Commute Vs Pleasure Car Insurance: What's the Difference?

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“Commute use” and “pleasure use” are two options on your policy for what your vehicle will be used for. Commute use is for driving to places such as work and school on a regular basis. Pleasure use is for drivers who only use a vehicle only a couple of times a week, therefore racking up far fewer miles and being less of a risk. Telling your insurer that your vehicle is for commute use is more expensive than pleasure use, though some insurance providers will not differentiate between the two uses. If you tell the insurer that your car is for pleasure use but use it for commuting, you could be charged with insurance fraud.

What Are the Differences Between Pleasure and Commute Insurance?

Pleasure Use Overview

Pleasure use is characterized as driving your vehicle for occasional use that is not job or school-related. An example of this would be going out on a date night or grocery shopping once a week. You're not on the road often which means you’re less apt to be in a car accident.

Commute Use Overview

Commute use refers to using your vehicle more often and to get you to and from work or school regularly. This means you're on the road more and are more likely to be involved in a car accident. Sometimes, insurers ask for odometer readings to check your usage.

If you're someone who uses their vehicle to commute but also wants to be able to go on pleasure drives, you should list your vehicle for commute use. Doing so will automatically allow you to use your car for those date nights as well as for getting to school or work and back. If you insure your vehicle for pleasure use but use it to commute, you could be guilty of insurance fraud.

Best Commuter or Pleasure Car Insurance

Commute Vs Pleasure Car Insurance: Which Is Cheaper?

Commute car insurance tends to be more expensive than pleasure car insurance. However, not all insurance companies distinguish between the two and charge the same premium either way.

Below, we’ve compiled rates from some of the most popular insurance companies in the country and specifically targeted commute use and pleasure use so you can see the difference, if any, in price.







American Family






Liberty Mutual



State Farm



Note: The above information was compiled using the information for a married 30 year old male driving a 2017 Honda Civic who owns a home and has no recent driving convictions.

If your insurance company learns you drive a vehicle for commuter purposes but claim it's for pleasure, you could be held guilty of committing insurance fraud.

Why Do Insurance Companies Question Commute or Pleasure Use?

Insurers calculate your auto insurance rates based on usage because it helps establish the amount of risk you pose to an insurance company; Risk is a big factor in determining your premium.

A person who commutes to work uses their vehicle more often and during periods of time when traffic is heavy, specifically during rush hour. Pleasure driving, on the other hand, is typically done only one or two times a week. This means the pleasure driver is on the road fewer times than the commuter and at less hectic hours. They are therefore less likely to get into an accident.

What Happens if I Use My Car for Both Pleasure and Commute Use?

A vehicle listed as a commuter car on a policy will automatically be able to take pleasure trips. However, listing a vehicle for pleasure use but racking up excessive miles may get you in trouble: If the insurance company learns you drive a vehicle for commuter purposes but said it was for pleasure, you could be held guilty of committing insurance fraud. If you are seen as acting fraudulently, your insurance company may refuse renewal of your plan or cancel your policy immediately. Additionally, you could also face:

  • License suspension
  • Fines
  • Jail time ranging from 6 months to two years depending on where you live

How To Find Cheap Car Insurance For Commute Or Pleasure

You may get a cheaper rate if your insurer discounts pleasure use. However, both types of use will be rated based on the following information:

  • Motor vehicle record (MVR)
  • Your age
  • Your credit score
  • The type of vehicle you're insuring
  • Where you live
  • What your vehicle is used for

For obvious reasons, someone with a lot of accidents on their driving record will be considered a higher risk. Insurance carriers also consider poor credit as a warning sign for someone who is likely to file a claim. Additionally, if there are a high number of claims made in your area, or you live somewhere that has high crime, your rates will be higher as well. All of these things will affect what you pay for coverage.

Comparing rates will get you the cheapest rate available, regardless of how often you drive and when. Along with rate, also look at the discounts offered by each insurance company as these can save you a significant amount of money on coverage. Here are some common discounts:

Comparing rates will get you the cheapest rate available, regardless of how often you drive and when.

Best Commuter or Pleasure Car Insurance

Commute Vs Pleasure Insurance FAQs

Does commuting to my job affect my car insurance?

How you use your car will affect your car insurance due to mileage and risk. Commuting to your job means you use your vehicle more than someone who uses their car for pleasure.

Does pleasure driving include driving to work?

Social, domestic and pleasure only (SDP) insurance applies only to named drivers who use the insured vehicle for social, domestic and/or pleasure use. Using a vehicle with SDP for commute use could result in the insured being charged with insurance fraud.

Can a named driver use my car to travel to work?

Named drivers can use your car to travel to work. A named driver is someone who is specifically listed on your policy for coverage and as such, they can use your vehicle to travel to their job.

Key Takeaways

  • Commute and pleasure car insurance refers to the use you list on your policy for an insured vehicle.
  • Commute use is for drivers who use their vehicle regularly for purposes such as work or school. Pleasure is for driving once or twice a week for personal outings.
  • You could face insurance fraud charges, fines, jail time and/or license suspension for saying you use your vehicle for pleasure and using it for commuting purposes. At the least you face the cancellation of your policy or nonrenewal.

Regardless of whether you use your car for commuting or pleasure purposes, you’re going to need auto insurance. Enter your zip code below or call 855.214.2291 to compare multiple companies and receive free auto insurance quotes in minutes.

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