Temporary van insurance

Short-term van insurance gives you the option to get fast, flexible cover from as little as one hour, up to 28 days.

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Tempcover compares temporary van or car insurance to help you find short-term, fully comprehensive cover in under two minutes. With van insurance available from one hour to 28 days, you only pay for the time you need. 

Tempcover has sold more than 3 million policies and thanks to its award-winning customer service, it has an 'Excellent' customer review rating on Trustpilot, as of 7 June 2022.

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How does short-term van insurance work?

Short-term van insurance allows you (or a nominated driver) to get temporary insurance cover in just a few minutes. This cover can last anything from a few hours up to 28 days. The longer you need, the more it’s likely to cost.

Short-term insurance applies if you’re borrowing or lending a van, but not if you’re hiring one. In that situation, you need van hire cover instead.

Short-term van insurance makes it simple to drive someone else’s van when needed. The van’s owner doesn’t have to do a thing apart from give you permission – you can sort it all out. It also allows you to lend your van temporarily to someone else who isn’t a named driver on your existing van insurance policy.

And don’t worry about it impacting your no claims discount. A short-term insurance policy won’t affect any other policies that are currently in place. But if you have an accident, it could impact your car and van insurance premiums in the future.

Why get temporary van insurance?

Cover from 1 hour up to 28 days

No impact on your no claims bonus

Get on the road in minutes

When would I need short-term van insurance?

There are many situations when short-term van insurance can come in useful, for social and domestic situations as well as for small businesses and sole traders. These include:

  • Moving home or helping someone else move house - if you can borrow a van, you can avoid the cost of hiring one or paying a removal company to do the job.
  • Transporting large items such as furniture, sports equipment or any industrial materials or tools required for work, as well as garden waste and any items that need to go to the local tip or recycling centre.
  • Buying or selling a van - cover yourself for test driving a van before you buy or get drive-away cover after you’ve bought it.
  • Sharing the driving on long trips - quickly add another designated driver on a temporary basis.
  • Lending out your van for a short time - either for personal or commercial use.
  • For young drivers who only drive a van occasionally and can’t afford the higher premiums of annual cover.
  • Business use, for example:
    • Providing cover for temporary or stand-in staff if someone is off sick or on holiday.
    • Borrowing a van while yours is being repaired.

Because many businesses run on tight margins, affordable short-term van insurance can be a real lifesaver for cashflow – especially as it can be arranged at short notice.

What other temporary van insurance options are there?

If you’re driving a van belonging to a family member, friend or colleague, or if you lend them yours, there are alternatives to short-term insurance: 

  • Adding them to your insurance policy
  • Being added to their policy
  • Adding them or being added to a company policy
  • Adding the van to another motor insurance policy. 

There’s likely to be a charge for any of these options, although it may not be more than the overall cost of short-term van insurance. Always think about what works best for you in terms of cover, price and ease.

What’s the shortest or longest time you can insure a vehicle with temporary insurance via Compare the Market?

You can get short-term van insurance that lasts from one hour to 28 days. Time limits can vary among insurance providers, so make sure you say how long you need temporary insurance for when comparing.

If you want to insure by the hour, you can choose 1-12 hours. Once you go over that, it’s best to insure for the whole day. It’s better to overestimate the time you need than risk not being insured.

Can I drive a van that I’ve just bought without getting insurance?

No. Driving any vehicle – including vans – without at least third-party only insurance is illegal, and you could end up with a fine and a conviction.

If you’ve just bought a new van, temporary insurance can give you the short-term cover you need while you compare van insurance providers and shop around to find a policy that suits you or your business’ needs.

Can I use temporary insurance for business use?

Yes, from time to time you may need to borrow a van. You may also want to quickly insure new employees while you’re sorting out annual insurance, or to briefly add a temporary member of staff when you’re extra busy for an hour or two or even a few days in a row.

Likewise, temporary van insurance can be useful if you’re going on a long-distance trip, so you can share time behind the wheel.

Temporary insurance can also be useful for businesses including builders, plumbers and roofers if they want to get cover for subcontractors to drive the work van.

When is temporary van insurance not suitable? 

Temporary insurance doesn’t typically include hired or rented vans. You’ll usually need van hire insurance for that. You may be able to arrange this through the rental company or it might be included as part of the hiring agreement.

If that’s the case, always check the terms of the policy so you know exactly what you’re covered for and how much excess you’ll be expected to pay if you’re involved in an accident.

You can’t use temporary insurance if you’re going to use your vehicle for ‘hire or reward’. In other words, to earn money from using it as a delivery driver or taxi driver. Instead, you’ll need commercial van insurance (also known as business van insurance) or taxi insurance.

What’s not covered with short-term van insurance? 

The short-term van insurance you buy could be fully comprehensive, but depending on the policy, you might not be covered for:

  • The excess you’ve agreed to pay.
  • The loss or damage to any trailer or caravan being towed by the insured van.
  • Additional drivers – short-term policies often cover just one named driver.
  • Goods carried in or on the van.
  • Releasing an impounded van.

However, you may have the option to include extras like:

  • Breakdown cover.
  • Cover for tools or equipment being stored or transported in the van.
  • Cover for driving abroad.
  • A courtesy van if yours is being repaired.
  • Personal accident cover.

Always read the small print before buying any short-term van insurance policy.

What do I need to get a quote?

If you’re comparing short-term van insurance quotes with Tempcover, you’ll just need to provide:

  • Your van’s registration number and the vehicle’s approximate value.
  • The duration of cover you’re looking for and when you want it to start.
  • Your name, address, contact details and date of birth.
  • Your driving licence type – for example full UK – and how long you’ve had it.

Frequently asked questions

Am I eligible to get temporary van insurance?

Depending on the insurance provider, different eligibility criteria may apply, but as an essential first step, you will need to hold a valid driving licence.

You don’t have to be the registered owner of the van in question, you just need the owner’s permission to drive it.

Tempcover eligibility rules:

To get short-term van insurance, you must: 

  • Be 17-77 years old
  • Hold a UK or EU driving licence
  • Have been a UK resident for the last 12 months
  • Have no more than seven licence penalty points and no more than two fault claims in the past three years
  • Have no disqualifications in the past two years
  • Have no criminal convictions
  • Have had no previous insurance policy declared void by an insurance provider.

The van to be included in the policy should be: 

  • No more than 7.5 tonnes in weight
  • Valued between £1,500 and £65,000
  • Roadworthy with a valid MOT (unless the insurance is to cover you for taking the van to a pre-booked MOT appointment)
  • Free from any modifications, unless they’re factory-fitted extras or designed for disabled drivers. Please check with Tempcover directly to find out more.

Please note: This is a broad outline of the eligibility requirements but each insurance provider on Tempcover’s panel has its own criteria, so make sure you read their Proposer’s Declaration.

Tempcover works with a panel of providers to make sure it can provide temporary insurance for as many drivers as possible. Because of this, policies may vary depending on the insurance provider. Always double check the policy wording before you buy so you know exactly what’s included.

Does my car or van insurance cover me for driving someone else’s vehicle?

You’ll need to check your insurance policy to see if you’re covered to drive someone else’s van or car. If you are, you may only have third-party cover. This means you’ll be covered if you injure other people or damage their vehicle or property, but if you cause an accident, you’ll be liable for any damage to your vehicle and your own injuries, which could leave you out of pocket.

Temporary van insurance gives you fully comprehensive cover so you and the van’s owner can have peace of mind.

Can I be added to another person’s insurance policy?

Yes, you can be added to someone else’s van insurance policy as a named driver. But temporary insurance could be a faster and easier way to get cover in place – especially if it’s only for a few days or weeks.

Being added to someone’s policy can be expensive, especially for young van drivers. It’s often worth getting quotes for both options to see which gives you the best value.

Can I use temporary insurance for a van I own?

If you own a van but only drive it occasionally – for example, for holidays, sporting events or big shopping trips – short-term insurance can be a cost-effective option.

If you don’t want to insure your van for the long periods when you’re not using it, you’ll have to keep it off the road and get a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN).

What is hire and reward insurance for a van?

Hire and reward van insurance is designed for couriers, hauliers and furniture movers – anyone who moves someone else’s property as part of their business operations.

If you need hire and reward cover, standard short-term van insurance won’t cut it. You need van insurance, which considers the risks associated with this particular work, including: 

  • The varied nature of the cargo
  • High day-to-day mileage
  • The frequency of stops during trips.

Hire and reward insurance can cover: 

  • The goods you’re carrying
  • Any damage caused to your van and other vehicles
  • Public liability
  • Employer’s liability.

Any tips for first time van drivers?

Many drivers who want to borrow a van will be using one for the first time. This brings a whole new set of challenges.

Compared to driving a car, there’s more vehicle to manoeuvre and you’re sitting up higher. You also lose out on having a back window or a rear-view mirror.

This unfamiliarity can make accidents more likely, so before you get in the driver’s seat, make sure you stack the odds of a smooth ride in your favour.

Before you start driving: 

  • If your journey covers unfamiliar roads, get the route set up in advance.
  • Make sure anything you’re carrying is firmly secured and won’t move around as you drive.
  • Check that the driver’s seat is in the right position for you and that you can reach the pedals comfortably.
  • Position the mirrors so you have a clear view of the road around you.
  • Get familiar with the controls – including the indicators, lights, radio and windscreen wipers – before you set off.
  • Check out the gears. Many newer vans have a sixth gear for motorway driving at higher speeds to increase your miles per gallon.

Once you’re on the road: 

  • A large van is usually slower to stop than a car, so make sure you anticipate hazards and give yourself extra time to brake, particularly if the van is fully loaded.
  • Although sitting up higher and having larger wing mirrors gives you better visibility in some respects, remember that the lack of a rear view can create blind spots.
  • With a longer, wider vehicle, cornering is more difficult. Turn more gently than you would in a car and be extra careful not to hit anything.

When you reach your destination:

  • Parking a van is what sorts the novices from the professionals. Ask a passenger or even a willing passer-by to help guide you in as you reverse or parallel park into the space.
  • If you haven’t got help, use your mirrors and take it slowly.
  • Remember to give yourself enough room to open the doors at the back so you can unload easily.

What happens if I have an accident while I’ve got temporary cover?

Typically, short-term insurance gives you comprehensive cover. This means that if you have an accident, you’ve got the highest level of protection, although different policies vary depending on the insurance provider.

An added advantage of short-term van insurance is that your no claims bonus and that of the van’s owner won’t be affected.

Is there anything else I need to be aware of about temporary cover?

  • Temporary insurance isn’t a replacement for annual cover. If you’re looking for longer-term cover, an annual insurance policy is likely to be more cost effective.
  • There’s no cover for any goods carried in or on the vehicle, so you’ll need to find a separate policy to cover those.
  • Temporary cover won’t count towards a no claims bonus.
  • You’ll have to pay for your policy in full before you drive off.

It’s also a good idea to keep a copy of your Insurance Certificate with you during the period of cover, in case the details aren’t immediately uploaded onto the Motor Insurance Database (MID).

Can I use temporary insurance to drive in Europe?

Some insurance providers will offer temporary van cover for road trips in the EU too, whether that’s for business or pleasure.

If you’re comparing policies with Tempcover, make sure you select ‘carriage of your own goods in connection with your business’ if your van is being used for commercial purposes while you’re away.

Tempcover offers the minimum cover required by law for driving in the EU, rather than fully comprehensive cover. Make sure you know which countries you’re travelling to so you can make sure you get a policy that covers you.

You also need to make sure that your journey begins in the UK at the start of the policy and your van is returned there before the policy ends. If your itinerary changes, you may need to update your insurance provider as well.

Most countries in Europe no longer require you to carry a green card. For a full list of travel requirements, visit gov.uk.

If you’re planning on hiring a van for your trip, you’ll need hire van insurance instead.

Can I get an additional driver on temporary van insurance?

No, with Tempcover only the driver named in the policy is covered. If you want another person to share the driving, they’ll need their own temporary cover policy, unless they’re already insured for the vehicle in question.

But having two separate policies isn’t a problem. They won’t interfere with each other or cause any issues with either policy.

Can I get temporary cover to release and collect my van from an impound?

Standard short-term van insurance doesn’t cover the release of an impounded vehicle, but it’s important to act quickly as the longer your van is impounded, the more it will cost you.

Can I tow a trailer using my van on a temporary policy?

You won’t be covered for any loss or damage to a vehicle, trailer, trailer-caravan or broken-down vehicle that’s being towed by the insured van.

Can I use temporary insurance to get an MoT on my van?

Yes, you can use short-term van insurance to travel to a pre-booked MOT. In any other situation, you can only drive with a valid MOT.

Can I tax a van using temporary insurance?

Yes, you can tax your van using a temporary policy and most insurance providers are quite efficient in uploading the details to the Motor Insurance Database (MID). The MID is used by the DVLA and the police. 

For a complete guide to taxing your vehicle, visit gov.uk.

Can I get temporary cover for longer than 28 days?

Some providers may offer short-term cover for longer than 28 days, but Compare the Market doesn’t currently include them when you compare temporary van insurance.

Can I get temporary insurance to drive a car?

Yes, you can easily get temporary insurance for cars as well as vans.

Again, cover is available for as little as an hour to 28 days with Tempcover. It takes just a few minutes to apply, and you can be on the road with fully comprehensive cover in minutes.

Author image Dan Hutson

What our expert says...

“You might need to borrow a van from a friend or family member for a short time. Getting temporary insurance is a quick way of sorting it out – and you’ll know that the lender’s no claims bonus won’t be affected if you have an accident. But be aware that although your no claims bonus won’t be affected if you have to make a claim, your future vehicle insurance premiums could be.

“Because it’s so flexible in terms of time, temporary van insurance can be the right solution in many circumstances for both individuals and for businesses.”

- Dan Hutson, Motor insurance expert

Tempcover

  • Offers temporary van insurance from one hour to 28 days.
  • Cover is available in under two minutes.
  • 4.6-star customer review rating on Trustpilot, as of 7 June 2022.
  • Over 3 million policies sold.

Tempcover gives you flexible insurance to suit your needs, whether you’re borrowing a van, test-driving a new vehicle or driving away your new purchase.

With fully comprehensive cover available as standard and as a separate, standalone policy, your no claims discount won’t be affected.

If you want to read more about short-term van insurance, just go back to the top of the page.

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Who is Tempcover and what is its relationship with Compare the Market?

Tempcover is a provider of short-term insurance in the UK. It’s authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and is underwritten by a panel of authorised and regulated insurance providers, chosen for their competitiveness, cover and service levels provided.

Compare the Market’s relationship with Tempcover is purely that of a business relationship and no common ownership or control rights exist between us.