Getting and comparing van insurance quotes is easy. You’ll need to start by providing a few details:
Its make, model, estimated value, any modifications made to it, from paint jobs to extra seating, and registration plate number. This information will be included on your V5C document or, if you’ve insured this van before, on your previous insurance policy documents.
Your contact information, job description, age and driving history, including past offences, such as speeding penalties.
There’s a range of policies tailored for the unique risks of each type of use and you’ll need to declare how you’ll use for your van when fetching quotes. If you drive it chiefly for pleasure and not for any business purposes, including commuting, you can obtain a social only or private van insurance policy. If your vehicle is used in your business, you’ll need to cover it with a commercial policy.
Third party, TPFT or fully comprehensive and any extras you need, such as breakdown cover, courtesy vans, legal cover, public liability insurance or tool cover.
Enter this information and within seconds, you will be presented with a customised list of quotes for your particular vehicle. You’ll then be able to further filter the search results and order them by cost, to find the policy that hits the sweet spot between generous coverage and affordable price.
In the UK, vans are used from everything from business to recreation. But because vans are larger, heavier and more expensive than cars, a standard auto insurance policy won’t be sufficient to cover them.
Tailored van policies give you the protection you need for your particular vehicle and the way you use it. So whether you’re driving a crew cab, a flatbed van, a camper van or even an ice cream van, or whether you’re a delivery driver or a scout leader, there’s an affordable insurance policy for you and your vehicle - with all the coverage and extras you need.
As with other car insurance policies, there are three levels of van insurance:
While you might assume third party policies, with their bare bones coverage, are the cheapest option, this isn’t necessarily the case. As high-risk drivers who can’t qualify for fully comprehensive policies have flocked to third party and TPFT policies, their premiums have skyrocketed. When you compare quotes, you may find a fully comprehensive policy is actually the cheapest option for your van.
These basic policies provide the minimum level of cover required by law. They’ll compensate third parties for accidental damage you and your van cause to their vehicles, property and lives. However, you’ll be responsible for paying for any damage your own van sustains in accidents you cause or through other misfortunes including fire and theft.
The next tier of policies offer the same third party liability cover but also covers the repairs or replacement of your van if it’s stolen or damaged in a fire.
The highest level of cover, these policies cover you for all of the above but also for accidental damage you cause to your own van. Fully comprehensive policies may also include other cover, including minimum third party liability for you while driving hired or borrowed vehicles. However each policy will be different, so read the terms and conditions before you get behind the wheel.
Van insurance can be more expensive than standard auto insurance policies, but you can take measures to limit your premiums.
A big risk to vans is theft, both of the vehicle itself and the equipment and goods carried inside. Boosting your vehicle’s security will therefore reassure your insurance provider, prompting them to lower your premiums. To beef up security, you can install industry-approved alarms, trackers or immobilisers. You can also keep your van in a locked garage or well-lit yard overnight, rather than parked on the street, and remove tools and equipment.
The more time your van spends on the road, the more likely it is to be involved in an accident that leads to a claim and thus the more your insurer will charge you for cover. You can trim your premiums by reducing your driving and submitting an accurate mileage total to your insurer. This is particularly relevant for campers and other recreational vehicles which may be used only occasionally, on holidays and weekends.
Like cars, vans are classed into ‘insurance groups,’ which insurers use to determine the level of premiums. Larger, heavier, more high-powered and more expensive vans are more prone to theft and causing serious damage in an accident and are more expensive to repair and replace. They fall into higher van insurance groups and will cost more to insure. Smaller, lighter and cheaper vans will be involved in fewer and lower cost claims, so are in lower van insurance groups with lower premiums.
The excess is the amount you’re expected to contribute toward any claim. All polices come with an excess, but you can agree to pay more, increasing your voluntary excess, to see reductions in your premiums. Just make sure you have the funds to cover the excess you agree.
Many van insurance providers will allow you to pay for your coverage each month, which is great for flexibility as it means you can get coverage just for when you need it. But you could make significant savings by paying annually. It may cost a lot upfront, but you will be paying far less interest over the course of the year.
There’s an active, competitive market in van insurance, with a variety of providers offering a range of policies. To find the policy best suited to your van at the lowest price, you should compare as many quotes as possible from across the market. A comparison search engine will gather dozens of quotes for your specific vehicle within seconds and allow you to filter them by your requirements and order them by price.
Any vehicle used for business purposes, even if it’s just commuting to work, will require a commercial van insurance policy. This can cover the risks and costs associated with business use, including transporting clients’ goods or your own equipment. Vehicles used exclusively for recreation or domestic purposes can qualify for social or private policies. If you drive to and from work in your van but don’t use if for any other business purposes, you’ll typically need a commercial policy but may be able to obtain a social policy which also includes commuting cover.
Many comprehensive van insurance policies will cover your vehicle outside of the UK, but the list of eligible countries will vary between providers. They may also impose a limit to the number of days your vehicle is covered abroad, and the coverage may be reduced to just third party liability. If you’re frequently taking your vehicle across borders, you may be able to top up your policy with extra coverage, including European breakdown cover. But check the fine print before setting off on around the world trip in your van.
If you’ve accumulated many years of no-claims bonus by safely driving your car, you might be hoping you can transfer that discount to your van. Many insurance policies will allow you to port no-claims bonuses earned on a car or motorcycle to other vehicles, even in different classes. However, it’s important to remember that a no-claims bonus can only be used on one vehicle at a time, so if you’re using it to get a discount on your van insurance, it will no longer apply to your car. However, some insurers will ‘mirror’ your no-claims bonus from your car to your van without actually transferring the entitlement.
Vans used by businesses may be driven mainly or partly by your employees. Commercial van insurance policies will allow you to add drivers to the policy, often for a fee. Be aware that the employee’s driving record and age may drive up your overall premiums, particularly if they’re young and have driving convictions. However, adding an older, experienced, safer driver could lower your overall insurance costs. If you have a large number of vehicles and employees which use them, it might be more practical and cost-effective to use a fleet or multi-van insurance policy. Meanwhile, private van insurers will also allow you to add named drivers, such as family members, to your policy.
If your business has two or more vans, you can insure them under a single multi-van or fleet insurance policy, reducing hassle and expense. These policies can also cover multiple drivers, allowing your employees to drive any van in your fleet. Providers may also give your incentives, including discounts or extras, for covering multiple vans with them.
Statistically, younger drivers are more likely to be involved in road accidents, especially serious accidents, due to inexperience and a propensity to take risks on the road. Drivers under the age of 25 are the most expensive to insure, whether they’re operating cars or vans. You’ll also typically need to be at least 21 to obtain van insurance, although some policies will cover drivers from 18. Others will impose more stringent age requirements, excluding those under 25 or over 70.
To claim on your van insurance, you’ll need to notify the police of the accident, damage or crime. They’ll provide you with a crime reference number you’ll need to give to your insurer. You’ll also need to tell your insurer your policy number, the registration number of the vehicles involved in the incident and the details of all parties involved, including any other drivers’ names, contact information, addresses and insurance details. You’ll typically need to provide this information to your insurer over the phone, but you may also be able to submit a form online or through the post.
Last reviewed: 19 February 2021
Next review: 19 March 2021