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27 Mar 2020
Adam Bate Confused.com

Van insurance classes of use explained

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It’s important to choose the right class of use for your van insurance or your cover could be invalid.

 white-van-on-the-road

When you get a van insurance quote you’ll need to choose a class of use. The class you choose will depend on what you use the van for.

There are four classes of use to choose from: social only, social and commuting, business use and haulage use.

Social only

If you only use your van for social, domestic and pleasure then a social only policy is for you.

Example: General day to day use, visiting family and friends and shopping.

Some popular hobbies that people use their vans for under a social only policy are:

· Surfing

· Golf

· Shopping

· Camping

Top 5 most popular vans for social only use:

1. Ford Transit

2. Ford Transit Connect

3. Vauxhall Vivaro

4. Vauxhall Combo

5. Citroen Berlingo

Based on January 2020 Confused.com data

Social and commuting

If you use your van for both personal use and driving to and from one permanent place of work, then you’ll need to choose social and commuting.

Example: A teacher who enjoys having a van to go on camping trips but also uses it to drive to work.

Depending on the provider, social only policies come with various benefits and limitations such as:

· Contents cover

· Mileage limits

· Usage restrictions

If you plan on using your van for work or business, then you’ll need a more specialist type of cover.

Business use (carriage of own goods)

If you use your van for carrying business related goods, tools or equipment then you’ll need to choose business use (carriage of own goods).

This is a commercial van insurance policy that covers you for carrying items that you own relating to your business.

Example: A builder who uses their van to transport tools and equipment to work.    

Top 5 most popular vans for business use (carriage of own goods):

1. Ford Transit

2. Vauxhall Vivaro

3. Ford Transit Custom

4. Ford Transit Connect

5. Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

Based on January 2020 Confused.com data

Haulage use

If you use your van specifically for the carriage of goods you’ll need to choose haulage use. This covers you for the transportation of packages, usually for one-off drops.

Example: A courier or delivery driver.

If you’re transporting goods over long distances in your van you’ll also need to choose haulage use.

Example: Furniture delivery drivers.

Top 5 most popular vans for business use (haulage):

1. Ford Transit

2. Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

3. Vauxhall Vivaro

4. Renault TRAFIC

5. Peugeot Boxer

Based on January 2020 Confused.com data

Is business use more expensive than social only?

Business use (haulage) tends to return higher prices than carriage of own goods simply because there’s more risks involved with transporting goods and materials.

Couriers often transport valuable packages for their clients and tend to spend more time on the road than your average driver. This means that they’re exposed to more risks which could affect the price.

However, our data shows that builders pay an extra 60% (£521*) if they select social only compared to business use (carriage of own goods) and get 21% fewer prices to choose from.

Insurers use complicated algorithms to give prices based on the information you enter when getting a quote. It’s unlikely that you’ll only use your van for social use if you’re a builder which could be why the policies are pricier.

Some people assume that a social only policy is cheaper and may think that lying about the class of use won’t matter. The truth is that it could invalidate your insurance policy and end up costing you more.

*Confused.com quote data July 2019 – Feb 2020

What happens if I lie on my van insurance policy?

Giving your van insurer false information won’t do you any favours:

· It could invalidate your cover, meaning if you had to make a claim as a result of an accident you won’t be covered. Things could get very pricey!

· The insurer has the right to cancel the policy or charge you the correct policy price.

· If your insurer cancels your policy you’ll have to declare it on any future applications which could increase the price of your policy.

There are other ways to bring down the cost of your van insurance which are legal:

1. Get quotes early

2. Increase your voluntary excess

3. Make your van more secure

4. Drive a smaller van

5. Advertise your business on your van

6. Accurately declare how you use your van

7. Accurately record your van’s mileage

Another way to get cheap van insurance is to compare quotes from different providers when you’re ready. Remember, it’s important to tell the truth about how you use your van to protect you and other drivers.

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