Deciding whether or not to sign write your van is a big decision. Not only can it be expensive, but it also counts as a modification—which can affect the cost of your van insurance. Here, we explore the pros and cons of signwriting so that you can work out if it’s right for you.
How does signwriting affect van insurance?
Technically, signwriting your van counts as a modification. As a general rule, modifications (changes to your van since it rolled out of the factory) will increase the premium on your van insurance. This is because modifications make your van unique, making it more expensive to repair or replace.
Signwriting can also make your van vulnerable to vandalism and theft, particularly if your job requires you to carry tools and equipment. This vulnerability increases the risk of a claim, which can also drive up your premium.
However, not all insurers view signwriting in the same way. While some are likely to raise premiums as a result, others won’t. In a few instances, you might even find an insurer that is willing to lower your premium because you’ve sign-written your van.
One of the key reasons for the difference in attitude is that some insurers think you’re likely to drive more carefully with a sign-written van as it is advertising your business.
Another is that thieves may be less likely to steal a van that is easily identifiable; they might prefer to steal a white van instead.
If you’ve got concerns about your premium rising because of signwriting, it’s best to speak to your insurer before you have it done.
What van signwriting options are there?
Signwriting falls into three main categories, which are:
These are the cheapest options and are removable. This makes them a good choice if you need some flexibility – for example, if you don’t want to advertise your business when you run personal errands. However, this advantage is also a drawback. Although magnetic van signs are designed to withstand high speeds, there’s always a risk that they’ll fall off when you’re on the motorway.
Cost will depend on the size and number of magnetic signs you buy, and where you buy them from. You can expect to pay upwards of £100 for four signs.
This is where your design is cut out and stuck to your van. It’s more permanent than having a magnetic sign but will set you back a little more depending on how intricate the design is. Price can vary significantly but for stencils that cover a good proportion of your van, expect to budget £300+.
This is the most expensive option but can give you the most eye-catching results. This technique literally wraps your van in vinyl, but you can choose either partial or full wraps which would affect the price.
Again, the cost really depends on your design, as well as how much of your van you want to cover, but it could set you back thousands of pounds.
Can I sign-write my van myself?
Yes, there’s nothing to stop you buying vinyl lettering or graphics and putting them on your van yourself. Bear in mind that unless you’ve done it before, it’s probably not as easy as you might think it is and the results may not be to a professional standard.
If cost is a significant factor in your decision, think about less expensive options such as the magnetic signs instead.
The pros and cons of signwriting your van
The biggest advantage is that your work van will also double up as advertising. Depending on what you opt for and how much you spend, this can work out as some of the most cost-effective advertising you’re likely to come across so it’s well worth considering. In fact, research suggests that if you’re driving in a busy town or city, as many as 3,000 people could see your van in just one hour.
Stencils and wraps also protect the paintwork of your van so you’re less likely to need to touch-up scuffed paint or scratches. Not only that, signwriting your van adds an extra level of professionalism which can give you a competitive edge.
If you choose full vinyl wrapping or an elaborate stencil, the main disadvantage is of course the expense. Don’t forget that signwriting also marks out your van to potential thieves who might be tempted to check if you’re carrying tools or expensive equipment.
Signwriting can be an effective and low-cost form of advertising but to do that, it should look as professional as possible. With that in mind, here are some tips to help you avoid costly mistakes:
- Be clear – your design should be clear and simple. Anything fussy or overly complicated will detract from your business details.
- Add your contact details – it sounds obvious but remember to put all your contact details on your van (phone, email and web address). People all have their preferred method of communication so leaving out one could mean missing out on custom.
- Proofread your details – something else that’s easy to forget but proofreading can help you avoid costly mistakes. Don’t assume your sign-writer will make corrections, after all, it’s your business and your design so they’ll assume what you provide is correct. So, check what you’ve written, check it again and then ask someone else to check it for you, just to be absolutely sure.
- Include reviews – if you’ve had some great reviews on independent review sites, why not add these on too. It doesn’t have to be a quote, simply adding 4.9/5.0 on Trustpilot (for example) will work perfectly well and give potential customers another reason to consider you over your competitors.
Needless to say, if you’ve taken the time and expense to sign-write your van, it’s a good idea to keep it clean. A dirty van doesn’t just cover up your details, it can give off the wrong impression and make it appear as if you lack attention to detail (which could make people think twice about your work).
Van insurance to suit you and your budget
If you rely on your van for work, it’s crucial to have cover that gives you peace of mind. That’s why we’ve teamed up with our friends at QuoteZone to bring you quotes from a wide range of insurers.
Simply filling in one form can generate up to 60 quotes, enabling you to find van insurance that suits both you and your budget.