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Looking for van insurance can be a mind-boggling process.  It’s a slightly different ball game from car insurance – and some of the specifics need careful consideration to make sure you get the right cover and a good price.


Did you know for instance, that vans are put into categories from 1-20, by the ABI (Association of British Insurers), with 1 being the lowest risk category and 20 being the highest risk. There are various factors which contribute to the category a van is put into, including the size and weight of the vehicle, value, costs of repairs and even emissions.


The good news is that we can help you compare van insurance policies, to help you find cheap van insurance for private use in minutes, and hopefully save you money.


Types of policy


As well as choosing from the usual types of policy; fully comprehensive, third party, fire and theft and third party only, you also need to work out if you need private van insurance or business/commercial van insurance.


So how do you know whether you need private van insurance or commercial? Well, private van insurance is different from business or commercial van insurance.  We offer private van insurance which you are able to use for almost anything from social domestic and pleasure use, up to hire and reward (haulage). Commercial van insurance is where the van is registered to a company (the name will appear on the V5C), however this is something we do not offer.


Is your van for business or pleasure?


A private policy could cover ‘social and domestic’ use – which might mean driving friends and family around, trips to the shops, and any hobby-related uses like surfing, go-carting or camping.


So, if you have a hobby which requires a lot of kit, and have invested in a van to move it from A to B, you should be adequately insured with social domestic and pleasure use on a private van insurance policy.


But if you earn any money from your hobby, even if it isn't your main income source, you will need a form of business use on your private van insurance. Here’s an example: you’re in a band and use your van to transport your instruments, equipment and band mates to play in the local pub on a Saturday night. If you’re paid for the gig, you’ll need a business use cover for this.  


It’s the law...


Van insurance is a legal requirement even if you only use your van at certain times of the year. From June 2011 the continuous Insurance Enforcement Act came into place, which states all road going vehicles must be insured even if they’re not in use. The only exception to this is if you have declared the vehicle SORN (statutory off road notification) with the DVLA.


Although it may be tempting to tweak the information you provide to reduce your insurance premium - don’t! All the details you give to your insurer must be correct. It is illegal to knowingly give inaccurate information - and if you’re found to have done so, you could face criminal prosecution and your insurance will be invalid.  


Cutting the cost of cover


If you’ve decided a private van insurance policy will cover your needs, there are a couple of things to bear in mind which can help bring your premium down and save you money.


First, always shop around. We can help you compare van insurance policies, quickly and simply. Visit our van insurance comparison page and away you go.


It may also be worth looking at your compulsory and voluntary excess.  Most policies have them. Compulsory excess is decided by your insurer and is the amount they state you must pay, in the event of an accident. Voluntary excess is the amount you can contribute (in addition to the compulsory excess) towards any claim. If you are prepared to increase the voluntary excess on your policy, it may reduce your premium - but make sure you can comfortably pay the full amount if you do need to make a claim. This is could be a useful way to reduce insurance premiums for higher risk insurance risks such as young drivers.


Security features such as alarms and immobilisers could all bring down your insurance premium too.


Where do you park your van when it’s not in use? Parking on the street is usually higher risk than using a private drive or garage. If you are able to park off the road, it could lower your premium quite a bit. Time to tarmac the front garden!


Look at the miles on the clock. Can you reduce your annual mileage? The lower your mileage could potentially mean lower insurance premiums too…


So follow these simple tips and hopefully you can find cheap van insurance for private use to suit you and your van’s needs.