A guide to van insurance for young drivers
Insurance is one area where being young isn’t necessarily a blessing. From comprehensive to third-party policies, those new to the road can usually expect to pay more. whether they’re behind the wheel of a car, van or motorbike. And many also need breakdown cover as they’re probably less likely to own a newer vehicle. Nevertheless, if you want to get behind the wheel, you need to get insured. Here’s our beginner’s guide to what you need to know.
Frequently asked questions
What type of van insurance do I need?
Regardless of age, there are three main types of policies when it comes to van insurance:
- comprehensive – this type of insurance is the most thorough insurance cover available. A comprehensive policy insures both you and your vehicle in the event of an accident, even if you’re responsible for causing it. It also covers other types of damage, for example, damage caused by fire or flood damage. You will also be covered if your van is stolen
- third party, fire and theft – with third party, fire and theft van insurance, you’re covered for any claims made against you from a third party (that means another person or vehicle) in the event of an accident that you caused. However, you won’t be covered for damage to your own vehicle or property if it’s not due to fire and theft
- third party only – these policies only cover claims made by third parties against damage caused by you in your van. There is no additional cover for you or your vehicle. This is the minimum insurance cover required by law, for all road-using vehicles. Remember, even if your vehicle isn’t in use you must have insurance, unless you have sent a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) declaration to the DVLA.
How much does van insurance cost for young drivers?
Regardless of how young or old you are, you’re likely to be quoted a different amount by different insurance providers, which is why it’s so important to compare quotes. Every insurance provider will issue you with a quote by working out how much of a risk you are to insure. Or, in plain English, how likely you are to make a claim. Claims cost insurance providers money, so the higher the risk you pose, the higher the premium you’re going to pay.
But why is van insurance so much more expensive for young drivers?
Did you know that 40% of young British drivers will have been involved in a car accident before the age of 23? And that 23% of all 18–24-year olds will have been involved in a car accident within six months of passing their driving test? Insurance providers are well aware of these statistics, which is why they view young drivers as high risk – and why they hike up their premiums as a result.
How can young drivers get cheaper van insurance?
Young drivers in the UK can potentially reduce the cost of their van insurance by comparing van insurance quotes, adding a low risk driver as the named driver on their policy, installing extra security features, parking wisely, reducing annual mileage and adjusting their voluntary excess:
- compare van insurance quotes – by shopping around, you can nearly always save money. Try using our van insurance page to compare different policies. Simply enter your details and we’ll provide you with a range of quotes, listed in price order, starting with the cheapest
- add a low risk driver as the named driver on your policy – by adding another named driver such as a parent or relative, you may be able to lower your premium. Try comparing different named drivers to see what difference they make to your premium. Just remember that any named drivers that you add must genuinely drive your van
- park wisely – where you park your van overnight can make a big difference. Street parking is often higher risk than using a private drive or garage
- reduce your annual mileage – fewer miles on the clock equals a lower chance of an accident, but make sure you aren’t underestimating as doing more miles could invalidate your policy.
- adjust your voluntary excess – voluntary excess is the amount you can contribute (in addition to the compulsory excess) towards any claim. If you’re prepared to increase the voluntary excess on your policy, it could lower your premium. Just make sure you can comfortably pay the total excess if you do need to make a claim
How can I improve my safety on the roads as a young driver?
Young drivers of vans, cars and motorbikes can stay safer on the roads by sticking to speed limits, driving more carefully when the weather is bad, eliminating any distractions (especially in the form of your mobile phone – one quarter of young drivers have admitted to actively using their mobiles while driving), and, of course, never getting behind the wheel after you’ve had a pint or two.
Reducing the chance of an accident on the roads is a good thing for you and your van. After all, just because you’re considered ‘high risk’ doesn’t mean that you need to drive that way.
Is there anything else that I need to know about getting van insurance?
Yes, indeed. First off, it’s always a good idea to think about any additional cover you may need before pouncing on the cheapest policy. Some policies include extra benefits like a courtesy van, breakdown cover or tools cover. If not automatically included in your policy, this additional cover can often be added as an extra for an additional cost.
Also make sure that all the details you provide are correct. Don’t be tempted to give inaccurate information in an effort to reduce your insurance premium. If you’re found to have given misleading information, your cover will be invalid and any claims you make rejected – at worst, you could face criminal prosecution.