Pleasure Use Auto Insurance Explained [Expert Advice]

If you only drive your car occasionally, pleasure use auto insurance rates are 10-15 percent less than traditional car insurance coverage. Pleasure use auto insurance by definition is similar to a low-mileage discount, and you get to pay a lower price for pleasure use auto insurance coverage. Enter your ZIP code to start comparing pleasure use auto insurance quotes for free.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years

UPDATED: Oct 30, 2020

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Key takeaways...

  • Pleasure use auto insurance is usually for seldom-used vehicles
  • How far you drive every day influences how much insurers will charge

Pleasure use auto insurance is a special type of insurance. You may notice a ‘pleasure’ option when requesting an auto insurance quote online. But, there’s no specific definition for a ‘pleasure use car’: definitions vary by insurance company.

What is pleasure use auto insurance? Is it the right option for you? How much should pleasure use auto insurance cost? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about pleasure use auto insurance.

You can get free quotes for pleasure use auto insurance using our tool. Just enter your ZIP code above and get quotes from multiple insurers.

What is Pleasure Use Auto Insurance?

What does pleasure mean in insurance, and what is a pleasure vehicle? You may have seen “pleasure use” in a sentence while applying for insurance.

What is the difference between commute and pleasure insurance? Some insurers define ‘pleasure use insurance’ based on your annual mileage, for example. Other insurance companies consider your vehicle a ‘pleasure use’ car if it’s not being used for a daily commute.

Other insurance companies don’t offer any type of pleasure use only car insurance: all auto insurance policies are bundled together.

You’ll often see ‘pleasure’ as an option on an auto insurance comparison form. It might be listed alongside ‘farm’ or ‘business’. It’s one of several auto insurance categories offered by most insurers.

To determine whether or not your vehicle is a pleasure use car, we recommend speaking with your insurance company. An insurance agent can explain the company’s definitions for a pleasure use vehicle.

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How Much Does Pleasure Use Auto Insurance Cost?

Pleasure use auto insurance could lead to small savings on auto insurance. In most cases, your pleasure use discount can save 10% to 15% with pleasure use auto insurance instead of ordinary auto insurance.

If the average American spends around $1,400 per year on auto insurance, for example, then pleasure use auto insurance may be around $1,200 to $1,300 per year.

In many cases, pleasure use auto insurance is roughly the same price as lower-mileage auto insurance: you’ll save 10% to 15% each year, but don’t expect to cut auto insurance premiums by 50% or more.

Which Insurer Has the Cheapest Pleasure Use Auto Insurance?

Certain companies are known for offering cheaper pleasure use auto insurance than others. Nationwide, GEICO, and USAA, for example, are consistently the three cheapest companies in the country for pleasure use auto insurance. You can find pleasure use auto insurance premiums for as little as $700 to $900 per year with these insurers.

Progressive, State Farm, and Farmers are also very competitive, offering pleasure use auto insurance for between $800 and $900 per year.

Consider requesting a pleasure use auto insurance quote from Liberty Mutual and Allstate, which also have competitively-priced pleasure use auto insurance premiums.

Why Are Insurance Premiums Cheaper for Pleasure Use Vehicles?

Why do pleasure use vehicles have cheaper insurance rates than commuter vehicles? Like everything in insurance, it comes down to risk.

Pleasure use vehicles spend less time on the road each week, limiting the number of chances they have to be involved in an accident.

Pleasure use vehicles also avoid driving during rush hour, which is the time when the most vehicles are on the road. Rush hours have higher accident rates than non-rush hours. This reduces risk even further.

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Can I Buy Pleasure Use Auto Insurance for My Normal Commuter Vehicle?

Some policyholders come up with a clever plan: they tell their insurance company that they only use their car occasionally – despite the fact that they drive their car to work every day.

Cars just cost more and have a greater risk of damage, which you can see here in this data from the United States Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Average Cost of Owning and Operating a Vehicle
Average Cost of Owning and Operating a Vehicle201720182019
Average total cost per mile (current cents)56.55961.9
Gas10.311.111.6
Gas as a percent of total costb18.218.718.7
Maintenance (including oil cost)7.98.28.9
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When you lie to your insurance company about vehicle usage, you pay cheaper car insurance premiums because you qualify for a low mileage car insurance plan or pleasure use auto insurance policy. But that is insurance fraud, and you can even go to jail if you commit auto insurance fraud.

All of these companies offer low-mileage discounts.

Companies That Offer Low-Mileage Auto Insurance Discounts
CompaniesLow Mileage Auto Insurance Discount %
AAAn/a
Allstaten/a
American Familyn/a
Amica10
Country Financialn/a
Esurance15
Farmersn/a
Geicon/a
Liberty Mutualn/a
MetLifen/a
Nationwiden/a
Progressiven/a
Safeco20
State Farm30
The Generaln/a
The Hanovern/a
The Hartfordn/a
Travelersn/a
USAAn/a
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If you have Geico or State Farm, your pleasure vehicle may be eligible for this discount.

The Consumer Federation of America reports that low-mileage drivers save an average of $30/ year, which works out to 1.6 percent of their rates per 5,000 miles driven. In California, the state requires insurers to provide this discount, and drivers save more. Drivers in California save about 8.7 percent of their premiums for every 5,000 miles driven.

You should be completely truthful to your insurer about how far you commute.

You will also probably be eligible for some other discounts. This video from Shine Insurance goes over some common discounts.

However, this can quickly become a problem if you get into an accident and use your vehicle insurance to make a claim. Car insurance companies will investigate the claim or accident to verify you were following the terms of your policy.

The insurer will look for any reason to avoid paying the claim. If the insurer discovers that you were driving the car to work every day when it only had pleasure use car insurance, then your claim could be denied.

If you don’t commute very far but still use your car for work, you could look into some other discounts or even pay-per-mile coverage.

Each insurer offers a different set of discounts, so it always helps to shop around.

Pleasure Use Versus Commute Auto Insurance

Is car insurance cheaper for pleasure or work? The typical American driver has a commuter car insurance policy. Insurance companies price their policies based on the assumption that you drive to and from work or school every day.

What does primary use of a vehicle mean? These insurers assume the car is your primary method of transportation, and their premiums are priced based on that assumption.

A pleasure use car, meanwhile, is a car that is driven only on weekends, or only very occasionally. It’s not a car driven multiple times per week. DataUSA reports that commuters in the U.S. spend an average of 25.7 minutes commuting each way to work every day. Pleasure cars should be used considerably less.

A classic car or sports car not used for daily commutes, for example, could be considered a pleasure use car. Or, a driver who only uses his car for weekend grocery store trips and takes public transit to work could qualify for car insurance for leisure use.

As mentioned above, the definitions for pleasure use car insurance vary between insurance companies.

As you can see below, it truly makes a difference in how far you drive every year.

Auto Insurance Rates by Commute Length
Companies10 Miles Commute
6000 Annual Mileage
25 Miles Commute
12000 Annual Mileage
USAA$2,482.69$2,591.91
Geico$3,162.64$3,267.37
State Farm$3,175.98$3,344.01
American Family$3,401.30$3,484.88
Nationwide$3,437.33$3,462.67
Progressive$4,030.02$4,041.01
Farmers$4,179.32$4,209.22
Travelers$4,399.85$4,469.96
Allstate$4,841.71$4,934.20
Liberty Mutual$5,995.27$6,151.63
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Some insurance companies only use mileage to determine pleasure use of a vehicle. If you drive fewer than 7,500 miles per year, for example, then you may be in the lowest risk driver category. Or, if you drive fewer than 10 miles to work and back every day, then you may qualify for cheaper car insurance.

A lot of retirees may want to get their car designated as pleasure use. You’ll always want to check with your insurer first, but you can use your pleasure use auto insurance in Ontario or get ICBC or wherever you decide to drive. Your insurance should cover your in Canada, which means you don’t have to look into pleasure use auto insurance at ICBC for your across-the-boarder needs.

If your primary use vehicle type is commercial, you may be able to get a pleasure use discount for your second vehicle — but not the commercial vehicle you use for work.

We recommend getting multiple car insurance quotes online to make sure you’re getting the best deal on pleasure use car insurance. Rates and restrictions vary widely between insurers.

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Final Word on Pleasure Use Auto Insurance

Compare car insurance quotes online today to get the best deal on pleasure use auto insurance. Answer truthfully when the form asks how far you drive each day, or whether or not you commute to work every day.

Does car insurance go down if you don t drive to work? If you only use your car occasionally, then you may qualify for pleasure use auto insurance.  You can save 10% to 15% per year with pleasure use auto insurance compared to an ordinary ‘commuter’ car insurance policy.

Get free quotes from multiples insurers by using our free tool. Enter your ZIP code below to get free quotes for pleasure use vehicle insurance.

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