Business van insurance

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What is business van insurance?

Business van insurance, also known as ‘commercial van insurance’ or ‘company van insurance,’ is designed to cover vans used for work.

There are different types of commercial van cover to suit the type of work you do.

For instance, you’ll need courier or haulage van insurance if you transport other people’s goods for payment or make deliveries. Exactly what type of cover you need depends on the exact nature of your work.

Aside from business van insurance, the other main type of van insurance is called personal or private van insurance.

If you use your van for work, or own vans as part of your business, the standard van insurance policies may not cover you.

You can only rely on personal van cover if you’ll be using your van exclusively for ‘social use’. The definition of social use is fairly strict and means you can’t use the van for anything to do with work, including commuting.

With personal van insurance, the van can only be used for leisure and pleasure – for example, going shopping, attending classic van shows or visiting family and friends. So, even if you’ll only be using your van for work-related stuff part of the time, you’ll still need to take out business van insurance.

What does commercial van insurance cover?

What your commercial van insurance covers will depend on the policy you take out. A business van policy will generally provide cover for work-related use as well as giving you everything that comes with personal van insurance. There are three main levels of cover:

  • Third-party only represents the minimum legal requirement that you need to drive on UK roads. If you’re in an accident, you’ll be covered for damage to other people’s vehicles and any injuries sustained to others. However, you and your van will not be covered.
  • Third-party, fire and theft along with giving you the minimum level of cover that you get with third-party insurance, TPFT means your van will also be insured against damage caused by fire and theft.
  • Comprehensive gives you all you get with a TPFT policy, but also means you and your van are insured even for accidents where you’re to blame.

What are the different types of commercial van insurance?

Along with the various levels of cover to consider, there are different types of business van insurance that correspond to the sort of work you do and how you’ll be using the van:

Business use or carriage of own goods is suited to people working in the building trade, for example, who mainly carry tools and equipment owned by themselves or their business who typically take out this kind of business van insurance policy.

As well as for social and pleasure use, you’ll be covered when carrying goods owned by your business. However, this does not mean the tools or goods themselves that you carry in your van will be covered as standard.

Carriage of goods for hire or reward, or courier van insurance is typically suited to delivery drivers, where they’re carrying other people’s goods for payment. They’ll also be making multiple drop-offs in the same local area.

It’s a legal requirement for drivers providing courier services to have a basic level of courier insurance in place, to cover against damage to other people and their property when deliveries are being made.

Courier van insurance policies usually don’t include cover for the cargo you’re carrying, which is known as goods in transit insurance.

Haulage business van insurance is what you'll need if you transport goods that don’t belong to you on long journeys, involving just one or two stops.

How much does business van insurance cost?

There are 2 main ways to describe how you use your van for business. Here are the average prices for them1

Haulage or hire and reward

£1,885.98

Business use or carriage of own goods

£623.53

1 Based on Confused.com data 1/8/21 - 31/8/21

In general, courier insurance or haulage cover tends to cost more than carriage of own goods commercial van insurance. Carriage of own goods van insurance can also work out cheaper than personal van cover for social use.

Be sure to get the level of cover you need and don’t just go for the cheapest option. Fully comprehensive business van insurance can work out cheaper, so it’s wise to compare all levels of cover when getting a quote.

A variety of other factors additionally impact the cost of commercial van insurance, including:

Your van and how you use it: expect to pay more to cover bigger vans, those with more powerful engines and the more valuable models.

Your business: insurers may view some types of business as riskier than others and therefore charge more for cover. If your van is registered to or owned by your company, some insurers will allow you to take out van insurance cover under your company name.

You: your personal circumstances can affect commercial van insurance premiums, including your claims history and any no-claims bonus you have. You can add additional drivers to a commercial van insurance policy, though this might impact your insurance premiums.

Where you operate: insurers may charge more for business van insurance if you operate in an area with higher crime rates, as the risk of theft may seem greater.

How can I get cheaper business van insurance?

There are a number of ways to reduce your business van insurance premiums without compromising on your level of cover. 

You could severely regret choosing third-party-only cover if you’re in an accident. With a fully comprehensive policy, you could still reduce your commercial van insurance premiums by taking certain steps: 

  • Advertising your business on your van
  • Consider a black box policy
  • Join a trade federation
  • Improve your van's security
  • Use a dashcam while you drive
  • Increase your voluntary excess
  • Don’t auto-renew

Advertising your business on your van can help deter potential thieves and reduce risks for insurers, which in turn could lower your commercial van insurance premiums.

Consider a black box policy assuming you’re a careful driver, it might be worth choosing a black box business van policy. Your insurer will use a telematics device or app to monitor your driving and set your insurance premiums.

You tend to get lower premiums just by having a black box installed, but your insurer will closely monitor the data it collects to see how good a driver you really are and how much care you take. Depending on the data collected, the cost of your commercial van insurance could then go down or up.

Join a trade federation as some insurers will offer discounts on business van insurance for members of trade federations.

Improving your van's security can make it less prone to theft and help you get a cheaper premium.

Use a dashcam while you drive as installing a dashcam means it should be easier to prove a claim where a third party is at fault. Some insurers will offer savings on commercial van cover if you put in a dashcam.

Increase your voluntary excess can cut the cost of your business van insurance. By opting for a higher excess however, this means you could receive a lower payout in the event of a claim.

Don’t auto-renew! Compare quotes annually to find the cheapest business van insurance.

Find more ways to reduce the cost of your van insurance.

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What extras can I add to business van insurance?

Business van insurance policies can offer the following extras to suit the needs of your vans, drivers and business:

  • Tools in transit
  • Breakdown cover
  • Courtesy van
  • Legal cover
  • Windscreen and window cover
  • Public liability insurance
  • Cover for European driving
  • Employer’s liability insurance
  • Sat nav and audio cover

Tools in transit provides cover for any tools in your van if they get lost, stolen, or damaged.

Breakdown cover could save you a lot of stress. If you rely on your business for your income, you don’t want to break down and lose a day’s work.

Courtesy van can keep your business on the road if your van is in for repairs. You’ll be given a temporary replacement vehicle till yours is back on the road.

Legal cover could help cover some of the costs if you ever have to go to court because of an accident that wasn’t your fault.

Windscreen and window cover to cover any repair costs if your windscreen or windows get damaged.

Public liability insurance in case anyone suffers an injury or damage to property as a result of your business. You’ll need this if members of the public visit your business premises or if you organise events that are attended by the public.

Cover for European driving is useful if you’re frequently driving abroad as part of your business.

Employer’s liability insurance is similar to public liability insurance. It’ll cover you if a member of staff injures themselves at work.

Sat nav and audio cover adds additional cover for any audio equipment and sat navs you may have in your van.

What do I need to get a business van insurance quote?

Having the following information to hand will make it easier to get an accurate business van insurance quote:

Personal details:

  • Your occupation
  • Details of any additional drivers
  • Insurance documents

Van details:

  • Registration number – useful but not essential
  • Make and model
  • Any modifications
  • Estimated annual mileage

Why compare commercial van insurance quotes?

Comparing quotes can help you find cheap business van insurance policies. We search a range of market-leading insurers in minutes to find our best policy for you and your business, at our best price.

It’s a legal requirement that all vehicles on UK roads have valid insurance policies and this can get costly when it comes to insuring a fleet of commercial vans.

We compare van insurance companies who specialise in catering to the needs of your business and can offer policies that protect against the risks you’re most vulnerable to.

We can also help you find great deals on small business insurance, giving you peace of mind in knowing that both your business and van are protected.

We compare up to 40 van insurance companies to save you money

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Need more help?

Is business van insurance more expensive than standard van insurance?

Carriage of own goods business van insurance can often work out cheaper than personal van cover. However, courier or haulage van insurance tends to be more expensive.

Commercial van insurance vs personal – what’s the difference?

You’ll need business van insurance if you’ll be using your van for anything to do with work, even if it’s just for commuting. Personal van insurance is only for leisure and pleasure – things like shopping and visiting the family.  Learn more about the different van insurance classes of use.

Can I add additional drivers to a commercial van policy?

You can put additional drivers on your business van insurance policy, though it might affect your premiums. You’ll need their details when you get a quote, including things like their licence type, how long they’ve held it for and whether they’ve had any previous accidents or driving convictions.

Can I get my business van insured under my company name?

Yes. Provided your van is registered to or owned by your company, some insurers will allow you to take out van insurance cover under your company name, but in some cases the main driver must be the policy holder.

Do you need commercial insurance for a van?

It all depends on how you plan to use your van – if it’s strictly leisure and pleasure use, then personal van insurance is okay. If you’ll be using the van for anything to do with work, then it has to be some sort of business van insurance policy.

Can anyone drive a business van?

The categories on your driving licence will detail which vans and vehicles you’re qualified to drive. If you plan on driving your van for business use, you’ll need company van insurance to protect you and other drivers.

To be eligible to drive most heavy goods vehicles you’ll have to take a separate test, but there are some that can be driven on a standard licence.

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What our van insurance expert says

Advertising your business on your van is not only a good way to get your business name out there, but it can also put-off would-be thieves. If you’re unlucky and it does go on to get stolen, having the signage on the van could help the police track it down. In the eyes of many insurers this makes it less of a risk, which can be rewarded with a discount.
Head of van insurance signature

Daniel McCulloch

Head of van insurance