Usually, when we buy insurance for our cars and vans, the cover lasts for at least one year. You find the best deal that covers everything you need for your vehicle, you pay in full or set up the direct debit, and done. You’re all fixed for the next 12 months. It’s a pretty simple system, and it’s nice to know that, once you’ve picked the right insurance provider, you don’t have to worry about it again for a whole year. Sit back, relax and enjoy driving your vehicle.
This is all well and good, but what happens when you only need insurance for a shorter term than 12 months? Sometimes we need temporary cover, especially van drivers who need to make sure that they have the appropriate insurance when running short term jobs.
Rather than buy insurance for the whole year, there are options for van drivers who need insurance for the short term. There are insurance companies that offer flexible cover for those looking to get van insurance for a few days, or a few months. If you discover that you need a van for a short period of time, then relying on annual cover could be expensive and unnecessary when you could get fully comprehensive cover, or third-party cover for a matter of days, weeks or months.
If you find yourself needing to drive a van for a short while this year, then this is the article for you. We’ll talk you through what temporary van insurance is, when and why you might need it, how it works, what it covers and if it’s worthwhile.
What is temporary van insurance?
Temporary van insurance is just like it sounds. Rather than buying standard insurance to cover you and your van for a whole year, you can buy insurance to cover you for however long you need, whether it’s a few days, weeks or months. It’s open to people who drive vans for work, or those who need a van for short-term personal trips.
Temporary van insurance offers you more flexibility than standard van insurance and means that you only pay for what you need. Temporary van insurance can help those who are on a strict budget and don’t want to waste money or be tied to a long-term policy. You can usually get temporary van insurance quickly, with some insurance providers offering cover within a matter of minutes. This makes temporary, or short term, van insurance helpful to those who need insurance fast, and those who keep a careful eye on their expenses.
Temporary van insurance sounds like a great opportunity for those with short term needs, but how can you be sure that it’s right for you and your situation? Let’s take a look.
Why would I need temporary van insurance?
There are several scenarios when you would need temporary van insurance.
First, let’s check off the obvious one. If you’re going to be driving a van on the roads for any amount of time then, legally, you have to have third-party insurance at a minimum. Even if you’re only going down the street or you’re going to be driving for less than an hour. This is non-negotiable.
In the UK, if you’re caught driving without insurance then you risk a £300 fine from the police and 6 points on your license. There’s also a chance that the police could seize your van if you drive it without any insurance. You could also risk being taken to court, where you could receive an unlimited fine or even get disqualified from driving, so you really do need to get this sorted before hitting the road.
Now for the scenarios where you might choose temporary van insurance over insurance for the whole year. If you’re moving house or helping a friend move, then moving companies can be expensive. Driving your possessions to the new house yourself offers you extra flexibility, and can also help you to save money. In this scenario, you’ll likely only need the van for a few days, depending on how many trips you need to make.
If you’ve just bought (or sold) a large item, such as a sofa or a piano, then you’ll probably only need a van for the day. Again, unless you regularly drive a van, there’s no point in buying insurance for longer than a single day.
Some people need to drive a van for work, but not often enough to justify buying annual cover. If that’s the case, and you only need to use a van for a few weeks or months as a sole trader or a limited company, then temporary van insurance may be right for you.
If you’re buying a new van, (or any vehicle) then you’ll know that you need to test drive it before handing over any money. Short term van cover will allow you to do this while having your legal obligations sorted.
Can I get van insurance for 1 month?
Yes, you can. The beauty of temporary van insurance is that you can get insurance for your van for as long as you need.
If you need van insurance for a few months, then you can renew your policy each month for as long as you need it. However, if you find that you need to insure your van for more than six months, then it’s worth checking to see if you can get better value using an annual policy.
Can I get van insurance for less than a month?
Yes, if you need to insure your van for less than a month, then you can get temporary van insurance for a few weeks, a week or a single day. You can even get it for just an hour, if that’s all you need.
How does temporary van insurance work?
Temporary van insurance works by offering you a flexible time period to insure you and a van. It allows you to get van insurance for a number of hours, days, weeks or months, depending on your needs.
Rather than tying you to an insurance policy that lasts for the whole year, temporary van insurance means that people who only need to use their vans for a short time can still get the appropriate cover. This means you can save money by only paying for the time you need the insurance for, and not shelling out for months when a van is idly sitting on a drive.
How do I get temporary van insurance?
There are plenty of places you can go to get temporary van insurance. You can speak to your insurance provider directly to see if they can provide you with short term cover for your van.
What’s covered under temporary van insurance?
What is and isn’t covered under temporary van insurance will depend on whether you have:
- Fully comprehensive insurance. This is usually (but not always) the most expensive type of insurance, but you do get more coverage for your money. It insures you against damage caused to another person, vehicle or property. It also covers your vehicle for any damage and theft. Some policies will also offer things like breakdown cover, motor legal protection and cover for lost keys but this will vary between different insurance companies.
- Third-party only insurance. This is the legal minimum for driving on UK roads. It covers damage to other people and other vehicles in the event of an accident, but any damage to your car or van is your responsibility. This insurance can be more cost-effective, but if you do have an accident and your van gets damaged, then you could be left with a hefty repair bill.
- Third-party, fire and theft insurance. Just like third-party insurance, this covers damage to other people and vehicles but it also covers your vehicle in the event that it gets stolen or catches fire.
Other things that temporary van insurance providers offer coverage for include European third-party, loss or damage to the van and your personal possessions, and some offer to protect your no-claims bonus. However, this will vary from provider to provider, so you should always read through your policy carefully.
Are the van’s contents covered?
This will depend on the policy, so it’s always a good idea to check the small print before buying the insurance. Most insurers will cover your personal possessions and the contents of the van. However, the coverage may only be up to a certain limit so check the small print.
If you’re transporting expensive goods, then it’s wise to take extra precautions, such as not leaving them in your van unattended.
Is temporary van insurance expensive?
If you’re only paying for insurance for the days you need, then temporary van insurance is less expensive than tying yourself to a year-long contract.
However, if you find that you need to use your van for more than several months, then getting an annual policy may be better value.
Also, if you have any driving convictions or a history of claiming on your insurance, these can make your insurance premiums more expensive.
I sometimes need a van for my business. Can I get temporary van insurance?
Yes, if you’re a sole trader or a business owner, then you can get temporary van insurance. Indeed, some businesses only need to use a van for a few days or weeks, making this kind of insurance especially useful and a handy way to keep down business costs.
However, if you want to carry passengers in your van, this might cost extra, so talk to your insurer or check the policy.
Benefits of temporary van insurance
There are a range of benefits to choosing temporary van insurance over an annual policy, including:
- You only pay for the days you need
- You get more flexibility
- You can buy policies quickly online
- Since you only have the policy for a short time you don’t have to worry about cancelling and paying cancellation fees which you sometimes have to do when cancelling an annual policy
How to stay safe when driving a van.
Having insurance means that you’re covered should something terrible happen, like an accident or having your van stolen. However, it’s better to try and prevent these things from happening in the first place!
If you’re not used to driving a van, remember, it’s not like driving a car. There’s more vehicle to be aware of and it may feel different, so try and get a feel for your new vehicle.
Watch out for your braking distances, the vehicle you’re driving is heavier than a car, so you’ll need more time and space to react and brake.
Vans have no rear view mirror or rear window, which makes it harder to be aware of your surroundings. This can be especially problematic when parking, so watch out in your wing mirrors, look out the driver side window, or have a friend guide you.
When loading your van spread the weight evenly and tie things down so they don’t distract you or destabilise the van.
Finally, if you’re driving a new van (or any new vehicle) take a few minutes before setting off to familiarise yourself with the controls. Get to know where everything is, this will save you panicking later when you can’t find the controls for the windscreen wipers or hazard warning lights.
Can anyone get temporary driving insurance?
Generally, anyone can get temporary van insurance as long as you have a full driving license, but restrictions will vary between different insurance companies. Some will have age restrictions, some won’t insure you if you have any driving convictions or a certain number of points on your license.
Some insurers will also have restrictions on the types of vans they will insure, so check with the company
Temporary van insurance is a great way to get short term cover for your van. You can get insurance quickly, save money, and get flexible coverage to suit your needs. If you need to insure your van for a few days, weeks or months, then here at A-Plan we can help you find the right insurance cover for your vehicle.