Should you get short term van insurance?

If you only need a van for a couple of days, it is not worth getting insured for a whole year. This is where short term cover comes in. Here is how it works.

Man standing in front of van

What is short term van insurance?

It is a policy that covers your van for a short period of time. Most policies offer cover from one day, up to a maximum of 28 days.

Short term van insurance is for privately owned vehicles, so you cannot cover a van you rent.

What does it cover?

You get the same protection as annual van insurance, including cover for:

  • Accidental damage

  • Damage or loss caused by fire

  • Theft of your van

  • Damage you cause to third party property

Most short term van insurers only offer fully comprehensive policies, but you might be able to find third party, fire and theft cover. This might be slightly cheaper, but you will not be covered for damage to your van.

Here is what van insurance covers

When do you need short term cover?

You might need a short term van insurance policy if:

  • You are moving home, and want to borrow someone's van for a couple of days to transport your things

  • You need to drive a new van home before you arrange an annual insurance policy

  • You want to share the driving of a friend's van on a long journey or holiday

It is a good option if you borrow a van from a friend, because it means if you have an accident while driving it, their policy and no claims bonus will not be affected.

You could use short term cover to insure a van you only use occasionally. However, you must declare it off the road with a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) when it is not being used. If you do not get a SORN for an uninsured van, you could face a fine. Here is how to get a SORN for your vehicle.

How much does it cost?

The price you pay depends on several factors, including:

  • The van you want to cover

  • Your age and driving experience

  • How long you want cover for

For one day of cover you may be quoted between £20 and £30, but it could be more than this depending on your circumstances.

Find out what affects the cost of van insurance here

Are you eligible for short term cover?

Insurers are often more strict about who they offer short term cover to. You may not be able to get cover if:

  • You are under a certain age, e.g. 21

  • You are over a certain age, e.g. 75

  • You have 8 or more points on your driving licence

  • You have had your licence for less than a year

  • Your van cost more than a certain amount, for example £60,000

  • Your van weighs more than 3.5 tonnes

Not all insurers have the same exclusions, so it is worth checking the policy documents to see if you would be eligible for a policy.