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What is temporary van insurance?
Temporary van insurance is cover you can take out for driving a van for a short period of time, as an alternative to annual cover for people who don’t need a year-long policy. It’s also known as short-term, daily or monthly van insurance.
Do I need temporary van insurance?
Even if you only need your van for a short time – whether it’s an hour, a day, a week or a month, it’s illegal to drive it on UK roads without valid insurance. This is thanks to the continuous insurance enforcement rules brought in as part of the road safety act (2006) – which sets out that you must have at least third-party cover in place.
When would I need temporary van insurance?
A temporary van insurance policy is useful when you’ll be driving a van but not as an every-day vehicle, so you don’t need to be covered for the whole year. For example, you might take out temporary cover if:
- You sometimes – but not often – need to drive a van for work, for example to make the occasional delivery or drop-off
- You’re moving into a new home and need to transport your belongings
- You’ve bought or sold one or more large items that you need to transport
- You’re taking a large group of people on a day-trip or short holiday – you can even get temporary cover for driving your van in the EU
- You’re looking to buy a new van and you want to test drive, or you haven’t yet sorted your annual policy for a van you’ve bought already
What will temporary van insurance cover me for?
When you take out a temporary van insurance policy, the cover you’ll get will depend on the level of protection you take out. These levels work in the same way as any other motor insurance, so providers will offer either:
- Third-party cover: The minimum level of protection required to drive on UK roads, a third-party only policy covers you for damage you cause to another person (the third party), their vehicle or their property. It won’t pay out for any damage done to your own van
- Third-party, fire and theft cover: Third-party, fire and theft insurance is like third-party only, but adds cover for your own vehicle if it’s stolen or damaged by fire
- Fully comprehensive cover: A fully comprehensive van insurance policy offers the most protection, including all of the above as well as cover for any other damage caused to your van
With temporary van insurance policies, you might often find that your provider will only offer fully comprehensive cover.
How long will a temporary van insurance policy cover me for?
Temporary van insurance policies are designed to offer short-term cover when you need it, so generally speaking you should be able to find cover for any length of time from one hour to 30 days.
Should you need cover for a few months your best bet may be to renew a temporary policy every month – but for any longer than that you may find annual cover is the better option.
What policy features can I add to my temporary van insurance policy?
Temporary van insurance policies, like standard ones, can come with an array of features to bolster your cover. Some of these may be included as part of your deal, while others will cost extra if you want to add them to your policy. Most insurers should offer:
- Breakdown cover: Breakdown cover pays for the cost of calling for roadside assistance and garage repairs for your van if it breaks down. Many temporary van insurance policies will include breakdown cover as standard
- Courtesy vehicles: Courtesy vehicle cover is often associated with breakdown cover, and it gives you access to a replacement vehicle while yours in in for repairs. However with short-term policies this may work differently
- Driving abroad cover: If you need to insure a van for a short trip into mainland Europe you’ll be able to add cover for this. You must also carry a green card and display a GB sticker on the van to prove you’re insured when across the Channel
- Motor legal protection: Motor legal protection offers cover for any legal costs you might face relating to a motor insurance claim
- Personal accident cover: Personal accident cover will pay out a lump sum if you’re injured or killed as a result of a road accident – the pay-out amount will depend on the severity of the accident
- Additional driver cover: You can also use temporary van insurance policies to insure another driver on your van for a short time, as well as adding multiple drivers to the same temporary policy
Will the contents of the van be covered?
If you’re using a van temporarily to move furniture or other items you’ll be wondering if your belongings are covered should they become lost, damaged or stolen. In general they will be, but only up to a certain limit. There may be a total sum limit of items insured, as well as a single item limit,
Will I be covered for business usage?
Your temporary van insurance policy may include business cover as standard – though it’s unlikely you’ll be covered for the carriage of passengers, or goods for hire or reward. You may need to request this cover as an extra, which will probably increase the cost of your policy.
How much will a temporary van insurance policy cost?
Temporary van insurance policies are a cheaper alternative than buying annual cover if you only need to use your van for a short space of time – this is because you only pay for insurance when it’s required.
However the actual cost of your policy will depend on a number of factors, including:
- Your age: Insurers generally charge older and more experienced drivers less for cover, as they’re statistically less likely to be involved in a road accident than younger drivers
- Your driving history: If you have a history of claims or driving convictions these are likely to increase your insurance costs, even for temporary cover
- Your van: Bigger and more powerful vans are harder to control and therefore more dangerous on the road – so insurers charge more to cover these vehicles
How can I reduce the cost of temporary van insurance?
You may be limited in terms of what you can do to get cheaper cover on a temporary policy – for example, it probably won’t be worth taking out telematics cover if you only use the van once in a while. Likewise if you’re borrowing a van you might not be able to improve security features in order to get cheaper cover.
But there are still ways you can reduce the cost of your policy, including:
- Paying a higher voluntary excess: Your excess payment is the amount you pay towards a claim before your insurer covers the rest. Volunteering a higher amount shows insurers you won’t bother with frivolous or small claims, so they’ll offer a discount in return
- Driving fewer miles: Simply put, the longer you spend on the road the more likely you are to be involved in a road accident. When your insurer asks for an mileage estimate, the lower the number you give the cheaper your cover is likely to be