Guide to private van insurance
- A private van insurance policy won't cover you for commuting
- A private policy covers only social activities such as shopping and family trips, hobbies and activities
- Gocompare.com helps you easily select whether you need a social only, carriage of own goods, carriage for hire or reward, or haulage policy
If you drive a van, you'll need to insure it to comply with the laws of the road.
Van insurance meets the costs arising from you damaging another vehicle, person or property whilst driving, as well as covering damage to your van if you have a fully comprehensive policy.
There are different types of van insurance policy depending on what you use your van for and if you get the wrong one you might not be covered in the event of an accident.
What is private van insurance?
Private van insurance is needed if you have a van and drive it for purely social reasons, such as family trips, going to the supermarket and taking part in hobbies and activities.
If you use your van for work, a private use insurance policy isn't for you and you'll need to take out commercial van insurance.
When you search for prices with Gocompare.com, you'll be asked for a few personal details as well as for information about the vehicle.
Don't worry if you haven't bought your van yet, as you can still get a quote.
You'll then be asked about the van's use, which will fall into one of four categories; social, carriage of own goods, carriage for hire or reward and haulage.
If you use your van to drive to and from a single place of work, surprising though it might sound, van insurance for private use won't cover you.
This is because van insurance is classed differently to car insurance and a social, domestic, leisure and commuting policy does not exist for vans.
It's no longer possible to insure your van for part of the year, such as if you only use it in the summer months for activities such as surfing.
Under 2011's Continuous Insurance Enforcement Act, your vehicle must be insured unless you declare it to be off-road with a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN).
If you don't obtain a SORN and don't have the right insurance, you could face a significant fine.
What does private van insurance cover?
The level of cover you get depends on the type of policy you opt for. When you get quotes with Gocompare.com you'll be asked to choose from third party only, third party fire and theft or fully comprehensive.
Third party only (TPO) is the most basic level and will cover the cost of damage done to another vehicle, a person or property.
Third party, fire and theft is the next level, covering damage arising from fire and the theft of your vehicle in addition to third party damage.
Fully comprehensive van insurance is the most extensive level and covers damage to your vehicle in addition to the above.
Did you know...?
- Vans weighing less than 3,500kg and with a maximum of nine seats (including the driver's) are known as light goods vehicles (LGVs)
Cut the cost of private van insurance
To get the best deal possible it's a good idea to compare quotes. You can also take certain steps which could reduce your premium, such as fitting an immobiliser and alarm and not making expensive modifications.
Your premium could also be cheaper if your annual mileage is low, or if you agree to pay a higher excess in the event of making a claim.
For a more detailed consideration of the way to get the right cover at the right price, read our money-saving tips for van insurance.
Vans weighing less than 3,500kg and with a maximum of nine seats (including the driver's) are known as light goods vehicles (LGVs) and can be driven with a standard Cat B driving licence.
To drive a vehicle weighing more than 3,500kg you would need a Cat C1 licence. If you gained your standard licence before 1997, it will include Cat 1.
If you passed your test on or after 1 January, 1997, however, your licence will not include Cat C1 and you would need to apply for your C1 provisional licence and sit the relevant test.
Find out more about driving licences in our guide.
By Rebecca Lees