Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: May 18, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Car insurance providers may classify drivers as the primary driver of an insured vehicle or as occasional drivers
  • The qualifications for the occasional driver discount vary by provider
  • Other similar discounts can help infrequent drivers save more money on car insurance

When you buy auto insurance, you typically are insuring at least one driver and one vehicle under the policy. The insurance company will assign that person as the primary driver of the vehicle.

However, in the event you are insuring multiple drivers under one policy, you may be able to save money through the occasional driver discount.

The occasional driver discount is not the same as an infrequent or low mileage discount.

Therefore, it is important to understand the differences between these discounts so that you can more quickly and easily locate the top providers that offer discounts suited for your circumstances.

Find other great discounts offered by a variety of car insurance companies, and then use our FREE quote tool to find insurance quotes.

What Does an Occasional Driver Discount Mean?

The occasional driver discount can be applied to a specific driver who is not a primary driver of a vehicle that you have on your insurance policy.

However, there may be state requirements for this discount in some areas, and different providers have their own qualifications for it as well.

For example, one provider may only offer this discount to drivers who operate the vehicle less than 25 percent of the total time it is used.

Other providers may determine eligibility for the requirement by analyzing how many hours per week the driver normally operates the vehicle.

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Finding Providers That Offer This Discount

Insurance premiums can be expensive in many cases, and this expense is often higher when you are insuring multiple drivers or vehicles under one policy.

Finding a provider that offers an occasional driver discount can help you to save money, and you can most easily use the Internet to research providers that offer it and to learn about their unique requirements for it.

When you find a few reputable car insurance providers that offer the discount with qualifications that you can meet, simply reach out to them by requesting a quote online.

Determining How This Discount Varies From an Infrequent Driver Discount

The occasional driver discount sounds very similar to the infrequent driver or low mileage discount, but these are actually very different discounts that can apply in specific situations.

To qualify for the occasional driver discount, you typically need to have another person insured on the policy who is a primary driver.

This is not usually a discount that applies to policies with only one insured party, but you should review all requirements before eliminating this as a possible source of financial savings.

An infrequent or low mileage discount may apply to drivers who are on an individual policy or who are on a joint policy with other drivers.

Each provider has different requirements for it, but a common requirement is that you drive less than a specific number of miles in the vehicle on a regular basis.

This type of car insurance discount is most commonly used by retirees, college students who live on campus, stay-at-home parents, remote workers, and others.

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Exploring Other Potential Ways to Save Money on Car Insurance

Discounts related to your usage of a vehicle are only one of many ways for drivers to reduce their premium amount.

Many drivers will use multiple strategies to save money on car insurance, and learning more about the potential options available to you may inspire you to start shopping around and comparing rates offered by leading car insurance companies.

A Higher Deductible

The last thing you want is to set a high deductible that is unaffordable for you to pay when you need to file a claim.

However, many insurance companies will allow you to bump up the insurance deductible to any amount within reason that you select.

Even raising a $500 deductible up to a $600 or $750 threshold can result in a premium reduction.

If you are concerned about being able to afford a higher deductible, simply increase your savings account balance over the course of the next few months so that the balance is sufficient to cover the deductible.

Bundling Coverage

Another idea for drivers who want to save money on car insurance is to bundle your coverage.

Insurance companies that offer a wide range of products, such as home and life insurance, may give you a discount if you purchase multiple types of coverage through them.

If you have been meaning to buy life insurance or looking for a way to save money on your home coverage, getting quotes from companies that offer bundled coverage is a great idea.

Insuring Multiple Vehicles and Drivers Together

The occasional driver discount most commonly applies to policies that have at least two drivers insured under it. Some car insurance companies offer a multiple drivers discount.

You may also find a multiple vehicles discount that can work if both drivers are a primary driver of one car and a secondary driver of the other car.

When you are looking for the right providers to contact for insurance quotes, look for providers who offer these discounts to maximize your potential savings.

Paying Your Premium

Another idea is to take advantage of payment discounts, and these vary by provider. Many providers offer a discount if you pay your entire premium in full, even if you choose a three-month term.

Some providers also offer a discount if you set up automated monthly payments rather than pay manually.

Look for a provider that has a discount that applies to how you plan to pay your premium for the best results.

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Shopping for New Coverage

As you can see, drivers can potentially save money by choosing to buy coverage from a provider with great discounts, such as the occasional driver discount.

In addition to looking at the discounts that different providers offer, you also need to focus your attention on the company’s history of being financially secure and of paying out on claims promptly and without hassle.

While there may be dozens of car insurance companies that you could request quotes from, you may find that only a handful meet your requirements and offer the discounts that you are looking for.

A great way to request quotes for new coverage is to shop online. Remember to update your coverage periodically and to shop for new quotes every six months to identify the best rates available.

Use our FREE quote tool right now to find the perfect auto insurance coverage for your needs.

References:

  1. https://www.safeco.com/products/auto-insurance/discounts/low-mileage
  2. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1CdRhDJEXQQKHU6ueWizprhDf7G0ukKiLi_R_AXL_t0c/edit#gid=0
  3. http://www.naic.org/state_web_map.htm
  4. http://smallbusiness.chron.com/primary-secondary-driver-insurance-71626.html
  5. https://www.esurance.com/info/car/the-pros-and-cons-of-high-deductibles
  6. https://www.geico.com/information/paymentoptions/auto-methods-and-plans/