Van insurance FAQs

Getting van insurance is a legal requirement, and it provides valuable financial protection to make sure your business is still able to function if anything happens to your van.

However, with so many different van insurance policies available it is important to make sure you are well informed when it comes to picking the right one. For instance, if you use your van to transport tools to multiple work sites you will need a different type of policy than if you use your van to transport third party goods.

Below we've answered many of the important questions around van insurance to help you make the best decision when it comes to choosing which policy you need.

What will I need to get a quote?

To get a quote for van insurance, you will need to provide the following details:

  • Driver information - this includes details about the driver and any named drivers, such as your license details, employment status, claims history and any convictions, no-claims details and so on.
  • Vehicle information - details such as van make and model, registration number, fuel type etc. as well as any modifications or extra security devices that have been added.
  • Use of vehicle - you will need to provide details of how you plan to use your van e.g. is it for private or business use? If it is for business use, what type of business? You will also need to have a good idea about how many miles you intend to drive it over the year.

What factors influence the cost of van insurance?

How much you pay for van insurance is determined by a variety of different factors, including:

  • Your age
  • Your employment status
  • Where you live
  • The make and model of the van
  • What you intend to use the van for
  • Your annual mileage
  • How secure the van is (where you leave it parked overnight, whether it has any extra security devices etc.)

Can you insure a van for personal use?

Yes, if you plan to only use your van for personal use then you can get a private van insurance policy. However, if you are discovered to be using your van for any form of business activity then your policy may be invalidated.

What's the difference between private and commercial van use?

While private van insurance covers you only for social and domestic use, commercial van insurance allows you to use your van for business activity such as making deliveries or transporting goods.

Do I need extra cover if I use my van for business?

Depending on your business, you may want to consider extra policy features. Most insurers offer extra cover options such as:

  • Legal cover - this can cover you if you ever have to go to court following an accident that wasn't your fault
  • Public liability insurance - if you have members of the public visiting your business premises this will cover you if anyone suffers an injury or damage to their property
  • Employers' liability insurance - this covers you if any members of staff are injured at work
  • Breakdown cover - as your van is important to your business, it is important to get back on the road asap if you break down

What are the different classes of use for vans?

Van insurance companies tend to have four different categories of use for vans, which will determine the type of policy you need and how much it will cost:

  • Social use only
  • Carriage of own goods
  • Carriage of goods for hire and reward
  • Courier and haulier

Are pick-up trucks classed as vans?

There tends to be some confusion regarding the insurance status of pick-ups, with many insurance companies not providing car insurance quotes for them.

They are often considered to be vans because of their longer wheelbase and the fact they often weigh more than 3.5 tonnes.

Therefore you will usually have to get some form of van insurance to cover your pick-up truck.

Is van insurance cheaper than car insurance?

This all depends on the type of van versus the type of car, as well as the driver in question.

As vans tend to be bigger and more powerful, it is rare that you will get van insurance for a cheaper price than car insurance - particularly for a young or inexperienced driver.

As vans tend to be used for more than just social and domestic use, premiums tend to be higher. Vans are also seen as being at a higher risk of theft, as they are often assumed to be carrying expensive tools.

What is the cheapest van to insure?

The cheapest vans to insure are those that are in the lowest van insurance groups.

Insurance companies categorise vans into groups depending on how much they are worth, how big they are and their engine size. So the smaller the van, the cheaper it will be to insure.

At the moment, you will likely find the cheapest premiums on vans such as the VW Caddy, Citroen Berlingo, Peugeot Partner and Vauxhall Combo.

What is the average cost of van insurance?

While small vans can cost as little as £300-£400 a year to insure, larger commercial vans can be a lot more expensive.

Young drivers in particular will pay a lot more for their van insurance, with those aged 21-25 typically paying up to £2,000 to insure a van (depending on the type of van).

As with all forms of insurance it is important to shop around and compare quotes to make sure you are getting the best deal.

Can I use my car no claims bonus on a van?

Not always, although some insurance companies are beginning to offer this as a way to attract more experienced van drivers.

This is known as 'mirrored' no-claims, and means you can transfer any no-claims discount you have built up on a different vehicle e.g. your family car, onto your new van policy.

This offer will not be eligible for all van drivers, so be sure to read the small print and make sure you are eligible before signing up.

Does signwriting affect the cost of van insurance?

If you have your business name on your van, it can actually reduce the cost of van insurance.

This is because your van will stand out more and, as a result, will be less of a target for thieves. It will also be easier to find if it is stolen and abandoned.

Also, to a lesser degree, some insurers may consider a van with signwriting on it to be looked after better and driven more carefully.