4x4 insurance

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Do I need specialist 4x4 insurance?

There are 4x4 insurance policies designed for those who will be green laning or going off road. So-called adventure driving activities aren’t covered by standard car insurance policies. 4x4 insurance can also include cover for towing.

If you won’t be towing and will be keeping to normal, surfaced roads, then you’ll be covered by standard car insurance.

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Is 4x4 insurance more expensive?

Generally, yes it can be, because insurers tend to view 4x4s as higher risk to cover versus cars. 4x4s usually fall into the upper end of insurance groups, making them a little more expensive to insure. As 4x4s are bigger and heavier than cars on average, insurers generally assume that 4x4s can do more damage to other people, vehicles or property.

A 4x4 will also have higher grade parts versus a typical car, so it should be pricier to buy, repair or replace. More expensive parts can also make 4x4s a more worthwhile prospect for thieves.

How do I get cheaper 4x4 insurance?

While 4x4s are more expensive to insure than cars on average, there are various ways to lower the price of your 4x4 insurance:

  • Join an owners’ club
  • Limit modifications
  • Improve security
  • Increase the voluntary excess
  • Pay annually
  • Reduce your annual mileage

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

Limit modifications to keep insurance prices down. Adding extras to your 4x4 such as roof racks, lights, suspension upgrades, snorkels and alloys are likely to make your quote more expensive.

Improve security to keep your 4x4 safe from thieves and vandals. For instance, 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.

Increase the voluntary excess. Raising your excess could reduce the price of your insurance. However, this also means your payout would be lower in the event of a claim.

Paying annually can make a significant saving on your 4x4 insurance. By choosing to pay in one upfront lump sum rather than by monthly direct debit – you could save up to 15%1.

Reducing your annual mileage could also get you cheaper insurance. Generally speaking, the less miles you drive in your 4x4, the lower the price of your insurance. The more miles you do, the greater the chances of you making a claim.

1 Based on Confused.com data January - September 2021

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What does 4x4 insurance cover?

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.

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

Green laning, a type of adventure driving, means motoring along unsurfaced lanes or tracks that are open to vehicles. Green lanes are officially known as unclassified roads (UCRs) or byways open to all traffic (BOATs).

Cover for green laning can be included on 4x4 insurance policies. If you’re planning on doing this sort of driving, you should check the policy wording to make sure you’re covered.

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What our car insurance expert says

Remember, you might not be covered to tow a caravan or trailer. Most insurers include third-party cover for trailers, but you’ll need to check if you’re covered for caravans and also ask about weight restrictions.
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Alex Kindred

Car insurance expert