Whether it’s for a car, motorbike, or van, younger drivers always face higher insurance premiums than older, more experienced drivers.
And this is not for no reason. Young drivers are statistically far more likely to be involved in an accident than older drivers, and road traffic accidents remain the single biggest cause of death for people across the world aged between 15 and 29. But in the UK, the statistics also show that young drivers are becoming increasingly safer with the number of accidents caused by drivers under 25 decreasing every year since 2000.
Despite this recent fall, young driver van insurance is still considerably more expensive. However, there are many things that younger drivers can do to reduce their premiums.
We are going to take a look at van insurance for young drivers, the minimum age requirements for certain vans, the costs of young driver van insurance, and what you can do to reduce them.
What van insurance is available for young drivers?
Drivers under the age of 25 can get insurance cover to drive a van in much the same way as older, more experienced drivers can. However, as with regular car insurance, younger van drivers can expect to pay considerably more for their insurance until they reach 25 or even 30.
As with regular car insurance, there are three basic levels of cover available: third-party; third-party, fire and theft; and fully comprehensive. Though, unlike regular car insurance, van drivers must specify the use of their van before buying the insurance. If you use your van for purposes beyond those you have specified, you risk not being fully covered.
So let’s jump in and take a look at the minimum age for driving types of vans in the UK.
What is the minimum age for driving a van?
If you hold a full UK driving licence you can drive a category B vehicle, also known as a Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV). LCVs are the regular vans you would expect to see on the UK roads. They can weigh up to 3.5 tonnes and carry up to eight passengers.
This means that you can drive most vans from the age of 17 in the UK. However, there are certain age restrictions for driving bigger vehicles that carry up to 16 passengers, such as minibuses.
A minibus is still classified as a van if it seats between nine and 16 passengers. The minimum age for minibus drivers is 21, though you can drive an empty minibus from the age of 18. You can learn more about what vehicles are classed as vans in our Ultimate guide to van insurance.
If you are aged over 18 and have a category C UK driving license – which requires an additional test – you can drive vehicles that weigh over 3.5 tonnes.
How much does van insurance cost for young drivers?
The exact cost of van insurance varies widely depending on the make and model of the van, the van group it is categorised in, the driver’s details and history, the security of the vehicle, and the level of cover.
However, the average cost of vehicle insurance is significantly higher for younger drivers than it is for older ones.
Studies show that those aged 17 to 20 are likely to pay more than double for their vehicle insurance than those aged 26 to 30. With this in mind, many will be looking for ways to lower their premiums.
How to reduce the cost of van insurance for young drivers
Unfortunately, the statistics are clear that younger drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents and make insurance claims on their vehicles than older drivers. And it is for this reason that they cost more to insure.
Although it will generally cost more to insure younger drivers on any vehicle, including vans, than older drivers, there are still plenty of things that you can do to reduce the overall cost of your premiums. Here, we will take a look at just a few of them:
Add a low-risk driver to the policy
A low-risk driver is an older driver with few or no claims on their driving record. This may be a parent, older sibling, friend, or relative that also makes use of your van.
You can also do this the other way round and it should still save you money as a young van driver. So a younger driver can be added to an older driver’s van insurance policy.
Adding a low-risk driver to your insurance policy is likely to reduce your premiums, but it is very important that the low-risk driver does actually drive the vehicle. If they do not, both you and they may be guilty of “fronting”, which is illegal and can lead to prosecution.
Reduce your mileage
The less you drive your van, the less likely you are to have an accident. And insurers are aware of this. When you first buy an insurance policy you will be required to estimate your average annual mileage and lower mileage will mean lower premiums. But don’t purposefully underestimate your mileage, as to do so could invalidate your policy.
Raise your voluntary excess
Every insurance policy has an excess. This is the amount that the claimant must pay before making claim. For example, if your excess was £500 and the damage to your van was £1,000, you would pay £500 and your provider would pay £500. If you voluntarily raise the excess on your van insurance policy, your premiums will cost less.
Get black box insurance
Black box insurance, also known as telematics insurance, is a type of van insurance whereby you install a black box into your car that then sends data of your driving ability and safety to your provider. If you are then deemed to be a safe driver, your premiums will be reduced in the future. This also works the other way round, if you are found to be a reckless driver, your premiums may well go up.
A-Plan’s Young Driver Insurance uses black box technology to help reduce the cost of van insurance for younger, less experienced drivers.
When looking for insurance for your van, be sure to shop around and compare van insurance quotes. Comparing policies from different insurance providers not only ensures that you get the most for your money but also guarantees that you have the right cover for your van.
What type of van insurance do I need?
There are different types of van insurance available for different uses of a van. Even if, as a younger driver, you use your van for social purposes more than work or commercial purposes, you need to get the right type of insurance to ensure that you are properly covered at all times.
Private van insurance
If you use your van solely for personal trips such as holidays, food shops, or school runs, then private van insurance is what you need. Also known as personal van insurance, private van insurance cannot be combined with any other uses that are related to your work, such as commuting or equipment transportation.
Social and commuting van insurance
If you use your van predominantly for social and personal purposes, but you do also drive to work in it, then most providers offer a social and commuting insurance option. Some providers don’t have this option, but it is increasingly in demand by van drivers who find they are paying full commercial insurance despite only using their van for commuting purposes.
Commercial van insurance
Commercial van insurance, or business van insurance is for people who use and need their van for work. This is likely to include tradespeople such as plumbers, carpenters, builders, cleaners, etc.
You can also get additional cover such as vehicle contents insurance that covers your tools or any stock you may be carrying in your vehicle.
Haulage van insurance
If you use your van to deliver third-party goods that belong to other people then you will need haulage van insurance. This is perfect for delivery drivers, furniture removers, or long-haul goods in transit drivers.
Can a young driver drive a fleet van?
If a business owns a fleet of vans that are all used as part of the business operation, then the business owner can choose to insure all of their vehicles under one simple policy known as fleet van insurance.
Multiple named drivers are able to drive the vehicles under the fleet policy – although the details of this depend on the specific policy – including young drivers under the age of 25. However, the total cost of the fleet insurance is likely to increase if there are one or more younger drivers included on the policy.
Therefore, many businesses choose to have a minimum driver age for the vans within the fleet.
Young drivers face higher fees on their van insurance premiums and, unfortunately, there is little they can do to change this. There are, however, many things they can do to reduce the cost of their premiums even if they will still be higher than that of a driver over the age of 25.
Although young drivers are statistically more likely to be involved in an accident, many young drivers are perfectly safe behind the wheel. A-Plan’s Young Driver Insurance is designed to help younger drivers pay a fairer rate on their car insurance.