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Car Insurance Classes of Use Explained

You must choose the right class of use on your car insurance policy. But why is this so important, and how do you know what class to choose? Read on to find out.  

In This Guide:

What are classes of use?

When you compare car insurance deals, you’ll need to specify a class of use. Essentially, these classes clarify to the provider what exactly you intend to use your vehicle for. In turn, they’ll assess the level of risk you pose by how much driving you do (among other things), which all has an effect on your premium. Choosing the right class is important for making certain your policy is valid.  

What car insurance classes of use are there?

So, how do you know what car insurance class you need?

Social (SDP) refers to Social, Domestic and Pleasure use. You’ll fall into this car insurance class of use if you only use your vehicle socially, for example trips at the weekend or going to the supermarket. Specifically, you must not use your car for getting to work. It covers you for day-to-day, non-work-related driving only.

Social and Commuting (SDP+C) is Social, Domestic, Pleasure and Commuting. It’s the same as an SDP policy except you also use your car to commute to a permanent work place. We say permanent, because if you drive to various locations as part of your job you may need to take out a higher level of cover. SDP+C use includes driving to a railway station for your commute, or regularly driving friends or family members to their place of work.  

Business cover (SDPC+B) is needed if you use your vehicle to drive to more than one work place. This in turn is split into three classes:

  • Class 1 Business Use – Class 1 use is the most basic: you simply drive your car to more than one place of work. Often your policy won’t cover any other named drivers but may cover your spouse.
  • Class 2 Business Use – Class 2 use is the next level up. It’s pretty much the same as Class 1 except your policy also covers a named driver that’s connected to your business.  
  • Class 3 Business Use – You’ll need Class 3 business insurance if you spend a whole lot of time on the road as part of your job.

Commercial – finally, you must take out a commercial car insurance policy if driving is your job, for example if you’re a driving instructor or taxi driver.

To be certain what you – or anyone else on your policy – are covered for, simply contact your insurance provider.

Why do car insurance classes of use matter?

Class of use is important because insurers need to know what you use your vehicle for in order for you to be properly covered. We’ll give you an example why.

Let’s say Driver A lives in a city and uses public transport to get to work because the traffic jams are just too unbearable (amen to that!). They only use their car on the weekends or for trips to the shops. Driver A uses their car significantly less than Driver B, an on-the-road salesperson who spends a good chunk of their day driving. Statistically, Driver B is more likely to be involved in an incident or have a third-party claim brought against them and as such is a greater risk to the insurer.  

In a nutshell, it matters because you need to have the right level of cover and a valid policy should you need to make a claim.

Which car insurance class of use is cheapest?

On the whole, the SDP class of use tends to the cheapest. Then, as policies encompass increased amounts of driving and use, they tend to get more expensive.

But here’s a strong word of warning: don’t ever be tempted to be dishonest about how you use your vehicle just to get a cheaper claim. If you’re commuting to work each day, don’t try to get away with just a social policy. Doing so is considered fraudulent and will invalidate your insurance.

Should your circumstances change and you need to upgrade or downgrade your policy, speak to your insurance provider as soon as you can to let them know.  

How can I get cheap car insurance?

Once you’ve decided what class of use you need, run a car insurance comparison with Money Expert. In order to tailor policies offered by hundreds of providers, we’ll just ask for some information on yourself and the vehicle; this way we can find the best car insurance premium for you.

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