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Classes of use and car insurance

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

Whether for social or commercial journeys, how you intend to use your car can affect the price of your insurance, as our guide explains

By Mehdi Punjwani

Published: 19 October 2020

classes of use

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When you take out car insurance, you’ll need to tell your insurer how you plan to use your car, as this is a factor they consider when deciding your premiums. If you use your car for anything like commuting or work, you’ll need to declare this to make sure you have the right cover in place.

What does ‘class of use’ mean with car insurance?

An insurer will want to know what you intend to use your car for as this helps them judge how much of an insurance risk you might be – and how much they should charge you in premiums.

The term ‘class of use’ helps insurance companies place drivers into different brackets – for example, social drivers, commuters or commercial travellers.

The latter category will usually be quoted higher premiums because they are using their vehicles more often, at busier times of day and in unfamiliar locations.

What are the different classes of use for car insurance?

The classes of use can be split into three, but check the terms and conditions of any policy before you buy, and ask the insurance provider if you’re still unsure whether you’ll be covered.

1. Social, Domestic and Pleasure (SDP)

This is for using your car for everyday driving, such as visiting family and friends, days out or shopping trips. It can include your spouse or other named drivers providing they will also only be using the car for social journeys.

2. Social, Domestic, Pleasure and Commuting (SDP+C)

As well as social trips this class also includes your journey to and from your place of work.

Usually only one destination is included and if you travel significantly with work you should step up into the Personal Business class.

If you drive to a train station and park, or if you drop someone else off at their work on a regular basis, it’s also likely to be seen as commuting to work by your insurer and should be included in this class.

3. Personal Business (SDPC+business)

This class includes business-related driving where you travel often and to more than one location for your work.

Given you’ll likely be driving a high mileage in this category, some insurers will ask for more details so they can assess the risk.

Commercial travel is more complicated than social classes. There are often a range of options and you need to decide what is the most suitable for your needs. These include:

  • Business use by you: This covers the main driver in connection with their business, including away from their normal place of work. There is often the option to add a spouse to the policy
  • Business use for all drivers: This provides the additional benefit that more than one extra driver can be included on the policy
  • Commercial travelling: This is for those who drive as a permanent part of their job and will be spending a lot of time on the road. It may also include sales and deliveries.

What if I select the wrong class of use?

If you select a lower class of use to keep your premiums down, you risk invalidating your insurance.

For example, if you say you’re only using the car for the school run and then drive a lot of motorway miles for work and have an accident for which you need to claim, it’s likely your policy will be voided.

If your class of use changes for any reason, you should contact your insurer straightaway so they can revaluate your cover.

Compare car insurance

Thankfully, you don’t have to travel far to find cheaper car insurance. MoneySuperMarket can help you get the right deal by comparing policies from our panel of leading lenders to get you a quote within minutes.

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