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Modified van insurance

If you change your van in any way from how it was supplied by the manufacturer, your insurance policy should reflect this. Otherwise you risk not being covered. This includes decals and spoilers all the way up to turbocharging your engine.

Insurance can be expensive for modified vans, but it's important to declare any changes you've made to your insurer. It's still possible to get a good deal on your insurance though, and that's where we can help.

Read below to find out more about insuring a modified van, or select 'Get a quote' to start comparing prices.

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What is modified van insurance?

Modified van insurance is similar to standard van insurance and covers most of the same things. But if you've modified your van in any way, your van insurance policy should reflect this.

You should declare all modifications when you get a quote or your insurer could cancel your policy. You should also let your insurer know if you make any changes to your van during your policy. Otherwise you risk invalidating your insurance and your insurer may any reject future claims.

What counts as a modification?

A van is considered to be modified if it's been changed in any way from how it was supplied by the manufacturer. This includes:

  • Cosmetic changes such as spoilers and body kits
  • Adding or removing seats
  • Installed racking and storage
  • Alloy wheels
  • Modifications to accommodate a disability
  • Adding or removing windows
  • Audio or entertainment upgrades
  • Different power supplies
  • Brake, suspension and engine modifications
  • Paintwork, decals or wraps

If you’re unsure whether changes you’ve made to your van are considered modifications, you can check with your chosen provider before buying a policy.

If any modifications you’ve made include fitting a bed, kitchen, toilet or other living accessories, you need campervan insurance.

Is modified van insurance more expensive?

The price you pay ultimately depends on your personal circumstances and the specific modifications your van has.

Here’s how much you can expect to pay for comprehensive van insurance with some of the most popular modifications:

Modification Average price1
Decals
£581
Suspension lowered by 5cm
£593
Fixed water tank
£693
Rear spoiler
£554
Brakes uprated
£1,192

1Based on Confused.com data April - June 2023

Why is modified van insurance more expensive?

The price you pay for insurance is based on several factors, including:

  • The power of your vehicle. Typically, the more powerful your van is, the more it costs to insure because it usually means more expensive repairs after an accident. Some modifications, such as turbocharging, increase the power of your vehicle even more.
  • The value of your van. Adding features such as alloy wheels can increase your van's value. The higher the value of your van, the more expensive it can be to replace or repair parts. So, insurance is usually higher.
  • The cost to repair or replace your van. Modifications can mean it's more expensive and time-consuming to repair or replace parts of your van. This, in turn, increases how much your insurance costs.

How can I get cheaper insurance?

There are some things you can do to try and reduce the cost of your insurance:

  • Tell us if you're a trade federation member as some insurers offer a discount for van insurance. We'll only ask you this if you state that you intend to use your van for business or haulage purposes.
  • Compare prices and don't auto renew. Staying with your current insurer usually isn't the cheapest option. Even if your insurance price hasn't increased much from last year, compare prices to make sure you're getting the best deal.
  • Increase your voluntary excess. Typically, paying more towards any claims means you see lower costs. The most common excess amount with our customers is £250, with 45% choosing this level2.
  • Consider a black box policy. This can be especially useful if you're a young driver. These types of policies involve having an app on your phone or a small telematics device fitted to your van to monitor your driving habits. Generally, the safer you drive, the lower your insurance could be on renewal.
  • Build up your no-claims bonus (NCB). Each year you're insured without making a claim, you get a year added to your NCB. The bigger your NCB, the bigger the discount you could get on your insurance. With 5 years NCB, our customers paid £6602 for their insurance, on average. This is compared to £1,2682 with no NCB.

2Based on Confused.com data April - June 2023

What type of insurance can I get for my modified van?

Third-party

This is the minimum level of insurance required to drive in the UK. It covers you for damage to someone else's property, but you and your van won't be covered. On average, this level of insurance costs £1,412*.

Third-party, fire and theft

This level offers the same cover as third-party, plus cover for your van if it's stolen or damaged by fire. On average, third-party, fire and theft insurance costs £950*.

Comprehensive

This is the highest level of cover you can get. It provides everything included with third-party, fire and theft, plus cover for you and your van if you're involved in an accident. Although this level offers the most cover, it's often the cheapest, costing £652* on average.

*Based on Confused.com data April - June 2023

What are the classes of use for van insurance?

Social. You should select social if you only use your van for personal trips and not for commuting or working. Insurance for social use costs £5963, on average.

Social and commuting. You should choose this option if you use your van for commuting to a single permanent place of work as well as personal trips. On average, insurance for social and commuting costs £6243.

Own goods business. This includes using your van for business purposes. For example, if you're a builder, plumber or carpenter and use your van to transport tools or materials to each job. This type of insurance costs £6393, on average.

Haulage. This covers you if you're using your van to deliver third-party goods, also known as 'hire and reward'. You'll need this if you're a courier or delivery driver. Haulage van insurance costs £1,7793, on average.

3Based on Confused.com data April - June 2023

Do I need modified van insurance for my work van?

If you run a business like dog grooming, window cleaning or catering, you might be using a specialist or modified van. These could be fitted with:

  • Catering equipment
  • Jet wash equipment
  • Hydraulic lifting equipment
  • Refrigeration
  • Tippers
  • Permanent dog grooming equipment

If this applies to you, you may need modified van insurance to make sure you're covered for everything.

What our van insurance expert says

"Modifications will be specific to your van, so it's worth speaking to potential insurers to make sure they fully understand any changes you've made. Most modified van insurance policies include a 'standard parts' clause. This means that if your van has any custom modifications, like a spoiler, they'll only be replaced with standard manufacturer parts. This is due to the cost and time it can take to replace custom parts. So, it's always worth checking your policy details."
Louise Thomas, Motor Insurance Expert at Confused.com
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