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How can I get cheaper van insurance?

Van insurance can be expensive but that doesn’t mean you can’t find good value for money. Here, we offer practical tips and explore smart choices that can help you bring down the cost of van cover.

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Why is van insurance expensive?

Vans are usually bigger and more powerful than cars which makes them more expensive to repair or replace. Not only that, business vans in particular are at greater risk of being involved in an accident because they cover more miles. As a result, van insurance premiums tend to be higher than for cars.

An exception being those using their vehicle for courier work, where it can be more expensive to insure a car than a van. This is partly because the largest car insurance companies shy away from covering courier or delivery work, whereas van insurers are accustomed to insuring vehicles for hire & reward driving.

What can I do to get cheaper van insurance?

Van insurance is your safety net so it’s crucial to have a policy you have confidence in. With that in mind, it’s important to consider value for money rather than focusing on price alone.

Some cheaper policies look like good value but may not include all the features you want. By the time you’ve added on optional extras, you could find the policy costs considerably more. In contrast, policies that initially look expensive may already include all the features you want—making them a more cost-effective option.

However, whatever policy you choose, there are ways to bring down the cost without ever compromising on levels of protection, including:

Choosing a van in a lower insurance group

All vans belong to an insurance group. Groups are allocated according to factors such as: how much the van costs, its safety record, how secure it is, and how easy it is to find and fit parts.

As a general rule of thumb, the lower the group number, the cheaper the van is to insure. Confusingly though, insurance groups are split into two systems (pre-2016 and post-2016) but the same rule applies:

  • Pre-2016 goes from groups one to 20 (group one being the cheapest to insure)
  • Post-2016 goes from groups 21 to 50 (group 21 being the cheapest to insure)

Remember that the van specification you choose will also affect the insurance group. So, for example, you could find a Ford Transit van in more than one group depending on its spec.

Considering all policy options

In the past, third-party policies were often the cheapest options, but that’s simply not the case anymore. Instead, insurers have adjusted premiums to reflect the higher number of claims made by third-party policyholders.

As a result, the average Comprehensive policy actually works out cheaper, so it makes sense to compare all van insurance policy types, rather than make assumptions about what might be cheapest.

If you’re a young van driver under 25, you may want to consider a telematics policy. Also known as black box insurance, this is when a small device monitors your driving. It means your premium will be based on the way you drive rather than average statistics (which show under 25s to be involved in more accidents). If you drive consistently safely, your insurer is likely to reduce your premium accordingly.

Paying for your policy in one go

If you can afford to, paying for your policy in one lump sum really can save you money.

Paying in monthly instalments might be more convenient but you could be charged extra in interest and admin fees.

Increasing your voluntary excess

Excess is an amount you have to pay towards a claim, there are two types:

  • Compulsory—this is a fixed amount usually set by the insurer.
  • Voluntary excess—this is an amount you agree with your insurer, but you still have to pay it if you want to pursue a claim.

Increasing your voluntary excess can lower your overall insurance premium. Don’t forget though—it still needs to be an amount you can afford. If you don’t pay it, your claim won’t go ahead.

Building up your no claims bonus (NCB)

For every year you drive without making a claim, you’ll be rewarded with a no claims bonus. This is given as a percentage discount off your premium.

It’s up to individual insurers to decide what discount to give but it could be as much as 65% to 75% off after five or more claim free years.

Your NCB can also be called a no claims discount (NCD).

Never auto renewing

Auto renewing your van insurance could mean you unwittingly pay more than you need to.

Van insurance (like car cover) is extremely competitive so it’s always worth comparing new policies before you commit to the same insurer.

Signwriting your van

Some insurers are willing to lower your premium if your van has signwriting. This is because it’s assumed your van will be driven with greater care as it’s advertising your business.

Not all insurers will offer discounts for signwriting though, so if you want to do this purely for lower insurance, check what your provider’s stance is first.

Boosting security

Vans that are harder to steal attract lower premiums. You can upgrade your van’s security features relatively simply—for example with an immobiliser like a steering wheel lock.

If you decide to add extra security to your van, consider a Thatcham approved device. These devices will have been tested according to Thatcham Research standards which are considered the benchmark for vehicle safety and security.

Similarly, keeping your van parked overnight in a locked garage or on a private driveway, can lower premiums too.

Adding a more experienced driver to your policy

From an insurers perspective, sharing your vehicle with a more experienced driver lowers the risk of an accident—which can help lower your premium. This is because it’s assumed you’ll spend less time behind the wheel compared to if you were the only person named on the policy.

However, although there’s nothing wrong in adding a more experienced driver to your policy to get cheaper insurance, don’t fall into the fronting trap.

Fronting is when you say the experienced person is the main driver with the sole intention of getting a lower premium (when really, the inexperienced person is the main driver). This is considered a type of insurance fraud and can invalidate your policy. In addition to this, if you’re caught, it could mean you struggle to buy motor insurance in the future.

Being accurate with your mileage

Overestimating your mileage can mean you end up paying more for your premium. That’s because the more miles you say you travel, the greater the risk of an incident and a claim being made.

Instead, try to be as accurate as you can when it comes to telling your insurer about the miles you do. It might not save you significant amounts, but it could help keep costs down.

Completing an advanced driving course

Some insurance providers will discount your premium if you successfully complete an advanced driving course, but it’ll be at their discretion.

If you’re considering honing your skills in order to lower your premiums, check what courses your insurer recognises. Bear in mind course prices too, and weigh up the cost versus potential savings on your premium.

Search for van insurance to suit your budget

When it comes to van insurance, we don’t believe you should have to choose between cost and cover. That’s why we’ve teamed up with QuoteZone, to bring you a range of quotes from up to 60 different providers. With so much choice, we’re confident you’ll find a policy that fits your budget and gives you peace of mind. Click here to get van insurance quotes now.

Find van insurance today.
Powered by QuoteZone.

Get Quotes



  • Rated 4.8 out of 5 stars on Reviews.co.uk
  • Fill out one form, get up to 60 quotes
  • Buy online or by phone

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