How your job affects your car insurance

Your occupation affects the price you pay for car insurance, whether or not you drive as part of your job. Find out why and see if you can save money.

Melissa English
Updated 25 September 2023  | 5 mins read

When comparing car insurance quotes, you’ll answer lots of different questions - including your employment status and what kind of job you have. It might seem irrelevant but it’s actually a very important detail insurers use to work out the cost of your policy.

Key points

  • You have to tell your insurer about your employment when you take out cover and it has an effect on the cost of your insurance
  • One job can fit several descriptions and some occupations might reduce the cost of your insurance 
  • Always be honest - if you lie about your occupation you’ll invalidate your insurance
  • Car insurers collect data about past claims and use it to predict how likely it is that people in different occupations will make a claim in future.

If the insurer judges your job to be higher risk than another one, you’ll pay more.

Does being retired affect car insurance?

Those who are retired usually enjoy some of the lowest cover costs – this is likely because retirees tend to have more years of driving experience, which makes them less of a risk.

They're also less likely to be battling the daily commute, which insurers see as riskier time to be on the road. Some insurers actually ask you about peak-time driving when you get a quote.

What occupation has the lowest car insurance?

We checked which occupations were paying the most and least for insurance.

Retired people enjoyed the lowest insurance costs with Local Government Officer and College Lecturer almost tying for second place. It’s no surprise that jobs that require little travel - like Medical Secretary or Research Scientist - also offer some of the lowest car insurance prices.

What might come as a surprise is that some emergency services personnel - like Police Officers and Paramedics - also receive lower car insurance prices. People in these roles are usually required to complete extra driving training for their jobs and so, insurers see them as highly skilled drivers and less likely to be involved in an accident.

Occupation Median[1]
Retired £252.00
Local Government Officer £306.00
College Lecturer £308.00
Medical Secretary £314.00
Research Scientist £319.00
Caretaker £325.00
Paramedic £334.00
Police Officer £335.00
Quality Manager £336.00
Civil Servant £337.00

What occupation has the highest car insurance?

At the other end of the scale, Investment Managers had the most expensive quotes. The reason why Investment Managers pay such high insurance costs might be linked to self-employment rates. A lot of Investment Managers are self-employed and for insurance providers, self-employed individuals are seen as higher risk.

A lot of other popular self-employed roles also had high car insurance quotes - Painters, Roofers, Barbers, Beauticians. These are all people who likely travel a lot for work, moving from client to client, and so are seen by insurers as high-risk.

Occupation Median[1]
Investment Manager £750.00
Investment Banker £637.00
Painter £622.00
Construction Worker £584.00
Roofer £570.00
Property Developer £569.00
Barber £569.00
Cashier £554.00
Post Graduate Student Living at Home £552.00
Security Guard £549.00
Security Officer £539.00
Ground Worker £538.00
Contracts Supervisor £537.00
Picker £535.00
Plasterer £535.00
Scaffolder £534.00
Building Manager £532.00
Delivery Courier £530.00
Beautician £528.00
Builder £526.00

But your car insurance isn’t just tied to your job. Go.Compare founder and CEO, Lee Griffin said:

With many factors such as the type of insurance cover, age, previous claims and vehicle value, premiums can fluctuate depending on the person, and they need an insurance policy tailored to their needs.

“Drivers need to make sure that, above all else, they're safe drivers on the road."

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Can I change my job title to make my insurance cheaper?

No, you should not lie when you describe your job to your insurer.

Putting down the wrong job could mean you get cheaper insurance quotes, but it’s pointless because your insurance would be invalid.

But when you get a quote, you have to choose from a pre-defined list and you might find that several job titles accurately describe what you do for a living – for example, ‘mechanic’ and ‘vehicle technician’.

If that applies to you, try running quotes for other jobs on the list that are also an accurate description of your occupation. You might find some are cheaper than others.

Why do insurance companies ask for your occupation?

Cover is more expensive if your job means you spend a lot of time on the road, like delivery and taxi drivers, couriers and construction workers. If you're unemployed, you're also likely to have more expensive insurance because insurers generally expect you to be travelling more while you search for a new job. If you're retired you'll probably be offered cheaper quotes, likely because you'll have had many years driving experience already. Occupations that usually require minimal travel, such as scientists and college lecturers, might also grant you cheaper car insurance.

While it might be tempting, don't lie about your job. But if you find more than one description matches what you do - like "clerical worker" or "administrator" - compare quotes for both occupations and see which is cheaper.

What factors impact the cost of car insurance?

Your occupation is not the only factor that can impact your car insurance cost. Here’s what else might affect how much you pay:

Commute distance and frequency

If you commute to work, this means that you’re likely out on the road very often. This increases your risk of being in a road accident as you’re driving frequently and during very busy times.

Some insurers might ask you more details regarding your commute, like how far you travel and if you work any days from home. These might bring down the cost of your car insurance.

How you use your vehicle

When applying for car insurance, the insurance provider will likely ask you how you plan on using your car.

If you plan on using your car for work purposes or even commuting, this can increase your insurance cost. This is because you're more likely to use your car often and during busy periods, and this makes you more risky for insurers.


Insurers will look at your postcode to see if you live or drive in built-up areas, like inner cities and urban locations. These areas are seen as ‘high risk’ because they're so densely populated, making it more likely you'll have an accident while driving through.

Insurers will also look at the general driving behaviour, the average amount of claims made, and also the crime rate in your area. All of these contribute to your car insurance costs.

Your driving pattern

If you get a telematics policy for your car insurance, your insurer will be able to track your driving and evaluate your performance. Any risky driving behaviour like frequent sharp breaking or speeding will be picked up and increase your insurance prices.

Your insurer can also see what time of day you're making frequent journeys. If you do a lot of night driving or drive during rush hour, this might also increase your insurance cost.

Car value

A rule of thumb many insurers use is the more expensive a vehicle is, the higher the insurance will be to cover it. This is because it will cost more in parts to repair a high valued car and so, the insurance provider will need to pay out a higher amount than average - especially if it’s written off.

Your claims history and likelihood of having an accident

If you have had accidents in the past, it’s likely your car insurance will increase due to this, even if you were not responsible. This is because the insurers see you as a high risk and likely to have another car accident.

Some insurers allow you to build a no-claims bonus where if you have had no accident and made no claims for so many years, you can get a lower car insurance price. This is because you’re seen as less likely to have an accident.

Insuring your car for commuting to work

It’s not just the nature of your job that affects your car insurance price – if you use your car to get to work and back or you use it for business, that’ll affect the cost of your insurance too.

Insurers split car usage into three types: social use, social and commuting, and business.

If you buy insurance for ‘social use’, you’re saying you don’t use your car to travel to and from work, or for any other business use.

If you commute to work, even only very occasionally, you must choose ‘social and commuting’ or you won’t be covered if you need to claim.

But if you don’t use your car to commute ever, make sure you choose social cover only so you don’t pay for cover you don’t need.

If you use your car in the line of business, you’ll also need to specify what category of business use you need cover for.

Those who drive to work or at work are likely to spend more time on the road, particularly at peak times, so insurers deem them more likely to have an accident – and charge more accordingly.

Frequently asked questions

If you're unemployed, your car insurance might be more expensive compared to when you're employed. This is because insurance providers assume you might make more journeys as you search for a new job. For example, you might travel during any time of day (even rush hour) to and from interviews.

If you lose your job, you need to update your car insurance provider about your situation. Your car insurance might increase or decrease, or stay the same.

It depends on the insurance provider. Most will not contact HMRC to validate your occupation but some might if you're involved in an accident or claim. If you're caught lying, it’s classed as fraud and you could end up in legal trouble or invalidate your insurance.

It depends on the insurance provider. Most will not ask for proof of employment but if you're caught lying about your occupation on your insurance, this is classed as fraud. You could end up in legal trouble or invalidate your insurance.

Generally, self-employed drivers pay more than employed drivers but other factors, like where you live and how you drive, will also have an impact on your cover’s cost.

In most cases, it depends on what the second job is. If the second job is risky or adds an additional commute to your day, then this will likely increase your insurance costs.

For example, if you work a second job as a delivery driver, then this will impact your insurance.

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[1]Based on all comprehensive car insurance sales through GoCompare between 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2022 for the occupations listed and using sales premium to calculate the Median. Proposers aged between 25-70 years, with five years no claims discount and no claims or convictions declared. Car value up to £50,000. We have ignored all occupations with less than 100 sales