When you upgrade to a van, you may find that your running costs jump up. The sheer expense of running a larger vehicle often escapes first time buyers. They forget to factor in these costs into their budget. Of course, purchasing a van is a big undertaking. Whether you’re a lone buyer or purchasing a fleet for your company, it’s a big step. However, it’s not just the initial purchase cost you’ve got to worry about.
You’ll suddenly become aware of increased road tax, heavier tolls and much bigger fuel bills. Your running costs in general will go up. One other thing that you’ll notice is the increase in your insurance premium. Understandably a bigger, heavier vehicle will cost you more at the pumps and at tolls. You’re burning through more fuel and putting more pressure on the roads and bridges. But why does this affect your insurance? You’re still the same, safe driver you were before, why has your premium gone up?
That’s what we’re going to look at today. We’ll help you understand why exactly it costs more to insure a van than a car. We’ll start by looking at insurance in general. We’ll explain the factors that affect the price of your premium. That way it will be easier to understand why a van incurs such a bigger quote. After that, we’ll take a look at how you can bring that insurance quote down. There is always a way to pull the premium down and we’ll show you how.
First and foremost, insurance companies base their premium quotes on perceived risk. The insurance companies are the ones who have to fork out for repairs and damages. If you are involved in an accident, they pay for the damages incurred. With that in mind, those cars and drivers that carry the most risk will have to pay more. Quite simply, the more likely you are to incur a problem, the higher the premium rate.
In order to determine how ‘risky’ you and your vehicle are, insurance companies take a number of factors into account.
Age – According to statistics, young drivers are much more likely to be involved in a crash than older drivers. For that reason, younger drivers incur a higher rate as they are a higher risk. This won’t really impact your van quote, but we’ve included it to show how risk affects the price.
Occupation – Insurance companies will assess your occupation for risk factors. If you work from home and rarely use the car for business, your quote will be lower. If you spend your working day on the road, the risk of accidents increases dramatically. Here you can see why driving a van can incur a higher charge. In most cases, vans are part of an occupation and spend most of the day on the road. This increases the chance of an accident and that is reflected in the insurance quote.
The vehicle – Insurers consider larger, more powerful vehicles to be more dangerous. Due to their size and power, they have the potential to do more damage to others. Again, this is backed up by statistics. When you consider the size of your van, you can understand why the premium is higher. In the event of an accident, a van is likely to cause much more damage to another vehicle. Simply because of its size and power it will increase the damage expense.
Security – When you insure a car, the company will always ask where it is stored overnight. This is to assess the security and likelihood of theft. Cars that are safely locked away in a garage will find themselves in a lower insurance group. Vans can’t often be stored in a garage away from thieves. In addition to that, vans are a bigger target for thievery as they are likely to have goods inside. Owning a van increases the likelihood of theft. Therefore, the insurance premium goes up.
Driving behaviour – Insurers like to get a sense of how you use your vehicle. They generally base this on the number of miles you clock up over the year. Lower mileage suggests that the vehicle is rarely used. An insurer can infer that there is a lower risk of accident if the car is used less. Vans, by their nature are workhorses. They are out on the road all day, clocking up lots of miles. The sheer amount of time on the road means they are more at risk of accident.
Driver – It often costs more to insure a driver who does not own the vehicle. When it comes to vans, most are not actually driven by their owners. Most are company vans, owned by the business. Securing the insurance for another driver costs a little more.
How to cut costs
As you can see, vans suffer from higher insurance rates simply because they are higher risk. They are on the road more often meaning the chance of an accident increases. Their size and power means they will cause more destruction if they are involved. Finally, they are prized targets for thieves due to cargo and lack of security. However, that doesn’t mean you have to settle for a big quote. There are ways to bring it down. Next, we’ll show you how.
Tighten security – Safety and security is key. The best van dealers can help you out when you purchase the vehicle. Western Van Centre, for example, can help you install alarms, immobilisers and tracking systems. If you have already bought your van, a professional garage can add them later.
Size – As we mentioned before, smaller is better. Before you buy your van, consider if you could shift down one size. It will make a big difference. Don’t buy more van than you need.
Parking – Finding a safe and secure spot to store your van will bring the insurance down significantly.
As a van owner or driver, you can expect to pay a little extra for your running costs. On the plus side, you get to drive a van! You are bigger, higher and more powerful than most vehicles on the road. Enjoy yourself and use our tips to bring your running costs down!