Excessive mileage can make your car or van insurance invalid

author image-chloe
By Chloe Dickenson
Updated on Friday 4 February 2022

Speedometer with mileage dark

While going over your car or van mileage might not seem like the biggest deal at first, it’s important to know that if you drive more miles than your insurance allows, you could end up making your car insurance policy void. While it’s not always guaranteed to be the case, driving more miles than you originally stated could result in you paying a hefty fee or even worse, your car insurance becoming invalid.

If you’re wondering what happens if you do more miles than your insurance or if you want to know more about car insurance and how it can affect your annual mileage, check out our guide below for more information.

Do car insurance companies check mileage?

When you take out a car insurance policy, whether it’s for the first time ever, the first time with a new provider or you’re simply just renewing your current policy, most insurance companies will ask for your average annual mileage.

Of course, this question can be a little tricky to answer, especially if you don’t keep track of the number of miles you drive each year, but it’s an imperative figure to try and remember when it comes to taking out car insurance.

It’s not a guarantee that all insurance providers will ask you how many miles you drive annually, but most car insurers likely will, so it’s good to have an approximate idea that’s as close as possible to the actual figure.

Insurers ask for information about your annual car mileage to get an idea of how much you drive each year so they can see how many miles you’re expected to cover to determine how likely they think you are to be involved in a car accident. Statistically, insurers say that the more miles you drive each year, the more likely you are to be involved in a car accident as you’ll be spending more time on the road than other drivers.

Of course, your annual mileage isn’t the only factor that car insurance companies consider when offering you a policy, as they also take into account things like your age, driving history, the make and model of the car you’re insuring and more, but it is likely something they’ll ask you about so it’s important that you give an answer as accurately as possible.

Is my insurance void if I go over mileage?

If you go over your mileage, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your insurance will automatically become void, there is usually some wiggle room and a slight allowance made with most car insurers.

However, in a lot of cases, what happens if you go over your mileage on insurance, is that your car insurance provider could invalidate your policy which means you won’t be covered if you need to make a claim in the event that you’re involved in an accident or your car is damaged somehow.

Unless you opt for ‘by the mile’ car insurance, most car insurance providers will only cover you for the estimated annual mileage that you provided them with when you first applied for a car insurance quote. If you drive over this mileage limit, your insurer won’t cover you and your policy could become invalid, leaving you without a valid insurance policy if you ever need to make a claim.

In some cases, having your policy made void will just mean that you won’t be able to claim for as much as you initially thought, so if you need to make a claim on your car insurance, instead of being able to make a claim of up to £5,000 for example, you might only be able to claim for £3,000.

Of course, it all depends on the individual insurance provider and what they include in their terms and conditions. Some insurers may invalidate your policy altogether so you’re not able to make a claim at all, whereas some may be more lenient and allow you to claim up to a certain amount even if you go over your mileage.

Furthermore, some car insurance companies may also charge an additional fee to cover the difference between your initial car insurance quote and the amount you would actually require if you’d have provided the right annual mileage in the first place.

Telling your insurance provider about your updated mileage

In order to avoid your insurance policy becoming invalid or incurring a surcharge for claiming on your policy when you’ve gone over your annual mileage, the best thing to do is to inform your car insurance provider as soon as possible that you’ve gone over your limit or that you think you might go over before your current policy ends.

You may have to pay a small adjustment fee to facilitate this change, but it will likely be cheaper than facing the consequences of not updating your mileage and then going over your mileage allowance.

Why is my annual mileage increasing?

You might not have given it a second thought as to why your annual mileage is increasing, but there could be several reasons why your average annual mileage is going up each year. If you resonate with one of the reasons below, it’s important to let your insurance provider know as soon as possible so that they can adjust your annual mileage on your policy so that you don’t run the risk of it becoming invalidated.

  • If you’ve started a new job and your commute to work is longer than your old job.
  • If you’ve let someone borrow your car for a long journey.
  • If you’ve added a named driver to your policy and they’re driving more than usual.

Of course, on the flip side, you could be driving far fewer miles than you originally thought, so it’s also important to let your insurance provider know about this information as well as you could be saving more money by driving fewer miles.

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