Is Car Insurance Cheaper for Commute or Pleasure?

Last Updated on August 31, 2020

It is no secret that car insurance is a necessary expense that can sometimes add up depending on several factors. One of the things that determine your car insurance rates is what you use your vehicle for. If you use your vehicle for commuting to and from work or school, you may pay more than if you use your vehicle for pleasure. It is important to understand the definitions of commute and pleasure in terms of car insurance, as well as how it affects your car insurance policy.

Is Car Insurance Cheaper for Commute or Pleasure?

Commuter Insurance

The vast majority of drivers across the nation have commuter insurance. You will pay for a commuter insurance policy if you use your vehicle to drive to and from work or school on a near-daily basis. Even if you use your car for pleasure other times, if you commute at all you have to have a commuter insurance policy.

Pleasure Insurance

Getting a car insurance policy for pleasure only means that you do not use your car at all for commuting to or from work or school. Most frequently pleasure use car insurance policies are for fast sportscars or classic cars that are only driven on the weekends or for road trips. You may also qualify for a pleasure use car insurance policy if you are retired and no longer work. Another way to get this type of policy is to use public transportation for your commute and your vehicle only for essential trips.

How Your Commute Affects Your Rates

You will ultimately pay more for a car insurance policy as a commuter than as a pleasure driver. There are a few factors that determine how much more you will pay. The area that you live and work in could make a difference in your premium rates. If you live or work in a very high traffic area, you may pay more for car insurance.

Another thing that can affect your rates as a commuter is the distance of your commute. The further away you work from home the more you will pay for car insurance. This is because you are on the road a longer amount of time. If you work odd hours such as a graveyard shift you may be able to negate this extra cost depending on the car insurance company.

How you use your vehicle for commuting can also make a difference in your car insurance premiums. If you only drive to and from work or school, you will pay less. If you drive your vehicle for business errands, limited commercial use, or delivery, you will have to pay for business use policy, which is more expensive than a commuter policy. If you do not disclose to the car insurance company that you are using your vehicle for business use and have an accident while using it for that purpose, your claim could be denied.

How Your Vehicle Affects Pleasure Rates

If you use your car only for pleasure, you could still wind up paying more for your car insurance on that vehicle than you do for your everyday vehicle. The type of vehicle you are insuring makes a big difference in car insurance prices. You will find yourself paying more money if you have an irreplaceable classic that is fully restored. You will also pay more for car insurance if you have a high dollar sports car that is very expensive to replace.

Getting the Best Rates

It is important that you fully disclose the use of your vehicle when you start your car insurance policy and remain honest about any changes in the use of the vehicle. If you are not honest about your vehicle’s use and you have an accident, you could be denied your claim and lose your car insurance policy. That said, it is important to shop around for the best rates. You may be able to get additional discounts to help offset the cost of commuter or pleasure car insurance such as multi-car discounts, good driver discounts, and other similar discounts.

If you are unsure what your vehicle’s use will be, it is best to discuss your options with an insurance agent. The agent can let you know what the differences are in coverage. Often the difference in savings between commuter insurance and pleasure insurance seems insignificant on the surface. Yet with some car insurance companies, it makes a substantial difference. If you talk to an insurance agent, they will be able to help you determine the best way to use your vehicle and get the lowest rates.

Don’t hesitate to get quotes from several different companies and talk to many agents. Getting online quotes can be helpful as a starting point, but if you are really interested in the differences between the policies talking to an agent is your best bet.

James Shaffer
James Shaffer James Shaffer is a writer for and a well-seasoned auto insurance industry veteran. He has a deep knowledge of insurance rules and regulations and is passionate about helping drivers save money on auto insurance. He is responsible for researching and writing about anything auto insurance-related. He holds a bachelor's degree from Bentley University and his work has been quoted by NBC News, CNN, and The Washington Post.
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