Vans are incredibly useful vehicles – and, for decades, have been the go-to vehicles for small businesses which need to transport themselves and their wares. The plethora of happy van users ranges from plumbers to drummers, and everyone in-between who needs a vehicle which can maximise storage space while minimising overall space for parking and fuel consumption.
However, while transit vans are the workhorses of British small business, and camper vans have a timeless retro quality, it is generally thought that their attractiveness stops there.
Certainly, many drivers without vans, when asked which of a car and a van would have the more expensive insurance, would expect their car to be the more expensive, as it seems the more personalised and aesthetically tailored; however, van insurance is, on the whole, more expensive.
To find out why this is, it is necessary to look at the uses and development of vans, how insurance is sold, and the best ways to ensure that you save money on your van insurance.
How did vans get to the stage they are at today?
While the Volkswagen camper van has been around since the 1940s and was claimed as a symbol of counter-culture freedom in the 1960s, the far more common vans used today are transit vans descended from the Ford Transit MK 1 van.
Ford released the first Transit vans from their Cologne plant in Germany in 1965, starting from an American-influenced wide design with a square feeling. This has gone on to inspire other manufacturers to make their own trucks in this style, and these trucks have since become the best-selling vans in Europe and the world for the last forty years.
Other designs have also proven popular, with flatbed trucks a particular staple of life in some countries such as Australia and the United States.
Throughout the history of the van, its extra space has been ideal for industrial uses, most especially in the case of transit vans of all makes. This is the main reason why van insurance tends to be slightly more expensive than car insurance – most vans are work vehicles and so need special considerations.
One essential consideration for people who store tools or specialist equipment in their vans is finding a company capable of negotiating insurance for specialist tools as part of the van insurance.
All vehicles in Britain need continuous road insurance, renewed yearly, or to be issued with a Statutory Off-Road Notification if they are going to be off the road for a length of time and thus do not need road insurance.
The minimum level of insurance needed for a private vehicle is third party cover; however, if you are going to be driving your van commercially, you will need to invest in commercial insurance.
Why is van insurance often more expensive than car insurance?
Commercial van insurance is slightly more expensive than personal cover. The higher rates for drivers who work more from their vehicles and move around between multiple locations every day reflect the increased amount of time that they spend in their vehicles on the road.
Regardless of a van owner’s driving ability, the more they drive a van, the likelier they are to become involved in an accident simply due to their higher exposure to other vehicles on the road.
The higher price of commercial van insurance also reflects the higher level of wear and tear that will occur to your van over time if you drive the vehicle more. Finally, it represents the importance of the van to your livelihood, with a premium that is worth paying as it can cover for a range of misfortunes which would potentially endanger your livelihood.
What are the advantages of commercial van insurance?
The most obvious advantage of commercial van insurance is that it is designed with consideration of the centrality of your vehicle to your way of life.
Having your van out of action for a week without good insurance can mean a week’s wages lost, high repair bills and no money coming in. You would also be incapable of planning ahead with new work, as you could not schedule to arrive at jobs with your equipment until you are certain that you will have your van back. However, with van insurance from a good provider, you can avoid these pitfalls.
With help from an insurance broker connected to multiple individual insurance providers, you can pair van insurance with separate cover for tools in the van. This cover would, for many people, provide vital protection from what would constitute a catastrophic loss to their livelihood.
The size of your van will affect the payable insurance premiums as well as your mileage.
What other kinds of van insurance are there?
If you own an older vehicle, specifically over 25 years old, you may also want to look around for specialist vintage van insurance. This category can vary widely, depending on whether the vehicles are still on the road or long since taken off the road, and on whether the vehicle has a commercial use or is for private use.
However, whatever way your vintage vehicle is used, you can come across many different vintage van insurance options. When you give us a call, we can compare those varying options on your behalf.