January 15, 2019 at 11:50 AM
When you start looking into insurance for your van, you're likely to notice that quotes are more expensive compared to car insurance with the same variables. The gender, age and address of the driver will have an impact on any vehicle insurance quote as well as the level of cover, voluntary excess and payment method.
Taking out an insurance policy to cover your vehicle is a legal requirement under the new CIE (Continuous Insurance Enforcement) legislation unless it has been officially declared off the road with a statutory off road notice (SORN).
There are a number of factors that tend to make van insurance more expensive than car insurance.
Vans are typically used for business purposes as opposed to cars which are predominantly used privately for commuting and leisure activities. Although private van insurance is available, the van has to be solely used for social purposes and cannot even be used to commute to a place of work.
As such, most van owners opt for commercial insurance which better covers the needs of their business whether they're a plumber, florist, courier or mobile restaurant.
The usage of a commercial van is very different to a car, so any insurance provider has to take more into account when they're calculating the risk to provide cover.
For personal cars, there is no need to insure the contents because it's unlikely that anything important or valuable is being stored inside. Vans, on the other hand, may contain expensive tools, packages that need delivering or custom conversions (e.g. refrigerated load area) that will negatively impact the business if they're stolen or damaged.
Therefore, van insurance needs to cover more than just the van itself and the driver. Essentially, it provides an extra level of protection for valuable business assets that are stored in the van.
Depending on the size and nature of your business, several employees might drive your business van and they all need to be sufficiently covered. For maximum flexibility, your van can be insured for any driver, but this option comes at a higher cost.
When you take out a car insurance policy, it's normally for a single driver only with the possibility of a named driver for occasional use. It could work out cheaper to use this approach for your van, but it might get complicated to keep track of, especially when people leave and new staff are employed.
The cost of a car and van insurance varies depending on the make, model and engine size of the vehicle. The bigger and more powerful it is, the higher level of risk it represents, making it more expensive to insure.
As vans are larger than most cars with bigger engines as standard, they are considered a greater risk to insure. In addition, panel vans - which are the most popular type of van in the UK - come with solid sides and backs, reducing visibility, and increasing the likelihood for the vehicle to be involved in an accident.
A key variable in determining the price of an insurance policy is the number of miles the vehicle is going to cover in 12 months. Simply put, the more time spent driving, the higher the likelihood of being involved in an accident.
Vans used for business purposes tend to be on the road at least five days a week travelling between jobs and stocking up on materials or supplies. More importantly, some businesses - couriers, for example - are based around driving for the majority of the day which means they will clock up more miles than an average car driver.
Although both car and van insurance policies are calculated in a similar way, commercial van insurance needs to provide additional cover for contents and multiple drivers. Vans themselves are usually bigger than cars and typically spend more time on the road which increases the risk to the insurance provider. As a result, van insurance is likely to be more expensive than car insurance.