Van Insurance – The Definitive UK Guide
Learn How to Get the Best Quote
When purchasing Van Insurance
in the United Kingdom, it’s important to consider all the policies which may apply to you. We all want to save money for a rainy day, so it’s a good idea to compare cheap van insurance from a range of insurance brands.
Generally, you should choose a van insurance policy agreement for its options as well as its price. Premiums will vary depending on multiple factors, these can include the insurer, the type of insurance cover and the type of vehicle.
For example, commercial van insurance
is typically more expensive than private van cover. Equally the style of van can make a huge difference to your premium price. Vans can range from many different models including (but not limited to) box vans, double cab, long-wheel base, pick-ups, curtain sided, sprinters and short-wheel base vehicles.
Before you dive into a protection agreement
it’s always a great idea to find out as much information as possible.
What Does Van Insurance Cover? – Do I Need It?
The British Government introduced the ‘Road Traffic Act’ in 1930, since then van insurance has been a UK legal requirement for all drivers on British roads. Just like a regular car policy, van cover is needed for the possibility you injure somebody else or cause damage to another person’s property.
For example, let’s say you’re driving along and hit a stationary car wing mirror, typically your van assurance policy will cover your mistake and pay for the repair to the other vehicle. However, of course, the more claims you make, the more likely your premiums will increase.
It’s important you obtain the correct van coverage because if you’re found to have no insurance, you could be fined and given a driving ban. Just like a regular car, the only time when insurance is not required is when the vehicle has been registered ‘off road’ with a Statutory Off Road Notice (SORN). You will have to declare this information to the DVLA.
Do I Need Van or Truck Insurance?
Typically, a van can be used for two purposes, personal use or commercial use. Usually a truck, also known as a ‘lorry’ which only be used for commercial reasons. A private van policy will generally be ‘cheaper’ than commercial, this is because of a wide range of factors. Private use is generally seen as more ‘safe’ to insures because the vehicle will only be used on an evening (after work) or during the weekends. Thus, it stands much less chance of having an accident.
Whereby, a commercial vehicle (particularly lorries) could potentially be on the road seven days a week. This obviously means the chances of an accident occurring are much higher. Equally, as a commercial van is getting used more often, there’s also a higher chance of general road repairs and damaged. This can mean failures on parts could potentially be higher, leading to the greater chance of an incident likely.
Some insurers however may take into consideration than ‘work’ or commercial vans will have access to on-site mechanics (if it’s a large company), or they may get checked more often. This could potentially lower premiums, however this is always decided on a case by case basis, and is most certainly not the ‘norm’.
If you’re searching for haulage or courier insurance
please click on the link to find out more information.
Making a Claim
Unfortunately, from time to time, accidents and incidents happen, they’re an everyday part of life. It’s important to let your insurer know as soon as possible if something has occurred. This usually applies even if you’ve had an accident and you’re not planning to make a claim. If you have ‘comprehensive’ cover and your van needs repairing, your insurance company will generally provide you with their ‘approved’ mechanics in your area. This is important because if you get your vehicle repaired and then claim, your insurer will most likely not pay out.
How do I Make Changes to a Policy?
Generally, most insurers are fair when it comes to updated information on a policy. After all, they will use your details for marketing purposes when your policy nears its renewal date. Sometimes there can be an ‘administration charge’, when you make changes. Equally, premiums may also increase depending on what level of change is required.
For example, if you’re adding an additional driver, it may increase, or decrease. If you’re registered address has changed, the postcode may be a ‘high crime’ area, or a ‘low crime’ area. These types of factors can have an influence on your premium costs.
Cancelling a Van Policy
If you’ve decided to cancel a policy the process is quite simple. Before you contact your insurer check all policy documentation, there may be a ‘cancellation charge’ that you will have to pay. If your policy is paid on an annual basis then you may not get a refund for the months you haven’t used.
For example, let’s say you have a 1 year policy and it starts on the 1st
of January. You have paid for a full year in advance. You decide on the 1st
of September you want to cancel. Your insurer doesn’t have to ‘refund’ the three months of October, November and December. As each company is different it’s up to their own terms and conditions on whether you will be refunded or not. Therefore, it’s always recommended to read policy documentation and fine print before agreeing. After all, insurance is a legally binding document.
Did You Know? Figures released in April 2016 show the number of vans on Britain's roads has hit an all time high of 4 million!
Do I need Business or Private Van Cover?
Van insurances can sometimes feel like a minefield, there’s a range of different options and it can be a challenge to select the correct one.
A lot of people wonder what type of cover they require, do they need business or private van insurance? This simple and easy guide has been designed to cut through the jargon and help you understand the general information more clearly.
Let’s look at both types of cover in more detail:
Private Van Insurance
Private van insurance is needed if you have a van and drive it for ‘social’ purposes. This can include many different reasons, but some examples are going to the supermarket, taking part in hobbies, going on family trips etc.
If you generally use your van for work, then a private van policy is not correct for your requirements. You will need a commercial insurance.
Just like a car, private van cover has a range of different levels depending on the policy you decide to purchase.
Third party only (TPO) is the most basic level and will cover the cost of damage done to another vehicle, a person or property.
Third party, fire and theft is the next level, covering damage arising from fire and the theft of your vehicle in addition to third party damage.
Fully comprehensive private van insurance is the most ‘extensive level’ and covers damage to your vehicle in addition to the above.
Most standard vans, such as Sprinters, Transits, Pick-ups etc, can be driven on a standard UK driving license.
Commercial Van Insurance
On average in the United Kingdom, there are around three million light good vehicles, also known as (LGVs). Commercial van insurance is required if you use a van for any commuting. This means to a single place of work, or for commuting to multiple locations. For example, if you’re a gas fitter and have jobs in numerous places. Equally you will also need a commercial van policy if you choose between carriage of your own goods, carriage of goods for hire, or reward and haulage cover.
Click Here to learn more about Commercial Van Insurances
, what it does and doesn’t cover, and how it may apply to you.
With so many vans on the roads, around 45 billion miles are covered across the UK each year.
Van and Commercial Driving Licenses
In the UK, there’s some confusion about what size of vehicle you can drive on a regular UK driving license
. Vans weighing less than 3,500kg and with a maximum of nine seats (including the driver's) are known as light goods vehicles (LGVs) and can be driven with a standard Car (Cat B) driving licence.
Even more confusingly minibuses (which usually have around nine seats) may not be able to be driven on a standard Car (Cat B) license. This all depends on numerous facts, which can include the following:
You may be able to drive a minibus with your car licence (category B) if all the following apply:
- you’re 21 or older
- you’ve had your driving licence for at least 2 years
- the maximum weight of the minibus is 3,500kg (or 4,250kg including specialist equipment for disabled passengers, eg a wheelchair ramp)
- you’re not towing a trailer
- the minibus is used by a non-commercial body for social purposes
- you don’t get paid except for expenses, eg fuel, parking costs
- you provide the service on a voluntary basis
If you plan to drive a minibus ‘professionally’ you must apply for a D1 minibus license.
To drive a vehicle weighing more than 3,500kg you would need a Medium-sized vehicle license, this is technically known as a Cat C1 licence. If you gained your standard licence before 1997, it will include Cat 1 as standard.
If you’re planning to drive anything over 3,500kg, this will be regarded as a large vehicle or lorry. This is a category C license. To obtain this license you will need to take a category C test.
If you need to take a driving test for additional licences for commercial use, then these costs will be your responsibility only. Sometimes companies will cover these costs, however this depends on an individual basis.
To find out what vehicles you can and can’t drive, please Click Here
to visit the official Government Website.
How to Save Money on Van Cover – Insurance Tips
Finding the correct van insurance can seem like a real challenge, we all want to cut costs, so learn today how to save money on your van cover policy.
If you need commercial van insurance then finding the best price is always going to be at the forefront of your mind. At the end of the day, who wouldn’t want cheap van insurance? The more money you can save, the better your bank balance looks.
Here are some great van insurance tips:
- Choice of Van – Although obvious, the size and specification of your van will certainly impact on any premiums. For example, a long wheel base van, will most likely cost more than a short wheel base.Equally a ‘hi-top’ van will most likely be more than a standard low top. Particularly over the last decade with the ‘emissions’ initiations, smaller vans tend to be more cost effective. Larger vans will in general have better performance and engines, this will obviously attract a higher premium against smaller models.Sometimes insurance providers can also offer different premiums depending on the brand of the van itself. If the van is considered to desirable then the chances of it getting stolen are much higher. Sometimes external factors outside of the UK even play a lot. For example, let’s say a certain model is popular in eastern Europe, vehicles tend to get stolen ‘for order’. So, it’s always worth considering if your choice of vehicle will affect your premiums or not.
- Pay Annually – You will typically get a better premium if you pay for your policy on an annual basis. While this means your bank balance will be down in the short term, the long term benefits generally outweigh the bad. After all, when paying annually you usually get a month or two’s worth of discount. If you can’t afford the whole amount in cash today, some people even say that decent savings can be made if you pay on a 0% credit card - just make sure you can pay off the balance on the card before the interest-free period ends.
- Shop Around – Typically one of the worst things you can do is ‘auto-renew’ with an existing provider. This is how they make a lot of money and usually take advantage of the situation. These days it takes maybe half an hour to switch or compare van insurance policies. There’s really no excuse for not comparing providers.Sometimes you will find that a policy was cheap for the first year, then inflated dramatically the second. This is typically how ‘the game works’. The first year was to lure you in, the second year, the insurance company made their profits. There’s nothing against the law from changing insurance companies on a yearly basis. At the end of the day, the only person who will lose out, is yourself.
- Your Work Status – As you would expect, the nature of your job influences any savings you may potentially make. For example, a 'wood worker' may pay a different premium to a 'joiner'. You should always be honest to any insurer, as lying may invalidate your policy.
- Improve the Security – Just like a home, devices such as alarms and immobilisers may help to keep your premium down. This is because they have been designed to discourage possible thieves. Installing a tracker could also make it easier for your van to be recovered and returned if it's been stolen, and it may reduce your premiums too. However, this will vary from different providers.
- Don’t Modify Your Vehicle – It’s never really a ‘good idea’ to do any vehicle modifications. Sometimes people do it to improve performance or as a visual measure. However, it could really increase the price that you pay for insurance. This is because ‘modified parts’ tend to be harder and more expensive to repair or replace.
- Increase your Voluntary Excess - Choosing a higher voluntary excess when you take out your policy should decrease the price of your policy. Remember, that if you make a claim, you may have to pay that excess before the garage will give you your van back.
Original Publication: 3 June 2017
Last Updated: 18 July 2017