Pleasure vs. Commuter Car Insurance

Having a pleasure-use vehicle can save you money on your car insurance.

Courtney Washington
Courtney Washington

Courtney Washington is a Texas A&M University graduate. Her extensive knowledge and background in auto, home, and umbrella policies make her a one-stop shop for insurance advice and information. She loves to help her readers understand their insurance choices so they can make informed decisions about their coverage.

Chris Schafer
Edited byChris Schafer
Chris Schafer
Chris SchaferSenior Editor
  • 15+ years in content creation

  • 7+ years in business and financial services content

Chris is a seasoned writer/editor with past experience across myriad industries, including insurance, SAS, finance, Medicare, logistics, marketing/advertising, and many more.

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Konstantin Halachev
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Konstantin HalachevVice President of Engineering
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  • Ph.D. in Computational Biology

Konstantin has led data teams across multiple industries, including insurance, travel, and biology. He’s led Insurify’s engineering team for more than three years.

Updated May 28, 2024

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Drivers using Insurify have found quotes as cheap as $35/mo for liability only and $44/mo for full coverage.

*Quotes generated for Insurify users within the last 10 days. Last updated on May 28, 2024

Rates shown are real-time Insurify user quotes from 100+ insurance companies and Quadrant Information Services data. Insurify’s algorithm excludes anomalous quotes and anonymizes personal details, then displays refined quotes by price, date, and insurer popularity up to 10 days ago from May 28, 2024. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer’s unique driver profile.

*Quotes generated for Insurify users within the last 10 days. Last updated on May 28, 2024

Rates shown are real-time Insurify user quotes from 100+ insurance companies and Quadrant Information Services data. Insurify’s algorithm excludes anomalous quotes and anonymizes personal details, then displays refined quotes by price, date, and insurer popularity up to 10 days ago from May 28, 2024. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer’s unique driver profile.

If you’re in the market for new car insurance, you’ve probably noticed that insurance companies ask many questions to personalize your car insurance rate. You may have also had to field questions about how many vehicles you have and whether you use them to commute or for pleasure. Insurance companies ask these questions because they assign rates differently depending on whether you use your car for pleasure or to commute.

Here’s what you should know about the differences between pleasure and commuter usage so you can understand how your vehicle usage can affect your auto insurance rates.

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What is pleasure use in car insurance?

Insurance companies consider a vehicle a pleasure-use vehicle if you don’t use it to commute to and from work. If you use your car on the weekends to run errands or take leisurely trips, it can save you money on your car insurance.

What is commuter use in car insurance?

Commuter use, for insurance purposes, is when you use your vehicle to commute to and from work, school, or other consistent appointments and activities. If your vehicle qualifies as a commuter vehicle, you’ll generally pay higher rates than if it was classified as pleasure use.

Good to Know

Insurance companies may also use different mileage limits to decide whether a car is considered commuter or pleasure use. If you alternate between vehicles, insurers will consider the one you use the most to go to and from work as your commute vehicle.

Pleasure vs. commuter car insurance costs

Pleasure-use insurance generally costs less than commuter insurance. This is because commuter vehicles have more exposure to other drivers and potentially hazardous road conditions, which increases the likelihood of an accident. Commuter vehicles are used in busier areas, at busier times, and for potentially longer distances.

You may be tempted to call a commuter vehicle a pleasure-use vehicle in order to save money. However, your insurer can pull a mileage report from public records and correct your designations. Such adjustments could cause your rates to go up. And if you’re judged to be dishonest about your vehicle usage or mileage, you could be guilty of insurance fraud and your insurer could decide not to renew your auto insurance policy. The company could also deny your claim that would otherwise qualify for coverage.

Fortunately, the price between pleasure and commuter-use vehicles doesn’t vary much. In the table below, you can see how rates fluctuate among leading insurers.

Insurance CompanyPleasure UseCommuter Use
USAA$40$46
State Farm$45$52
GEICO$47$54
Allstate$55$63
American Family$68$78
Progressive$73$84
Nationwide$76$87
Liberty Mutual$79$91
Travelers$80$92
Farmers$94$108
The General$106$121
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

Factors that determine whether a vehicle is for pleasure or commute

Insurance companies look at mileage and frequency of use to decide whether a vehicle is used for pleasure or commuter purposes.

  • You use the car for a daily commute or a weekly commute to travel to and from work, school, and appointments.

  • You only have one car or one car per driving person on your car insurance policy.

  • You drive above a specific annual mileage.

  • You use it sporadically.

  • You use it only for leisure activities, like going to the grocery store, running personal errands, or taking weekend trips.

  • You drive below a specific annual mileage.

Other factors that affect car insurance rates

Vehicle usage is just one of the ways auto insurance companies decide how much to charge to cover a vehicle.[1] Insurers also consider a driver’s:

  • Age: Teen drivers and senior drivers carry a higher risk of an accident while on the road.[2] [3]

  • Gender: Men tend to be higher-risk drivers than women.

  • ZIP code: Vehicles that frequent locations with higher incidents of crime are more likely to be vandalized or stolen.

  • Driving record: Drivers with a record of at-fault accidents or traffic violations show that their driving habits aren’t the safest. Dangerous driving habits lead to more accidents.

  • Vehicle type: Flashier vehicles can attract thieves and other negative attention.

  • Insurance coverage: Full-coverage insurance will always be more expensive than liability-only coverage because it covers more.

How much other drivers pay

Insurify’s drivers have found rates ranging from $42/mo. to $130/mo. in the last few days

*Quotes generated for Insurify users within the last 10 days. Last updated on May 28, 2024

Rates shown are real-time Insurify user quotes from 100+ insurance companies and Quadrant Information Services data. Insurify’s algorithm excludes anomalous quotes and anonymizes personal details, then displays refined quotes by price, date, and insurer popularity up to 10 days ago from May 28, 2024. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer’s unique driver profile.

*Quotes generated for Insurify users within the last 10 days. Last updated on May 28, 2024

Rates shown are real-time Insurify user quotes from 100+ insurance companies and Quadrant Information Services data. Insurify’s algorithm excludes anomalous quotes and anonymizes personal details, then displays refined quotes by price, date, and insurer popularity up to 10 days ago from May 28, 2024. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer’s unique driver profile.

Alternatives to pleasure use car insurance

While you may be tempted to list your commuter vehicle as a pleasure vehicle, the risks and consequences outweigh the benefits. Fortunately, you have other types of insurance to consider if you want to save money on a policy.

Pay-per-mile car insurance

The price for pay-per-mile insurance varies based on how many miles you drive per day or month. Companies that carry this coverage option, like Mile Auto or Nationwide, typically charge a flat rate plus a certain amount per mile you’re on the road.

If you work from home, are a student, are retired, or use public transportation, you could save money on your coverage with pay-per-mile insurance. Meanwhile, if you use your vehicle often or drive long miles, you could spend more on this coverage than on a standard policy.

Usage-based auto insurance

Like pay-per-mile coverage, usage-based car insurance companies also consider how many miles you drive daily or monthly when deciding your rate. However, usage-based insurance also considers your driving habits when determining your rate. If you accelerate quickly, speed, or brake harshly, you’re more likely to get into an accident and will pay more for coverage.

On the other hand, if you’re a safe driver who spends little time on the road due to being unemployed, retired, or a remote worker, you can save with one of these programs.

Pleasure vs. commute FAQs

If you want to know more about pleasure versus commuter car insurance, check out the information below.

  • Which is cheaper: pleasure or commuter car insurance?

    Pleasure-use car insurance is more affordable because drivers typically drive fewer miles per year while driving for pleasure purposes.

  • Can a named driver on your policy use your car to commute to work?

    Yes. But if they plan to use it to commute indefinitely, make sure the car has the correct designation on your policy.

  • What are unacceptable vehicle uses for insurance purposes?

    It depends on your policy and how you use your vehicle. Drivers with pleasure-use designations should only use their vehicles for pleasure. Mislabeling your vehicle can result in non-renewal of your policy or denial of an otherwise covered claim.

  • Can rideshare drivers use the commuter use designation?

    No. Commuting drivers drive to and from the same location daily when they commute to the office or school. Rideshare drivers transport goods or carry out services while in their cars. Therefore, they’re using their vehicles for business instead of commuting purposes.

Sources

  1. Insurance Information Institute. "https://www.iii.org/article/what-determines-price-my-auto-insurance-policy."
  2. Insurance Information Institute. "Background On: Teen drivers."
  3. Insurance Information Institute. "Senior driving safety and insurance tips."
Courtney Washington
Courtney Washington

Courtney Washington is a Texas A&M University graduate. Her extensive knowledge and background in auto, home, and umbrella policies make her a one-stop shop for insurance advice and information. She loves to help her readers understand their insurance choices so they can make informed decisions about their coverage.

Chris Schafer
Edited byChris SchaferSenior Editor
Chris Schafer
Chris SchaferSenior Editor
  • 15+ years in content creation

  • 7+ years in business and financial services content

Chris is a seasoned writer/editor with past experience across myriad industries, including insurance, SAS, finance, Medicare, logistics, marketing/advertising, and many more.

Featured in

media logomedia logomedia logomedia logo
Konstantin Halachev
Data reviewed byKonstantin HalachevVice President of Engineering
Headshot of Konstantin Halachev, VP of Engineering at Insurify
Konstantin HalachevVice President of Engineering
  • 7+ years experience in data analysis

  • Ph.D. in Computational Biology

Konstantin has led data teams across multiple industries, including insurance, travel, and biology. He’s led Insurify’s engineering team for more than three years.

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