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Are you a young driver in the UK, eyeing up a van for either work or leisure, but find yourself in the tangled web of insurance? You’re not alone in this. Whether you’re looking for temporary van insurance, or van insurance for young drivers, it’s a topic that’s wrapped in complexities and questions. Let’s navigate these choppy waters together in this comprehensive guide.

Can a young driver get insured on a van?

Absolutely! However, it’s like finding a decent cup of coffee at the motorway services – possible, but it requires some effort. Insurers often view young drivers as higher risk due to their lack of driving experience and the lack of associated No Claim Discount. The statistically higher likelihood of accidents can push the price up. But fear not, young van aficionados, it’s not all doom and gloom. There are insurers who cater to younger drivers, although the premiums might be higher than those for more experienced drivers.

The age requirements for van insurance tend to be a little higher than for standard car policies, and you may find the Excesses are higher, but there are still options out there.

How old do you have to be to get van insurance?

It’s possible to get van insurance for drivers as young as 17, but some insurers have higher minimum age limits. According to Defaqto only 25% of comprehensive goods-carrying commercial vehicle policies would cover a driver aged 17. Using the same analysis, the minimum driver age was 21 on nearly 40% of policies. In a nutshell, the younger you are, the fewer insurers you’ll have to choose from. This lack of choice can push the price up. “But I’m a great driver!” you say. Well, the stats from Brake are that one in five people will have a claim in their first year of driving, and it’s these type of stats that insurers take into account when setting a price.

How much is van insurance for a 20 year-old?

This is where things get a bit tricky. And just how long is that piece of string? At 20 you may have 2-3 years driving experience, and hopefully no claims or convictions. That said, the costs and options only really start to improve when you turn 21. Insurance premiums depend on myriad factors – from the type of van and its intended use to where you live, your driving history, and much more. For a 20-year-old, premiums can be quite steep. On average, you might be looking at anywhere from £1,200 to £2,500 per year, but these figures can vary widely. Add on some claims or motoring related convictions, and the options reduce, and the premiums climb.

Young person standing by a Renault kangoo

How to get cheap van insurance at 17?

First off, kudos for joining the van life so young! At 17 you won’t have any No Claim Discount, so the search may not be easy. To snag that elusive cheap van insurance, here are a few tricks:

  • Choose your van wisely : Opt for a van that’s cheap to insure. Generally, smaller vans with smaller engines cost less to insure. Vehicle insurance groups play a big part in pricing, so choose a van with a low group.
  • Don’t pimp your ride : Insurance companies don’t like after-market modifications, unless they relate to security. Keep it vanilla, and the price should be real.
  • Increase your excess : Agreeing to pay a higher excess can reduce your premium, but ensure it’s an amount you can afford if you need to claim.
  • Get a black box : Telematics policies, where a black box is installed to monitor your driving, can often lead to lower premiums if you demonstrate safe driving habits. There are generally restrictions on using the vehicle, such as driving at certain times of day, and sticking to speed limits!
  • Limit your miles : Can you legitimately limit the number of miles you drive?
  • Shop around : Use comparison sites to compare a wide range of policies. When looking at comparison sites, the wisdom is to try at least two.
  • Add another driver : If there is a more experienced driver who will drive the van from time to time, you can try adding them to the quote. But, whatever you do, don’t list them as the main driver unless this is true. That’s Fronting, and it could land you in a world of insurance pain.

Is it more expensive to insure a van than a car?

In many cases, yes, but it’s cheaper than the cost of fines associated with driving while uninsured (ANPR will pick up uninsured vehicles in a heart-beat). Vans are typically larger than cars and therefore can cause more damage in an accident. Their size can make them more tricky to manoeuvre. Plus, if you’re using your van for work, insurers consider the additional risk factors like carrying goods or tools. Tools theft is rife, and this pushes up insurance costs further.

Why is small van insurance so expensive?

At the time of writing, the cost of car and van insurance has risen at an eye-watering rate, and more rises may be on the way. There are numerous contributing factors, including the cost of repairs and increasing claims. Small van insurance is costly mainly due to the risk profile associated with van drivers, the vehicles themselves, and what they’re used for. Vans, even small ones, are often used for business purposes, increasing the risk of accidents due to longer driving hours. Furthermore, the cargo they carry can be valuable, increasing the risk of theft, or damage to the vehicle.

How to get cheap van insurance quotes?

To grab those elusive cheap van insurance quotes, try the following:

  • Build a No Claim Discount : Safeguard your no claims history, as this can lead to significant discounts over time.
  • Pay annually : If you can afford it, paying for your insurance in one go can be cheaper than monthly instalments as you won’t have to pay interest on the loan. If you need to spread the cost, see if you can borrow the money more cheaply elsewhere.
  • Security : Additional vehicle security measures may help get quotes, or there may be reductions in the price you pay. Immobilisers and trackers can reduce the price – but be sure to use them if you declare having them.
  • Timing : By getting quotes a little before you’ll need the policy to start, you may get a cheaper price. Some insurance companies have found a connection between people who buy their insurance last minute and the likelihood of a claim – so charge more. Buying about 25 days before the policy is due to start may get you a better price.
Young person using a smartphone

What are the cheapest vans to insure for young drivers?

Certain makes and models of vans are cheaper to insure than others, so if you haven’t bought a van already, it’s useful to shop around and compare costs. Small vans that fall into lower insurance groups include the Vauxhall Combo, VW Caddy, Citroën Berlingo, Fiat Doblo and Peugeot Partner. Use this free tool to check-out vehicle insurance groups before heading to the dealer.

What level of van insurance should I get?

As with standard car insurance, there are three different levels of van insurance cover to choose from:

  • Third-party only (TPO) van insurance is the minimum level of cover you can legally drive with. It covers damage to another person’s vehicle or property – but not to you or your van.
  • With Third-Party, Fire and Theft (TPFT) van insurance, you get the same protection as with third-party only cover, plus damage caused by fire, lightning, explosion, theft or attempted theft.
  • Comprehensive covers your vehicle if it’s accidentally damaged by you or another driver. It also covers theft and fire, as well as any damage you cause to other people or their vehicles while driving.

It can be understandable to think that Third-Party only would be the cheapest van insurance for a young driver, but this may not be the case.

What do I need to get temporary van insurance at a younger age?

Temporary van insurance can be a great option for short-term use without the commitment to an annual policy. To obtain this, you’ll typically need:

  • A valid driving licence to drive this type of vehicle on UK roads. A clean licence will help, so watch those speed limits.
  • To be aged between 17 and 75 years old – though options are more limited at the lower end of this age range. At Zixty we offer temporary van insurance from age 21+
  • Personal details, including your address and the van’s registration number. If you’re looking at buying a van, and don’t have an exact reg to hand, many sites will allow you to enter the vehicle details manually. It’s worth knowing that this will only give you an indicative price – once you have the real reg, the price could go up or down.

When could temporary van insurance for young drivers help me?

Temporary van insurance can be a lifesaver in a few situations:

  • Borrowing a van : Perhaps you’re moving to university or need a van for a short-term project. Getting a temporary van insurance policy could be just the ticket.
  • Test driving a van : If you’re thinking of buying a van, temporary insurance allows you to test drive it.
  • Selling a van : If you’re selling your van, anyone test-driving it must be insured. If they can’t show you insurance for your vehicle, they can take out temporary van insurance on your van.
    In-between policies : When transitioning between long-term policies, temporary insurance keeps you covered if you want to spend time shopping around for annual van insurance.
  • Keeping working : If you rely on your van for work, a theft or breakdown could be expensive in terms of lost work. Whether you’re self-employed, in the trade, or just use your van to get to and from work, losing your wheels can cause stress and worry.

When choosing van insurance, whether it’s temporary van insurance or annual van insurance, be sure that the cover meets your needs. (We have a separate article that compares temporary van insurance with annual van insurance). There may be restrictions about what is covered in terms of the contents, particularly if the van may be used for work. Linked to this, you need to be sure that the van Class of Use meets your needs. We have a separate article that looks at Class of Use in more detail.

Watch out for Excesses

Once you’ve found a great price, you should always check carefully that what you’re about to buy meets your needs. This is particularly important when it comes to Excesses. Although the headline price might be OK (it’s unlikely to make you smile), the insurer may have included a high excess – due to the age of the driver.

Zixty temporary van insurance

Zixty temporary van insurance has been designed with borrowing and occasional use in mind. Getting a quote takes moments, and provided you’re aged 21 or more, and have held a UK DVLA issued driving licence for 12 months or more, we should be able to offer you a quote.

Cover can be from an hour, all the way up to 28 days, and you can start your policy pretty much any time in the next 28 days. We cover own goods, as well as leisure use – so you can throw the kids and their bikes in the back of the van at the weekend.

If you rely on your van for work, theft or a breakdown could end up costing you a lot of money in lost work. Whether you’re self-employed, in the trade, or just use your van to get to work and back, losing your wheels for any period of time can cause a load of stress. To get you back on the road as quickly as possible, temporary van insurance can be sorted in just a few minutes, and you can get covered from the moment you need to. The cover you need for just the time you want it.

Temporary van insurance is much easier than getting added to someone else’s policy. You don’t need to be added as a named driver to their policy, which can come with admin fees and an increase in their premium. A temporary van insurance policy is designed with your pocket in mind, while protecting you and the vehicle owner if the worst should happen. What’s more, the vehicle owner won’t have to worry about their no claim discount. As an entirely separate policy, any claim you had to make on your temporary policy wouldn’t have any affect on their annual one.

All Zixty short term van insurance policies have the option of Breakdown Cover, Excess Protection, and every single Zixty policy is carbon offset for free. PLUS, if you want to CO2 offset your miles, just enable Zixty Miles in the app, and that’s free too! It’s easy with Zixty.

Wrapping up

While van insurance for young drivers in the UK can feel like navigating a labyrinth, being equipped with the right information makes the journey smoother. Remember, insurance is not just a legal requirement; it’s a crucial safeguard for your journey on the road. By understanding the intricacies of van insurance and applying the tips to secure more affordable rates, you can embrace the van lifestyle with confidence and security.