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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.

Do I need commercial van insurance?

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

You can only rely on personal van cover if you’ll only be using your van for ‘social use’. This can include things like going shopping, attending classic van shows or visiting family and friends.

But you can’t use the van for anything to do with work, including commuting. So, even if you’ll only be using your van for work-related stuff occasionally, you’ll still need business van insurance.

What does commercial van insurance cover?

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

  • Third-party only is 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. But, you and your business van won't be covered.
  • Third-party, fire and theft provides everything you'd get with third-party insurance But it also means your van will be insured against damage caused by fire and theft.
  • Comprehensive gives you all you get with a TPFT policy, but also insures you and your business van for accidents where you’re to blame.

What type of business van insurance do I need?

There are different types of business van insurance depending on how a van is used.

  • Business use or carriage of own goods is for drivers who mainly carry their own tools and equipment. It also covers social and pleasure use. But, this doesn't mean the tools or goods you carry in your van will be covered as standard.
  • Courier van insurance or carriage of goods for hire or reward is typically for delivery drivers carrying other people’s goods for payment. It’s a legal requirement for drivers providing courier services to have a basic level of courier insurance in place to cover damage to other people and their property when deliveries are being made. These 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 for transporting 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

£1,554.55

Business use or carriage of own goods

£485.64

1 Based on Confused.com data - average data of purchased premiums June to August 2022

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 be 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 always compare all cover levels when getting a quote.

Commercial van insurance costs can also be impacted by:

The type of van, so expect to pay more to cover bigger vans, valuable models and those with more powerful engines.

Your business as insurers may view some types of business as riskier than others and therefore charge more for cover.

Your personal circumstances, like your claims history and no-claims bonus, can affect commercial van insurance costs.

Where you operate. Insurers may charge more if you operate in an area with higher crime rates, as the risk of theft may seem greater.

How can I get cheaper commercial van insurance?

There are many ways to reduce your business van insurance costs without compromising on your level of cover.

You could 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 costs if you:

  • 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.

Consider a black box policyif you’re a careful driver. Your insurer will use a telematics device or app to monitor your driving and set your insurance costs based on the data it collects. Costs can go up or down, depending on how careful a driver you are.

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

Improving your van's security can make it less prone to theft.

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

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

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

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

We guarantee to beat your renewal. Or give you the difference, plus £20**

**Must be a like-for-like policy. T&Cs apply.

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 covers 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 cover some of the costs if you ever have to go to court due to 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 covers any audio equipment and sat navs in your van.

How to compare business van insurance quotes

Getting a quote for commercial van insurance, or any type of van insurance, only takes five minutes. If you’ve used us before it’s even quicker. Just log in and check your details are up to date.

  • We’ll compare up to 49 van insurance companies to help find the right policy for your business
  • We’ll show you a list of quotes to choose from. You can view prices monthly or annually and add features (add-ons) that are important to you
  • Once you’ve bought business van insurance don’t forget to come back and choose a freebie with Confused.com Rewards**

We compare up to 49 van insurance companies to save you money

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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

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. But, courier or haulage van insurance tends to be more expensive.

Can I add additional drivers to a commercial van insurance policy?

You can put additional drivers on your business van insurance policy, but it might affect your prices. To add someone to your commercial van insurance, you’ll need their details when you get a quote. This includes 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 commercial van insurance under your company name. But in some cases, the main driver must be the policyholder.

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.

Can I insure more than one van for my business?

Yes you can insure more than one van for your business with multi-commercial van insurance, also known as fleet van insurance.

Am I covered for driving in Europe with commercial van insurance?

You may be covered for driving in Europe with commercial van insurance, but this doesn't always come as standard. Check your policy or contact your insurer to find out.

How old do I need to be to get commercial van insurance?

You need to be 21 or over to buy commercial van insurance.

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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 company seen, but it can also put-off would-be thieves. If it does go on to get stolen, having signage on your 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

Dan McCulloch

Head of van insurance