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 several factors into consideration when you get a van insurance quote.

Your age and experience are two key factors in this. Young drivers tend to also be less experienced drivers, which make them more at risk of making a van insurance claim.

This then gets reflected in the price you pay – higher risks make for more expensive policies.

And since van insurance tends to be more expensive than car insurance anyway, younger drivers might feel a little stung.

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, and so usually see higher insurance costs.

But driving a van shouldn’t cost the earth, even if you’ve only held your licence a short while. There are ways to make van cover affordable for you and your wheels, whatever the day job is.

What type of van insurance do I need?

It depends how you use your van. Get the insurance classification wrong and you might end up paying more than you need. Or, worse, risk invalidating your cover.

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’.

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.

Courier van cover could be more expensive because you’re making lots of deliveries, which could increase your risk of 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.

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 only (TPO) means you’re covered for damage you cause to a third party when you’re out and about. It doesn’t cover any damage to your van, though.

Third-party, fire and theft (TPFT) bolts fire and theft risk on top of this, as you’d expect. This type of policy doesn’t cover damage to your van’s windscreen. And you still don’t have the advantage of cover for your van if an accident ends up being your fault.

Fully comprehensive is the highest level of cover you can get. Comprehensive cover means you’re covered against damage to another vehicle and your van as well. Theft and fire cover is also included here. A good fully comp policy might also include wrong fuel cover.

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

How to get cheap van insurance for young drivers

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
  • Advertise
  • Use a dashcam while you drive
  • Buy a van that’s cheap to insure
  • Be wary of van modifications
  • Add named drivers

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, also, could be a good idea they’re more difficult to force open. They can be reinforced with extra plating so they can’t be drilled into. If it’s an older van then make sure you’ve got an engine immobiliser fitted. Any UK-registered van made after 1998 should have one fitted.

Advertise and shout your name about.If you’ve got highly visible sign-writing all over you’re going to stand out. It’s a good deterrent for thieves and makes it harder for the vehicle to be sold on.

Use a dashcam while you drive as some insurance providers could offer you a discount on your policy if you have one and 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.

Adding named drivers to your policy can sometimes reduce the policy cost - especially if those drivers are more experienced. But if you add a named driver they must be likely to use the vehicle and not added simply to reduce the cost. If you plan on doing the bulk of the driving yourself, you must be the main driver on the policy.

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

How to 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 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 absolutely need. For example, 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. Being economical with the truth to shave off some cash is likely to come back at you down the road.

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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Need more help?

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.

Commercial van insurance vs personal – what’s the difference?

You’ll need business van insurance if you’ll be using your van for anything to do with work, even if it’s just for commuting. Personal van insurance is only for leisure and pleasure – things like shopping and visiting the family.  Learn more about the different van insurance classes of use.

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.

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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

Daniel McCulloch

Head of van insurance