Young driver van insurance

Compare van insurance for young drivers

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Why is van insurance so expensive for young drivers?

Van insurance companies take numerous factors into consideration when you get a van insurance quote.

Your age and experience are two key factors in this. Young drivers also tend to be less experienced, which makes them more likely to be involved in an accident and make a van insurance claim.

This is reflected in the price you pay – the greater the risk the insurer thinks you present, the more you’ll have to pay.

Van insurance is usually more expensive than car insurance anyway, which can leave younger drivers noticing the price difference even more.

If you’re driving a van to earn your living, then you’re out on the road all day.

And, vans are heavier, longer and a bit trickier to drive than cars - especially when parking. This extra weight and power makes them a bigger risk, which usually leads to higher insurance costs.

But driving a van shouldn’t have to be so expensive, even if you’ve only held your licence for a short while. There are ways to make van cover more affordable for you, whatever your day job is.

What level of van insurance do I need?

Van insurance is pre-packaged in three levels: third-party, third-party fire and theft, and comprehensive. Each gives you a different amount of protection:

  • Third-party is the legal minimum insurance required for your van. It covers the cost of repairing damage to other vehicles and property after an accident that was your fault. You are also protected if you injure somebody, including any passengers, but your van itself won’t be covered.
  • Third-party, fire and theft includes all of the cover provided above, along with protection if your van is stolen or damaged by fire.
  • Comprehensive policies provide the highest level of cover. They include all of the above, along with protection for your van if it’s damaged as a result of an accident that was considered your fault, or suffers malicious damage.

It’s worth looking at prices for comprehensive and third-party cover before you make any decisions. Sometimes there’s little difference in cost between third-party and comprehensive cover.

What type of van insurance does a young driver need?

When you apply for your van insurance you will be given a number of insurance types to choose from. Which you select will depend on how you plan to use your van.

If you’re using your van for pleasure and domestic use, your policy is going to be different from regular business use. This is known as private van insurance or ‘social use only’ and it’s a sensible option if you’ve a hobby that requires you to drive a lot of gear around.

If you also use the van to drive to and from one place of work you can also set up the cover on a ‘social and commuting’ basis. However, most van insurance comes under the commercial or business van insurance category because it relates directly to work. So, if you’re making regular deliveries to customers or carrying lots of tools, that’s likely the policy you’re after.

But if you’re using your van for multi-drop deliveries then you might want to consider courier van insurance. You might also see this type of insurance referred to as ‘hire and reward insurance’.

Courier van cover could be more expensive because you’re making lots of deliveries, which could increase the risk of you being targeted by thieves and making a claim.

But for any policy, you might need goods in transit cover as an add-on. Goods in transit cover means that if any of your goods are stolen, damaged or lost you’re covered to replace them.

It’s important to choose the right type of cover for you. Make the wrong choice and you could end up paying more than you need or worse, find your policy is invalidated in the event of a claim.

How do I get cheaper van insurance as a young driver?

We understand that as a young driver your insurance is likely to be higher than average. You might be tempted to bend the truth about how you use your van day-to-day, but you shouldn’t. Especially if it compromises your level of cover, just to save in the short term.

The details you give insurers about you, your van and how you use it should be accurate. If not, you risk your policy being void and could run into problems if you make a claim. For example you shouldn’t say you only use your van for private use if you use it for work as well. The trick with getting cheaper van insurance is paying only for what you need.

If you’re using your van for construction work, you might have expensive tools in the back that you’d need to replace if they were stolen. If you run a dog grooming business, you might be making several drops at clients’ homes. Making sure your policy works for your specific needs is the best way to ensure you’re not over or under-paying for your insurance.

But there are several small-but-important things you could do to get cheaper van insurance, especially if you’re a young driver:

  • Choose a black box or telematics policy
  • Add more security to your van
  • Use a dashcam while you drive
  • Buy a van that’s cheap to insure
  • Be wary of van modifications

A black box or telematics policy collects data on your speed, braking, cornering, mileage and time of day you drive. If you prove to be a good driver the insurer may offer a cheaper price.

Add more security to your van by fitting extra locks like slamlocks. These add an extra layer of security and could be useful for multi-drop drivers. Professionally-fitted deadlocks could also be a good idea as they’re more difficult to force open. If it’s an older van then make sure you’ve got an engine immobiliser fitted.

Use a dashcam while you drive while you drive. Some insurance providers could offer you a discount on your policy if you’re able to send accident footage to back up a claim.

Buy a van that’s cheap to insure if you haven’t bought one yet. Size does matter when it comes to van insurance. Generally the bigger the van, the bigger your premium. So, think hard about how much space and payload you really need. Could a smaller van do the job just as well?

Be wary of van modifications because the more mods you have the higher your premiums might be. Vans are particularly easy to modify as there are more seating and storage options.

Need more ways to save? Read about how you can cut the cost of your van insurance.

How do I compare van insurance quotes for young drivers?

The easiest way to compare quotes is by using our comparison service where it’s easy to compare van insurance quotes. Once you've entered your personal info and what you’re looking for, we’ll do the rest.

To help speed things up, having these details to hand could be useful:

Personal details:

  • Job and industry you work in
  • Points on your licence, if any
  • Claims or accidents you’ve had in the last 5 years 

Van details:

  • Registration number or make and model
  • Modifications to your van
  • Annual mileage

Take care to include everything you need. Have a think about add-ons like courtesy van cover, and whether you think you’ll need it. If your van’s off the road then you might not be able to work, so this could come in handy.

The most important thing is to be honest about your van and how you use it.

Your most recent insurance documents should have the majority of the details you’ll need to get a quote. They’ll also show any no-claims bonus (NCB) you’ve got, which could get you a cheaper policy.

If this is your first van insurance policy but you’ve been driving a car, you might be able to transfer any NCB you've built up. This could help you get cheaper van insurance as a young driver. But bear in mind you can only use your NCB on one vehicle at a time, so if you're still driving your car you won't be able to do this.

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Can a 17-year-old get insured on a van?

Yes they can, but 17-year-old drivers are likely to see some of the highest van insurance costs. A lot of insurers impose tight age limits on cover. Some insurers might only cover van drivers if they’re aged 21 or over.

Other insurers might not want the added risk. Drivers aged 17-24 make up about 7% of UK licence holders and drive fewer miles than average – but they’re involved in 24% of fatal collisions.

Can a 20-year-old get insured on a van?

Any driver under 21 might have more of a struggle to get van insurance at a competitive price than older drivers. But, yes, 20-year-old drivers can get cover. If you were successful in getting a policy at 17 or 18 perhaps then you’ve had a chance to build up your no-claims bonus, which could help keep costs down.

But bear in mind it isn’t all about age. Any insurer might also be looking closely at your profession, driving history and whether you have any criminal convictions.

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What our van insurance expert says

When working out their insurance prices, insurers use van insurance groups to categorise different vans. As a young driver, choosing to drive a smaller, less powerful, or expensive van in a lower insurance group could be a good way to find cheaper van insurance.
Head of van insurance signature

Dan McCulloch

Head of van insurance