educated guess when stating their annual mileage for a car insurance quote – despite this being one of the key factors insurers use to determine the cost of cover.

Shockingly, half of drivers (50%) are unaware of the consequences of deflating their mileage, with 16% of those who underestimated thinking it didn’t matter what figure they gave. Setting mileage too low, however, could result in an insurer refusing to pay in the event of a claim, leaving drivers drastically out of pocket. A quarter (26%) said they underestimated because they do not have the time to work out an accurate figure, while a further one in four (24%) have no idea of what their mileage would be.

On the flip side, the average motorist estimates they have driven 6,167 miles over the last year, but when comparing this to the mileage they provided to their insurer, a quarter (27%) believe they overestimated. The majority (67%) cited ‘being on the safe side’, with a fifth (20%) saying as they were unsure what their mileage would be as the reason they erred on the side of caution.

Despite an MOT certificate being one of the most accurate sources to confirm a mileage record, 40% of motorists prefer to use other ways of calculating mileage, while one in five (18%) had no idea this was available to them.

To help consumers take the guesswork out of estimating their annual mileage, uSwitch has introduced a new tool which automatically provides an accurate estimate based on the previous two years’ mileage figure on motorists’ MOT certificates.

Sabrina Webb, insurance expert at, says: “Getting the information right when you are applying for an insurance policy is always important, as you don’t want to run the risk of a claim being turned down, should you need to make one.

“And the mileage is no different. Unfortunately, there’s a lack of appreciation amongst many drivers when it comes to how important it is to provide accurate mileage figures and how big an impact it can have on their premiums.

“While it may seem quicker to just hazard a guess when looking to sort your motor insurance, by providing an accurate estimate, you reduce the risk of overestimating and, therefore, overpaying for your insurance policy.”

Compare car insurance quotes

Run a comparison with uSwitch and get an automatic mileage estimate

Set a reminder