A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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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, mainly in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers Insurance CSR 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: May 26, 2022

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  • Pleasure-use car insurance is for vehicles that are not used for work or school commutes
  • This type of coverage is often used for classic and antique vehicles
  • You can qualify for low-mileage discounts even if you do have a short commute

What does pleasure-use mean for car insurance? Pleasure driving for car insurance purposes is reserved for motorists who, like the ‘Sunday drivers’ of the last generation, are only likely to take their cars out on a weekend for a brief scenic cruise in the country or a short drive to a particular social destination. They generally have fewer average miles on their vehicles than people who clock any number of miles per day on their way to work, since they’re only taking them out once a week.

Because of this, your provider may take your annual mileage into consideration when your insurance company determines your premium. If you drive your car less than 7,500 miles per year, your insurance company will consider you to be a pleasure driver and rate your insurance premiums significantly lower than folks who commute to their jobs each day or drive for business purposes.

No matter what your average mileage may look like each year, compare car insurance coverage to find the best insurance quotes. Put your ZIP code in the FREE box provided on this page before learning more about pleasure-use car insurance, and how it will affect your auto insurance quote.

What is pleasure driving insurance?

What is pleasure-use car insurance? Is insurance cheaper for pleasure or work? The average driver may not ask these questions, but people who own classic and vintage vehicles they only drive once a week might. 

These drivers are also more likely to have passengers in their cars during business hours, which would require higher liability coverage limits on their auto policies.

Unlike the average worker who commutes to and from their job and leaves their car in a parking facility all day, people who drive their cars for business are constantly on the road and find themselves at much higher risk of having an accident, getting a traffic ticket, or being involved in some other auto mishap.

The Federal Highway Administration, FHWA, has determined that the average motorist drives around 13,500 miles a year. To be considered in the pleasure category, you would have to drive only about half the national average.

Insurance companies aren’t the only ones interested in the number of miles driven each year. Vehicle leasing has grown in popularity over the last few years.

If your provider includes the number of miles the insured party expects to drive each year when factoring in the price for an auto policy, you should absolutely mention what you drive. It is also important for the insurance company to know how the vehicle will generally be used and for what purpose, business, or pleasure. And auto insurance for business or pleasure have quite different rates: leisure car insurance rates are 10% to 15% cheaper than the monthly payments of commuters.

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Why are pleasure driving insurance premiums cheaper?

It’s no accident that leases are often structured to include only 10,000 to 12,000 annual miles, considerably less than average. Drive more than the standard allotment and you will pay a high per mile penalty at the end of the lease.

The reason for this is pretty simple. Vehicles cost more and have a greater risk of getting into an accident, which you can see here in this data from the United States Bureau of Transportation Statistics. It would seem to be a common mindset within the universe of companies out there – they want to protect their own assets after all.

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
Gas as a percent of total costb18.218.718.7
Maintenance (including oil cost)
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When you only have a pleasure-use vehicle, you pay cheaper auto insurance premiums because you qualify for a low mileage car insurance plan or pleasure-use car insurance policy.

Car insurance premiums are determined by a number of factors that vary from each auto insurance company. These factors could include a person’s driving record, credit score, and sometimes their age or gender. Naturally, having a clean driving record can help, but so can the number of miles that you drive, if you have an auto insurance provider who offers any sort of additional discounts associated with pleasure-use vehicles.

Drivers, who use their vehicles for business purposes, such as real estate agents or other outside sales personnel, will usually run up more miles in the course of a year and pay higher premiums for the privilege.

What is covered under pleasure vehicle insurance for classic cars?

Many collectors and other car enthusiasts also fall into this category. Classic car insurance for classic vehicle owners, who only drive their vehicles to auto shows or for other special occasions, will also qualify for reduced auto insurance premiums. Insurance companies call this specialty car insurance.

A classic vehicle is a car, truck, motorcycle or other highway vehicle that is at least 20 years old. Classics are usually maintained in tip top condition and driven mostly for fun or to an occasional show or local collector event.

Many communities sponsor ‘cruising nights’ or other competitions for owners of these popular vehicles. If you’ve ever seen the nostalgic film ‘American Graffiti’ you’ll understand the excitement when dozens or even hundreds of classic vehicles assemble on the main street of a town on any given Saturday night.

During the warm summer months, classic car nights are often held at popular drive-in restaurants, nightclubs, and other locations. These events provide a social forum for classic car owners as well as increased revenues for the host establishment!

Is there such a thing as antique car insurance?

The Antique Automobile Club of America, AACA, defines an antique vehicle as one that is at least 25 years old. The AACA sponsors an interesting and informative website, devoted to owners and collectors of antique vehicles.

To be considered a legitimate antique, the vehicle must be in operating condition and restored to the original manufacturer’s specifications. The antique car definition has been modified and refined over the years but the three key elements are age, running condition, and restoration.

Each US state motor vehicle department will have a somewhat different definition of what constitutes an antique vehicle for registration purposes. Many states, such as New York, allow an antique car owner to purchase vintage or historical plates. Vehicles that are issued such license plates are generally required to get auto insurance as specialty vehicles.

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Frequently Asked Questions: What do people mean by pleasure driving for car insurance purposes?

We’ve added a few more FAQs below so that you can make your policy purchasing decisions with confidence.

#1 – What is considered a pleasure vehicle?

A pleasure-use vehicle is any vehicle that you use only for day-to-day use and not for work or school commutes.

#2 – What are low mileage discounts for leisure car insurance?

As a pleasure-use driver, you’ll be available for low mileage discounts and many more. When it comes to saving money on your monthly insurance premiums, be sure to review some of the commonly available discounts on your car insurance.

There are plenty of available discounts, even if you don’t qualify for a low-mileage discount.

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#3 – What are social, domestic, and pleasure car insurance?

The terms social, domestic, and pleasure driving refer to driving for everyday purposes that do not involve commuting to work or school. Basically, nothing that’s day-to-day scheduled driving.

#4 – What does rated mean in car insurance?

Rated refers to active drivers who will be during a vehicle. You can also have excluded drivers who should never be driving the vehicle because they will not be covered if something happens.

#5 – Can you drive any car if you are fully covered?

If you have full coverage on your own vehicle, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can drive anyone else’s car. You need to check with your insurance company to make sure your personal coverage will cover

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Conclusion: Pleasure-Use Car Insurance

Each US state has its own vehicle rules and regulations. To find out more about specialty insurance requirements in your area, contact the local office of your state motor vehicle department or DMV. Auto insurance companies are happy to help you with this and will place you in the insurance category that is most suitable for your driving habits and history.

Now that you know more about what people mean by “pleasure driving” for auto insurance purposes, find the best insurance rates in every state of the union no matter how much you drive by placing your ZIP in the FREE box on this page.