Insurance classes of use explained

Last updated by on October 30th, 2018

What you use your car for is one of the main factors that insurers look at when calculating your car insurance premium.


People who often drive during peak hours, like commuters, are statistically more likely to be involved in an accident which means their insurance premiums are often higher than those who use their car infrequently.


For this reason, when you get a car insurance quote you’ll be asked what your vehicle usage is but if you don’t know which option best applies to you, here’s our handy guide to insurance usage classes.


Social, domestic and pleasure (SDP)


The most basic usage type is what’s known as ‘Social, domestic and pleasure’ and it applies to people who use their car for those three things alone.


You should select SDP as your usage type if you only use your car for things like shopping, visiting friends and family, the school run or anything else unrelated to work.


Social including commuting


The tier up from SDP is called ‘Social including commuting’ and it does what it says on the tin; if you choose this usage type, you’ll be covered for everything that SDP would cover you for, plus your journey to and from work.


Driving someone else to and from work may mean having to choose this level of use, even if you don’t drive to work yourself so it’s always best to check with your insurer exactly what’s covered under your policy.


If you drive part way to work then switch to another form of transport, you’ll still be classed as a commuter by most insurers.


Social including commuting generally only applies to people who commute to one fixed place of work, so if you are located in more than one office, or if you travel around for your job, you’ll need the next class up.



Business is the least common usage class as it only applies to people who use their car for work, for more than just commuting to the same place.


There are a few different options within the business usage class and each one provides a different level of cover:


  • ‘Business use by the policy holder’ will cover you for everything that Social including commuting does, as well as any additional business-related driving that isn’t related to your usual place of work.
  • ‘Business use by policyholder and spouse’ means both you and your spouse are covered for business driving.
  • ‘Business use by the policyholder’s spouse’ and ‘Business use by named drivers’ will cover your spouse and other named drivers to drive your car for business, even if you don’t.
  • ‘Commercial travelling’ is a more specific form of business use and covers you for business-related driving to unlimited number of locations. If you’re always on the road for work, like a salesperson, this is the usage class for you.

Chosing the right class of insurance is key as your provider could decline a claim if you’re found to have the wrong insurance class for your needs.

You can compare insurance quotes online or if you prefer to speak to someone directly, to check which class you need please call 0330 022 8814 and one of the team will be happy to help.

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