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.
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 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.
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 car.
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.
Is it more expensive to insure a 4x4?
What you pay for your insurance depends on a range of factors, from your age to the value of your car, so it’s difficult to say for sure.
According to our data, some 4x4s are actually cheaper to insure than the average. But bear in mind, a lot more than the type of car goes into how your insurance is calculated.
In some cases, you might actually pay more than the average to insure your 4x4 due to:
Pickup-style 4x4s require van insurance, which costs £970* on average, whereas car-like 4x4s require car insurance, which costs £657* on average, so your 4x4's classification could impact what you pay.
*Confused.com price index data Q1 2023.
Every car sits in an insurance group, and due to their size and the cost to repair them, 4x4s tend to sit in high insurance groups. generally, the higher the group your vehicle sits in the higher your insurance costs.
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 pay more for your insurance.
To give you an idea of what you might pay, here are the average cost to insure 3 of the most popular 4x4s in the UK:
Land Rover Defender 110 XS TDI:
Dacia Duster Laureate DCI 110 2WD:
Toyota Land Cruiser LC4 D4D:
*Based on average insurance costs for fully comprehensive cover across all ages from 02/03/2023 to 30/05/2023
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:
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 classed as legal byways, which means insurers have to treat them as such. So if you’re involved in a collision on one, you should be able to claim as you would for a collision on a standard road.
Insurance policies usually cover towing as standard, but always check with your insurer to see exactly what their rules are for towing. 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.
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
is a legal requirement if you're driving in the UK. Find out more about choosing the right cover at the right price.
helps cover you and your van against the risk of fire, damage or theft.
Pickup truck insurance
protects pickups for social, business and haulage use.
Temporary car insurance
offers short-term comprehensive cover from one hour to 28 days.
Classic car insurance
offers cover for owners of classic cars. For insurance purposes, a classic car can be any car that’s older than 15 years.
Business car insurance
covers you if you use your car for work, including travelling between offices or across the country.
Commercial van insurance
protects your van and its cargo if you use your van for haulage or business use.
Need more help?
Caravan towing insurance rules explained
For some, a caravan holiday is the perfect getaway. For others, towing is just part of their job. But in either case it pays to be clued up.
Driving licence categories and codes
Working out what the driving licence codes and categories mean can be confusing. Here’s an explanation of some of the most common.
Car insurance classes of use explained
Social, SDP or fully comp? Car insurance policies come in a variety of flavours. Which one gives you the best blend of protection?
Car insurance groups
Car insurance groups are one of the ways car insurance companies work out insurance premiums. Learn how car insurance groups work.
What should you do if your car breaks down?
Being prepared and knowing what to do can be crucial in keeping you and your passengers safe with a broken down car.