Car insurance use classes explained - does your cover match your use?

Choosing the right insurance use class for your car can get very confusing, especially if you use it for lots of different purposes.

The specialist team at Insurance Factory pride themselves on making insurance as easy to understand as possible. So, whether you’re a daily car commuter, only drive on the weekends or are constantly chauffeuring kids around, there's a use class for you.

But whichever one you choose, it's important to ensure the use class is the correct one. That’s why it’s so important for you to read our guide to car insurance use classes and how to check your cover matches your use.

After all, if you get the wrong insurance then, in the eyes of the law, your car is uninsured. You could then be in line for some serious legal penalties if you continue to drive it, including a criminal conviction.

If this has happened you might have trouble finding affordable insurance cover in the future. Thankfully, specialist convicted driver insurance companies like the Insurance Factory can help.

What are car insurance use classes?

When searching for car insurance, you’ll need to choose the use class you want the policy to cover. In simple terms these use classes make it clear to the insurer exactly what you are going to use your car for on a day-to-day basis.

When they know this, they’ll be better able to assess the level of risk you pose by how much driving you do.

The intended use, among other things, will have an effect on how much your insurance premium will cost. If you don’t choose the right class then your policy may not be valid if you’re involved in an accident.

A young woman driving a car smiling

What car insurance classes of use are there?

So, what are the use classes available and how do you know which one relates to you and your circumstances? Read our quick guide below so you can be confident you’ve selected the right one.

Social, Domestic and Pleasure (SDP)

This car insurance use class is for those drivers who only use their car for social driving. For example, visiting friends and family, doing the school run, weekend trips away, or going to the shops.

Importantly, if you choose this class then you must not use your car for commuting to work. It only covers you for every day, non-work-related driving.

On the whole, the SDP use class tends to be the cheapest. Policies covering increasing amounts of driving and use tend to be more expensive.

Social, Domestic, Pleasure and Commuting (SDP+C)

As you would expect this covers you for the same use as an SDP policy. But it also enables you to use your car to commute to your workplace.

A common mistake of some drivers is to believe that it covers you for more than one workplace. If you drive to various locations as part of your job you may need to take out the next level of cover.

SDP+C use includes driving to a railway station for your commute, or regularly driving friends or family to their workplace.

Personal business (SDPC+B)

This third class of cover includes everything included in the first two, plus business-related driving, too. So, if you use your vehicle to drive to more than one work-related or business location then you’ll need to pay for this cover. This level is itself 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 or business. For example, you drive to different regional offices as part of your job. This level of cover may not include other named drivers but may cover your spouse.
  • Class 2 Business Use – Class 2. This is pretty much the same as Class 1 except your policy also covers a named driver. Most policies will specify that this person has to work for the same business.
  • Class 3 Business Use – You’ll need Class 3 use if you spend a lot of time on the road visiting an unlimited number of locations as part of your job. For example, a salesperson who needs to travel daily to a variety of different business clients will need this level of cover.

Your insurance provider might ask for more details so they can calculate how much driving you’ll be doing, what the risk is and the correct level of insurance premium to charge.


This level of cover is suitable for those whose job is driving and who use their vehicle as an integral part of their work, such as driving instructors or taxi drivers.

It is worth speaking to your insurer about your particular commercial requirements. For example,if you’re a delivery driver there might even be options in the policy to cover the items you’re carrying.

Be aware, some insurers use business and commercial use interchangeably. So, if you’re not sure, always ask for clarification.

A further word of warning: don’t be tempted to be dishonest about how you use your vehicle just to save money. If you do then it is considered to be fraudulent and your insurance cover will be invalidated.

How to check your car insurance use classes. And why does it matter?

Even if you’re a law-abiding driver who intends to stay legal it’s all too easy to fall foul of the use class myth. The belief that just because you only occasionally use your car for work it won’t affect your insurance. It will. We’ll give you an example as to why.

Driver A lives just outside a large town and uses the bus to get into work. They don’t like driving through rush hour traffic and they just love using the time to catch up with family and friends. They only ever use their car if they want to get away for the weekend or for the big weekly shop.

Driver B lives on the same street as Driver A but uses their car a lot more. They’re a busy salesperson who spends much of their day driving to and from clients up and down the country.

Clearly, if Driver B uses their car more often than Driver A then they’re more likely to be involved in an accident and bring an insurance claim. This means they’re a greater risk for the insurer and they’ll need a higher level of cover.

It really isn’t difficult to find out which class you are covered for. Either call your insurer directly or simply check your insurance certificate and schedule.

You never know, these documents could contain a whole range of important facts you need to know, too. As well as invalidating any insurance you have you could also be liable for the cost of any accident and any costs associated with the resulting claim.

Importantly, if you’re found to be driving without the right level of cover then you’re treated as driving without insurance, which is a serious motoring offence. Penalties for this could include:
  • A fixed penalty fine of £300.
  • Six penalty points on your licence.
  • Vehicle seizure (plus any associated release fees).
  • Vehicle destruction.
  • A possible court appearance, leading to a possible unlimited fine and disqualification depending on the circumstances.
  • Potentially higher insurance premiums.

Uninsured driving is a problem that seriously affects thousands of people and costs millions of pounds every year. Don’t fall into the trap of driving with the wrong use class.

However, if you do and you are convicted then call the Insurance Factory to talk about arranging convicted driver insurance. Just because you’ve made a mistake in the past, doesn’t mean you can’t get insurance in future.

A person driving a car with the sun setting in the background

How can I get the right car insurance?

If you’re still struggling to decide which use class you need, give the Insurance Factory a call. We have over 20 years of experience working with a panel of carefully selected insurers to find the right policies for convicted drivers, for the right price.

We’ll take the time to understand your individual circumstances, before matching you with a policy that comes with all of the features and benefits of standard car insurance.

If your circumstances change and you need to change your policy to cover a different use class, give us a call to let us know as soon as you can.

Convicted driver insurance from the Insurance Factory

Just because you received a motoring conviction doesn’t mean you can’t still get great benefits. Our convicted driver insurance could be just right for you.

Driving convictions we can consider include:
  • Driving without insurance
  • Driving/attempting to drive with a blood alcohol level exceeding allowable limits
  • Speeding on a motorway
  • Driving in a dangerous manner or at a dangerous speed
  • Reckless driving
  • Non-motoring convictions
Don’t worry if you can’t see your conviction listed above, just give us a call and discuss your requirements with one of our specialists.

Get a quick quote for convicted driver insurance today.

Policy benefits, features and discounts offered may very between insurance schemes or cover selected and are subject to underwriting criteria. Information contained within this article is accurate at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.