Your standard car insurance policy will cover you for a daily commute, but if you use your car for anything other than driving to a single place of work, then you need business car insurance.
This includes driving to meet clients, visiting multiple work sites or transporting other members of staff.
Common business journeys are rarely covered by standard car insurance. If you do any of these, you’ll need business car insurance.
If you're carrying passengers for hire or reward – in other words, Uber and other ride-sharing apps - you'll need taxi insurance.
And if you use a van to commute to even one place of work, you'll need commercial van insurance.
When comparing car insurance, be honest about how you use the vehicle to ensure you get the right cover.
If you're running an occasional workplace errand in your car, you won't need the same level of insurance as someone who uses their car commercially, such as a delivery driver.
There are no industry-wide standard definitions, but most business car insurance policies fall into one of the following:
If you do a few miles on behalf of the company, and you're not delivering things or driving extensively on sales trips, then you only need class 1 business car insurance. You might also see this called 'business use by you'.
Class 2 insurance expands to include other drivers. If you and any other named drivers are using the vehicle for business, you'll need class 2 insurance. 'Business use for all drivers' is another term for class 2.
If you and other named drivers use your car for selling or commercial travel, you'll need class 3 business car insurance. It’s sometimes called 'commercial travelling'.
If you use your car for work, your insurance could work out expensive. That’s because insurers think you’re more likely to have an accident – they’ll assume you’re on the road more, driving in places that aren’t as familiar to you and possibly in heavy traffic too.
But we checked, and business car insurance can still work out cheaper than standard car insurance. On average, fully comp business car insurance cost our customers £100 less than standard fully comp insurance.*
It looks like other factors - things like the car you drive, your driving history and mileage - contribute to the cost of your insurance more than whether you drive your car for work or not.
Be honest about how you use your car though. If you don’t you could invalidate your insurance.
If you’re self-employed, you can claim for allowable business expenses, including car insurance, in a self-assessment tax return.
Record every expense for business-related driving in case the HMRC wants to see them. You don’t need to send the evidence as part of your tax return.
If you’re employed and drive your private car for work purposes, it’s normal for companies to reimburse their staff for business miles.
The amount paid per mile should be higher than the cost of fuel because it reimburses you for the extra insurance costs and the car's wear and tear.
45p a mile is the current standard reimbursement rate, although this may drop to 25p if you're covering a lot of miles. These figures are linked to HMRC guidelines on Mileage Allowance Payments (MAPs).
You should also be able to claim for any toll roads or other expenses you incur.
Employers have a legal responsibility to make sure that all vehicles used for work purposes conform to road traffic law, are safe, properly maintained and fit for purpose.
You can claim expenses for your vehicle if you’re self-employed by recording your business miles and including them in your self-assessment tax return.
“Employers shouldn't assume that their workers are covered just because they have private car insurance
Companies have a legal responsibility to make sure that vehicles used on company business are safe to use, irrespective of its owner. And this includes being fully insured for business usage”
Motoring expert at GoCompare
Up to £250 refunded after claim settled. Car insurance purchases only. Excludes breakdown, windscreen and glass repair/replacement. Full T&Cs apply.
*The average cost of an annual social and commuting policy and business fully comprehensive car insurance policy purchased in May 2019 via GoCompare