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Pickup truck insurance

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Pick up truck insurance: what you need to know

Pickup truck insurance is actually a type of van insurance. Even if you use your pickup as you would a car, its size will still see it classed as a van.

There are two main types of pickup insurance: private use and commercial use.

The size, weight and way in which you use your pick up will all influence what policy you need, and how much you’ll pay.

What’s classed as a pick up truck?

A pickup truck is a light-duty truck with an open cargo area behind the cab. The sides of the cargo area are usually low, with a tailgate at the back.

Single-cab pickups have just two doors and two seats in the cab.

Double-cab pickups have four doors and five seats in the cab.

Legally, a pickup truck is a ‘dual purpose vehicle’ and must have an unladen weight (known as the ‘kerb weight’) of not more than 2,040kg.

Popular models of pickup trucks include:

  • Ford Ranger
  • Toyota Hilux
  • Isuzu D-Max
  • SsangYong Musso
  • Mitsubishi L200

Types of pickup truck insurance

There are two main types of pickup truck insurance – private and commercial.

Private pickup truck insurance covers you for your daily driving, whether that’s popping to the shops or going to see family or friends.

Some insurers might also cover you for commuting under a private policy, but others will count this as commercial use, and will only offer you commercial cover. That won’t necessarily mean you can’t use it as a day-to-day vehicle, but it could prove more expensive.

Commercial pickup insurance is a type of commercial van insurance, and will cover your vehicle for work. Some insurers will allow you to extend your cover to include carrying hazardous goods, specialist tools and materials too.

If use your pickup truck for haulage or courier work, goods-in-transit or courier policies can offer you cover for any goods you carry that aren't yours, too.

What do I need to get a pickup insurance quote

Having the following details to hand will make it easier to get your pickup insurance quote:

  • Personal details such as your occupation 
  • Your pickup truck details such as the registration number and weight 
  • Details of previous driving convictions, claims or incidents - please be honest
  • Modifications to your pickup truck including things like decals, stickers or wraps, body modifications and performance upgrades
  • Estimated annual mileage - if you’re unsure, check your last MOT

You’ll also need to let us know:

  • How you use your pickup, this is very important. If you aren’t accurate about exactly how you use your pickup, you run the risk of voiding your pickup insurance 
  • Details of any additional drivers you want on the policy
  • The type of cover you’re looking for (fully comprehensive to third-party)
  • Start date of your policy
  • Your voluntary excess amount, which is paid on top of compulsory excess
  • How many years’ no-claims bonus (NCB) you have, if any

This may seem like a lot of information to get, but your current insurance documents (as well as the pickup’s V5C logbook issued by the DVLA) should include most of it.

How to get cheaper pickup insurance

Bigger, more powerful vehicles are usually more expensive to insure than smaller ones. And, if you’ve made any insurance claims in the last few years, it’s likely the premiums will be higher.

However there are steps you can take which could reduce the cost of your pickup insurance:

  • Choose a smaller, less powerful pickup truck
  • Add extra security
  • Don’t auto renew
  • Build up a no-claims bonus
  • Pay a higher voluntary excess
  • Consider a black box policy

Choose a smaller, less powerful pickup truck because typically, pickups under 3.5 tonnes (the combined weight of the vehicle AND its load) are cheaper to insure. If your pickup does weigh more than this, it’s classed as a HGV and you’ll need truck insurance.

Add extra security to your pickup truck such as anti-theft devices and immobilisers to discourage potential thieves.

Don’t auto renew because sticking with your current insurer isn’t always the cheapest option. Compare pickup truck insurance quotes to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

Build up a no-claims bonus that could shave pounds off your insurance.

Pay a higher voluntary excess if you can, as it could bring your insurance cost down. Be sure to consider any compulsory excess listed on the policy as you will have to pay this and the voluntary excess if you claim.

Consider a black box policy for your pickup that uses a small telematics device installed to your truck, or an app on your phone to monitor your driving. If the device confirms that you’re a safe, responsible driver, your insurer may offer further discounts as it views you as a lower risk.

Ready to compare pickup insurance?

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Will my insurance cover what I’m carrying in my pickup?

If you’re carrying things in your pickup, there are two types of insurance cover available for you.

If you’re carrying your own things, a standard commercial van insurance policy should cover the contents of your pickup. This is often ideal for tradespeople, builders and florists, for example.

If you carry other people’s goods, like if you make deliveries, or transport items, you might need to take out goods-in-transit insurance or courier insurance.

Can I get cover if my pick up truck is modified?

Yes, you can. But it might cost you more.

Just like with modified van insurance, any mods you make that could raise your risk of a being in an accident, like engine enhancements or anything that increases your pickup’s performance, are likely to lead to higher insurance costs.

Cosmetic modifications that might make your pickup more of a target for thieves can do the same.

This can be the case even if the modifications you make help you with your job, like equipment for a dog-grooming or catering business you install in the back, for example.

But not all mods will raise your premiums. Things that increase your pickup’s safety or security, like extra alarms, or simple mods like tow bars, often won’t affect what you pay.

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What our van insurance expert says

It might seem obvious but adding extra security measures like alarms and trackers can make your pickup less prone to theft. As well as better security, the upshot of this is insurers then see it less of a risk and might offer you cheaper pickup truck insurance.
Head of van insurance signature

Dan McCulloch

Head of van insurance