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Like death and taxes, van insurance is one of the unavoidable aspects of owning a van. Whether you own a van to deliver goods, or you need it for your work, it’s important to have the right type and level of van insurance. Like with car insurance, insuring your van falls into a few different categories.

There’s third party, fire and theft cover as well as fully comprehensive van insurance. While you may think the cost of the two would be dramatically different, there’s surprisingly little between them these days. Full comprehensive insurance would always be our recommendation for a commercial vehicle, primarily because they are at greater risk of theft or damage.

Vans are the most targeted type of vehicle by thieves due to their nature as load carriers. Vans often contain expensive items of equipment or are transporting goods for delivery. Thieves are acutely aware of the value inside vans and unfortunately some vans are easy to break into - another factor that can affect insurance premiums.

So, what do you need to know about insurance? In this guide to insuring your van well cover off some of the most commonly asked questions about vans.

Do vans cost more to insure?

Yes, vans do cost more to insure than a passenger car would but there are good reasons for this. Looking at vans in general they are larger than your average car. A bigger size increases risk, and vans are also heavier, another potential risk. The risk of theft of or theft from a van is also going to add to the insurance premium. Finally, vans are often driven with a little less care than your average car. That’s not to say van drivers are dangerous but when looking at a risk profile to determine the insurance premium, van drivers (typical male, 20 to 40 years old) are a naturally more expensive liability.

What insurance do you need for a van?

Vans need the same level of cover as a car but what you use it for may depend on what you need to cover. If you own a van for private reasons - maybe to transport your mountain bike or for the odd camping trip - then you won’t need to insure it for business use. However, if you regularly pitch up at a farmers market or car boot sale then there's an argument that this is a business vehicle. You should therefore consider getting business insurance and cover for the van that includes business.

Obviously if you're a builder, plumber, courier or any other profession that used a van for their day to day job you must get business cover on your van insurance.

Why is my insurance so high for my van?

There are a number of factors that determine the price of insurance and for a van there is a higher risk factor. Vans are larger than most cars which opens them up to more risk for the insurer. Large vehicles are more expensive to ensure because they are more expensive to fix, but that's not the only reason why van insurance is so high.

Vans carry goods. Goods are appealing to thieves. Whether its tools or parcels, there's a reason for vans to be broken in to. While the contents might not necessarily be covered by the insrunace - always check your cover levels for tool insurance - the simple act of breaking into a van is incredibly destructive. Whether the van has been cut open, or the van locks forced, there'll be damage and that's going to be expensive to repair.

Another risk factor is that vans tend to travel more miles than your average car. While most cars cover between 8,000 to 10,000 miles per year, the average mileage for a van is closer to 30,000. Some are on the roads for eight to ten hours per day. These all increase the risk factor that determines the price of the van insurance. Even if you only intend to drive your van for 5,000 miles per year, based on other people's usage and the risk factors of the general van population, you will be paying a premium because of it.

The original price of the van will also come into the equation when getting a van insurance quote. If you've got an electric van the insurance will likely be higher than a diesel van. That's because the cost of replacing an electric van is a lot greater due to the price of the batteries and all the technology.

A van insurance salesman next to a blue van, as a 3D cartoon character

What insurance do I need for a van in the UK?

Business van insurance what you should be looking for. Even if you're only using your van for a little bit of work, if it's part of how you earn a living then business insurance is what you should be looking for. Make sure it covers equipment you are transporting and it's always a wise idea to get legal cover as well.

If you've bought a van as a holiday vehicle or maybe you're a surfer who's heading to the beach, you'll need a different level of cover to a business. This is social use and your standard level of cover you'd get for your car would be sufficient. But, you're still driving a van, so don't expect it to be cheap.

What is the cheapest van for insurance in the UK?

Small vans tend to be the cheapest for insurance, but it will largely depend on the model.

The Citroen Berlingo and its sibling the Peugeot Partner regularly come out as the cheapest vans to insure. Vauxhall Combo and Fiat Doblo are also now based on the same platform and will have similar insurance premiums. Other small vans worth considering are the Ford Transit Courier and Renault Kangoo.

How much is van insurance per month?

It's not easy to say how much exactly insurance is for an LCV as there are a lot of factors to consider that will change the premium. According to several leading insurance companies the majority - so more than 50% - of custoemrs pay around £800 per year for cover. That comes out to around £65-70 per month.

However, if you're a young driver - under 25 - that figure can be drastically higher. As much as three times the price. Many young van drivers have to pay more than £2000 per year for their van insurance. That's the equivalent of more than £165 per month.

How to get van insurance cheaper?

You don't always get what you pay for with insurance, so its imporant to compare the coverage you are getting, but you can get van insurance cheaper by altering the excesses you are willing to pay. Most insurance will have a standard level of excess for when you make a claim. This will usually amount to a few hundred pounds. But you can get cheaper van insurance by offering to pay more excess in the event of a claim. The higher the excess, the less the insurer will have to pay out if you make a claim. This means they are willing to give you a small discount.

Don't be tempted to lie about your circumstance in order to get you van insurance cheaper. There's a whole load of things you could conveniently forget to mention, from speeding tickets to previous claims. But if you do, and you then need to make a claim these will almost certainly come to light. You then run the risk of the insurer not paying out because you have been dishonest. Honesty is definitely the best policy when it comes to making insurance declarations when buying.

Can I get temporary van insurance?

Yes, temporary van insurance does exist but it is expensive. Like with any other type of insurance opting to only insure it for a small period of time does come at a premium. You'll also find that there's a lot less choice available as not as many insurers are willing to cover vehicles for a short period of time. Temporary van insurance can be great if you need to borrow a friend's van for a house move, but it might be more cost effective to get them to add you to their policy rather than you taking out a policy yourself for temporary cover.

How should I buy insurance?

It's a always really important to shop around for the best deals. Use a comparison website and be sure to check with brokers, like Go Compare van insurance, or Compare The Market van insurance, who might be able to offer a better deal. If you can afford to pay upfront for your insurance you will also save money. There's typically an additional premium of around 10% for paying monthly using a direct debit. If you can afford to pay for your van insurance annually it will cost you less.

Why do I need insurance?

Apart from it being a legal requirement, you want to protect the things you own. Insurance will cover you in the event of theft - putting a risk to your livelihood - and cover you for injury. It's also really important to cover the risk of damaging someone else's property or worse still another person.

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