4x4 insurance

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Do I need 4x4 insurance?

In most cases, no, you don’t need specialist 4x4 cover. You should be able to cover your 4x4 under a standard car insurance policy.

The only time you’re likely to need specialist 4x4 insurance is if you’re planning to drive off-road.

Here at Confused.com, we don’t actually offer this type of insurance. But as long as you’re planning to only use your 4x4 on the road, we can help you find a great deal on your insurance.

Even If your 4x4 is classed as a pickup, we’ll still be able to help. In this case you’ll need specialist pickup insurance, which is actually a type of small van insurance.

But it’s just as easy to get, and we’ll help you find the right deal for you.

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Is 4x4 insurance more expensive?

4x4 insurance can sometimes be a little more expensive than standard car insurance due to how your car insurance is calculated.

The price you pay depends on several factors - from the size of your car, to how much it costs to repair, to how attractive it is to thieves, to what insurance group it sits in.

The main reasons 4x4s can sometimes pricier to insure are because:

  • 4x4s are bigger and heavier, and so they’re more likely to do significant damage to third parties, meaning higher claims
  • They tend to have more expensive parts than ‘standard’ cars, meaning they might cost more to fix or replace
  • These higher-grade parts attract thieves, putting your car at a higher risk of being damaged or stolen

How can I get cheaper 4x4 insurance?

While a 4x4 could be more expensive to insure than your average car, there are ways to help lower the cost of cover

  • Limit modifications
  • Improve security
  • Increase your voluntary excess
  • Join an owners’ club
  • Pay annually, if you can
  • Reduce your annual mileage

Limit modifications on your 4x4. Things like lights, suspension upgrades, snorkels and alloys are likely to make your 4x4 insurance quote more expensive. Not modifying your vehicle could help keep costs down.

Improve security to keep your 4x4 safe from thieves and vandals. For instance, just parking your car in your driveway or garage at night may help cut the cost of 4x4 insurance. You could also consider fitting a security device such as an alarm or tracker. Check out our top car security tips here. 

Increase your voluntary excess as this could reduce your 4x4 insurance quote, though this also means your payout is likely to be lower in the event of a claim.

Join an owners’ club as some insurers may give you a discount on your insurance if you’re a member of a 4x4 owners’ club.

Pay annually if you can as insurers might give you a significant discount if you opt to pay for your 4x4 insurance in one lump sum, rather than by monthly direct debit.

Be accurate with your mileage, as taking out a policy that covers you for 10,000 miles, when you only drive 7,000 in a year can lead to you paying more than you need to. Try not to underestimate how much you drive either as misrepresenting your mileage can lead to you claim being voided if you need to make one.

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What types of 4x4 insurance are available?

There are three main levels of insurance to choose from:

  • Third-Party is the lowest level of cover and represents the minimum legal requirement that you need to drive in the UK. If you are in an accident, you’ll be covered for damage to other people’s vehicles and any injuries sustained to others. However, you and your 4x4 will not be covered.
  • Third-Party Fire & Theft gives you the minimum level of cover you get with third-party insurance, third-party fire & theft means your 4x4 will also be insured against damage caused by fire and theft.
  • Comprehensive gives you everything you get with a third-party fire & theft policy, but also means you and your car are insured even for accidents where you’re to blame.

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 4x4 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.

Does 4x4 insurance cover SUVs and pickups?

Due to their size and weight, pickups are normally classed as small vans, so you won’t be able to insure them on a standard car insurance policy.

To cover them, you’ll need to take out pickup insurance. But don’t worry, this works in much the same way as car insurance, and is just as easy to get a quote for.

For SUVs, it can be a little different. You might be able to take out a standard car insurance policy for them - as long as you’re planning to drive exclusively on the road.

Get a quote now to quickly see what your options are in minutes.

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Can I get insurance for a modified 4x4?

Yes, you can still insure a 4x4 even if it has modifications. But bear in mind that it might cost you a little extra.

Whether you’ll have to pay extra can depend on the type of mod you’re making to your 4x4 though. Things that change the way you use your car, like winches and snorkels, can lead to higher premiums as insurers sometimes see them as raising the risk of you damaging your car.

But simple everyday mods like towbars and roof racks are clearly less risky, and often won’t affect your premiums.

Whatever your mod, we can help you find modified car insurance that works for you.

Green laning: what is it and will my 4x4 insurance cover it?

Green laning is a type of adventure driving where you drive on unsurfaced lanes or tracks.

Green lanes are officially known as Unclassified Roads or Byways Open to All Traffic (BOATs).

Some 4x4 insurance policies might offer green laning cover as a policy add-on, but it’s unlikely to be included as standard. So if you’ll be green laning, check with your insurer to ensure you’re covered.

Otherwise, any accidents you get into on these non-standard roads might not be covered by your policy.

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Will 4x4 insurance cover off-roading?

Off-roading takes adventure driving a step further than green laning, as you completely leave behind any sort of road, including the green lanes.

Off-roading cover can come with some 4x4 insurance policies, but here at Confused.com we don’t currently offer this type of insurance. 


Will my 4x4 insurance cover towing?

Towing trailers, caravans or horseboxes can be covered as standard by 4x4 insurance, or any car insurance policy - though some insurers might only offer this as an optional extra.

So it’s worth checking with your insurer exactly what you’re covered for if you’re planning to tow regularly.


Does my 4x4 still need insurance if I only drive it occasionally?

Even if you only drive it occasionally, you still need insurance for your 4x4. The only time you won’t need to insure it is if you’ve registered your vehicle as off the road by logging a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) with the DVLA.

 If you only use your 4x4 for short periods of time, it might be cheaper to take out temporary car insurance. This will let you cover your 4x4 for anything from 1 hour to 28 days, meaning you’ll only need to pay for the cover you need

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What our car insurance expert says

The DVLA rules on what you can legally tow changed at the end of 2021. The new rules mean that if you passed your test from the 1 January 1997, you're now allowed to tow caravans or trailers up to 3,500kg MAM. However, your insurance may still have restrictions on what you can tow. If you are planning on towing with your 4x4 it's worth checking with the insurer beforehand.

Louise Thomas - Car insurance, personal Finance, mortgage and life insurance expert signature

Louise Thomas

Car insurance expert