Top tips for cheaper van insurance

Knock some money off your van insurance premiums by trying our top tips for cheaper cover.

Amy Smith
Updated 2 September 2019 | 2 min read

Save on your van insurance

Get a quote

Finding the right van insurance for the right price is a chore, and even if you find a great deal one year, the price will probably increase at renewal time.

Your insurance price can increase because you’ve made a claim or your details have changed.

But a change to the way your provider calculates quotes, or no longer being eligible for an introductory discount, could also lead to a premium rise.

Don’t let your van insurance auto-renew - shop around and don’t settle for the renewal price your insurer has offered you.

1. Think about the size of your van

Make sure your van is suitable for what you need it to do. For example, don’t buy a large transit van if you’re not going to be transporting goods.

Smaller vehicles often cost less to insure because the engines aren't as powerful, so insurers class them as a lower risk.

2. Consider cover type

If you have a van that isn’t worth much, it might be worth considering a third party policy rather than comprehensive cover to save you money.

Third party polices aren’t always the cheapest option though, and it’s more important that your insurance covers what you need it to rather than saving a little extra cash.

3. Try to pay annually

Paying monthly might be more convenient, but insurers charge interest to pay monthly so it’ll always be more expensive.

If you can afford it, paying annually could help you make significant savings on your van insurance.

4. Work status and van usage

How you describe your job and how you use your van can affect the cost of your cover.

If you don’t use your van for work or to commute, it could be cheaper to get a ‘social and domestic use’ policy rather than carriage of own goods, carriage for hire or reward, or haulage cover.

You could also check whether your occupation could be described differently - for instance, are you both a ‘barber’ and a ‘hairdresser’. One definition might make your insurance cheaper than the other.

Be honest with your details - if not you could invalidate your cover

5. Improve security

Alarms and immobilisers can keep the cost of your insurance down as they deter thieves.

Trackers also make it easier to find your van if it’s stolen.

Before investing in extra security, make sure your insurer will acknowledge your precautions and whether the expense outweighs the savings.

6. Park with care

Park your van in a secure garage or on a driveway if possible, especially if there's valuable equipment on board.

Try not to leave tools in your van overnight either.

7. Avoid modifications

Modifying your van from factory standard - whether to improve performance or the way it looks - will increase what you pay for insurance.

Modified parts are usually harder and more expensive to repair or replace, and can make your vehicle more attractive to thieves. Performance-related modifications can put your van at higher risk of being in an accident too.

All of this increases the risk of you needing to make an expensive claim.

8. Leave off optional extras you don’t need

If you don’t need a specific optional extra, like personal accident cover, legal assistance and courtesy van cover, then look for policies that don’t include them, as they’ll likely be cheaper.

A tricky area of policy add-ons is when breakdown cover is coupled with your insurance.

If it’s something you need, compare whether packaged breakdown cover is cheaper than getting it separately as making the right choice with this could save you a lot.

Some aspects of cover might be included in other insurance or financial products you have, like a packaged bank account. Avoid doubling up on cover by checking what you’ve already got cover for.

9. Limit your mileage

The more you drive, the higher the chance of being involved in an accident.

Try to keep down the number of miles you drive and give an accurate estimation of that mileage to insurers when you’re comparing quotes.

10. Increase your voluntary excess

Paying more excess when you need to make a claim should reduce the price of your insurance premiums.

Choose a voluntary excess that you can afford though, as you’ll need to pay this in addition to the compulsory excess if you make a claim.

11. Review the drivers who need to be on the policy

Adding a young or inexperienced driver to your policy can make you more of a risk to insurers and so increase the cost.

On the other hand, adding an experienced driver can lower your quote.

12. Build up a no-claims discount

Insurers usually reward drivers that don’t make any claims by reducing the cost of their premiums, so saving up your claim-free years can result in a no claims bonus.

13. Take an advanced driving course

Pass Plus and Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM ) courses can be expensive, but they’re a long-term way to reduce your van insurance costs, especially for younger or inexperienced drivers.

Not all insurers will take advanced driving courses into account though, and savings might not outweigh the cost of the training.

14. Pay attention to administration charges

Administration charges are a commonly hidden expense on van insurance, but it’s something you should consider when comparing quotes.

If you need to change your details, some policies might do this for free, but others will charge you for it, sometimes up to £50.

Consider these charges when comparing cover, as spending an extra £5 on a policy with reasonable administration fees could save you a lot more in the long run.

15. Be honest and accurate

Be upfront about all aspects of your policy, from what you intend to use the van for or whether you have any criminal convictions, to where you keep your van overnight.

Missing off details or giving incorrect information could lead to your insurer rejecting any claims you make, which will also push up the price of your premiums next year.

16. Get van insurance quotes early

We compared the results of comprehensive van insurance quotes between 1 January 2019 and 30 June 2019. The average prices were higher closer to the renewal. The cheapest quotes were given 23 days before renewal, averaging £601, increasing by 78% to £1,080 just one day before renewal.[1]

This shows that the later you leave it, the more expensive your cover could be. Compare prices early to avoid paying more than you need to.

17. Advertise your business on the van

As well as increasing business awareness, having signs on your van can put thieves off from stealing it as it’d be hard to remove or sell on a van with business advertising.

It can also make the van more distinctive which can help the police track it down.

18. Shop around for the right quote

Trying to find the right insurance for a good price by manually calling up insurers is time consuming.

But by letting your van insurance auto-renew, you could be missing out on better cover and lower prices.

Auto-renewal quotes are usually expensive as you lose your new customer discount and some insurers add a renewal fee.

By comparing van insurance through us, you only have to enter your details once to see quotes from a range of providers.

Van insurance guides and tools

[1]On 11 July 2019, we compared comprehensive van insurance quotes taken between 1 January 2019 and 30 June 2019 to find the cheapest premium returned, split by days until the cover start date. The figures represent only one quote per customer per day.

GoCompare uses cookies. By using the website you agree with our use of cookies. Continue Find out how to manage cookies and view our policy here