Average new car driven 28 miles per day28 Apr 2020

New Teslas clocking up most mileage

The newest cars in Great Britain do an average of 10,377 miles in each of the first three years after they are registered.

That’s the equivalent of 28 miles per day.

However, there are big differences between cars of varying make, model and fuel type.

The analysis by the RAC Foundation – which predates the steep falls in road traffic seen as a consequence of Covid-19 – was based on the MOT data for 516,936 vehicles.

Private cars are required to start having annual MOTs once they are three years old. At that point the mileage is recorded by the test venue and it is that information this research uses.

The results show that new diesel cars cover an average of 12,496 miles in each of their first three years.

This is 67% more than new petrol cars which only do an average of 7,490 miles per year.

Pure battery electric cars are driven an average of 9,435 miles per year. Looking at a selection of individual electric models:

Make and model Average annual mileage in each of the first three years Number of cars in sample
Tesla Model S 12,392 846
Nissan Leaf 8,241 1,026
Renault Zoe 5,736 394


A Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid – the most common vehicle of its type on the road – averages 12,500 miles per year.

When it comes to conventionally fuelled cars there are big differences between petrol and diesel versions of the same model. For example:

Make and model Petrol

Average annual mileage in each of the first three years


Average annual mileage in each of the first three years

Percentage difference between diesel and petrol mileage
Skoda Octavia 9,230 14,986 +62%
Ford Focus 8,313 12,650 +52%
Vauxhall Astra 8,640 12,929 +50%
Audi A3 8,670 12,208 +41%
Nissan Qashqai 7,690 10,587 +38%
Mercedes C class 8,349 11,124 +33%


When it comes to selected manufacturers:

Make Average annual mileage in each of the first three years Number of cars in sample
TESLA 12,459 887
MERCEDES-BENZ 12,100 43,193
VOLVO 11,578 6,135
FORD 11,488 69,650
MITSUBISHI 11,456 4,973
VOLKSWAGEN 11,282 42,010
CITROEN 11,272 16,120
RENAULT 10,924 21,066
BMW 10,859 29,365
LAND ROVER 10,716 18,456
AUDI 10,639 31,511
PEUGEOT 10,608 20,605
SKODA 10,569 11,119
JAGUAR 10,474 6,743
VAUXHALL 10,218 43,381
SEAT 9,854 7,877
LEXUS 9,645 2,150
NISSAN 9,360 29,836
INFINITI 9,265 679
JEEP 9,209 3,101
SSANGYONG 9,199 844
MAZDA 9,142 6,847
SUBARU 9,075 544
KIA 8,958 16,355
HYUNDAI 8,888 12,041
ALFA ROMEO 8,699 888
DACIA 8,642 4,229
DS 8,493 2,961
MASERATI 8,451 429
HONDA 8,215 6,815
TOYOTA 8,179 14,277
MINI 8,087 10,668
PORSCHE 7,786 2,713
FIAT 7,710 15,476
SUZUKI 7,604 5,450
MG 7,445 760
SMART (MCC) 6,392 3,339
ABARTH 6,277 832
BENTLEY 5,464 517
ROLLS ROYCE 3,889 141
LOTUS 3,739 85
ASTON MARTIN 3,280 294
MCLAREN 3,012 167
MORGAN 2,441 71
FERRARI 1,883 265
CATERHAM 1,544 63


Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said:

“Unsurprisingly people with diesels have been doing most mileage, probably seeking better long-distance fuel economy, but this study is also evidence that battery-electric powered cars are not just trophy vehicles signalling their owners’ green credentials but prior to the lockdown were racking up the miles as everyday transport.

“Tens of millions of people still drive petrol and diesel-powered cars, but this data suggests that owners of electric cars have found them to be a practical proposition, running up the sort of big annual mileages that many of us need to do, challenging preconceptions about their range and the ease of re-charging.

“The next big question is what will happen when the Covid-19 lockdown ends? Some say our travel behaviour might change quite dramatically as we’ve mastered on-line meetings in place of the office routine, but any ongoing desire for social-distancing might yet draw us back to our own cars for the trips we make once the travel restrictions are lifted.”



Philip Gomm – Head of External Communications – RAC Foundation

[email protected] | 020 7747 3445 | 07711 776448 | 020 7389 0601 (ISDN)

Notes to editors:

The RAC Foundation is a transport policy and research organisation that explores the economic, mobility, safety and environmental issues relating to roads and their users.

The Foundation publishes independent and authoritative research with which it promotes informed debate and advocates policy in the interest of the responsible motorist. All the Foundation’s work is available at: www.racfoundation.org

Table of new car mileage by make and model:


Table of new car mileage by make, model and fuel type: