Remember that if you are discovered using your van for a purpose other than the one you stated on your insurance policy, your cover may be invalidated.
If you are planning on using your van for business, read our business van insurance page for plenty of useful tips and advice.
What is private van insurance?
Private van insurance is the type of insurance you take out if you plan to use your van for social, domestic, or pleasure reasons only. This means you use your van for:
- Driving on family holidays
- Going to the supermarket
- Carrying things you need for hobbies like surfing
Do I need private van insurance?
The Continuous Insurance Enforcement rule means it’s a legal requirement to insure your vehicle at all times, whether it’s a van, car, or motorbike. This is true even if you only use your van at certain times of the year – for example, if you only go surfing during the summer.
However if you declare your van as ‘off the road’ with a Statutory Off Road Notification, you won’t need to insure it as you won’t be able to drive it.
Can I use private van insurance for commuting?
Private van insurance won’t cover you for commuting in your van, as these policies work differently than they would with a car. Car insurance providers offer social, domestic, pleasure, and commuting policies that cover you for commuting in your car, but with a van you’ll need a form of business van insurance.
A private van insurance policy also won’t cover you for anything related to business or making money. You can read more about the insurance required for this with our guide to commercial van insurance.
What does private van insurance cover?
The level of cover you’ll get with your van insurance policy depends on the type of policy you take out. This works in a similar way to car insurance – you can choose from:
- Third party: This covers you for any damage you do to another person, their vehicle, or their property
- Third party, fire, and theft: This includes everything covered by third party insurance, but it also offers cover for if your vehicle is stolen or damaged by fire
- Fully comprehensive: Fully comprehensive covers all the above as well as all other damage to your vehicle – as long as it’s outlined in the policy
What policy add-ons can you get with private van insurance?
Depending on the insurer, you may be able to add cover for the following:
- Equipment: this can cover you for any hobby related equipment that gets damaged, lost, or stolen
- Legal costs: this helps with any legal costs relating to an incident that was your fault
- Personal accidents: this can provide compensation if you’re involved in an accident
- Breakdowns: this lets you get back on the road to continue your journey if your van breaks down
- Courtesy vehicles: this gives you access to a replacement vehicle while yours is being repaired
- Driving abroad: this insures you for driving your van abroad, though you may also need a Green Card to drive in Europe depending on the outcome of Brexit. You can learn more with our article on Brexit and your finances
How can I find a cheap van insurance quote for private use?
There are a few things you can try to reduce the cost of private van insurance, including:
- Paying more excess: increasing your voluntary excess payment can help reduce your premiums as insurers may see it as a sign that you’ll only claim when you really need to
- Reducing your mileage: the less time you spend on the road the lower the chances are that you’ll need to claim, which means your premiums could go down
- Buying a smaller van: smaller vans are easier to control and drive, which also means you’ll be less likely to have to claim on your policy
- Getting a telematics policy: telematics insurance is when you have a black box installed in your car that lets your insurer monitor your driving habits – this way, the better you drive the lower your premiums will go
- Improving your van’s security: improved locks and alarms can help prevent your van from being stolen, and keeping it in a locked garage can do the same. This can convince insurers that you’re less likely to make a claim for damage or theft
Compare private van insurance quotes
If you’re looking for private van insurance, comparing quotes on MoneySuperMarket is the easiest way to find the best available deal for you. All you need to do is tell us a little about yourself, your driving and claims history, and the van you want to insure, and we’ll show you a list of quotes tailored to your requirements.
You’ll then be able to compare quotes by the annual and monthly cost, the excess you’ll need to pay to claim, and the level of cover you’ll get with the policy as well as any add-ons included. Once you’ve found the right deal, just click through to the provider to finalise your purchase.
You should remember that the cheapest option isn’t always the best, as it may leave you without the right level of cover. Try to aim for a balance between cover and cost to ensure you aren’t over- or under-insured, so you’ll be able to claim when you need to without paying over the odds.