If you only need a van for a couple of days, it won’t be cost-effective to buy an annual van insurance policy. This is where short-term cover comes in. Read on to find out how it works.
Short-term or temporary van insurance 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 30 days, although some policies will offer cover for a couple of months.
With short-term van insurance you’ll get the same protection as annual van insurance, including cover for:
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 only be covered for damage caused to third parties – your own van will not be covered for anything other than fire and theft.
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 belongings
You need a van for work purposes, but only from time to time
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
Short-term insurance is a good option if you need to 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 also 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. Read our guide on how to get a SORN for your vehicle.
Short-term van insurance can be used for personal use or if you’re a sole trader or small business. Depending on the policy, you can usually insure your van for:
Social, domestic and pleasure use
Commuting, plus social, domestic and pleasure use
Carriage of own goods connected with your business
Courier or haulage use
Carriage of passengers for hire and reward
Remember: You must tell your insurer the type of goods you will be carrying and for what type of business. You will only be insured for carrying the goods you have named and for the purpose you have stated.
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.
Insurers are often stricter about who they offer short-term cover to, so 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 eight or more points on your driving licence
You have had your licence for less than a year
Your van is worth 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.
You can usually insure the following types of vans with a short-term policy:
Pickup - single cab
Pickup - double cab
You only pay for the time you need
It can be quick and easy to arrange
If you have to make a claim, it won’t affect your no claims discount or that of the van owner’s
You’ll usually be given comprehensive cover in the UK, plus third party cover in Europe as standard
You’ll be paying more per day than you would with an annual policy which means it can get expensive if you need to use a van several times over the course of a year
It can be more expensive than being added to someone else’s policy as a named driver
You may not qualify