If you’re moving house, need to move some large things around, or need a van for any other purpose, then you might be wondering if you can drive a van on your car insurance.
Whilst almost all comprehensive cover policies previously allowed drivers to drive other cars and still be covered, this is no longer the case.
The answer is no longer black and white, as it depends on the type of insurance, what kind of car insurance policy it is, and a variety of other factors.
In this guide, we will cover all of the factors that prevent you or allow you to drive a van on your car insurance before you take a risk and end up costing yourself a lot of money and a few points on your licence.
We will discuss the various instances in which you might be able to drive a van on your car insurance below.
Will my car insurance allow me to drive a van I own?
If you own the van that you intend to drive, unfortunately you will not be covered by your car insurance policy unless you have a multi-car insurance policy and the van is specifically listed there.
If your spouse or child normally drives your van and they are the only ones listed on the insurance policy, you may be covered by a third-party cover. This is so long as you have fully comprehensive insurance on your own car.
However, this is not always the case. You need to read the fine print in your insurance contract to find out if you will be insured. If you are not insured to drive the van, you might need to add the “driving other vehicles” clause to your insurance policy.
However, this will only be applicable if you meet specific criteria, such as whether you are over the age of 25 or not. If the van you own does not have a dedicated van insurance policy, then your existing car insurance policy will not cover you to drive it.
Like any vehicle in the UK, vans need to be insured before taking them out on the road. Otherwise, you could face points on your licence, expensive fines, or even prosecution, depending on the circumstances.
Will my car insurance allow me to drive a hired van?
If you decide to hire a van, generally the company that you hire from will have insurance. However, it is always important to read the fine print and ensure that the van-hire company will cover you in the event of an accident. Otherwise, you could again end up in trouble with the law.
You should always read the fine print of the contract you sign when hiring a van. Sometimes, even if you are insured, you may be forced to pay a ridiculously high excess if you end up in an accident or cause any damage to the van.
In this case, you may want to get some extra insurance cover of your own. This could protect you from paying some exorbitant excess fees. By taking out a temporary van insurance policy, you can get better coverage when driving a hired van.
While this may cost you more in the short term, it will ensure that you won’t need to break the bank to pay excess fees in case something goes wrong. Thankfully, temporary insurance can only last as long as you need it, meaning you won’t have to pay for an insurance policy that you aren’t using.
Will my car insurance policy cover me to drive a borrowed van?
Generally speaking, this is the case that most people will find themselves in if they are wondering whether they will be covered by their car insurance to drive a van.
As previously stated, while most fully comprehensive insurance policies formerly covered people driving other people’s cars, it now depends on the policy you have with your chosen insurance provider.
This is called the driving other cars (DOC) benefit. If your fully comprehensive insurance policy does not offer it, you can add it as a benefit for an extra fee. This benefit will only apply if the prospective driver of the van is also over the age of 25.
Even if you are covered to drive someone else’s van with the DOC benefit, you will only be covered on a third-party basis. This means that your car insurance coverage will cover only the damage you cause to other people and their vehicles.
If you do not have this benefit and do not want to incur the costs of adding it to your existing policy, then you have two other options.
Firstly, you can ask the owner of the van you intend to borrow to add you as a named driver to their van insurance policy. However, this may increase their premiums, which can dissuade them from wanting to go this route.
Alternatively, you could take out temporary van insurance to ensure you are adequately covered. This will likely be the cheapest and easiest solution to your problem.
Will I be licensed to drive a van?
Before you even begin to worry about getting insurance to borrow a van, you need to be sure that you are licenced to drive a van in the first place.
If you have a standard driving licence, you will be able to drive a vehicle weighing up to 3,500kg with up to eight passenger seats. While most vans you see on the road in the UK will be under this weight, you might have an issue if the van you are planning to use is much larger.
If you received your driving license before 1 January 1997, this will not be a problem as you will be licenced to drive a vehicle weighing between 3500 and 7500kg. You will also be able to tow a trailer with the van you intend to use as well if you received your driving license before the above date.
Unfortunately, if you received your licence after this date, you need to take additional tests to drive a van over 3500kg.
If you do not have the correct licence to drive the van you are using, you can be fined up to £1,000 and receive between 3 and 6 points on your license, depending on the circumstances.
Will I be able to transfer my no-claims discount from my car insurance policy to a van?
If you are not looking to simply borrow a van and instead want to trade your current car in for a van, then you may be able to transfer your current motor insurance policy with your no-claims discount to your new van.
Unfortunately, there is no sure-fire way of knowing whether this will be the case, as it differs between different insurance providers. Still, you will be able to find out by contacting the company that supplies your insurance.
This discount can only apply to one vehicle on your policy at a time. You will also need to provide evidence of your no-claims discount if you are planning on moving to a new insurance provider.
Are van insurance and car insurance the same?
No, van insurance and car insurance are two different things, as you cannot insure a car on van insurance, and you cannot insure a van on car insurance.
Is a van more expensive to insure than a car?
Vans are generally known to be more expensive to insure than cars, as they are normally larger than cars and more difficult to manoeuvre. If you are insuring a van for personal use, it will most likely cost more than a car of the same value, as vans are higher-risk vehicles.
Get temporary van insurance with GoShorty
In some cases, you may be able to drive a van you borrow from a friend or family member on your car insurance, so long as you have the Driving Other Cars benefit on your insurance policy.
If this is not the case, your best bet would be to take out temporary van insurance, as this will ensure that you are fully covered by insurance in case anything happens to go wrong while you are out on the road.
GoShorty is an excellent choice for temporary van insurance, as you will be able to insure the van you plan to use on an hourly, weekly, or even monthly basis.