Do I Need Business or Private Van Insurance?

March 7th, 2016
Do I Need Business or Private Van Insurance?

If you are uncertain if you should take out business or private van insurance, you can find out more here…

Points to note

The terms for van insurance are more rigid as opposed to car insurance, especially with regard to social use.

If you use your van to commute to even a single place, commercial insurance will be necessary.

At Freepricecompare, our helpful quote procedure will give you guidance on declaring use of your van for social purposes, carriage of own goods, carrying goods for hire or reward, or haulage.

The different options available will correspond to your needs.

Do you need business or private van insurance?

This decision is a vital one to get right, yet can be confusing when looking for van insurance. However, it can be very easily worked out.

Driving a van means you will need some form of specific van insurance cover.

If you drive a van for personal or social use only you should take out private van insurance.

If your van’s sole use is for social, domestic and pleasure reasons, you’ll be adequately covered by a social-only private policy.

For example, you might use your van for a hobby or pastime such as fishing, model airplane flying or for your domestic gardening and other activities that are not part of your work.

If you’re a classic van enthusiast, then this would be classified as a hobby and not described as commercial use.

However, if you use your van for commercial purposes, then you will need business van insurance.

Even if you sell items regularly at car boot sales you could be described as a commercial trader and you would need to insure your van for business and commercial use.

But if you trade on a one-off car basis at a car boot sale, but use your van for private use at all other times, you can insure your van with a private insurance policy as selling goods is not a regular activity but a part of a social activity.

Similarly, if you’re a mobile DJ, a band, a travelling circus performer or dancer or your vehicle is used for an activity that means you receive payment or income, you’ll need business van insurance.

The June 2011’s Continuous Insurance Enforcement Act, states that all vehicles must be legally insured unless the owner has declared a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN). This applies, even if your van is kept off road for most of the year.

You can find van policies at Freepricecompare and our efficient process will lead you to stating if the cover you require is for social use only, carriage of own goods, carrying goods for hire or reward, or haulage use.

You will be guided with helpful support to make sure you choose the right cover.

If your van is a vintage or classic then look for more specialist cover that would typically offer a guaranteed value policy.

Consult a specialist classic motor insurer who can advise about the sort of cover you would need for when you drive to shows or exhibitions as this could be open to additional risk.

Whereas car insurance offers social, domestic, pleasure and commuting options, van drivers don’t have these choices.

Therefore, even if you drive your van to just one place of work, such as to a school if you are a teacher, and you don’t even use it for business, you will need to be covered by a business policy.

Similarly, if you drive your van for mostly social pleasure, and you drive to just one place of work, it will be classified under the carriage of own goods, meaning a business policy is due. Fortunately, carriage of own goods entitles you to commute to more than one place of work; this might include to meetings, events, regional offices, or on sales trips.

With van insurance, you will still have the same options of third party only, third party fire and theft and comprehensive.

However, it is vital to make sure the policy you take out for your van is the one that is appropriate to your needs because according to the Department of Transport, in December 2011 there were over 3.2 million light goods vehicles on the road in the UK. All of these need to be insured using one of the following three types of business van insurance, depending on what the van is used for:

Carriage of own goods

This relates to carriage of your belongings, whether they are tools used in your trade, CDs in your glove compartment or your sports kit, such items will be covered.

Carry goods for hire or reward

This is sometimes known as carriage of tools, a policy in this category covers every van driver; this means those who use their van for a drive-to-one-place-of-work commute to builders, plumbers, shopkeepers or carpenters and other tradespersons. It focuses on the carrying of goods in occupations that involve multiple drops at a myriad of destinations.


This is for those involved in delivery work. Haulage coverage is based on jobs with fixed deliveries with established clients rather than random delivery drops as in parcel delivery.

It’s important to remember you will need additional cover for the actual good carried; the basic insurance will cover the vehicle for incidental or accident repair.

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