Motor Trade Insurance: Quotes and Requirements

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Motor Trade Insurance UK

Motor Trade insurance is a collection of policies grouped together designed to protect anybody working in the automotive industry trading, repairing or restoring vehicles. From car dealerships to breakdown/repair services, Motor Trade insurance is designed to cover you from the risks you may face while working with other people’s vehicles, allowing you to get on with your work without worrying about what could go wrong.

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Who Needs Motor Trade Insurance?

Simply put, if you repair, buy/sell or work with vehicles of any sort then you’re likely to require a form of Motor Trade coverage. It’s designed to cover you and your staff while your business drives, handles or repairs vehicles that don’t belong to you—you’ll often see this referred to as having ‘care, custody and control’ of the vehicle online and in some policy wordings.

While not an exhaustive list, the following businesses are likely to require a Motor Trade policy in order to operate safely:

  • Car dealership
  • Valet services
  • Repair garages
  • Airport/hotel parking services
  • Scrap dealerships
  • Vehicle restoration
  • Breakdown assistance
  • Vehicle recovery

Popular Types of Motor Trade Insurance

Every Motor Trade policy is different, and every business will require specific types/levels of coverage in order to ensure they’re adequately protected—if you’re a business specialising in restoring vintage cars, for example, you might want to be covered for a higher amount than if you’re a car dealership that deals in lower-end second-hand vehicles.

Common types of Motor Trade insuranceWhat it covers
Road RiskCoverage to drive vehicles either owned by your business or owned by your customers—comes in three levels
Public LiabilityProtection if a third party (customer, general public) incurs damages as a result of your operation
Product LiabilityIf you’ve provided/installed a faulty product that has failed and requires compensation to repair/replace
Employers’ LiabilityA legal requirement in the UK, you must have a policy to protect your business if an employee is injured or becomes unwell as a result of working for you
Tools & EquipmentCovers the cost of repairing/replacing any tools you own if they’re stolen, lost or accidentally damaged
Combined PremisesInsures vehicles that are lost, stolen or damaged while being held on business premises

These insurance are as applicable to those who are self-employed as they are business owners, so whether you’re working for yourself or setting up a company you’ll need to consider coverage ahead of time. You may also find many providers bundle these policies together into one convenient policy, so you know you’ll be covered for most eventualities.

Motor Trade Insurance Examples

  • Road Risk: You’re driving a customer's vehicle from one site to another for bodywork repairs when you’re involved in an accident.
  • Public Liability: A customer visits your showroom and slips and falls—they can’t work for 2 weeks, and sue you for the lost wages.
  • Product Liability: You’ve recommended and installed a new engine for a customer, however within a few days it fails. They sue you to replace it.
  • Employers’ Liability: An employee hurts themselves on a set of faulty tools you provided, and can’t work for a month. They sue you to cover their earnings.
  • Tools & Equipment: Your garage is broken into overnight and a toolbox is taken.
  • Combined Premises Cover: A vehicle is stolen from your secure showroom overnight.

Specialist Motor Trade Insurance

There are a few types of Motor Trade coverage that you’ll want to be aware of, especially if your operation isn’t typical—say you regularly work with heavy vehicles or deliver vehicles into Europe or further afield. Some insurers will include these automatically if your business is likely to require it, but others might have it as an optional extra, so have a think about if any of them might make sense for you.

Specialist Motor Trade coverageWhat it covers
Material damageCovers any stock you own, such as unsold parts or vehicles
Parts onlyIf you never drive your customer’s vehicles then you might be better off with a “Parts only” policy
DemonstrationCovers any vehicle that is used for test drives (usually only at TPO level)
Specialist vehicleInsurance for heavy vehicles, vintage or sports cars
EuropeCoverage if you’re transporting customer’s vehicles across Europe
Goods in TransitInsurance for any goods/tools/equipment you own while they’re on the move


It’ll be worth comparing as many quotes as possible to see who is offering the best deals on the market at any given time. Our partners at QuoteZone can take care of this for you—just fill out a quote form and they’ll take care of the rest, connecting you with some of the UK’s top Motor Trade insurance businesses.

Absolutely, yes. Part-time Motor Trade insurance is great for anybody who doesn’t run a vehicle-related business as their primary income source—say, restoring vehicles for paying customers at the weekend for enjoyment as much as the money you receive.

Not every insurer is prepared to offer part-time coverage, so you might have to do a bit of shopping around. Our partners QuoteZone allow you to specify whether or not you’re a full or part-time trader, so fill out a quote form and they’ll be able to connect you with providers offering part-time coverage.

Part-time Motor Trade insurance has a few benefits, primarily allowing you to define when you do and don’t need the coverage, meaning you’re not caught out paying for a policy while you don’t need it, which can save you a lot of money over the course of the year, especially if you spend less than 6 months a year working on vehicles.

Many insurers will offer policies to Under-25’s, however don’t be surprised if you find policies expensive (and maybe even too costly to justify). If you do find a policy at a fair price, you might also notice a number of requirements or policy exclusions—this might include always driving with a dashcam or not being covered to drive powerful, expensive or overly large vehicles.

There are a few things you can do to increase your chances of being offered a policy (and reducing its price): if you already have Motor Trade experience working for someone else or have built up a number of years of no claims discount on your personal vehicle then you’ll probably find insurers more willing to work with you.

There will always be benefits and disadvantages to choosing one insurer over another. One might be slightly more expensive but offer significantly higher levels of cover, and one might be slightly cheaper yet offer exceptional value for money.

The best thing you can do is compare as many providers as possible to see who makes the most sense for you—QuoteZone are one of the UK’s leading Motor Trade insurance comparison website, so check them out if you’d like to gather quotes and costs from a number of providers.

How much does Motor Trade insurance cost?

Quotes for Motor Trade insurance typically start from around £40-£50 per month, for a sole-trader with the most basic levels of coverage. This will naturally depend on a number of key variables, such as your age and driving experience, so don’t be surprised if quotes are more expensive if you’ve been on the road for fewer years. There are a few key factors that most insurers will want to know before offering you quotes:

  • Postcode: Cities like London, Glasgow and Manchester are often considerably more expensive to insure in than more rural regions
  • Age: Younger drivers are considered riskier, and so have to pay a premium to get covered
  • NCB: You’re likely to be offered good discounts if you’ve been on the road a number of years without being involved in an accident
  • Covered part-time: A lot of people work in motor trade part-time or as a hobby—insurers will happily offer discounts if you don’t need cover all the time
  • Named drivers: If you employ staff you may find that you’re charged more to add additional employees to your named driver list

How can you save money on Motor Trade insurance?

You can make sure you always get the best deal possible by comparing quotes from a wide variety of providers—QuoteZone can help with this, comparing prices from the UK’s leading Motor Trade insurers and making sure you’re covered at the best possible price. Just fill out a quote form and they’ll take care of the rest.

There are also a few things you can do to make sure the quotes you receive are as low as possible:

  • Only pay for cover you need
  • Avoid vintage/sports vehicles
  • Keep fewer vehicles ‘on the books’ at any given time
  • Pay a higher voluntary excess
  • Pay annually
  • Long history of no claims
  • Employ staff over 25
  • Purchase improved security, such as CCTV, for your premises

Where can I get Motor Trade insurance quotes?

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Common Motor Trade policy exclusions

Keep in mind that every policy is different, and while these exclusions may come up regularly in policy wordings it isn't too difficult if you do want coverage for them. We recommend speaking to your insurer to discuss options—many will be happy to recommend a policy that might offer the protection you're looking for.

  • Any moveable property stolen from outside your business premises after business hours
  • Damage caused by water/heating installations while premises are empty
  • Property damage while the property is being maintained/worked on
  • Wear and tear of tools/vehicles
  • Protection for any loose cash kept on premises
  • Damage to computers/technology unless covered by maintenance agreement
  • Issues caused by faulty/inadequate workmanship

Additional FAQs

Your insurer will provide you with one when you sign-up to a policy. While many insurers are taking their offering digital, allowing you to access your certificate at any time, you should be able to request a new certificate at any time if you’ve lost the one issued when you began the cover.

Motor Trade insurance is a fairly specialist form of coverage, so you’re unlikely to receive costed quotes online without speaking to someone first so they can accurately assess your situation/risk level and price your policy accordingly.

That being said, you can use an online comparison site such as QuoteZone to gather quotes from multiple providers at once—but keep in mind some may want to speak with you first before issuing a formal quote.

Yes—Aviva do offer Motor Trade policies through their Aviva Broker service. This means you will need to go through a broker in order to receive a quote, but you would be protected by Aviva insurance. You can find out more on their website.

Yes, AXA do offer Motor Trade insurance through their approved brokers. You can read more on their website if you’d like to sign-up to a policy or find an approved broker.

Luke Masters

Prior to NimbleFins, Luke studied economics at Brunel University and worked at FreshMinds, Investigo and BMW. His work in data analytics, pricing, strategy and business development helped him write business insurance content to support SMEs at NimbleFins. He now works at DataPOWA, a sports & entertainment data analytics company. Read more on LinkedIn.


The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.