Hamburger icon


  • Business insurance

    Business insurance covers

  • Support
  • Claims
  • Manage your policy
Telephone iconCall Us0333 0146 683
Our opening hours
Chevron left icon
Knowledge centre

Commercial van insurance: an FAQ guide

3-minute read

Commercial van insurance: an FAQ guide
Jessie Day

Jessie Day

20 December 2019

Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn icon

What is a commercial van? And how much is commercial van insurance? You need to insure any vehicle by law, but a standard policy might not be enough. Read our guide and FAQs and keep your van protected from accident and theft.

  • Why business insurance should be a top priority for the newly self-employed
  • Should you buy or lease a van for your small business?
  • 7 new driving laws that every van driver needs to know about for 2019
  • What business insurance do I need?

Commercial van insurance: your top FAQs

Vehicle classification can be complex, especially when you use your van for work and personal journeys. Here’s a round-up of your most common questions – they’re also covered on our commercial van insurance quotes hub.

What is a commercial van?

The official classification used by HMRC states that a commercial vehicle weighs in excess of 3.5 tonnes, or is capable of moving a payload (the load part you’re getting revenue from, or passengers and cargo) of more than one tonne. And this will usually include lorries, tractors, vans, pick-up-trucks and car-derived vans (CDV).

What can a commercial van be used for?

In most cases, commercial vehicles (including vans) are used for business purposes only. This can determine your van’s tax status, as well as your insurance and MOT responsibilities.

However, the regulations are complicated. It’s more about how your van is constructed than what you use it for, which will determine its status. We explain more about this below.

When is a van not a commercial vehicle?

The easiest way to think about this is by looking at the type of vehicle you have, and what it’s built for. If it’s not a goods vehicle, or it’s been built as a private vehicle, such as a car, then it’s probably not a commercial vehicle.

Another key consideration is what your van carries. If it’s primarily built to transport the driver, one or two passengers and your goods and tools, you probably have a commercial vehicle. On the other hand, if it’s primarily designed to carry people, it might be classified as a car or mini-bus instead.

Not sure how your van should be classified? Check with your insurance provider when buying commercial van insurance.

What is commercial van insurance?

Commercial van insurance is a specific type of policy, and different to the one you’ll have for your own car. It’s designed to cover the van you use for business, and could also protect the tools and materials you transport.

This is insurance designed to protect your business, minimising loss if your van is damaged or stolen.

How to compare commercial van insurance

We work with the experts at Brightside Insurance, helping you compare commercial van insurance options depending on your business type. They’re a broker too, and will show you quotes from lots of different insurers, including Aviva, AXA, Ageas and Covea.

You’ll just need your van’s registration number to get started.

Compare commercial van insurance

How much is commercial van insurance?

This will depend on a few different factors, including your:

  • van type (bigger vans may pay more, for example)
  • business activities
  • additional drivers (if you have any)
  • claims history
  • mileage and journey estimates
  • storage (where you park your van overnight)
  • security features

Your commercial van insurance cover will take all of these into account when pulling together yor quote(s), so get all your details to hand.

Do I need commercial van insurance?

By law, you need to insure any vehicle unless you’ve registered and declared it ‘off-road’. Standard cover (the type you have for your own car, for example) might not be enough if your van is being used for work.

If you’re using your van for business but not covered correctly with specific commercial van insurance, you won’t be protected if you’re in an accident, or your van is stolen.

Does commercial van insurance have VAT added?

Value Added Tax (VAT) isn’t added to commercial and personal policy premiums. Instead, you may see tax payable as Insurance Premium Tax (IPT), usually included in your quote break-down or calculation.

Standard IPT is lower than VAT, and currently set at 12 per cent. The higher rate, which will apply to some vehicle insurance, is set at 20 per cent.

Need more info? Ask us your commercial van insurance questions in the comments below.

Is your van insured?

Tool theft, European travel, and £100K legal cover, our friends at Brightside offer great van cover for professional tradesmen and they’ll help you find a competitive quote from 20 of the UK’s biggest insurers.

Start your quote

Find this article useful? Spread the word.

Facebook icon
Twitter icon
LinkedIn icon

People also liked

Keep up to date with Simply Business. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and follow us on social media.

Subscribe to our newsletter
Facebook icon

Follow us on Facebook

Twitter icon

Follow us on Twitter

YouTube icon

Subscribe to our videos on YouTube

LinkedIn icon

Follow us on LinkedIn


6th Floor99 Gresham StreetLondonEC2V 7NG

Sol House29 St Katherine's StreetNorthamptonNN1 2QZ

© Copyright 2020 Simply Business. All Rights Reserved. Simply Business is a trading name of Xbridge Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Financial Services Registration No: 313348). Xbridge Limited (No: 3967717) has its registered office at 6th Floor, 99 Gresham Street, London, EC2V 7NG.