How are van insurance quotes calculated?

The price you pay for your van insurance depends on your own personal circumstances, but the criteria used by different insurers to calculate your premiums is often very similar.

Amanda Bathory-Griffiths
Amanda Bathory-Griffiths
Updated 29 September 2021  | 2 min read

What influences the cost of van insurance?

To get van insurance quotes, you’ll need to answer a series of questions so that insurers can evaluate your risk.

Each insurer will interpret these risks slightly differently, which is why you’ll get a variety of prices and levels of cover to choose from.

Key points

  • Insurers assess your personal information, additional drivers, level of cover, the van’s insurance group, and its value and age
  • The cost of cover changes based on the category of insurance - decide if you need social, carriage of own goods, hire and reward, or haulage cover
  • Insurers evaluate and interpret risk differently, so even though you’ll be asked the same questions about your van and driving, you’ll get different prices and policies

Van insurance groups

Vans are put into insurance groups, just like cars.

Your van has a group rating awarded by the Association of British Insurers (ABI). The ratings are based on:

  • The value of the vehicle
  • The value and rarity of the parts and bodywork if they need to be replaced and repaired
  • Performance, acceleration and top speed
  • Its standard security level

A van’s insurance group can change because the classification is awarded based on real claims information from insurers and their customers.

For example, if a model of van is involved in multiple accidents and the volume of claims increases, its group rating will also rise.

The van’s premium increases to cover the extra claim costs.


Level of cover

The level of cover will influence your insurance premium too, but you might be surprised to find that the highest level of cover - comprehensive - is actually the cheapest in some cases.

  • Comprehensive cover Covers your van against theft and fire, plus offers protection for you, your vehicle and third parties if you’re in an accident
  • Third party fire and theft You’re covered for injury and damage to your van and third-party vehicles, and if your van is stolen or damaged by fire
  • Third party only The minimum level of cover required by law, the third party and their vehicle’s covered, but you’ll pay for your own repairs and care if you’re injured

Categories of van insurance

How you use your van will also affect how your insurer evaluates your risk.

Social-only covers you for social driving to the shops and school run, for example.

Carriage of own goods is used for social, domestic and pleasure, it’s the right level of cover for a daily commute and to protect your tools and business equipment.

Carriage of goods for hire and reward extends carriage of own goods cover, to include the transport of packages, parcels and food, but not taxi services. It allows for lots of drop offs during one journey.

Haulage covers you for one drop off in one journey and is either bought by the driver or employer. It includes carriage of goods for hire or reward.

Average cost of fully comprehensive van insurance, by type of use:

£572: Social use only

£565: Carriage of own goods

£1515: Goods for hire and reward

£1464: Haulage[1]

Drivers and driving history

Your own personal details can make as much difference to the cost of insurance as the van you drive.

Your no-claims bonus, claims history and personal information

Insurance companies will need to know how many years of no-claims bonus you have, plus information about any claims you’ve made, whether they were your fault or not.

The more claims you have, the more expensive your insurance policy is likely to be.

The insurer will also consider where you live and what job you have, because some postcodes and professions are riskier than others.

For example, if you live in a city, you have to pay more for insurance because there’s a higher level of traffic and a greater chance of having an accident, or the vehicle being vandalised or stolen.

Insurance premiums take into consideration the crime rate where the van is regularly parked, as well as the risk posed by your daily job and cargo.

Certain areas have statistically higher levels of vehicle crimes and this may be reflected in the price you pay.

Additional drivers

If you add additional drivers to your policy, it won't only be your driving experience that will be evaluated but theirs as well.

If you're adding younger drivers, or motorists with speeding convictions, then your premiums will be higher.

Driving convictions

You must tell your insurer about any prior convictions that you have had - if you don't it could invalidate any claim that you make.

Insurers will usually ask for any convictions in the last three-to-five years.

If you have an unspent motoring conviction, you’re a higher risk for insurers and it will usually be reflected in your premium.

If you've been convicted of a serious motoring crime, insurers may add special terms to your policy or reduce the amount of cover they can give you.

Medical conditions

Insurers can’t penalise you for medical conditions if you hold a licence without restriction.

If you do hold a restricted licence your insurer may need to take this into account when reviewing the risk.

Medical conditions that impair your ability to drive must be noted by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).


Your van

Mileage

The more time you spend on the road the more likely you are to be involved in an accident or incident - if you tend to drive a lot your premium will be higher.

Security

Your van’s security systems could help to reduce your insurance premiums because the risk of it being stolen is decreased.

Think about alarms, immobilisers and trackers, and when your vehicle is not in use try to park it in a garage, off the road, or in as secure a spot as possible.

Van value

The value of your vehicle will play a part in the calculation of your premium - vans that are more expensive generally cost more to insure than lower-priced vehicles.

Van age

Older vans may be cheaper to insure as they tend to be less valuable and to cost less to repair, but this may not be the case with classic vehicles or those for which it is difficult to source parts.

Save on your van insurance

Get a quote

[1]Based on average price paid for van insurance policies purchased through GoCompare in January 2022, split by type of use.