Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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The lowdown...

  • All standard insurance carriers will evaluate a car’s usage when determining rates and apply discounts
  • If you’re going to drive a car on weekends only, make sure that you inform your insurer to lower your rates
  • Your car will be rated as a pleasure vehicle, a commuter vehicle, or a business vehicle when rates are calculated
  • Any car that’s driven strictly for pleasure will receive a low-usage discount and possibly a low-mileage discount
  • If you want to pay premiums based on your usage, consider buying pay-as-you-go auto insurance

Not everyone drives their car daily. In fact, more and more people are choosing car sharing services and public transportation systems over commuting.

When you sum up how much it costs to own your own vehicle and use it daily, you’ll see that it often costs less to choose alternative modes of transportation.

Being less reliant on your personal cars doesn’t mean that you have to sell every car you own. You can limit your use to driving only on the weekend and still reduce your carbon footprint while you save money.

You’ll save money the money you’d spend on gas, the money you’d spend on car repairs, and even money that you’d spend on insurance premiums.

Compare car insurance today and find the best rate and the best coverage.

Do you need insurance on a weekend vehicle?

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If you’re only driving a car on Saturdays and Sundays, that means that your car is sitting parked for five days out of the week.

You’re using your car for less than 25 percent of the time, but that doesn’t mean that you only need insurance coverage when the car is in use.

By law, it doesn’t matter how often you drive your car. As long as you’re registered through the DMV as a vehicle owner, the state officials see the car as a risk to the public. You’ll have to keep liability insurance on the car for as long as it’s registered.

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How can you save money on your insurance if you have a weekend car?

Usage has a direct effect on your auto insurance.

Some of the items that your rates are based on are out of your control and others can change on a regular basis. When you own a vehicle that you’ll only be driving on weekends, the limited usage will work in your favor in a few ways. Here’s

Here’s how usage can affect the standard policy:

  • Secondary or Extra Car – If you own more than one car and you have more cars than drivers in the home, the weekend vehicle may be rated as a secondary vehicle
  • Driver Assignments – If you have a high-risk driver or youthful driver in the home, rating them on the vehicle that’s used rarely will help keep your rates down
  • Vehicle Usage – If you only drive your car for personal use and not to go to work or school, you’ll receive a lower pleasure vehicle insurance rate
  • Annual Mileage – If you drive on the weekends, it will reduce your annual mileage. You may be able to save if you drive less than 5000 miles per year

Can you change your vehicle usage during the term if it changes?

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You could enter an insurance term using your car daily to drive to and from work but that doesn’t automatically mean you’ll be driving your car like that for the entire year.

Insurance companies can’t raise your rates in the middle of the term when you don’t request a change, but your rates can change if you update details on your insurance voluntarily.

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When should you make changes to your existing insurance?

There are a lot of different scenarios where a life change might create a need to change the rating of your vehicle. Drivers who don’t know just how influential usage is on rates might just postpone their phone call and wind up paying more than they need to on their rates.

It’s best for you to contact your agent immediately when the way that you use your car changes for the long-term. You don’t need to change your insurance when you’re just going on a vacation for a few weeks or when you’re going to be looking for a new job for the next month.

The lifestyle change needs to be permanent before you can update your insurance rating.

Not only should you call your agent when your life changes, it actually says that you need to let the insurer know there’s a change in your risk profile in your contract. Here are some life changes that could lead to a permanent change in usage:

  • You change jobs and you drive a vehicle that’s furnished by the company
  • You’re laid off of your job and you haven’t been able to find work
  • You decide to bike to work
  • You start to carpool with a co-worker or you begin using a ride-sharing service
  • You retire or you start to work a part-time job only on the weekend
  • You’re going to travel around the globe and won’t be using your vehicle frequently
  • You take a position where you can start to work from home
  • You no longer give your children a ride to school or they have graduated

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Can you buy a special type of insurance for a weekend car?

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Most personal cars are only eligible for standard auto insurance. There’s a chance, however, that your car could be eligible for a specialty antique or classic car insurance plan when you’re only driving it on the weekends.

There are varying definitions used to describe what a classic car is. In the eyes of various state motor vehicle agencies and associations, a classic car is one that’s American built and at least 26 years old. Some cars are instant classics if they are unique or unusual.

What matters here is that associations define the word classic entirely different than auto insurance companies do. With most carriers, you can qualify for classic car insurance rates when the car is 25 to 50 years old.

Cars manufactured more than 50 years ago may be defined as antique autos.

Eligibility Requirements for Classic Cars

If you own a car that’s over 20 years old, you have to meet usage requirements before you can enjoy low car insurance rates. To get the specialized insurance, you will have to meet the specialized criteria below:

  • The car can’t be used for everyday commuting or as a primary vehicle
  • The car must be stored or garaged in an acceptable place
  • You can’t exceed mileage limitations. Most carriers require you to drive less than 3,000 miles per year
  • You must have a driving record clear of serious moving violations
  • You need to have a vehicle appraisal to determine how much coverage will be provided
  • You must have at least 20 years of driving experience

Is there any other type of specialized coverage for weekend cars?

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If you don’t have a classic car or you don’t want to buy physical damage coverage on your car because it’s not worth much, there’s another alternative.

Some specialized insurers offer a new type of plan that’s called a pay-as-you-go car insurance policy. This is the ultimate type of usage-based insurance because your rates can change throughout the term.

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What is pay-as-you-go auto insurance?

Pay-as-you-go insurance is different from standard insurance because you get more than just a low-mileage discount.

When you buy insurance through an insurer with this unique type of plan, you will get rewards for the way that you drive regularly. You’ll have to sign a disclosure agreeing to install a device in your vehicle for constant monitoring.

Your usage is monitored and you’ll get rewards when your usage goes down. Not only does the carrier monitor how often you drive and how much you drive, the company sees how fast you drive and what times of day you’re on the road.

When you drive in risky areas during risky hours, you won’t receive the same rewards as those who limit their driving and drive during safer hours.

There are a few ways that you can save money when you limit your driving. One area where you can save hundreds per year is when you drive your car strictly on weekends.

Get discounts for low mileage and for pleasure usage. You can also save if you park your car in the garage or you look for a specialty package. Compare quotes for car insurance online by using a quote tool online to get low rates.

Use our free comparison tool to find the best rate for your insurance needs.

References:

  1. http://www.forbes.com/sites/moneywisewomen/2013/01/08/what-really-goes-into-determining-your-insurance-rates/
  2. http://www.investopedia.com/articles/pf/08/car-insurance-costs.asp
  3. https://www.thebalance.com/understanding-minimum-car-insurance-requirements-2645473
  4. http://www.iii.org/article/what-determines-price-my-auto-insurance-policy
  5. https://www.thebalance.com/how-long-will-i-be-a-high-risk-driver-527279
  6. https://www.thebalance.com/can-i-change-my-car-insurance-at-any-time-527060
  7. http://www.investopedia.com/articles/pf/06/insurancecontracts.asp
  8. http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2016/05/14/nerdwallet-retirement-insurance–coverage-changes-discounts/84291556/
  9. http://www.classiccarclub.org/grand_classics/what_is_classic_car.html
  10. http://articles.latimes.com/2009/aug/23/business/fi-perfin23
  11. https://www.thebalance.com/when-will-my-car-be-considered-a-classic-527190
  12. http://www.iii.org/article/insuring-your-classic-car
  13. http://www.naic.org/cipr_topics/topic_usage_based_insurance.htm
  14. http://www.propertycasualty360.com/2015/03/24/5-pay-as-you-drive-car-insurance-myths