The best van insurance companies

Digby Bodenham By Digby Bodenham

You can compare quotes and cover from all of the providers in our top 6 using Go Compare.

  1. Geoffrey Insurance (Formerly Chaucer Direct)
  2. Dial Direct
  3. Budget Van Insurance
  4. Devitt - broker
  5. Autonet - broker
  6. MCE - broker

Click the links to find out about: 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 our top 6

We focused on the van and commercial vehicle insurers and brokers that customers rate, using reviews on Reviewcentre.com. All six providers are rated at least 4 out of 5 from an average of hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of reviews.

Also, an independent financial researcher gave the top three 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 6 offer quality policies and good customer service. You can compare them, along with many of their rivals, using Go Compare.

The cost of van insurance

Fully comprehensive van insurance starts at around £181 a year but can cost much more than that depending on the type of van you’re getting cover for.

That factors that will influence your premium include the size, value and model of the van, and your age, no claims discount and where you live.

Direct Line says prices start from £181 without extras, based on 12% of customers between June and November 2016.

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.

Find out exactly how much your premium would be on Go Compare.

Before you buy a van

If you already have a van and are shopping around for insurance find out how to save money or read our reviews of providers.

But if you’re about to buy one 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 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 van owners can do to help reduce the cost of their 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, 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. You can compare cover on Go Compare.

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 you don’t it will come back to haunt you if it causes claims to be rejected.

You can compare prices of van insurers, including our top 6 providers, using Go Compare.

Contents of the van

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 like 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.

Insurance groups for vans 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.

Short-term van insurance

It is possible to buy temporary van insurance. It can range from 1 to 28 days on Go Compare.

It’s available for those aged 19 to 75 for light commercial vehicles (LCVs) and vans up to 3.5 tonnes.

Short-term 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.

European cover

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.

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 6 providers and other big name van insurers such as Admiral and Tesco on Go Compare.

We’ve also written separate guides to the best car insurance and breakdown cover.

Our reviews of individual providers offer more in-depth information.

AXA van insurance review

More Than van insurance review

Direct Line van insurance review

Dial Direct van insurance review

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