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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.

amy smith
Amy Smith
Updated 19 March 2021  | 4 min read

You have to state your employment status and job when you take out car insurance and the cost of your cover will be affected by your occupation.

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 premiums
  • If your occupation legitimately fits several of the available descriptions – for instance, are you a hairdresser or barber? A chef or a cook? You might find some descriptions are cheaper than others
  • 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.

Cheapest occupations for car insurance

We checked which occupations were paying the most and least for insurance. We found that those who are retired enjoyed some of the lowest premiums – this is likely because retirees tend 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.

Those in certain medial and teaching professions also got some of the cheapest quotes, with speech therapists, classroom aides, psychotherapists and college lecturers completing the top-five of cheapest professions to insure.

Occupation Average premium[1]
Retired £372.29
Classroom aide £435.29
Psychotherapist £438.44
College lecturer £451.03
Nursing sister £452.13
Massage therapist £457.11
Occupational therapist £457.27
Medical secretary £458.07
Postwoman £458.30

Most expensive occupations for car insurance

At the other end of the scale, fast food delivery drivers had the most expensive quotes, which isn't really surprising given the amount of time they spend on the road.

People with car-related careers also tend to pay more. Car dealers, car salespeople and driving instructors all featuring in the top 20 most expensive occupations for car insurance.

Occupation Average premium[1]
Fast food delivery driver £1,394.05
Fast food proprietor £1,046.03
Car dealer £1,005.70
Property developer £949.86
Librarian £949.15
Shop keeper £899.04
Picker £894.56
Delivery courier £874.43
Dryliner £871.96
Waiter £861.37
Car salesman £859.34
Construction worker £857.83
Barber £843.18
Security guard £830.81
Driving instructor £825.26
Painter £821.98
Cafe owner £811.50
Packer £809.87

While you might expect high insurance premiums for some of these occupations, it seems surprising that librarians have the fifth most expensive premiums.

But your car insurance isn’t just tied to your job. GoCompare 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. 

“It's understandable that fast food delivery drivers have higher premiums because of the amount of time spent in their vehicles, but having some occupations, such as librarians among the most expensive is surprising, as they spend significantly less time in their vehicles and on the road.

"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 shouldn’t 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.

Expert opinion

Donna Ferguson was named Insurance and Risk journalist of the Year in 2017, so she knows a thing or two about cutting the cost of cover - here she talks about her own experiences of her job title affecting her premium

“Everyone wants to get the cheapest possible quotes for their car insurance. But did you know the way you describe your occupation can affect the price of the car insurance premium you pay?

“Take me for example, sitting at my desk at home in Cambridge every day, writing articles about car insurance.

“If I were to describe myself to my car insurer as a ‘writer’, I would probably pay less for my policy than if, with perfect honesty, I describe myself as a ‘journalist’.

“So it looks like in the eyes of insurers, writers are typically glued to their desks, while journalists often get up to all sorts of mischief outside the home."

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.

[1]Based on all comprehensive car insurance quotes returned through GoCompare between 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2020 for the occupations listed and using the cheapest premium available for each quote to calculate the average. Proposers aged between 25-70 years, with five years no claims discount and no claims or convictions declared. Car value up to £50,000.

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