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Modified van insurance

Your insurance provider will want to know of any modifications you make to your van, no matter how big or small. Read our guide to how modifications may impact your insurance policy…

Your insurance provider will want to know of any modifications you make to your van, no matter how big or small. Read our guide to how modifications may impact your insurance policy…

Daniel Hutson
From the Motor team
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Posted 4 OCTOBER 2019

What is a modification?

A modification is any change you make that alters your van from its original factory specification. Whether you’re modifying your van for performance or cosmetic reasons, it can have an impact on your insurance policy.

What modifications do I need to declare to my insurance provider?

You need to declare any modifications to your insurance provider, or you could invalidate your policy. It’s also a legal requirement that any vehicle registered in the UK is classified correctly.

If you’ve bought your van in a higher specification to the basic model, if it’s from an authorised dealer, any modifications will be fitted according to the  manufacturer’s specifications and therefore shouldn’t affect your premium too much. These can include, opting for a built-in sat-nav, parking sensors, alloy wheels and so on. However, if the modifications increase the value of your van, it could increase your premium.

Will every modification alter my insurance?

Some modifications may increase your premium, some might have no effect, and others could make it cheaper.  This will depend on whether the modifications increase or decrease the risk of you having an accident, affect the value of your van or make it vulnerable to theft.

If you’ve only lightly modified your van, such as changing the colour, wheels or sound system, it’s less likely to have an impact on the cost of your policy.

If you change the performance of your van, such as altering the engine output or suspension, it’s likely to increase your premium. Cosmetic changes, such as fitting spoilers or extra lights, could also make your insurance more expensive.

If you’ve made changes that improve your van’s security, such as fitting internal racking or heavy-duty locks, an alarm or immobiliser, you might find that your insurance provider reduces your premium. Parking sensors may also reduce your premium, as they decrease the chances of you bumping the back of your van, reducing the likelihood of you making a claim.

Dan Hutson, our motor insurance expert, says: ‘Modifications are always of interest to your insurance provider. While many small modifications are unlikely to affect your premium too heavily, it’s always a good idea to make sure you’re covered in the event of an accident.’

How do I insure a modified van?

If you’ve modified your van, contact your insurance provider to see if they’ll extend your cover to include the modifications. If your van’s been heavily modified, your provider could increase your premium and might even decide not to offer you a renewal quote. If that happens, you’ll need to shop around for a specialist provider willing to give you a quote.

How do I insure a converted campervan?

If you’ve converting your van into a campervan, consider getting specialist campervan insurance. You’ll also need to let the DVLA know once you’ve finished converting your van into a campervan. They’ll need a full description of the work that’s been undertaken, as well as photographs and receipts. You may also need to take out personal possessions insurance to cover your belongings kept in the campervan, if they’re not already covered by your contents insurance.

How can I get a good deal on modified van insurance?

If you want to know how any particular modification will affect your insurance, then you should check directly with your insurance provider. And if you’re still keen on modifying your van, our van comparison service  allows you to declare any changes up front, so you know the price you’re offered will include any modification you’ve made.  

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