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4x4 insurance

4x4 insurance can be expensive, so compare multiple brands to assess your cover options

  • Compare insurance for four-wheel drive vehicles, whether they're classed as cars or vans
  • Find cheap quotes for private and commercial 4x4 vehicles
  • Learn more about off-road and greenlane cover

Van

Compare 4x4 car insurance

Key points

  • 4x4s may be in a high insurance group because of costly, high-grade components, their size, and weight.
  • Some 4x4s require car insurance, others van insurance. We can help point you in the direction of the right service.
  • Beware of exclusions regarding towing, off-road cover and greenlaning – especially if you engage in competition.

Insurance for a 4x4 can cover a broad range of vehicles, from serious off-road machines like Land Rovers, Range Rovers and Mitsubishi Shoguns, to high-performance cars like the Porsche Cayenne. It can also cover more modest motors such as the Skoda Yeti or Fiat Panda 4x4.

Understandably, such a range of vehicles can be used for a wide variety of purposes. So your insurance needs will be very different if you have a working, off-road 4x4 than if you own a 'Chelsea tractor'.

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

How to get cheaper 4x4 insurance

Although it's hard to generalise given the wide variety of vehicles, you may find that 4x4s are expensive to insure.

One reason for this is the sheer size and weight of many four-wheeled drive vehicles. If they're involved in an accident, it's likely that they'll do a lot of damage to other vehicles, people or property.

A 4x4 is also likely to be an expensive vehicle with high-grade components, meaning they're costly to buy, replace and repair. These factors can also make them attractive to thieves, all of which can lead to four-wheel drive vehicles being placed in high insurance groups.

car-insurance-groups

As 4x4 cover is likely to be more costly, it's important to shop around for cheap 4x4 insurance when you first take out a policy, and every time you renew.

By using a comparison site such as GoCompare (hello!), you can easily compare multiple quotes from a wide range of providers in one simple search.

If you want to take your search further, or if you require more specialist cover, a comparison service should at least give you a ballpark idea of the sort of insurance available, and how much it's likely to cost.

If you're a member of an owners' club or another dedicated 4x4 group, it's possible that you may be able to get an insurance discount as a result.

Beyond that, consider our other tips for cutting the cost of car insurance, including trying to avoid modifications and considering beefing up your vehicle's security.

Off-road cover for 4x4s

If you use your 4x4 as an off-road vehicle, pay particular care to your policy's terms and conditions, which may exclude such usage.

towing-guide

You should be able to find cover for non-competitive off-road use without too much difficulty. But if you intend to enter a competition, you're likely to need specialist insurance.

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

What is greenlane cover?

A green lane is typically defined as an unpaved rural route, also known as a Byway Open to All Traffic (BOAT) or Unclassified Road (UCR).

Many insurers targeting 4x4 drivers will advertise greenlaning cover as a main selling point of the policy.

"Greenlane cover is ideal for those 4x4 drivers who want to test the limits of their vehicles, because it allows for driving on those country footpaths and bridleways that normal insurers wouldn't cover," says Matt Oliver, car insurance expert at GoCompare.

You should be aware that if a green lane is classed as a byway, you should expect your vehicle insurance to cover you for non-competitive driving. As ever, of course, you should read your policy carefully for any exclusions.

A byway is open to all traffic, even if the nature of the surface means it wouldn't be passable in a non-4x4 car or van.

Take care with restricted byways, though, as these don't allow motorised vehicular access, and would almost certainly be subject to insurance exclusions.

Modified 4x4 insurance

Many 4x4 owners will use their vehicle for towing things such as trailers and caravans.

Remember that not all insurance policies will include cover for towing as a standard feature, or even as an optional extra.

Also, you need to take care with exclusions regarding the size and weight of the vehicle you're towing. You'll want to bear in mind that a towbar may be classed as a modification that needs to be declared too.

For more detailed information, read about towing and insurance here.

If you've lavished a lot of time and/or money on your 4x4 – perhaps modifying it or adding high-specification parts – you may want to consider an agreed value policy. This is also worth considering if you're in the market for classic 4x4 insurance.

This may be 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 may pay out a pre-agreed sum rather than the market value.

Note that you're likely to pay more for an agreed value policy, and such a deal will be harder to find. You're likely to have to fulfill certain terms, such as providing evidence of the 4x4's condition and value.

What about 4x4 motorbikes?

Of course, cars and vans aren't the only sort of 4x4 vehicles out there. Quad bikes are very popular, although their unique nature means that insuring them might require a bit of work. 

But as luck would have it, you can find out everything you need to know in our nifty guide to quad bike insurance.

By Sean Davies