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Van breakdown Cover

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What is van breakdown cover?

It’s always a nightmare when your van breaks down, particularly if you’re out on a job and there’s somewhere you need to be. Van breakdown cover can help protect you if the worst were to happen. 

And with towing fees and garage repair costs adding up, van breakdown cover can help get you back on the road.

A number of providers include light commercial use with van breakdown cover, so be sure to check the benefits and exclusions if you need it.

Why do I need breakdown cover?

Breakdown cover gives you peace of mind when driving for work. Lost jobs, missed deliveries or pick-ups, falling behind on your schedule and getting stranded without transport are all potential problems. It’s a huge inconvenience and getting yourself back up and running may end up costing a lot of money. 

It’s easy to compare quotes online and insure your van against breakdowns in just a few clicks with MoneySuperMarket.

breakdown cover illustration

Levels of breakdown cover

As with the car breakdown cover, commercial van breakdown cover offers several levels of protection and service. 

All breakdown policies offer roadside assistance as standard, but there are other options available, including:

  • Plus

    Roadside assistance

    If you break down more than a certain distance - typically a quarter of  a mile - from your home or work, a recovery vehicle will attempt repairs on the roadside. If that’s not possible, you’ll usually get a tow to the nearest garage 

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    National coverage

    This policy will recover your vehicle from anywhere in the UK and return it to your local garage for repair if it can't be fixed at the roadside. This is a good choice if you drive your van long distances for work

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    European breakdown cover

    If you have business in Europe - either on a regular basis or as a one-off – you need European van breakdown cover. Some providers may exclude certain countries, so check the policy details before buying

  • Plus

    Home start

    This provides additional cover if your van won't start at your home or work address, or within a defined distance. The distance from your home where this applies varies by provider

  • Plus

    Onward journey cover

    If you break down away from home and rapid repair isn't possible, onward travel cover could (depending on provider), offer a replacement van, overnight accommodation or reasonable onward travel expenses

Personal cover or vehicle cover?

There are two types of cover to consider when looking for van breakdown cover:

  • Personal cover

    This covers a named individual on any van. You can climb into any vehicle knowing that you are protected. Crucially, you’re covered whether you are driving or a passenger – a valuable option for firms with a busy, mobile workforce

  • Vehicle cover

    This is where the van itself is protected, regardless of who is driving it. This allows for considerable flexibility, as drivers can be allocated to vehicles without having to check that they have cover in place under their own name

Business cover

Business van insurance is a type of insurance policy you can take out for your van if you use it for commercial or business reasons. If you use your van for business but only have a standard van insurance policy, you won’t be covered if you have an accident or if your van is stolen as you won’t be insured for using the van for business purposes.

If you own more than one van as part of your business, fleet breakdown cover is a useful option to consider. Fleet van insurance allows you to insure multiple vans on one policy instead of individual vehicle cover.

This means you won’t have to deal with multiple policies, and you could also choose ‘any driver’ coverage so all of your employees can drive any of the vans insured on the policy

Van illustration

How to save money on van breakdown cover?

The cost of van breakdown cover is determined by many factors. Personal cover tends to be more expensive than vehicle cover because the firm providing it has no knowledge of the vans that will be used. To get the best deal on your van breakdown cover, you should consider

  • 1

    Type of cover

    Decide which level of cover you need – do you only want to cover yourself as a driver, or do you need to protect your vehicle or multiple vehicles?

  • 2

    Level of cover

    Roadside assistance offers the most basic protection, but perhaps you would benefit from nationwide, European or onward travel cover 

  • 3

    Type of van

    Different vans have varying costs, especially as modern vehicles have more complicated features. Older vans may be more expensive to repair, however

  • 4

    Small breakdown provider

    Big names like the AA and RAC might be the first that pop in your head when it comes to breakdown cover but a smaller, less-known firm could serve your needs just as well, and charge less.

  • 5


    Make sure you read the small print of your policy to understand any limitations. You don’t want to be caught out of cover on a technicality!

  • 6

    Shop around

    Use our comparison tool to compare deals from a range of van breakdown providers – you can often find cheaper cover than you thought

Sean Thompson

Our expert says


Van breakdown cover can be essential insurance for vehicles that are clocking up many miles on the roads. It helps get you out of a jam if you do find yourself stranded and gives you peace of mind too. The cheapest option won’t always be the most suitable for you, so check the policy fully for any exclusions, particularly with regard to commercial use.  

- Sean Thompson, Insurance Expert

What do I need to get a quote?

To get a quote, you’ll need to provide us with some details, including:

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    Some personal details

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    The type of cover you require

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    Date you want the cover to start

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    Vehicle(s) registration

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    Vehicle(s) make and model

Compare van insurance

You can compare multiple van breakdown cover deals in our simple comparison tables. You’ll get a list of policies available to you, along with the monthly price and main benefits of each, including any rewards or vouchers.

When you see a deal you like, just follow the link to the provider’s website to purchase your chosen policy.

If you don’t have breakdown cover and your van breaks down, you might have to find a local garage to call and collect you. This can often involve a fee and you might have to find alternative transport to continue your journey.

If your van can’t be fixed on the roadside and you have onward journey cover, you will be able to continue your journey with a replacement vehicle whilst yours is sent for repairs. ‘Onward journey’ is a specific level of cover, so make sure that you include this in your policy, if you’re worried about how this could affect you.

Look in your logbook to find the section on vehicle category or vehicle type approval, this will give you a letter and a number. It it’s ‘M1’ it’s a car and if it is ‘N1’ or ‘N2’ it is a van. If you’re unsure about anything, check in with the breakdown coverage provider.

When getting van breakdown cover, you can choose to cover either yourself as a driver or the van. If you choose to cover the van, any driver will be covered.

If you have chosen European van breakdown cover as your policy, then your cover should be extended to the rest of Europe. Some insurance providers may include or exclude certain countries from their European cover, so check the policy details before you travel.

If you tend to drive multiple vans, it’s a good idea to consider personal breakdown cover instead of insuring the van specifically. This will allow you to drive any van and maintain the same level of cover. You could also check to see if the other vans you’re driving are covered specifically for the van and not a specific driver, because that means you are covered anyway.

This will depend on the provider and policy. Some providers offer unlimited callouts, but others have a limit on their policy. Make sure you keep an eye out for any limits when comparing van breakdown cover and make sure you pick the policy that gives you the protection you need. 

Policy limitations and exclusions will vary by provider, so as always it’s a good idea to read the small print of your policy. Some providers put a limit on the height and weight of your van, so it’s a good idea to check that if you have a larger vehicle. Most providers will help change a wheel and help you with misfuelling issues, but again it’s best to check what is and isn’t included. 

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