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What is van insurance?

Van insurance is a type of insurance that covers you and your van against fire, damage or theft. It also covers damage to other vehicles and property.

You can find van insurance policies to suit your specific circumstances. For example, if you use your van for business, you might need a courier or commercial van insurance policy. Whether you use your transit van or pickup truck as a run-around, or your tipper is a key part of your business, it's important to protect against these risks. This makes sure you're not left out of pocket following an accident.

How do I compare van insurance?

Getting a cheap van insurance quote only takes 5 minutes. And if you've used us before it's even quicker - you just need to check your details are up to date. Here's the simple, 3-step process to get you started:

  • Fill in our van insurance quote form. We just need some basic details about you, your van and any other drivers.
  • We'll compare over 49 van insurance companies to save you visiting them all separately.
  • We'll show your van insurance quotes all in one place, sorted from cheapest to most expensive. You can easily compare policies, get more information and buy your van insurance online.

What details do I need to get a cheap van quote?

Having the following information to hand makes it easier to get an accurate van insurance quote:

Personal details:

  • Your occupation
  • Any points on your licence
  • Previous claims or accidents

Van details:

  • Registration number - useful but not essential
  • Any modifications to your van
  • Estimated annual mileage

Your recent insurance documents should have most of the details you’ll need to get a quote. They should also show any no-claims bonus (NCB) that could give you a discount on your insurance.

You won’t need to prove your no-claims bonus to get a quote but some insurers may ask for proof once you’ve bought a policy. If you don’t have it already, your existing or previous insurer should be able to give you a copy.

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What level of van insurance is right for me?

Going with the lowest level of cover doesn't always mean you'll get the cheapest price. There are 3 levels of cover to choose from.

  • Third-party only is the lowest level of cover. You're insured against any damage you might cause to someone else or their property, including your passengers. It doesn't include damage to your own van.
  • Third-party, fire and theft is the same as third-party only but also covers your van for repair or replacement costs if it's stolen or damaged by fire.
  • Comprehensive gives you the most protection, covering you and your van as well as other people and their property. Although comprehensive policies offer the most protection, it doesn't always mean it's the most expensive. It’s worth comparing van insurance quotes at different levels of cover to see what meets your needs.

What van insurance add-ons are available?

Once you've got your quote, you can include a selection of extra features to your policy for added peace of mind:

  • Tools in van insurance
  • Legal cover
  • Breakdown cover
  • Windscreen cover
  • Personal accident cover
  • Driving abroad cover
  • Personal effects cover

Tools in van insurance can be used to cover any tools or cargo you have in your van.

Legal cover could help you recover certain uninsured losses that aren't covered as standard by your own insurance policy. For example, if you're involved in an accident that wasn't your fault.

Breakdown cover is available at different levels, usually at different prices, to help get you back on the road as quickly as possible. Some policies offer roadside assistance, while others could help you if your car won’t start at home.

Windscreen cover helps repair or replace your windscreen, rear screen or side windows following an incident.

Personal accident cover provides extra cover on the policy against injury and/or death caused by an accident. Most comprehensive policies have some level of personal accident cover for the driver included as standard - this extra cover usually extends it to everyone in the car.

Driving abroad cover offers a higher level of protection for when you're driving your van outside the UK. It also covers you for a longer period compared to what's normally included in a standard policy (about 30 days is standard).

Personal effects cover protects any gadgets or valuables that are stolen from the van or are damaged in an accident.

How much does van insurance cost?

Depending on how you use your van, here are the average policy prices1:

Social only

£648.32

Social & commuting to work

£650.24

Business use

£689.72

Haulage

£1,852.03

1 Based on Confused.com data November 2021

Social only is sometimes called private van insurance, this could be suitable if you don’t use your van or pickup truck for anything to do with work. It covers things like visiting family and friends, shopping or transporting kit for a hobby. This might mean you’re driving less than if you used it for work, which could help keep your costs in check.

Social and commuting could be for you if you use your van to get to one place for work, as well as for social use. If you’re travelling to a bus or train station as part of your commute, this would also fall under social and commuting.

Business use could be suitable if you use your van to carry goods, tools or work equipment belonging to you, your business partner or your employer. For example, builders, shopkeepers or cleaners might benefit from this type of cover.

Haulage use covers you if you use your van to carry goods for hire and reward. This type of cover is usually more expensive because there’s a higher risk associated with carrying valuable or hazardous items. Delivery drivers, couriers and haulage contractors might want to consider this type of cover.

It’s important to get the right type of insurance for how you use your van. Taking out the wrong type of van insurance is against the law and won’t protect you if you need to make a claim.

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How to get cheaper van insurance

Not in a rush? According to our data, (1 January to 30th September 2021), customers who got a quote for van insurance 22 days before their renewal date saw the cheapest premium on average2 - £712.51. This is compared to customers who got a quote on their renewal day and saw an average premium of £1,208.18.

  • Don’t auto-renew
  • Build up a no-claims bonus (NCB)
  • Let us know if you’re a member of a trade federation
  • Increase your voluntary excess
  • Add extra security
  • Choose an older van
  • Consider a black box policy
  • Use a dash cam while you drive

Don't auto-renew your current policy. Staying with an insurer isn’t always the cheapest option, even if you haven’t had an accident or your details remain the same. This year’s renewal price could be more expensive than what you paid last year. To make sure you’re getting the best deal, compare prices before your policy is up for renewal. 

What's a no-claims bonus?

A no-claims bonus (NCB), or no-claims discount, is a count of the number of years you haven't made a claim on your van insurance policy.

The amount that its worth varies from insurer to insurer, but a NCB of five years or more, for example, is likely to give you a significant discount on your insurance.

Become a member of a recognised trade federation? Let the insurer know, they could offer a discount.

Increase your voluntary excess as prices could fall if you're willing to pay a little more towards any claim.

Add extra security like a steering lock or immobiliser. Extra anti-theft devices make your van harder to steal and could also help lower your prices.

Choose an older, cheaper or less powerful van if you're still looking to buy, as they tend to cost less to insure.

Consider black-box van insurance and use an app on your phone or have a small telematics device fitted to your van to monitor your driving. The insurer uses the information on how and when you're driving to base your prices on, and reward good driving.

Use a dash cam while you drive to get a discount from some insurers. Discounts can vary and depend on you being able to supply footage following a claim.

Find more ways to cut the cost of your van insurance

2 Based on Confused.com data, average top quoted price January - September 2021.

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Need more help?

How do I check if my van is insured?

There are a couple of ways you can find out if your van is insured. Try checking your emails for any correspondence from insurance providers or your bank statements for direct debits. If you’re still unsure you can check with the Motor insurance database (MID). Enter your van's registration into their tool and it tells you if you’re insured or not.

What could affect the cost of my van insurance?

What you pay for your insurance policy depends on a number of factors like:

  • Your age
  • Where you live
  • Your driving history
  • How much your van is worth
  • Whether it has any modifications, like exhausts, body kits or alloys
  • How powerful it is
  • Whether it has any extra security systems

What's the difference between commercial and private van insurance?

Commercial insurance is also known as ‘business use' and lets you use the van for work if you're making deliveries or transporting tools and equipment. Private insurance doesn't cover using a van for work but lets you use the van for social, domestic or pleasure use.

Can I transfer my car's no-claims bonus to my van?

Yes. Most insurers allow you to transfer a no-claims bonus between different types of vehicle but it can only be used on one vehicle or insurance policy at any one time. Some insurers might also give you discounts for taking out a second policy with them. Check with your insurer first to find out if they offer a discount like that.

Can my no-claims bonus apply to a second van?

No. Your no-claims bonus can only apply to one van at a time. Insurers may offer discounts on insuring a second van by mirroring your no-claims bonus, though. If you find an insurer that allows your no-claims bonus to be applied to a second van, there's no guarantee of meeting their criteria. If this is important to you, it's worth checking with the insurer directly before taking out a policy.

Why are van insurance quotes higher for young drivers?

Insurers know younger van drivers tend to be less experienced than older drivers. They use historic claims data to find the groups of drivers more likely to have an accident and make a claim. Young drivers are one of these groups, so insurers adjust their insurance prices (usually higher) to cover the increased risk. Over time as you build up driving experience and NCB, your prices should start to come down. The type of van you drive can also affect how much you pay.

Can I add someone else to my policy?

Yes you can normally add another driver to a van insurance policy. Just let your insurer know and they'll ask for the second driver's details. Remember that if you add a less experienced driver your prices may go up. Some insurers might charge an admin fee too.

Can I put more than one van on my insurance policy?

Yes. Many insurers offer multi-van insurance. Putting more than one van on the same policy can often be cheaper than insuring each one separately. We don't currently compare multi-van insurance but it's something we're hoping to offer in the future.

How old do I have to be to get van insurance?

You normally need to be 21 or over but some insurers allow drivers age from the age of 18 to be added to a policy. When you get a quote we'll ask your date of birth so the list of prices you get back are from insurers able to offer you van insurance based on your details.

How do I find out how much my van is worth?

To make getting a quote easier, we estimate the value of your van based on a few assumptions. If you disagree with the valuation you can enter it yourself manually.

If you've recently bought your van, you could use the price you paid for it as a guide. Be careful not to say it's worth more than it is as this can affect the insurance price. If your van is stolen or written off it would generally be worth the market value at the time of the claim.

How can your job affect your van insurance?

Your occupation could impact how much you pay for your van insurance depending on how much of an additional risk it is.

Let’s say you’re a florist who uses their van to pick up supplies and take them to their shop. Travelling to a small handful of locations, and having non-hazardous materials in the van could mean a relatively low insurance cost.

Compare this to a courier. Someone who’s on the road for most of the day, making multiple stops to a number of people’s houses and carrying potentially expensive goods that don’t belong to them.

The risk of a high-value damage or theft claim is a lot higher, so they might find their insurance costs relatively high in comparison.

How do I make a claim on my van insurance?

Your van insurance provider should have a dedicated claims line you can call or you can claim online using their website. Get in touch with them and talk through what’s happened. They should be able to guide you through the process.

It helps if you have this to hand:

  • Any photos of the scene of an accident
  • Witness statements, including names and contact details
  • The registration of other vehicles involved
  • Insurance details of anyone else involved
  • A crime reference number (if your van was stolen)

Is commercial van insurance an allowable business expense?

Yes. Commercial van insurance, as well as van repairs and fuel used for business driving, are all allowable business expenses. For more information, visit GOV.UK.

What is any -driver van insurance?

Any driver van insurance is a policy that allows anyone to drive the van. This could be useful for employers who need multiple employees to be able to drive their vans.

Given the added risk of letting anybody behind the wheel, any driver van insurance tends to be more expensive than a standard policy.

Do I need van insurance?

Yes. If your van is on the road, it’s a legal requirement to have a valid insurance policy for it at all times.

If you don’t, you could face a fine, points on your licence or even have your van seized by police.

Having a conviction for driving without insurance is also likely to make future insurance policies more expensive, too.

Does my insurance cover the goods/tools I carry?

Standard van insurance policies often don’t cover any goods or tools that you carry in the van. If you want to cover these, it’s worth considering tools in van insurance cover. This is usually an add-on to your policy.

Can my company van be insured under the company name?

If your company van is registered to your company and not to you personally, then you have to insure the van under the company name.

Otherwise, the policyholder should be the same as the registered keeper of the van.

Can I get a courtesy van or car?

Some van insurance policies let you add courtesy van cover as an optional extra. Check with the provider that they offer this before buying, though. Some policies might offer you a ‘like-for-like’ courtesy van, whereas others might only offer a basic model.

What types of vans can I get a quote for?

You can get a cheap van insurance quote for almost any kind of van. So if you’ve got a tipper van or a refrigerated food van, you should be able to compare van insurance quotes.

If you’re looking to insure a HGV or lorry, you might need a specialist policy.

Am I insured to drive my van abroad?

Most van insurance policies should offer some level of cover while you’re driving abroad, usually for 30 to 90 days.

If you want to stay covered for longer than that, you might need extended cover to drive abroad. Get in touch with your insurance company to see if they can extend your insurance cover.

Show more Need more help? View our van guides

What our van insurance expert says

We know from the thousands of quotes run every day that you'll usually see the best prices around three weeks before you want your policy to start. Don't worry if you're too early or left it too late though as there are plenty of other ways to save.
Head of van insurance signature

Dan McCulloch

Head of van insurance