Van insurance quotes: a guide to getting the right deal

If you’re looking to compare van insurance quotes, there’s a few things you should look out for.

You need be sure you’re comparing like-for-like and getting the cover you need.

Whilst price is clearly going to be important, simply going for the cheapest van insurance quotes may not be the best choice. You could find that the reason the quote is cheap is because it does not cover or fully cover your van because of how you use or keep it.

Insurers will take into account a range of factors to calculate a van insurance premium. These may include the type of vehicle, its value, where it is kept, the annual mileage, who’s driving it and what it is used for.

Van insurance quotesPersonal van insurance quotes

If you use your van for personal rather than business use then you will most likely only need social, domestic and pleasure (SDP) cover. SDP van insurance quotes cover named drivers when they use their vehicle for non-work related purposes.

This might be suitable if you use your van simply to do things like bringing home the “big shop” or to support a hobby, like fishing or off-road motorcycling.

Bear in mind though that SDP won’t cover you if you use your van to get to work or to the train station where you catch a commuter service. Commuting is not covered by SDP insurance. Unlike with car insurance, you cannot get SDP + C which includes cover for commuting. You will need get van insurance with carriage of own goods cover (see below).

You may also want to consider whether you want comprehensive, third party fire and theft or third party only  personal van insurance.

Third Party Only van insurance (TPO)

TPO insurance will not cover the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle following an accident. It will cover only other vehicles and people (third parties) involved. It will also not cover damage to or loss of your van of it is stolen or involved in a fire.

Third Party Fire & Theft van insurance

TPFT insurance will cover third parties as above, plus the cost of repairing or replacing your van if it is stolen or fire damaged.

Comprehensive van insurance

Comprehensive insurance will cover the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle and those of third parties involved in accident for which you are to blame (a fault accident). It will also cover your van if it is damaged in accident and it is not possible to attribute blame because you cannot identify the responsible third party. An example of this might be if it is damaged whilst parked and the other party drives off without leaving their details.

Van insurance quotesBusiness van insurance quotes

If you use your vehicle or vehicles for work then you will need business van insurance. It is a legal requirement.

The cover that is right for you and your business will depend upon who use your van (or vans) and for what purposes.

Named driver or any-driver van insurance?

If only you or a small number of colleagues or employees (typically a total of four or less) then a named driver van policy will likely be suitable.

However, if more drivers need access to your van then any-driver van insurance may be more practical. This is simply because it gives your business greater flexibility by allowing any of your employees to drive a works van (some policies will, though exclude younger drivers).

Whilst it may be more expensive than named driver van insurance, any-driver cover could save your business time and money through that extra flexibility.

Carriage of own goods van insurance

This protects your own property whilst it is carried in your own van. It is useful for protecting things like tools and equipment which might be essential to your work.

Restrictions may apply. For example, you might be required not to leave goods in your van overnight.

Courier insurance quotesCourier van insurance

If you use your van to deliver goods on behalf of other people then you will need courier insurance.

The main difference between courier insurance and standard van insurance is that the extra road miles a courier puts in will be factored in.

Basic courier insurance will not cover the goods you carry. For this you will need goods in transit cover.

Goods in transit van insurance

This will cover your cargo as you carry it. The cost of cover will be impacted by the type and value of good you cover. For example, the carriage of hazardous or high value goods will load a premium.

If you’re a courier, an insurer will also take into account that you are unlikely to know in advance of the goods you will carry on any particular journey.

What type of vehicles are covered by van insurance?

Whilst we might think we all know what a van is, legally the distinction can be blurred.

For example, some MPV (multi-person vehicle) cars may be classed as vans. This can occur if their chassis is based on a van design.

If you’re unsure, the easiest way to check is to look at your vehicle’s V5 log book. Under the vehicle category a van will be coded either N1, for vehicles designed and constructed for the carriage of goods and having a maximum mass not exceeding 3,5 tonnes


N2: Vehicles designed and constructed for the carriage of goods and having a maximum mass exceeding 3,5 tonnes but not exceeding 12 tonnes.

Both these classifications cover what are known as light goods vehicles (LGVs)

If the vehicle exceeds 12 tonnes it would be classed as a commercial truck or heavy goods vehicle (DVLA code N3).

Pick-up trucks are also classed as vans.

A vehicle up to five tonnes with eight or more seats is classed as a minibus (M2), even if it is designed on a van chassis.

Tips for reducing van insurance quotes

insurance quotesThere are certain things that you simply can’t change to lower your van insurance quote. Your age, your driving experience and, unless you’re looking for drastic action, where you home or your workplace is!

But to get cheap van insurance – or at least cheaper! – there are some things you might be able do.


  • Secure it. Some insurers may discount your premium if you fit additional, insurance-approved security. These could be products like Thatcham-accredited GPS tracking devices, deadlocks, slamlocks, slamhandles, armourplates and shells and, if not fitted as standard, alarms and immobilisers
  • Stow it. Park your van off-road overnight and, better still, within a locked garage or yard. If you park on the road this will increase your premium in comparison.
  • Increase your excess. You may be able to do a trade-off with an insurer. If you agree to pay more towards the cost of any claim _ knows as your insurance excess – then your insurer may agree to reduce your van insurance quote in return.
  • Limit your miles. If you are able to limit your annual mileage, this can help reduce your premium.

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