Ten easy ways to save money on your van insurance


26 April 2019

Understanding why van insurance costs what it does isn’t always easy.

A number of things help make up the cost of your van insurance – from your age, the type of van you own, where you park it and how much you drive – and everyone’s premium is unique to their circumstances.

But just because van insurance is a legal requirement doesn’t mean you have to get stuck paying over the odds for it.

To help make understanding van insurance costs – and how to get a cheaper van insurance quote – simpler for you, we’ve pulled together ten things that can drive up your premium, and what you can do to help bring the price down.

1. Build up your no-claims discount

Building up your no-claims discount (sometimes called a no-claims bonus) is a simple but effective way to bring down your van insurance premiums.

The no claims bonus is a discount you get on your insurance premium for each claim-free year of driving on the policy, and the more claim-free years you have, the better your discount will be.

With AXA, you can accrue up to nine years of no claims, which can save you a packet when it's time to renew.

2. Stay safe behind the wheel

The easiest way to build up no-claims discount on your policy is by not getting into accidents in the first place. And while that’s sometimes not your fault, staying safe behind the wheel and being a safer driver is the best place to start if you want to avoid making a claim.

Driving laws and traffic regulations are updated and amended on a regular basis, so stay up to date with the rules of the road to make sure you’re a safe hand at the wheel.

But being a good driver is about more than sticking to the rules. A good driver is careful, considerate and calm when on the road. Check our list of the seven habits of effective drivers and learn more about creating a calm driving mentality, resting regularly on long journeys and the best tech to ensure a smoother drive.

3. Keep your van secure

From key-fob hacking to door peeling, criminals are coming up with new ways to break into vans, and insurance companies can view your van as lower-risk if it’s more difficult for people to break into or steal.

Some locks can make your van less attractive to opportunistic thieves. For example, adding an extra device like a slam lock – which automatically locks when the van door is shut – could be ideal when you’re unloading from your van and have your hands full.

Before fitting any additional locks to your vehicle, we recommend letting your insurer know first. Some locking devices may not be approved or could interfere with the underlying locking system, and might invalidate your cover in some cases. For more information on security features for your van, visit AXA’s guide to keeping your van safe.

4. Choose the right van for you

The overall cost of your van is more than what it says on the price tag when you buy it. The type of van, its size and engine efficiency can also affect how expensive the vehicle is to run, how much tax you’ll pay, and how much it costs to insure.

Premiums are generally lower for vans with smaller engines and shorter wheelbases. As a general rule, choosing the smallest van that will meet your business needs will tend to lower your insurance premium.

Other factors like the age and value of the van, the number of seats, the date when you bought it, your estimated annual mileage, and the address where the van will be kept overnight are all included when arriving at your premium, so make sure you think about the full life-cycle costs of your van, and not just as a one-off purchase.

5. Pay more voluntary excess

Your excess is the amount of money you have to pay towards making a claim on your van insurance. In most cases, choosing to pay a higher voluntary excess in addition to your compulsory excess will reduce the cost of your insurance premium. So if you have a history of no claims, and are confident about this continuing, it could be worth considering.

While choosing to pay a higher voluntary excess on top of your compulsory excess could bring down the cost of your premiums, saving you money in the long run if you don’t make a claim, it could also make it more costly if the worst happens, so you should always make sure that that you can afford to pay the total excess in the event of a claim.

6. Consider the extras

When you’re choosing insurance for your van, you’ll find a few optional extras to choose from too. And while these will increase your price when buying insurance, they could save you and your business money in the long run.

For example, breakdown cover could come in handy in keeping your business moving in the event that your van breaks down. Legal assistance cover can provide up to £100,000 to help you claim for any losses not covered by your policy if the accident wasn’t your fault, like your excess, personal injury, loss of income or damage to property in your van. You may also be able to protect your no claims discount, so you can make a claim on your van insurance without losing the discount you’ve built up over the years.

Find out more about the optional extras available with AXA van insurance here.

7. Check your mileage

The price of your insurance premium is also based in part on how much you use your van. The more you drive, the more likely you are to claim, so the higher the estimated mileage, the higher the premium.

Try to accurately record your van mileage, including both personal and business use, and always try to be accurate when making any estimates on your mileage when you're getting a quote.

8. Choose named drivers carefully

Adding additional drivers to your policy cover may drive your premium up, but it’s sometimes unavoidable for your business. So if you need to add a named driver, it’s worthwhile considering who that named driver is.

Younger drivers and those with a history of previous claims or convictions are always likely to increase your premium. So if you’re looking to add another driver, try to find someone who won’t affect your premiums too much.

9. Plan ahead and buy early

When it comes to your van insurance, it pays to plan ahead.

The further in advance you start to plan your cover, the better the deal you’re likely to get. Some research has shown that getting a quote up to three weeks in advance results in a price significantly lower than if you get a quote just before the start date.

This is because rates change all the time, so having a better overview of the market early can help you get the deal that’s right for you.

10. Buy direct online

The last thing to remember about saving money on your van insurance premium is to buy online. With AXA, you get a 10% discount when you buy online. To find out more, go to axa.co.uk/van-insurance

Keep your van moving – no matter what

At AXA, we want to make sure protecting your van, and keeping your business moving, is as simple as possible. Take a look at our help and advice for van drivers, and once you have the information you need, get a van insurance quote and save 10% when you book online.