4x4s and SUVs are a popular choice for many. Their spacious interiors and Euro NCAP safety rating make them a great choice for growing families. They’re also easy to handle in bad weather conditions and good for towing caravans, trailers and horseboxes.
There are a few subtle differences if you're looking to insure your 4x4 compared to a regular car, but insuring your 4x4 is typically straightforward.
Firstly, there are three levels of cover to choose from:
- Fully comprehensive: this offers the highest level of protection, covering you and other drivers from damage caused by you. It often works out to be the cheapest option too.
- Third-party, fire and theft (TPFT): this protects you against damage caused to someone else’s property, but also includes cover for your car against fire or theft.
- Third-party: the minimum amount of cover you’re legally required to have for driving. It covers damage caused to someone else’s property, but doesn't cover repairs, theft or fire damage to your own car.
You’ll also have to choose a “Class of use”, which basically means how you use your 4x4:
- Social-only: is suitable if you don’t use your car for anything to do with work
- Social and commuting to work: covers you for social use and commuting to a single place of work
- Business use: covers you for social and commuting plus business driving away from your normal place of work. You could choose business cover for yourself, you and your spouse, just your spouse or all named drivers on the policy
The differences in cover for your 4x4 compared to a regular car insurance policy come down to the extra cover you might need:
Green lane insurance: green lanes are un-kept byways, referred to as Byways Open to all Traffic (BOAT). These green lanes and rural routes are not classed as roads, so you’ll need specialist green lane insurance to drive on them. Check with your chosen insurer to make sure you have the cover you need, as it's not usually covered as standard.
Off-road cover: if you use your 4x4 off-road you might need specialist cover as it’s not always included on standard policies.
Towing: you might never use your vehicle's towing capabilities, but if you do it’s always worth checking if this is covered. Even in a 4x4 policy, it’s not always guaranteed. Some insurers
consider a tow bar as a modification, so you should include this when getting a quote. See our guide on towing insurance for more information.
4x4s and SUVs tend to fall into the higher end of insurance groups which makes them a little more expensive to insure. But there are ways to help bring the costs down when getting a quote:
1. Limit modifications – adding extras to your 4x4 such as roof racks, lights, suspension upgrades, snorkels and alloys can add to the cost of your insurance quote. You could try limiting modifications to help keep costs down.
2. Park wisely – choosing a safe place to park your 4x4 overnight means less risk of theft or vandalism which in turn can lower the cost of your insurance.
3. Increase voluntary excess – increasing your excess is a way to reduce your quote, but make sure you can afford to pay the set amount if you ever need to make a claim.
4. Owners club – if you’re a member of a 4x4 owners club you might be entitled to a discount on your insurance. Just let your chosen insurer know you’re part of a club when you get your policy.
5. Pay annually – paying upfront for your insurance can save you up to 16% (based on Confused.com data - January 2020). Insurers charge interest to pay monthly, so if you can afford to, it’s cheaper to pay annually
Getting a quote is quick and easy, and you can speed up the process by having the following at hand:
- Your occupation
- Any previous claims or accidents from the last 5 years
- Details of any additional drivers you want to insure
- Your driving licence type and number
- The number of years no-claims bonus you have (if any)
- Registration or the make and model of your 4x4
- Estimated value (if your 4x4 is a classic vehicle you can opt for an agreed value policy)
- Details of any additional modifications (things like bullbars and suspension upgrades)
- Estimated annual mileage