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.
Van insurance isn’t optional, even if you rarely use your vehicle. Changes to rules last year means that not only is it illegal to drive without insurance, your car must be insured at all times. Under Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) which took effect in June 2011, unless you have completed a Statutory Off Road Notification and registered your vehicle as being off the road with the DVLA it must be insured. Failure to have insurance could result in a fine of up to £1,000.
The new rules were designed to help tackle the rising problem of uninsured drivers, but the stringency of CIE means drivers who let their insurance lapse because they are away perhaps, or who only drive their cars for part of the year, could also be caught out.
Different types of private van insurance
There are three different types of private van insurance available- third party, third party fire and theft and fully comprehensive.
Third Party is the most basic level of cover and will cover you for damage or injury caused by you to a third party. You have no cover whatsoever for personal injury, or damage to your vehicle. Third party only insurance protects you against any claims made against you should you have an accident.
Third Party, Fire and Theft is the next level up. In addition to the cover given by a Third Party policy your insurance will also pay out if your car is stolen or damaged by fire.
Fully comprehensive insurance offers the most thorough protection because damage to your own car is covered as well as damage to a third party.
Where to find private van insurance cover
Make sure you get as many private van insurance quotes as possible in order to make sure that you get the most competitive deal available to you.
Going direct to each individual insurer is an option but price comparison websites such as MoneySupermarket.com can help you find cheap private van insurance from a range of different providers.
Bear in mind when shopping for cover that the cheapest deal isn’t always the best value for money and it might be worth paying a bit more for additional features such as van breakdown cover.
There are short term van insurance options available if you don’t need a 12 month policy.
How to get cheap private van insurance
If you have an immobiliser and alarm fitted in your van, this can substantially reduce the cost of private van insurance. Insurers are also likely to offer lower quotes if you can park your van in a private driveway or garage, rather than on a public road.
You can also keep costs down by keeping your mileage to a minimum – the more time you spend on the road, the greater the risk you will pose to an insurance company.
Having modifications made to your van can also bump up the cost of premiums, as repairs are likely to be more expensive in the event of an accident.
Another way to lower your premiums is to opt for a higher excess – which is the proportion of any insurance claim which you must pay yourself.
For more ideas on how to reduce to cost of your private van insurance premiums, take advantage of our van insurance money saving tips.