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If you’re in the market for van insurance, you may have come across a few terms you’re not familiar with. For instance, temporary van insurance which is also known as short term or day van insurance, provides cover for a short period as the name implies. This could be anywhere between an hour and a few weeks.

On the other hand, annual van insurance lasts a year – again, the clue is in the name –  and is often chosen by those who regularly drive and own a van.

Let’s take a closer look at each type of policy to help you make an informed decision when choosing the right insurance for your needs.

Lady smiling in van

Annual van insurance vs Temporary van insurance

So first off, this isn’t a Star Trek vs Star Wars type of debate. You can live long and prosper with annual van insurance and temporary van insurance alike.

There are circumstances that are better suited to temporary van insurance, but likewise, sometimes it might make more sense to go for an annual policy.

A temporary van insurance can be arranged in minutes and works great when you need cover in a pinch, like for instance if: 

  • You want to borrow your friend’s van to run some errands. 
  • You want to share the driving on an epic road trip. 
  • You just bought a van but haven’t had time to sort out an annual van insurance policy yet.

Note how in some of the above examples, you may already have annual insurance in place. It just doesn’t quite meet your needs in that particular scenario.

Or, you might be about to take out an annual van insurance. But you need cover to tide you over while you shop around. In all of these scenarios, annual van insurance and temporary van insurance can coexist peacefully. Unlike the Klingons and the Federation.

So do your research and pick the policy that’s right for your particular circumstances, knowing that the two aren’t mutually exclusive. And may the force be with you. 

Does temporary van insurance offer comprehensive cover? 

Let’s get one thing straight: just because temporary van insurance is super flexible and easy to arrange doesn’t mean you have to compromise on cover. Temporary van insurance offers comprehensive cover that can be arranged in minutes.

Now, bear in mind that there are some important differences between comprehensive cover offered by temporary car insurance and fully comprehensive cover offered by annual policies. As is always the case, you’ve got to do your own research to make sure you’re getting the cover you need. 

Still, for the most part, temporary van insurance will offer the cover you need to drive your van safely and legally.

The bottom line is this: if you need to insure a van for a short period of time, temporary van insurance is a great option that offers comprehensive cover. So, whether you’re hauling a sofa from IKEA, running errands, or borrowing a friend’s van for the day, you can hit the road knowing you’re covered.

And don’t forget, while it may not be the most exciting thing in the world, reading the Policy Wording is always a good idea to avoid any potential misunderstandings.

Is temporary van insurance more expensive than annual van insurance? 

We’re going to do that annoying thing everyone hates here and say it depends. We know, we know, that’s not really an answer. But it genuinely does depend on your circumstances.

If you go and get yourself a few temporary van insurance quotes right now, the cost of cover for a day might seem eye-watering when multiplied by 365. But that would be a false equivalency. You wouldn’t take out temporary van insurance if you were planning on driving every single day of the year. Instead, you would likely opt for an annual van insurance policy.

On the flipside, if you know you’ll only need to use a van once or twice this year, taking out an annual van insurance policy might work out to be far more expensive than temporary van insurance. You’ll end up paying for an entire year’s worth of insurance when you only need cover for a few days.

In the above examples, the choice is pretty clear cut. That’s not always the case, particularly if you’re planning on borrowing a van occasionally, perhaps for a few weekend road trips, but aren’t sure whether that justifies an annual policy.

If that’s the case, you might need to get a few quotes for temporary van insurance and annual van insurance and do some math to work out the more cost-effective option. Of course, while cost is always a key factor, it’s not the only factor to consider here.

Man carrying boxes near van

Can I be added as a named driver on someone else’s van insurance policy?

If you’re planning on borrowing a friend’s van, or maybe even sharing a van with a group of mates, you might be wondering whether you can be added as a named driver on their insurance policy. Typically, the answer is yes. Most van insurance policies allow the policyholder to add up to four named drivers

And if you’re planning on driving the van frequently, that might certainly be the way to go from a cost-saving perspective. But it won’t always be the best option in all circumstances. Here’s what you need to know before you ask to be added as a named driver:

  • Adding you as a named driver might incur admin charges or fees, so be sure to check the policy terms and conditions.
  • If you have an accident on your friend’s van while driving as a named driver and need to claim, it might impact the van owner’s No Claim Discount (NCD).
  • It might not be as quick to arrange as a temporary van insurance policy. 

Temporary car insurance is designed to be quick, flexible and easy to arrange. For instance, let’s say you and your mates are planning a weekend camping trip in the Lake District, and you need a van to load up all your gear. Instead of being added as a named driver on one of your friend’s van insurance policies, you might consider getting a temporary van insurance policy instead. 

It can be arranged in minutes and it can cover you for as long as you want. Also, if you do need to make a claim, it won’t impact your friend’s NCD if you’re driving at the time.

Can I use a Driving Other Car (DOC) extension instead of taking out a temporary van insurance policy?

Many people believe they don’t need to bother with temporary van insurance because they can just use the Driving Other Cars (DOC) extension on their policy. But, this type of extension is actually very rare and doesn’t come as standard, so it’s best to check with your insurer whether you have it or not.

Now, let’s talk about what ‘Driving Other Cars (DOC) actually means. Essentially, it allows you to legally drive someone else’s vehicle, but with a whole string of conditions and limitations attached. For instance, it generally only offers third-party cover. Also, there may be additional restrictions. Some insurers require that this extension is only used in emergencies, while others don’t allow drivers to use DOC when they’re borrowing their partner’s vehicle, for instance. 

So, before you jump into your friend’s van and hit the road, make sure you check the wording of your policy carefully. You might find that this extension doesn’t even apply to you in the first place. Or, it might not offer sufficient cover. Temporary van insurance may actually be the better option for you if you prefer comprehensive cover. 

Is temporary van insurance greener than annual van insurance? 

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again; driving isn’t the greenest activity out there. That being said, it’s often a necessary part of life. Also, as with anything, if you’re thoughtful about the way you drive, you could mitigate your impact on the environment. 

Temporary van insurance is, in some ways, greener than annual van insurance. For one thing, it’s basically a “pay-as-you-go” insurance policy. So you only ever pay for the cover you need.

Even if you have a friend who’s willing to let you borrow their van whenever you feel like living out your wild #vanlife fantasies, you’re probably going to be more mindful about “spontaneous” trips when you actively need to take out and pay for a policy. On the contrary, if you were a named driver on their policy, for instance, you might be more tempted to drive more often and “get your money’s worth” that way. 

Some temporary van insurance policies can also help reduce your environmental impact through carbon offsetting. When you choose Zixty’s temporary van insurance, we can help you offset your carbon footprint. All you have to do is enable our free Zixty Miles add-on. Once you do that, we carbon offset your journeys up to 100 miles a day while you’re a customer. 

We also plant a tree every time you take out a new policy.  After all, every small change counts and can add up over time to make a positive difference to our planet. 

Temporary van insurance vs Annual van insurance

As you’ve probably gauged by now, temporary van insurance and annual van insurance are both excellent choices depending on your needs. There may be times when you have both a temporary van insurance policy and an annual van insurance policy.

And there may be times when a temporary van insurance policy allows you to get a cracking deal on the perfect annual van insurance policy because you’ve used it to shop around. 

But now that you understand the key differences between the two products, you can make a choice about which one to get. And if you’ve decided temporary van insurance is where it’s at, why not download Zixty and get a quote right now? We can get you on the road faster than Scotty could ever beam you up.