The best van insurance 2017
- Geoffrey Insurance (Formerly Chaucer Direct)
- Budget Van Insurance
- Dial Direct
- Devitt - broker
- Direct Line Van Insurance
- Autonet - broker
- MCE - broker
- Axa Van Insurance
You can compare van insurance and get a quote using Go Compare.
Read on to learn more about:
- How we came up with the 8 best van insurers
- The cost of van insurance
- What you need to know before buying a van
- How to save money on van insurance
- Van contents cover
- Van insurance groups
- Short-term insurance
- European cover
- Other types of vans
- Reviews of van insurers
How we came up with the 8 best van insurers
We focused on the best van and commercial vehicle insurers and brokers based on customer ratings, using reviews on Reviewcentre.com and Reevoo.com. Seven of the providers are rated at least 4 out of 5 from an average of hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of reviews, except Axa, which has a total score of 1.3 from 116 reviews as of October 2017.
Also, an independent financial researcher gave the top four insurers its highest mark for the comprehensiveness of their policies. Geoffrey Insurance came out top because it has won a number of awards and accolades for the quality of its customer service.
We believe our top 8 offer quality policies and good customer service for individuals and company van insurance. You can compare them and get van insurance quotes using Go Compare.
For those looking for other forms of business insurance, we've written a guide to cover for tradesmen.
How much is van insurance?
The average cost of van insurance is £1,214 a year and has risen 31.7% in the year to October, according to Consumer Intelligence.
However, fully comprehensive van insurance starts at around £181 a year with Direct Line, not including any extras. This figure is based on 10% of customers between 1 May 2017 and 31 October 2017.
Devitt offers a range of sample quotes for a married, self-employed builder with a clean licence who lives in the postcode BS27 near Weston-super-Mare.
For example, a £2,000 Peugeot Expert would cost £213 to insure on a fully comprehensive policy and £194 on third party, fire and theft.
A £9,000 Iveco Daily would cost about £312 for fully comprehensive and £283 for third party, fire and theft.
Remember, the cost of van insurance will depend on a number of factors, including the size, value and model of the van, your age, your no claims discount, and where you live. The above figures should be taken as guidance only.
Before you buy a van
But if you’re about to buy a van there are a few things to think about that may affect insurance costs.
The size of the van and vehicle category will have an impact on your premium. Generally, the smaller the van, the cheaper the policy will be.
Obviously, you should buy a van that is right for the work you do, but if you are considering getting a larger vehicle just in case you need the extra space make sure you take into account the increased premium. It may be cheaper buying a smaller van and hiring a larger one for jobs that need a bigger vehicle.
You can get quotes from some of the best van insurers on Go Compare before you buy to help you decide on the right van.
How to save money on van insurance
There are a number of things you can do that may help you get cheaper van insurance.
Adding security features can be an easy win. The sort of thing insurers like are: having an alarm, immobiliser or tracker; fitting a steering wheel, gear stick or handbrake lock; getting the van security etched or marked; and parking the van in a secure location overnight.
Another security option is adding a sign to the side of the van. The obvious choice is putting your business’s logo and details on it. This can reduce your premium because it’s been found that vans that are easily identifiable and linked to a company are less likely to be scratched, vandalised, and stolen, and will be better driven. You could also add a ‘How am I driving?’ sign and phone number.
Many insurers will offer a replacement van, which is a useful service. However, if you have another van it may be more cost effective to use that one while your other vehicle is out of action, rather than paying more for the policy feature.
If you’re not able to log your van’s security measures or deselect replacement cover you should contact your chosen insurer directly to discuss your requirements and potentially negotiate a discount.
Having a no claims discount or bonus (NDC) always helps and some firms will even let you apply your bonus from your car insurance to your van.
If you have the money to pay for the full year’s policy in advance you may make a saving because you won’t be paying interest on monthly payments.
Van drivers who are members of a trade group are already eligible for a discount from some insurers. If you’re part of the NICEIC, Gas Safe, Federation of Master Builders, Federation of Master Craftsmen, or the FPDC, check with your chosen insurer to see if they’re part of a discount scheme.
Of course, you’ll also need to think about any other named drivers on the insurance. Including anyone under the age of 25 or with a conviction will cause your premium to jump.
And as with car insurance you can cut your premiums by increasing the excess you’re willing to pay.
Van owners should be able to make savings using a combination of these techniques and we recommend discussing them with your insurers to see how you can get the cheapest and fairest premium. When contacting them always give the correct mileage and usage of the van. If the information you give is incorrect, the insurer may not pay out if you make a claim.
You can compare prices of van insurers, including our top 8 providers, using Go Compare.
Van contents insurance
There’s a good chance you’ll have expensive tools, equipment or merchandise you’ll want to leave in your van at some point. If you’re concerned about losing items stored in a van, you’ll need to include the contents in your insurance policy.
Covering items in your van will increase the premium, so it might influence whether you remove tools from your vehicle at night. But a slightly higher premium may well be worth it if it saves you the hassle of removing heavy equipment after a busy day and gives you peace of mind.
The amount of cover for content varies massively between insurance companies. Geoffrey does not offer any cover for tools, equipment or cash whereas other insurers such as Direct Line offer a relatively small (£500) amount as standard.
Dial Direct and Budget offer a tool and content add-on that gives £5,000 of cover with a £100 excess and £10,000 of expenses cover, which will help with things like the cost of transporting equipment if your van is out of action.
Bands and musicians often have no choice but to leave instruments and equipment in a van if they’re on tour or playing a gig. We’ve written a separate guide to musical instrument insurance that explains whether they’re covered when left in cars and vans.
You can find out a little more information about van contents insurance from our best tradesman insurance article.
Van insurance groups and the cheapest vans to insure
As with car insurance, there are 50 van insurance groups that companies use to set their premiums. However, most vans seem to fall within the first 20 groups. Vans are grouped based on weight and engine size.
The cheapest vans to insure will be in group 1 and prices rise as the groups go up.
Vans in group 1 include the Citroen Berlingo, Ford Fiesta Van, Fiat Fiorino, Peugeot Partner and Vauxhall Corsa Van.
You can set the level of contents cover when you get a Go Compare van insurance quote.
Temporary van insurance
It is possible to buy short-term van insurance. It can range from 1 to 28 days on Go Compare.
Short-term insurance is available for those aged 19 to 75 for light commercial vehicles (LCVs) and vans up to 3.5 tonnes.
Temporary insurance may be useful if you’re hiring a van for a day, maybe for moving house or a job that needs a bigger vehicle.
If you’re using a van in Europe, check whether your policy includes European cover.
Some insurers include up to 30 days as standard and others offer add-ons for longer trips. Geoffrey’s optional extra gives you European cover for up to 90 days.
Other van types
Be aware that certain van uses may not be covered by standard insurance and may need specialist policies. Insurance for mobile coffee vans and mobile catering insurance can be found through firms like Adrian Flux.
Make sure you check the policy documents before you buy to ensure all uses and equipment will be covered.
If you’re looking for mobile dog grooming van insurance you may need to cover equipment in the vehicle, which you might be able to do under normal insurance but if the grooming takes place in the van, it may not be covered.
Check our pet grooming insurance group to get a discount from Petplan Sanctuary.
Courier van insurance is treated slightly differently. Couriers and ‘man and van’ work can be classed as haulage and is not covered by all companies. Geoffrey and Direct Line will not cover it but Axa has a site that offers cover for couriers.
Van insurance reviews
You can check quotes and cover levels of our top 8 providers and other big name van insurers such as Admiral and Tesco on Go Compare.
Our reviews of individual providers offer more in-depth information.