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Can I drive a van on my car insurance?

Borrowing a friend’s van isn’t as simple as just getting in behind the wheel and driving off. You’ll need to make sure you’re adequately insured to drive it too, here’s what to consider.

Does my car insurance cover me to drive a van?

This will depend on your policy. If you’ve got a Comprehensive car insurance policy, it might include a ‘driving other vehicles’ clause. If it does, you can drive other vehicles, but you’ll need to bear in mind that it may only cover you for third party damage. In other words, the comprehensive level of cover you have only applies to the vehicle set out in the policy and if you drive other vehicles, the level of cover is reduced.

Generally, if you have a third-party policy, you won’t be insured to drive other vehicles and you’ll need to arrange separate cover.

Do all Comprehensive car insurance policies include driving other vehicles?

Crucially, no, not anymore. Historically, Comprehensive car insurance did include driving other vehicles but over the years, this has been phased out. That said, some insurers do still allow you to drive other vehicles under the terms of their

Comprehensive insurance policies.

It’s important to remember that the driving other vehicles clause is chiefly intended for emergency use. It’s not an alternative and it’s not really suitable if you need to borrow a van for any significant length of time.

It’s also important to know that if your policy includes driving other vehicles, there are usually restrictions, for example:

  • You must have permission to drive the van from its owner.
  • You must be aged 25 or older.
  • The van you want to borrow is insured.
  • You must have a ‘clean’ driving licence with no penalty points.

Does car insurance cover a hire van?

If you’re hiring a van from a leasing agency, they’ll usually include van insurance as part of the package. To arrange this, the van hire company might ask you for a ‘check code’. The code will let them view your driving licence record so they can see what vehicles you’re allowed to drive along with any points or disqualifications.

You can generate a check code for free, online—simply head to GOV.UK.

How does short-term van insurance work?

For peace of mind, if you’re planning on borrowing a van, it’s a good idea to consider short-term van insurance. Typically, these provide Comprehensive cover as standard. This means the policy will pay out if you cause injury or damage to others (third parties) and will also pay to repair or replace the van you’re driving. Policies will also cover theft of the vehicle and damage by fire.

Short-term and temporary policies are incredibly flexible with some insurers willing to cover you for as little as an hour up to a few months. You can also renew policies quickly if you need to hold on to the van for a little longer than anticipated.

Another benefit is that short-term cover is separate from any other vehicle insurance you have, so it won’t impact your no claims bonus if you have an accident.

How much does short-term and temporary van insurance cost?

Van insurance premiums will vary depending on your needs and insurers will consider a whole range of factors, including:

  • Your age. If you’re a young driver, you may have to pay slightly more compared to drivers aged 25 or older.
  • Your driving history. You can expect to pay higher than average premiums if you’ve got penalty points.
  • How long you need cover for. Temporary cover is usually cheaper but can be more expensive than annual insurance on a per day basis. With that in mind, if you need cover for several months, it’s worth looking at annual policies for comparison too.
  • The type of van you’re borrowing. Expensive or powerful vans tend to cost more to insure as they’re pricier to repair and replace.
  • Whether you add on extra features. Optional extras cost more but they will increase the number of events you’re covered for. Popular additions include glass and windscreen cover, breakdown and recovery and courtesy van.

What is the alternative to short-term van insurance?

If you don’t want to take out separate short-term van insurance, you can be added as a named driver to the van owner’s policy instead.

Compare short-term van insurance

Whatever vehicle you drive and for whatever length of time, it’s vital to have appropriate insurance. If you don’t, you could face a fixed penalty fine of £300 and have six penalty points added to your licence. In some cases, you could even end up in court and be given an unlimited fine or be disqualified from driving.

To ensure you find suitable cover at the right price, simply tell us what you need. With help from our friends at QuoteZone, you’ll be able to compare van insurance quotes from up to 60 providers.

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