Guide to the costs of running a van

From filling the tank to sorting out the right van insurance policy – we look at the costs involved with keeping your van on the road.

From filling the tank to sorting out the right van insurance policy – we look at the costs involved with keeping your van on the road.

Daniel Hutson
Head of Motor Insurance
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Posted 4 OCTOBER 2019

The main costs of running a van

Here are three key expenses you’ll face when keeping your van on the road, along with some tips on how to save money…

1. Fuel

The cost of fuel is never far from the news headlines in this country. One way to keep costs down is to try to reduce your fuel consumption. And you can take a step towards this by checking your tyre pressure is correct – having under-inflated tyres will reduce your van’s performance and you’ll use more fuel.

Another way to improve your van’s fuel efficiency – and to stay safer on the road – is to avoid rapid acceleration and hard braking. Also, keep the vehicle as light as possible. Only carry tools and equipment you know you’re going to use that day.

2. Vehicle Excise Duty

Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), often known as road tax, is charged annually on almost all vehicles. Your vehicle’s tax band will determine how much VED you have to pay. This will be based on the date the van was registered and the vehicle’s engine size. Read more about this in our guide to road tax for your van. Also, the DVLA’s website has a tool that can help you calculate your vehicle’s tax rate.

3. Van insurance

Insurance providers allocate vans to one of 50 groups – each group helping to determine the size of your van insurance. If you’re thinking of buying a new van, choosing one in a lower insurance group might save you money in the long run.

A range of other factors determine the cost of your van insurance, including:

  • Age: Being young isn’t likely to be a blessing when it comes to van insurance. More experienced drivers tend to be seen as a lower risk, which means their premiums are sometimes lower. Some van insurance providers set a minimum age of 21 to get cover.
  • Driving history: Every year that you drive without making a claim on your insurance gives you one year’s no claims discount. This could cut the cost of your cover when you come to renew your policy. Generally, the longer you drive without making a claim, the bigger the discount your premium could be.
  • Where you live: If you’re based in an area with a high crime rate, then you might be charged more for your insurance as there’s a greater likelihood of you needing to make a claim.
  • Parking: Leaving your van in a locked garage is considered safer than parking it on the street and could result in a lower premium.
  • Named drivers: If you have several employees who might need to drive your van, you could save money by naming them individually on a policy, rather than opting for ‘any driver’ insurance. Generally, the fewer drivers you have on your policy, the lower the impact on your premium will be.
  • Your voluntary excess: When you make a claim, you’ll need to pay a certain amount towards it – known as the excess. If you choose to pay a higher voluntary excess, you could reduce your premium. Just be sure you can afford the voluntary excess, as well as the compulsory excess set by your insurance provider, if you make a claim.
  • How you pay: If you can afford to pay for your van insurance in one lump sum rather than by spreading the cost over a year, you could save money as your provider may charge you interest on the monthly payments.

One of the easiest ways to find competitive van insurance is to compare quotes from different insurance providers. Whether you want to beat your current provider’s renewal quote or insure a new vehicle, our straightforward price comparison service could help you find a cheaper van insurance deal.

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