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What's the difference between pleasure and commuting car insurance

Pleasure and commuting car insurance policies are the most common vehicle use options. On average, you will be quoted $11 less per year for a pleasure use car insurance policy than a commuter policy. Let’s explore the ins and outs of these policies, and evaluate some car insurance premiums from popular providers.

Pleasure use vs. commuter car insurance

The typical American driver carries a commuter car insurance policy. This means the vehicle is their primary method of transportation, and is used to get to and from work or school. A pleasure use car is a weekends-only vehicle, or one driven only occasionally. Pleasure use car insurance comes into play in several instances: if a driver has a classic auto or sports car for recreational purposes, or if a driver takes public transit or a bike to work and relies on their car for occasional essential trips. See average insurance rates for typical vehicle uses.

Primary Vehicle Use Average Annual Premium
Farm $1,348
Pleasure $1,427
Work— one-way commute (<10 miles) $1,432
Work— one-way commute (10-15 miles) $1,436
Work— one-way commute (15+ miles) $1,445
Business $1,577
pleasure vs commute

Pleasure use car insurance is slightly less expensive than commuter coverage, at an average of $1,427 per year for auto insurance versus a commuter vehicle’s $1,438. This difference is fairly insignificant until you assess specific car insurance providers. See below the companies offering the cheapest rates for pleasure use and commuter car insurance.

Other vehicle use designations for insurance


Vehicles used on a farm for agricultural activities.

business use

Vehicles used for limited commercial or business functions.

Is car insurance cheaper for commuters or pleasure use drivers?

A commuter policy is slightly more expensive than a pleasure use policy on average. But what you pay for car insurance coverage will depend on you, your insurance provider, and your vehicle. See below how your premiums can change based on your car insurance company and your vehicle use. These car insurance rates are based on a standard driving profile (methodology outlined here).


Car Insurance Company Commuter Use: Annual Premium Pleasure Use: Annual Premium Difference
Allstate $2,024 $1,890 $134
Farmers $1,884 $1,567 $317
GEICO $1,486 $1,220 $266
Liberty Mutual $2,112  $1,978 $134
Nationwide $1,284 $1,166 $118
Progressive $1,713 $1,667 $46
State Farm $1,618 $1,614 $4
USAA $1,061 $995 $66


For each vehicle use, USAA is the cheapest option. On average, a USAA policy costs $531 or $497 per six months for a commute or pleasure use policy, respectively. If you do not qualify for USAA, your next best bets are Nationwide and GEICO. Nationwide's policies cost $642 or $583 per standard six-month term, for commute and pleasure uses. Your rates will vary depending on your driving history, the car you drive, and who insures it. Your best bet for finding the cheapest car insurance premium is to assess as many options as possible. Enter your zip code below to find affordable rates for commuter and pleasure vehicle uses.

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Ava Lynch photo
Ava LynchSenior Analyst

Ava worked in the insurance industry as an agent for four-plus years.

Ava currently provides insights and data analysis as one of The Zebra's property and casualty insurance experts. Her work has been featured in publications such as U.S. News & World Report, GasBuddy, Car and Driver, and Yahoo! Finance.

About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.

  • The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.

  • The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.