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4x4 insurance

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Insure your 4x4 for how you use it

The description ‘4x4’ covers a broad range of vehicles and many people will just need standard car insurance. But depending on how you use your car, you might need specialist cover.

Your insurance needs will be very different if you have an off-road 4x4 than if you drive a roadgoing SUV, for example.

What’s more, some 4x4 vehicles will need a car insurance policy, while others (including pick-ups) will be classed as commercial vehicles and will require van insurance.

4x4 insurance

Why is 4x4 insurance more expensive than regular car insurance?

4x4s get placed in higher insurance groups than other cars for a few reasons:

  1. The sheer size and weight of many four-wheel drive cars means they can do a lot of damage to other vehicles, people or property if they’re in an accident

  2. Alarms and immobilisers reduce theft risk. Look for Thatcham-approved devices, they’re more likely to be recognised by insurers

  3. A 4x4 is also likely to have high-grade components, meaning they’re expensive to buy, replace and repair

  4. Costly components make them attractive to thieves, which can increase insurance premiums

  5. You’re more likely to go on an off-roading adventure which increases the risk of having an accident

How to get cheaper 4x4 insurance

It’s important to shop around for insurance that gives you the right cover and suits your budget when you first take out a policy and every time you renew.

If you’re a member of an owners’ club or another dedicated 4x4 group, you could get an insurance discount.

Consider our other tips for cutting the cost of car insurance too, including trying to avoid modifications and adding to your vehicle’s security.

What’s green lane cover?

A green lane, a Byway Open to All Traffic (BOAT) or an Unclassified Road (UCR) are just different names for a byway, which is an unpaved rural road. If you want to drive your 4x4 on them, you’ll need greenlane cover.

Your green lane policy should cover you for non-competitive driving along byways that are open to all traffic. But read your policy carefully for any exclusions.

Take care with restricted byways, as these don't allow motorised vehicular access and would almost certainly be excluded from your cover.

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Types of 4x4 car insurance policies

Comprehensive

What’s comprehensive insurance?

Comprehensive insurance is the most wide-ranging cover you can get for your vehicle.

It covers the costs of repair, replacement, medical treatment or third party claims in the event of fire, theft or a traffic accident.

Third party, fire and theft

Is Third party, fire and theft right for you?

Third party, fire and theft (TPFT) will cover you for damage or injury to third parties, as well as cover for your vehicle if it’s stolen or damaged by fire.

You won’t be covered if your vehicle is written off or damaged as a result of your driving.

Third party only

How does third party only insurance work?

Third party only (TPO) is the minimum insurance level required by law.

With TPO insurance, you won’t be covered for damage to your own vehicle or damage by fire or theft. You’ll also have to pay your own medical costs.

You can get 4x4 motorbike insurance too with a specialist quad bike insurance policy

Off-road cover for 4x4s

The AA does more than just car insurance.

You should be able to find cover for off-road use easily. Make sure you check your policy’s terms and conditions though, as some will exclude off-roading.

If you intend to enter competitions, you’re likely to need specialist insurance.

A 4x4 owners’ club might be able to help you with this, or you could try a specialist broker.

4x4 insurance and towing

If you use your 4x4 for towing trailers and caravans, keep in mind that not all insurance policies will include cover as a standard feature, or even as an optional extra.

If a policy does, check exclusions for the size and weight of vehicle you intend to tow.

Insurers consider a tow bar a modification so check with your provider whether you need to declare that you have a tow bar fitted before towing.

Modified 4x4s and classics

If you’ve lavished time and money on your 4x4 - modifying it or adding high-specification parts - consider an agreed value policy.

This is suitable for a 4x4 that’s worth more than most vehicles of its type and age as - in the event of a total loss - a policy can pay out a pre-agreed sum rather than the market value.

It’s worth considering if your 4x4 is a classic too.

You’re likely to pay more for an agreed value policy and you’ll need to provide additional evidence about your 4x4. For example, it’s condition and value.

Could you save on your 4x4 insurance?

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[1]Up to £250 refunded after claim settled. Car insurance purchases only. Excludes breakdown, windscreen and glass repair/replacement. Full T&Cs apply.