Car insurance job titles

What you do for a living can have a significant impact on your car insurance costs. Find out why that is and which jobs are the cheapest and most expensive to insure here.

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If you own and drive a car then, whether you’re an acrobat or an accountant, one thing is certain: you need car insurance. And, believe it or not, the job you do can have a big impact on the premium you’ll pay. But while lying about your profession to keep costs down would be fraud, the exact way you describe your job title while still being honest about what you do could make a surprising difference.

How does your job title impact your car insurance premium?

Your car insurance premium is calculated based on a bunch of personal factors. They all add up to how much of a risk insurers think you are. If they deem you more likely to make a claim for an accident or other incident, your premiums will be higher.

With some, the link between these factors and the price you pay for insurance is pretty clear. How many years of driving experience you have and the type of car you drive, for example. But the link between some questions insurers ask you and the answers you give isn’t always this obvious. One head-scratcher is why the job you do, and the type of company you work for, makes a difference.

When it comes to the way your job affects your insurance risk, it usually comes down to how much time you spend on the road, and when you are likely to be driving. For example, regional managers and surveyors are more likely to be driving around between locations, potentially in unfamiliar areas where they don’t know the roads as well. Meanwhile doctors, nurses and other shift workers might be driving to and from work at unsociable hours, and perhaps when they’re tired.

That said, this is not an exact science. Sometimes all it takes is a subtle change to your job title to bring down the cost of your cover.

What are the cheapest job titles for car insurance

It’s impossible to predict with any certainty exactly how the job title you put in will affect your premiums. The figure that comes out once the insurance underwriting machine has finished whirring will be individually tailored, based on multiple factors.

But to give an idea of which jobs are more or less expensive to insure, in 2023 personal and commercial vehicle leasing company Vanarama – part of the Auto Trader group – took 100 common UK job titles and used a price comparison site to get a car insurance quote for each one, based on an average driver and using the same car details. It used this research to predict how much a driver with different jobs would pay for car insurance in 2024.

The premiums below are for comprehensive insurance paid for annually, with £500 of voluntary excess.

Top 10 cheapest jobs to insure, according to Vanarama

  1. HR manager – £529.16
  2. Assistant teacher– £542.80
  3. Financial analyst – £544.91
  4. Business analyst – £544.91
  5. Finance manager – £544.91
  6. Quantity surveyor – £544.91
  7. Accountant – £546.90
  8. Accounts assistant – £546.90
  9. Chef – £549.06
  10. Design engineer – £550.8

Most expensive job titles for car insurance

The same Vanarama research mentioned above was also used to find the most expensive professions to insure.

Top 10 most expensive jobs to insure, according to Vanarama

  1. Trader – £744.02
  2. Mechanic – £728.26
  3. Graphic designer – £711.96
  4. Web designer – £696.97
  5. Web developer – £696.97
  6. Programmer – £696.97
  7. Developer – £696.97
  8. Designer – £672.90
  9. Journalist – £662.09
  10. Driver – £662.09

Bear in mind this is just one study, so don’t assume that just because you’re a journalist or a graphic designer you won’t be able to get affordable insurance. There are lots of things you can do to keep costs down, including comparing quotes with our partner Confused.

Why does your job title affect your car insurance?

It’s not always immediately obvious why some professions lead to cheaper insurance premiums than others. And different providers assess risk in different ways, so the cheapest job to insure with one may not be so with another.

Some distinctions do make overall sense. For example, professional drivers are in the top ten most expensive jobs to insure. Delivery drivers and couriers typically spend more time on the road and so are at a greater risk of being involved in an accident. In fact, if you drive for your job, standard car insurance won’t be enough. This usually only covers you for social and domestic use, and possibly commuting to and from one, regular place of work. Professional drivers will need business car insurance at the very least, and possibly even a form of taxi insurance.

Other rankings are less intuitive. According to Vanarama, mechanics pay some of the highest premiums, on average. Now, mechanics are likely to have a vested interest in cars, and so probably look after their own quite well. What’s more, they might not even claim for minor incidents and repairs, as they will be able to fix the damage themselves. So it’s a bit of a mystery as to why they’re charged so much. In fact, in 2020, when Vanarama first ran this research, mechanics had the cheapest average premiums.

All we can say is that insurance underwriting is a dark art, that we mere mortals can never hope to understand.

However, while you mustn’t fib to your insurer about the nature of your job, Vanarama’s rankings do reveal that a small, legitimate tweak to how you describe your job could make a big difference to how much you pay for car insurance.

Can you change your job title to save on your car insurance?

Danny Butler

Finder insurance expert Danny Butler answers

Changing career to save on your car insurance premium is probably a little drastic, so we don’t recommend that.

And outright lies about what you do for a living could land you in deep water. If you claim you’re a teacher, when you’re really a stunt man or woman, this is likely to invalidate your cover and could see you accused of insurance fraud.

What you may be able to get away with is a tweak to your job title, which could save you money. For example, according to the Vanarama study mentioned above, insurance for a “graphic designer” cost £711.96 per year. But, for reasons known only to insurance pencil pushers, a “web designer” was quoted £696.97 and a straight “designer” only £672.90. So, while still answering truthfully, consider how you phrase what you do for a living.

It’s important to note that the best time to adjust your job title is while getting a quote or applying for cover. If you change it midway through your term, you might have to pay an administration fee to make the change. That said, if your job changes completely during your cover term (for example, from a shop assistant to a massage therapist), you must inform your insurer of the change straight away to avoid invalidating your policy.

Case study: the impact of an honest job title tweak

To give you an idea of how a legitimate tweak to your job title could affect the price you pay for car insurance, in April 2024 we created a couple of fictional guinea pigs, and played around with their job titles on a leading price comparison site to see what difference it made.

Designer vs graphic designer

Vanarama’s research suggests that designers pay some of the most expensive car insurance premiums. Sarah (44) works for a graphic design consultancy, lives in Berkshire, and drives a Vauxhall Corsa.

By putting her profession down as simply “designer”, her cheapest quote is £511. By specifying “graphic designer”, it’s £505. It’s not a big difference. But the fact there’s a difference at all is bemusing.

Personal assistant vs office administrator

In Sarah’s case she’d only save a few quid, but some savings can be more substantial. 31-year-old Alex lives in south London, also drives a Vauxhall Corsa, and works for a bank in an administrative role that includes some personal assistant responsibilities.

If Alex selects “personal assistant” as his profession, his cheapest premium is £1,067. But, by putting down “office administrator” instead (also a valid description of his role), he shaves more than £250 off his cheapest quote (£798). We know, bonkers right?

A good rule of thumb when playing with job titles is to think to yourself: would a reasonable person describe my job in this way? If yes, you’re probably good to go. If not, it’s not worth the risk.

How big a role does your job title play in in car insurance premiums?

As our case studies show, even a slight adjustment to your job title can make a big difference to the price you’re quoted for car insurance. But it’s far from the only, or even the most important, thing.

Other factors that can have a big impact on how much you’ll have to shell out for car insurance include:

  • Your age. Drivers in their mid to late 60s pay, on average, just a third what 18-20-year-olds pay, according to data from the Association of British Insurers.
  • The car you drive. More expensive and/or more powerful cars will typically fall into a higher car insurance group. The higher the car insurance group, the more you’ll pay to insure the car.
  • Your driving history. If you’ve made a recent car insurance claim, or picked up a driving conviction, insurers will regard you as a higher risk and typically charge you more.
  • Where you live. If you live (and drive) in an area with high rates of car theft, for example, you’re likely to pay more than those who live in low-crime areas.

How can I save money on car insurance if my job makes it expensive?

If no amount of job title tweaking will get your car insurance down to reasonable levels, there are other tactics you can use.

  • Shop around every year. Always compare prices rather than just renewing with the same insurer. The best-value insurer last year may not be the best value when renewal rolls around.
  • Increase your voluntary excess. Your excess is the amount you need to pay towards any claim. Opting for a higher voluntary excess (within reason) can cut your premium.
  • Pay annually rather than monthly if you can. If you pay in monthly instalments your insurer will apply interest. This means you’ll end up paying more overall.
  • Add an experienced driver. If you’re a young, inexperienced driver in particular, adding a lower-risk, experienced named driver to your policy could lower your premiums.
  • Drive safely and avoid claiming. Every year that you drive safely and avoid needing to claim will increase the no-claims discount on the following year’s premiums.
  • Avoid cosmetic modifications. A bespoke paint job or a pumped up engine is likely to drive premiums up.
  • Consider telematics insurance. This uses a small device – a “black box” – installed in your car to track your driving habits. Careful driving is rewarded with lower premiums.

Bottom line

The job you do is one of a number of factors that insurers take into account when setting your car insurance premiums. You mustn’t lie about your employment (or anything else) as this could invalidate your insurance and even see you convicted of fraud. But it’s worth playing around with job titles that legitimately describe what you do for a living, as you could save money by doing so. Though, as always, the best way to cut the cost of car insurance is to shop around for the best combination of cover and price every time you need to renew.

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*Based on data provided by Consumer Intelligence Ltd, www.consumerintelligence.com (Mar ’24). 51% of car insurance customers could save £524.68

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