What is private van insurance?

Private van insurance, sometimes called ‘personal van insurance’, is insurance for your van that will protect you if you’re only driving your van for social, domestic or pleasure reasons.

Here are a few examples of what counts as social, domestic and pleasure use:

  • Hobbies
  • Going on holidays or day trips
  • Going shopping
  • Visiting friends and/or family

Do I need private or commercial van insurance?

There are two main types of van insurance that you can choose from when you’re getting a quote. Which cover you need – either private van insurance or commercial van insurance - will be dependent on the intended use of your van.

Private van insurance (or personal van insurance)

If you only use your van for social, domestic and pleasure use such as hobbies, holidays, or shopping.

Commercial van insurance

This is needed if you drive your van for your business – to deliver things, get to sites or carry tools and equipment from one place to another.

    Do you use your van for your business?

    If you carry tools, equipment or materials in your van, or travel to and from more than one regular place of work then commercial van insurance is what you need.

    What’s covered by private van insurance?

    What's covered

    AXA Comprehensive

    Injury to other people or damage to their vehicles or property
    Accident recovery cover
    93 days’ EU travel1
    Continued cover while your van is getting serviced or repaired
    Minimum cover to legally tow a trailer
    Loss or damage to your van caused by fire or theft
    Built-in music, navigation and entertainment equipment
    Loss or theft of your keys (up to £500)
    Guaranteed courtesy van if your van is stolen or damaged2
    Loss or damage to your van
    Broken windows and windscreens
    Personal injury to the driver of your van
    Medical expenses (up to £250)
    Personal belongings (up to £250)
    Cover if you put the wrong fuel in your van

    What can you add to your AXA private van insurance?

    Choose from the following covers when you get your quote.

    Protection for your no claims discount

    It can seem unfair that after many years of driving without any claims, a one-off accident should mean you lose your discount.

    By paying an additional premium, you can protect your no claims discount, meaning you’ll be able to make a claim on your van insurance without losing the discount you’ve earned.

    Legal assistance cover

    In an accident that’s not your fault? Get up to £100,000 legal expenses cover to help you claim compensation for ‘uninsured losses’.

    These are losses that aren’t covered by your policy, like policy excess, loss of income, personal injury or damage to property which was in your van.

    And if you’re prosecuted for an offence relating to owning/using your van – we’ll cover your legal costs. Plus, you’ll get access to confidential legal advice, 24/7.

    Breakdown cover

    If your van breaks down, we’ll pick you up and get you back on the road.

    With three options available, choose what level of cover is right for you. Get a quote now and choose from AXA Roadside, AXA Rescue or AXA Rescue and HomeStart.

    Trailer cover

    As standard, our van insurance gives you the minimum cover you need to legally tow a trailer while it’s attached to your van.

    But what if your trailer’s damaged, lost or stolen? If you have comprehensive cover, we can increase your cover to include loss or damage to a trailer attached to your van (as long as it’s worth less than £5,000).

    How much is private van insurance?

    No two policies are the same and neither is the price they pay. Our customers pay prices from £309 a year**. There are several things that factor into the price you pay, such as:

    • The age of all drivers
    • Where you live and use your van
    • How many years no claims discount you have
    • How many miles a year you drive
    • How old your van is
    • How long you've owned your van for
    • Where you keep your van overnight

    As with any insurance policy, the quickest and easiest way to find out what your cost would be is to get a quote. Remember: buy online with AXA today and you’ll get an automatic 10%*** discount just for shopping with us online.

    What do I need for a private van insurance quote?

    You’ll need to have a few details to hand.

    1. Van registration number and details 
      We'll need to know the age and value of the van, the number of seats, the date when you bought it and any security features it may have. You’ll also need your estimated annual mileage, and the address where the van will be kept overnight.
    2. Driver details 
      We’ll need each driver’s name, occupation and driving history, including any claims and motoring offences they’ve had.
    3. No claims discount 
      You might be able to transfer over any no claims discount you have with your current van insurer.

    Before you get a quote, find out how many years’ discount you have and think about whether you’d like to protect the discount if you make a claim.


    Why choose AXA for your private van insurance?

    Here’s what you get when you choose to insure your van with AXA:

    1. Uninsured driver promise*
      You won’t lose your no claims discount or pay an excess if you’re in an accident that isn’t your fault with an uninsured driver
    2. Insure your van from just £309** a year
      Get affordable cover that you can tailor to fit your needs.
    3. Online quote discount of 10%***
      Automatically get a 10% discount on private van insurance if you get a quote online.
    4. Build the insurance that fits you with add-on covers
      Tailor your policy to fit your needs with protection for your No Claims Discount, breakdown cover, legal assistance support and trailer cover.
    5. Optional extras to protect your no claims discount, or include legal assistance cover, breakdown cover and trailer cover.

    Frequently asked questions

    Most people will be eligible for AXA Van insurance.

    However, we won’t be able to insure your van if you, or any of the drivers of your van:

    • Aren’t aged between 25 and 75
    • Don’t hold a full or provisional UK driving licence
    • Aren’t a permanent UK resident
    • Have had any previous insurance policy declined, cancelled or declared void
    • Have been declared bankrupt or been subject to any bankruptcy proceedings or any form of insolvency or winding-up procedures
    • Have been prosecuted or served prohibition order under health and safety legislation
    • Have been disqualified from a directorship of any company

    To see if we can give you a quote that meets your needs, call us now on 0330 159 1521.

    It depends on the kind of van you’re driving. You can drive a van of up to 3,500kg if you have a standard category B car driving licence. You need a Cat C1 if the vehicle you’re driving weighs more than 3500kg, but there is more detailed information on UK Governments’ driving a van page.

    If you don’t have the correct van licence, then you could face a hefty fine, points on your licence and your insurance cover may be declared invalid in the event of a claim.

    Yes. Under the Road Traffic Acts, any vehicle used on the road must be insured against third party liabilities, otherwise an offence will be committed.

    In addition, as part of the Continuous Insurance Enforcement system owners of vehicles registered with DVLA but not recorded on the Motor Insurance Database are liable for a fine or could have their vehicle seized.

    The only time where you won’t need insurance is if you’ve declared your van ‘off the road’ with a SORN (Statutory Off-Road Notice) to the DVLA.

    Occasionally, some more modern models of vans can look very similar to a standard car. However, vans can’t be covered by car insurance and vice versa.

    There’s an easy way to double check if your vehicle is considered a car or a van – simply input your registration number on the government’s website.

    • If the Vehicle Type Approval Number (TAN) is M1, it’s a car.
    • If it’s classed as N1 or N2, it’s a van, also referred to as a goods vehicle.

    You can also find this information in your V5C logbook.

    Yes, you can. When you’re going through the quote journey then please tick the box that says ‘not owned yet' and just leave the reg number blank.

    You can manually search for the make/model. Before buying the policy, you'll be asked to enter a registration number.

    Yes, having valid motor insurance is a legal requirement for any van. Vans used for work purposes will require commercial van insurance, while vans used for personal reasons will require private van insurance.

    Our private van insurance does not cover commuting. If you need insurance to cover your van for commuting to or from work then you’ll need to purchase commercial van insurance, not private.

    No, caravans won’t be covered by standard private van insurance. Under your policy you’ll have the minimum cover to legally tow a trailer, however we don’t cover loss or damage to caravans.

    Caravans should be covered separately under a specific caravan policy as our extended cover is only for trailers and valued up to £5000.

    AXA offer cover for both the loss or theft of personal belongings (up to £250) and the loss of theft of your van keys (up to £500) as standard with your policy.

    Yes, it will. Our private van insurance cover will protect your for 93 days’ of EU travel as standard.

    Please note: You will need to contact us before travelling to activate this. Without doing that, you’ll only have the minimum legal cover required, not full policy cover.

    Our certificate does not allow customers to drive other people's vehicles. To drive a friend's vehicle, you will need to be added as a driver on your friend’s insurance policy.

    Our insurance is arranged on a named driver only basis, so only people named on the motor certificate are allowed to drive your vehicle.

    We only allow cover for small vans up to 3500kg gross weight. Anything carried in or towed by the van must be done legally and within the manufacturer’s guidelines for the type of vehicle.

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    Policy documents

    Find out more about AXA personal van insurance with our policy wording documents.


    Answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about van insurance.

    *As long as we can trace and identify the other vehicle involved and can be certain that the accident was not your fault.

    1As standard, we’ll give you the minimum cover you need to comply with compulsory motor insurance legislation in any EU country. And if you ask us before you travel abroad, we can also extend this to provide the same level of cover you have in the UK for up to 93 days of travel in any one period of insurance.

    2We guarantee a small courtesy van, which may not necessarily be a like for like replacement. We won’t supply one in the event of a total loss or a theft without recovery. The repair must take place at one of our approved repairers.

    **10% of our customers paid this or less between October and December 2023.

    ***This discount is applied automatically and lasts for the lifetime of your policy.

    Lines are open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm. Excludes bank holidays. Closed Saturday and Sunday.