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What is van insurance?

Van insurance is a policy you buy that protects you and your van against risks that happen on the road. It also protects other people and their property from damage your van might cause.

Like car insurance, it's a legal requirement to get at least third-party cover for your van.

What type of van insurance cover do I need?

The type of van insurance you might need depends on how you plan on using your van. There are 4 basic types of van insurance that you can choose from when you get a quote:

  • Social only
  • Social and commuting
  • Business use
  • Haulage

Social only is sometimes called private van insurance and 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 a single 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 also falls 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. Buying wrong type of van insurance is against the law and might not protect you if you need to make a claim.

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What level of van insurance is right for me?

There are 3 levels of van insurance you can choose from when you get a quote. As you go down the list you're protected against more risks.

If you're looking to keep your costs in check, it's still worth comparing these levels of cover against one another. Sometimes, more enhanced protection could actually work out cheaper.

  • 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 contains third-party protection and 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.

How do I compare van insurance quotes?

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 our 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 you want to add.
  • We'll compare over 51 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 compare policies, get more information and buy your van insurance online in minutes.

Compare van insurance quotes

What do I need to get a van insurance quote?

You can get a cheap van insurance quote with us in minutes - all we need is a few details about you and your van.

Your details - your age, occupation, address and details of any previous claims or penalty points

Your van - its make and model, security features and any modifications you've made

Your cover - what level of cover you want, how you plan on using the van, your annual mileage and any named drivers

How much does van insurance cost?

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

Social only

£581

Social & commuting to work

£614

Business use

£629

Haulage

£1,728

1 Based on 51% of Confused.com customers. Data September 2022

The cost of your van insurance depends on several factors, including:

  • Your age - younger, less experienced drivers tend to pay more
  • Where you live - a postcode in a high-crime area could see your costs rise
  • Your driving history - having no accidents in the last 5 years could keep your costs in check
  • How much your van is worth - a more expensive van could be attractive to thieves, increasing the risk of theft
  • Whether it has any modifications, like exhausts, body kits or alloys
  • How powerful it is - bigger engines tend to mean more expensive claims, which leads to more expensive insurance costs
  • Whether it has any extra security systems - the harder your van is to steal, the lower the risk to insure it

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.

Here are some more tips to keep your van insurance costs down:

  • 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 the same insurer isn't likely to be your cheapest option - it's always worth comparing van insurance quotes. Even when your renewal is the same or a little less than last year, you could still save by going elsewhere. 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 the number of years you haven't made a claim on your van insurance policy.

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

Are you a member of a recognised trade federation? Some insurers might offer you a discount for this.

Increase your voluntary excess as your costs could come down if you offer to pay more for the initial part of a 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 insuranceto monitor your driving. The insurer uses information on how and when you're driving to work our your prices, and rewards 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.

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

Why compare van insurance with Confused.com?

  • We’re 100% independent – We’re not owned by an insurance company. The prices we show you are based on the details you give us. We’ll always show you our best prices that are available at the time, no matter who they’re from.
  • Millions of satisfied customers – Each year we help over 1 million people comapre van insurance quotes. We’re rated ‘Excellent’ on Trustpilot and 4.7 / 5 on Reviews.io.
  • Choose from 4 great rewards when you buy van insurance with us. No confusing gimmicks or things you won’t use or need.
  • UK customer support. If you need help, our Cardiff-based team is here to support you. Visit our contact page to find ways to get in touch.

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What van insurance add-ons are available?

Once you've got your van insurance quote, you can include a selection of extra features for added protection:

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

Tools in van insurance covers 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.

What our van insurance expert says

The best time to switch your van insurance policy is around 3 weeks before your existing policy renews - that's when you're most likely to see the best prices. But don't worry if you can't hit that sweet spot - there are still plenty of other ways to save on your van insurance.
Dan McCullock van insurance expert signature

Dan McCulloch

Head of van insurance

We compare up to 51 van insurance companies to save you money

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Need more help?

Do I need van insurance?

Yes. If your van is on a public 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.

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 your van has insurance.

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

Yes you can. Most insurers allow you to transfer a no-claims bonus between different types of vehicle, but you can only use it on one vehicle or insurance policy at any one time.

Some insurers might also give you discounts for getting a second policy with them. Check with your insurer first to find out if they offer a multi-vehicle discount like that.

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

No, it can't. 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 this is important to you, it's worth checking with the insurer directly before getting a policy.

Can I add someone else to my policy?

Yes you can normally add another driver to your van insurance policy. Just let your insurer know give them 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.

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 might affect how much you pay for the policy. If your van is stolen or written off it's generally 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 risky the job 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 several 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 company should have a dedicated claims line you can call or allow you to make a van insurance claim online. Get in touch with them and talk through what’s happened. They should be able to guide you through the process.

Having the following information ready should help you speed up your claim:

  • Any photos of the scene of an accident
  • Witness statements, including their 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)

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 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 van insurance policy.

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 and comes at an added cost.

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 that weighs under 3.5 tonnes 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 up to 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 van insurance cover.

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

Yes you can. 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.

Show more Need more help? View our van guides