4x4 insurance

Unless you’re planning to drive off-road, you’ll be able to insure most 4x4s under a normal insurance policy. But the type of insurance you need depends on the type of 4x4 you have and whether you need cover for social use, commuting or business use.

If you already know what type of insurance you need, compare quotes now to find a deal in minutes. Or read on for everything you need to know about insuring a 4x4.

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What insurance do I need for my 4x4?

This can depend on the size and design of your 4x4, as well as how you use it.

Car insurance

Car insurance will cover most 4x4s, and works as it would for any other car. It comes in three levels: third party, third party fire and theft, and fully comprehensive. If you're using your 4x4 for business, you'll be able to find business car insurance by ticking the box for 'business' when getting a quote.

Pick-up insurance

Large 4x4s with open cargo areas, like the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger, are classed as pick-ups. Pickups are seen as vans for insurance purposes due to their size and weight, which means you'll need van insurance to cover them. Van insurance works in the same way as insurance for a car does.

Temporary insurance

Temporary insurance can work well for 4x4 owners who don’t drive very often. This includes collectors who rarely drive their 4x4s, or those with multiple cars who don’t want to insure all of them under annual policies. Temporary insurance lets you take out cover for anything between 1 hour and 28 days.

Classic car insurance

If you have a classic 4x4 like a Land Rover Defender, consider classic car insurance. It works like normal car insurance, but comes with a few benefits like agreed valuation. This allows you and your insurer to decide the value of your car and insure it for that amount instead of its street value, which may be lower.

What levels of cover can I get?

Once you’ve decided whether you need car or van insurance, you’ll need to pick your cover level. We compare three policy types across both car and van insurance:

  • Third-party only is the lowest level of cover you’ll need to legally drive on the road. It covers you for any damage you cause to a third party or their vehicle, but won’t cover any damage done to your own 4x4.
  • Third-party, fire and theft gives you everything you get with third-party insurance, but adds in fire and theft cover for your own 4x4.
  • Fully comprehensive is the highest level of cover available and covers your 4x4 for damage sustained in a crash. As with third party policies, it’ll also cover damage you cause to a third party.

What if I use my 4x4 for business?

If you use your 4x4 for work, you’ll need business insurance to cover it. Business driving includes everything from driving between jobs at multiple locations, to carrying and delivering parcels as part of your role.

Common scenarios where you might need it include if:

  • You’re a tradesperson and use your 4x4 to drive between jobs
  • You’re a courier and use your 4x4 to make deliveries
  • You use your 4x4 to travel between multiple places of work

It works in a similar way to standard car insurance, and covers you for everything you’d get with a normal policy - but you may get added extras like cover for any work equipment you’re carrying, or cover for any parcels you’re transporting in your role as a courier.

Depending on the type of 4x4 you have, you’ll need either business car insurance or business van insurance.

Explore business car insurance

Explore business van insurance

Is it more expensive to insure a 4x4?

Car insurance costs £941* on average, but a lot of factors go into how your car insurance is calculated.

This means that in some cases, you might pay less than the average to insure a 4x4. But in others, you might find you pay more.

This can be influenced by:

Your 4x4’s classification

Pickup-style 4x4s need van insurance, but car-like 4x4s need car insurance. The type of cover you need affects what you pay.

Your 4x4’s insurance group

Every car sits in one of 50 car insurance groups. Due to their size and the cost to repair them, 4x4s tend to sit in high groups. The higher the group, the more you're likely to pay for your insurance.

Your 4x4’s size

As 4x4s tend to be large, heavy vehicles, the damage they can do in collisions is likewise large. Insurers tend to see them as ‘riskier’ to insure than normal cars as a result, meaning you can sometimes pay more to insure them.

Your 4x4's country of origin

Imported car insurance tends to be a bit more expensive than standard car insurance as the parts for them can be more difficult to source. Insurers often seem them as 'riskier' than non-imported cars too, which makes them more expensive to insure.

Find out exactly how much it'll cost to insure your 4x4 in just a few minutes by comparing quotes with us.

*Confused.com price index data Q1 2024.

Compare cheap 4x4 insurance quotes

Will my insurance cover off-roading?

Standard car or van insurance will not cover your 4x4 for off-roading.

If you did take it off-roading, any damage you were to cause to a third-party, or your own 4x4, wouldn't be covered by your insurance, which could leave you seriously out of pocket.

But there are a few ways you may be able to get off-road cover:

Ask your insurer: Some insurance providers may be willing to boost your cover to include offroading, though you’ll need to contact them directly to ask. You can do this once you’ve got a quote. They may then let you add on off-roading cover as an optional extra for an additional charge.

Go to a specialist: Specialist off-road insurance providers also exist, although we don’t compare quotes for them here at Confused.com. Owners clubs can be a good resource for finding off-road cover, and can usually point you in the direction of reputable specialist providers.

Contact event organisers: If you need off-road cover for a competition, contact the event organiser, as many competitions will have their own cover in place. This should cover you for any damage that might happen during the competition.

What our car insurance expert says

"Finding off-road cover can be tricky - but it does exist. The easiest way to find it is by getting a quote, then contacting the insurer directly to see if they’ll allow you to add it onto your policy. If not, try a 4x4 owner’s group. These can be a great resource, and other members will often be able to point you in the right direction."

Louise Thomas, Motor Insurance Expert at Confused.com
Motor Insurance Expert Confused.com logo

What else could my insurance cover?

Although off-roading may not be covered, your insurance should provide you with cover for other common aspects of 4x4 driving:


Insurance policies usually cover towing as standard, but always check with your insurer to see what their rules are.

You may need to ensure you have a properly fitting tow bar, for instance, or there may be restrictions on what you’re allowed to tow.

Legally, if you passed your test after 1st January 1997, you're allowed to tow caravans or trailers up to 3,500kg, and your insurance should take this into account. If you passed before 1997, you’re allowed to tow up to 8,250kg.

Green laning

Your insurance should cover you for driving on green lanes, as long as they’re classified as Byways Open to All Traffic (BOATs). These are unpaved roads, usually in rural areas, that tend to have much lower traffic than standard roads.

Despite looking little like a normal road, they're still classed as legal byways, which means insurers have to treat them as such.

So if you’re involved in a collision on a BOAT, you should be able to claim on your insurance in the same way you’d be able to if you were involved in a collision on a standard road.


In most cases you should still be able to get cover if your car is modified. Just bear in mind that some modifications, like engine enhancements, could make your insurance more expensive.
Others, like security add-ons, might make it cheaper though. You can list up to 6 modifications when getting a quote with us. If your 4x4 has more than that, declare these to your chosen insurer once you’ve got a quote.

This is important as failing to declare modifications could invalidate your cover.

Types of insurance for your 4x4

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