One of the few similarities between a car and a van is that both vehicles have an engine and a windscreen. There are far more differences between these two types of vehicle then might be thought possible, which is why there are very different types of insurance policies in place. So, where exactly are the differences reflected?

The van

When insurance companies are drafting their policies, actuaries have to take very many different factors into account. For example, vans are frequently used for business and will often be driven over hundreds or even thousands of miles, whereas a car might only be used for the school run and occasional shopping trips.


White Van (PD)

White Van (PD)

Commercial van insurance should always be in place if the driver is considering using the vehicle for business. A van can be used to transport goods and equipment that is essential for a business, but a car is usually only used to transport family members and friends, unless used as a taxi. In this case, another type of insurance should be acquired in order to comply with the law.


One factor that insurers have to take into account is whether any goods that are stored in the back of the van will be covered should there be an accident. This differs enormously from car insurance, where the value of contents held within the vehicle is anticipated to be significantly lower.

Most vans have to be insured for use by numerous drivers and if this cover is not in place and a driver other than that named on the policy is caught behind the wheel, then legal action could ensue.

Legal costs

Given that any encounter with the law is bound to be expensive, legal costs are another factor that need to be taken into account when purchasing insurance. These costs should also cover a replacement vehicle so that the insured can carry out their business and not lose income as a result of an accident.

It is important to remember that insurance companies work from thousands of potential scenarios and assess the risk to each of these cases. The price of an insurance policy is evaluated from this calculation.


Given the different reasons for driving a van compared to a car, it makes sense to have the right type of insurance in place. If you have an accident in your car, you will still be able to go to work if you weren’t injured; you would simply have to use taxis, a replacement car, or public transport. Small businesses that rely on vans to earn their income however, can only hire other vans; they cannot carry out their trade carrying all of their tools on a bus for example and this is something which should be covered by insurance wherever possible.

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