Car insurance classes of use explained

When you get a car insurance quote, you’ll be asked what you use your car for. 

Usually, you’re given three options to choose from:

  • Social, domestic and pleasure (SDP) 
  • Social, domestic, pleasure and commuting (SDPC)
  • SDPC and business use

These are known as classes of use. 

It’s important that you choose the right class of use. Otherwise, if you’re involved in an accident, your insurer might not pay out. Or worse, you might get in trouble for not having valid insurance. 

But what does each class of use cover? And which one do you need? Read on to find the answers to these questions and more. 

What does social, domestic and pleasure include?

Sometimes just known as ‘social use’, this class is made to cover day to day personal driving. 

For instance, using your car to:

  • Do the school run
  • Go shopping
  • Visit friends or family
  • Go on holiday or days out

Social, domestic and pleasure (SDP) alone doesn’t cover any work-related driving though. So if you use your car to get to work, you’ll need to select a class of use which includes commuting or business use too. 

What counts as commuting?

In the eyes of most insurance providers, commuting counts as driving to and from one fixed place of work. 

It could also mean driving part of the way to work. For instance, to the train station, to complete your journey on public transport. Or it could mean regularly dropping someone else to work.

Many of us have switched to a more hybrid way of working since the pandemic. But it doesn’t matter whether you now commute one day, five days or seven days per week. You’ll still need to select a class of use that includes commuting. Otherwise, you risk invalidating your insurance. 

What counts as business use?

Many of us use our car to commute to and from one fixed place of work. 

But some of us also use our car to occasionally:

  • Drive between different work locations
  • Visit clients or attend business meetings

If this is you, you’ll need to select a class of use which includes business use as well as commuting. 

It’s true that adding business use to your policy could increase the cost of your insurance. This is because those with this kind of cover tend to spend more time on the road and driving unfamiliar routes. And so, statistically, they’re more likely to be involved in an accident. 

But it’s important that you’re honest with your insurance provider about how you use your car. Otherwise, as we’ve said before, they might not pay out if you make a claim. 

What’s the difference between business use and commercial car insurance?

Some drivers mistake business use for commercial car insurance. But there are big differences in what’s covered. 

Business use is for those who use their personal car to get to their place (or places) of work. Commercial insurance, on the other hand, is for those who rely on their vehicle to actually do their job.

Those who need commercial insurance might include: 

  • Driving instructors 
  • Taxi drivers
  • Delivery drivers or goods carriers

At the moment, we don’t offer commercial insurance here at Prima. So if you need this type of cover, you’ll need to find a specialist provider elsewhere. 

What if how I use my car changes during my policy?

Sometimes, a change in personal circumstances means how you use your car changes too. If this happens, it’s important that you let your insurance provider know for two reasons.

First off, if you’re not honest about how you use your car, you might invalidate your cover. 

Secondly, if you’re covered for a higher class of use than you need (for example, let’s say you’re covered for SDP and business use, but now only use your car for SDP), you might be paying more than you need to for your insurance. 

If you have insurance with Prima, you can contact us to update your cover details at any time during your policy. 

Based on your changes, we’ll recalculate your premium. If it goes up, we’ll let you know what you need to pay. Or if it goes down, we’ll refund you the difference. 

What if I’m still not sure what class of use I need?

It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking to take out a policy or you’re currently insured through Prima. If you have questions about classes of use, we’re more than happy to help you. 

You can either call us on 020 3318 9745. Or, for a faster response, speak to us on live chat. 

1 people found this article helpful

Live chat

We’re online between 9am and 6pm, Monday to Saturday.


We’re online between 9am and 6pm, Monday to Saturday.