Do you need business or private van insurance?

Find out whether you need business or private van insurance then compare quotes from a range of insurance brands in one quick search.

Alice Morgan
Updated 2 September 2019 | 2 min read

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The basics

There are two main types of van insurance - private van insurance or business van insurance.

Private van insurance is known as ‘social use only’. Unless your van is strictly for personal use, you need business van insurance (also known as commercial van insurance).

That applies even if you just use it for commuting to a single workplace.

Key points

  • You need private van insurance if you use your van for hobbies
  • You need commercial van insurance if you use it for work or commuting
  • You also need to choose cover for your work equipment or deliveries

What’s the difference between business and private van insurance?

You’ll need business van insurance if you use your van for any of the following things:

  • Work
  • Commuting
  • Transporting goods to sell

You’ll need private van insurance if you use your van for:

  • Hobbies
  • Visiting friends
  • Classic van shows

What van insurance do I need?

If you only use your van for social, domestic and pleasure purposes, you’ll be covered with a social-only private policy.

For example, if you use your van to take your surfing gear to the beach.

You can even use it for the occasional car boot sale with a private policy - although if you’re a regular trader making an income from selling, then you’ll need commercial use.

If you’re a classic van enthusiast, you probably only use your van for your hobby, so you can take out a standard private policy or get specialist cover.

A specialist provider can tailor your policy so it's exactly what you need, including cover to get to and from shows.

You’ll need business van insurance if you use your van for work or commuting.

For example, even if you’re a teacher but you use a van to go about your daily life, including driving to work - you're going to have to get a business policy.

That’s because van insurance doesn’t have an option for social use plus commuting, in the way that car insurance does.

So if you drive to even one place of work, you’ll need to add the carriage of own goods classification to your insurance, which makes it a business policy.

What other types of van insurance cover are there?

If you’re taking out a business van insurance policy, you’ll need to choose which classification suits you best:

  • Carriage of own goods
  • Carriage of goods for hire or reward
  • Haulage

Carriage of own goods

Carriage of own goods will cover all your belongings inside your van - whether that’s work equipment or your gym kit.

If you use your van to commute or are a self-employed builder or plumber, you’ll need this type of cover.

It’s sometimes also called ‘carriage of tools cover’ and as the name suggests covers you to transport all the kit you need to do your job.

Carriage of goods for hire or reward

Carriage of goods for hire or reward will be the one to choose if you’re a delivery driver.

It’ll cover you for driving to multiple destinations and transporting other people’s belongings.

Haulage cover

Haulage cover is also for delivery drivers, but this time for drivers who travel long distances and deliver to one destination only.

Van insurance guides and tools

[1]Average price paid for policies bought through GoCompare 1 May-31 May 2019

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