It’s a legal requirement to have insurance before getting on the road, whether you’re driving a car or a van. But what if you don’t need a full 12 months’ cover, for example if you are borrowing a friend’s van? That’s where a temporary van insurance policy could come in handy.
Rather than a standard annual policy, temporary van insurance can typically cover you from 1-28 days to suit your needs.
Temporary van insurance can be a simpler alternative to the other options available:
If you’re borrowing a van from a friend, you could make sure you’re covered by being added to the owner’s insurance policy as a named driver. But if you’re involved in an accident this may affect their no claims bonus, and temporary cover is likely to be a more simple option if you only plan to drive the van on a one-off basis.
You may also be covered if you have ‘driving other cars’ cover on your main insurance policy. However, this type of cover is becoming less common, and it’s likely you will only be covered for third party damage when you drive the van. This means the insurer will not pay out for any damage to the vehicle you are driving, so the van’s owner could face a hefty repair bill.
Temporary van insurance offers comprehensive cover without putting the van owner's no claims bonus at risk if you need to make a claim.
Temporary van insurance can come in particularly useful if you are moving house. If you’re able to borrow a van, you could cut the hassle and cost of hiring a van or a removals company by simply getting insured on a friend’s vehicle.
If you do decide to rent a van from a hire company, insurance will usually be included within the hire price. However, check the level of cover included — some hire companies will only include third party cover, so you may want to top up your cover to comprehensive with an additional temporary policy.
You may also benefit from temporary van insurance if you plan to transport equipment, or if you want to share the driving on a long trip in a friend’s van.
Temporary van cover can also come in handy you want to take a van for a test drive if you plan to purchase it, or for driving your new van home before securing an annual insurance policy.
Drivers aged 19 to 75 can typically be covered by temporary van insurance, but some insurers may exclude drivers under the age of 25 so it’s important to shop around.
You may find it more difficult to get temporary van cover if you have had several recent car insurance claims or more than six points on your licence, but a specialist insurer may be able to help cover you. Temporary van insurers may also not cover you if you’re unemployed or if you work in certain professions such as entertainment or delivery services — these restrictions will usually be listed on the terms and conditions when you get a quote.
Temporary insurance will cover most vans but there are restrictions on value (usually up to £45,000) and some types of van are excluded, such as refrigerated vans and tippers.
If you can borrow a van from a friend you can buy temp insurance for it and it could be cheaper than hiring. Price will depend on how long you want to be covered, your licence type, your postcode and your driving experience.
Like an annual insurance policy, you will have to pay an excess if you need to make a claim. When comparing temporary van insurance quotes, you will be able to select the excess you wish to pay - you may be able to cut the cost of your policy by opting for a higher excess fee, but be realistic and make sure you can afford to pay this charge if you need to make a claim.
To compare temporary van insurance and buy a policy, you’ll need the van’s registration number (or the make and model if you’re not sure of the licence plate details). You should also have details of your driving history and licence type to hand, as well as your name and address details - and don’t forget to get permission from the van owner before getting behind the wheel!