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Classes of use and car insurance

What class of use do I choose for a car insurance policy?

Sara Newell
Written by  Sara Newell
5 min read
Updated: 04 Mar 2024

See how the way you use your car might affect the price of your insurance before comparing quotes with MoneySuperMarket.

When it comes to car insurance, the devil is in the details. One of the most crucial details is the 'class of use' you select for your policy. It's not just a box to tick, it's an honest declaration of how you intend to use your vehicle.

Get it wrong, and you could be steering towards a financial pothole. Let's buckle up and drive through the ins and outs of car insurance classes of use.

What exactly are car insurance classes of use?

Imagine a spectrum of drivers, from the weekend mall-goer to the daily long-haul commuter.

The term ‘class of use’ helps insurance companies categorise these drivers into different brackets. For example, social drivers, commuters, or commercial travellers. It's a way for insurers to assess risk and tailor your premium accordingly.

classes of use

How classes of use affect your insurance

Insurance providers don't just pluck figures out of thin air; they meticulously calculate your premium based on how you use your car.

Commercial drivers, for instance, often face higher premiums. Why? Because their car is on the road more often, at peak times, and often in unfamiliar territory. More time on the road equals more risk, which equals a higher premium.

The different categories of car insurance classes

Insurance policies are not one-size-fits-all. There are several classes of use, and understanding them is key to ensuring you're properly covered. Here's a breakdown:

Social, domestic, and pleasure (SDP)

This class is for those who use their car for everyday life – think grocery runs, school drop-offs, and leisurely drives. It's the baseline coverage that includes named drivers for social journeys only.

Social, domestic, pleasure, and commuting (SDP+C)

Taking a step up, SDP+C covers all the above, plus your daily trek to a single place of work. It might also include those side trips to the train station or carpooling with a colleague.

Personal business (SDPC+business)

For those whose workday involves traveling to multiple locations, the Personal Business class is a must. Insurers will want to know the nitty-gritty of your business travel to gauge the risk accurately.

Commercial travel: the three tiers

Commercial travel classes come in three distinct tiers, each with its own level of coverage:

  • Class-one business car insurance: Ideal for the main driver's business trips, and sometimes the spouse, too

  • Class-two business car insurance: This allows for additional drivers on the policy for business purposes

  • Class-three business car insurance: Tailored for heavy-duty work travel, like salespeople or healthcare professionals visiting clients

The pitfalls of misdeclaring your class of use

Cutting corners by selecting a lower class of use might seem like a savvy saving tactic, but it's a gamble that could backfire. If you select a lower class of use to keep your premiums down, you risk invalidating your insurance, leaving you unprotected when you need it most.

Updating your class of use

Life changes, and so might the way you use your car. If you switch jobs, start a side hustle, or even retire, update your insurer pronto. It's the only way to ensure your coverage remains valid.

Driving down the cost of car insurance

While honesty is non-negotiable when it comes to declaring your class of use, there are still ways to curb your insurance costs:

  • Choose a lower insurance group car: Cars are placed into one of 50 car insurance groups. Aim for a lower group to enjoy lower premiums.

  • Skip the extras: Consider whether you really need all the add-ons offered. Each one bumps up the price.

  • Embrace technology: Black box insurance is a boon for new drivers facing steep premiums. Safe driving can lead to savings.

  • Shop around: Don't settle for the first quote you get. Use MoneySuperMarket to compare policies from our panel of leading lenders and find the best deal for you.

The art of policy comparison

When comparing policies, look beyond the price tag. A cheap policy that leaves you underinsured is no bargain. Conversely, over-insuring is like carrying extra baggage that costs you more. Find the policy that fits just right, offering adequate coverage without the unnecessary frills.

Remember, the road to the right insurance starts with transparency about how you use your car. Keep it honest, and you'll keep your coverage on track.

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