Van breakdown cover

If you drive a van, find out how breakdown cover can protect your vehicle to help you decide if it's worth taking out.

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If you worry about being stuck at the side of the road in the event your van breaks down, you might want to consider van breakdown cover, which can help get you back on the road in no time. Read our guide to find out what is and isn’t included, the different types of cover on the market, and the deals available to you.

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What is van breakdown cover?

Van breakdown cover typically lets you insure your van or minibus weighing under 3.5 tonnes against the unfortunate event of it breaking down.

What are the different types of van breakdown cover?

Although policies will vary between providers offering the breakdown cover, you will generally be able to choose between two different types of policies.

A vehicle policy is specific to the insured van, regardless of who is driving it. A personal policy is specific to you and allows you to drive any permitted vehicle.

If your van is part of a business fleet then commercial breakdown cover is needed.

You will also have the option between:

  • Standard breakdown cover. This is usually an annual policy that you pay for. Based on the level of breakdown cover you choose, you will then be covered for any call-out or recovery charge.
  • Insurance style: This is where you pay for the call-out or recovery of your vehicle and then claim the costs back.

What is included in van breakdown cover?

The features of the van breakdown cover will differ between providers as well as the level of cover you choose. Generally, you might see the following options:

  • Local roadside assistance. If your van breaks down, you’ll get roadside assistance and recovery to a local garage for any repair work that can’t be completed at the roadside.
  • National roadside assistance. Regardless of where your van breaks down, you can choose where you would like the van towed to for repair work, if the mechanic is unable to fix it at the roadside.
  • Home breakdown. If you’re close to home when your van breaks down, or it won’t start outside of your home, you’ll get assistance with repairs.
  • Onward travel. This will ensure your journey can continue even if your van can’t immediately be fixed. You could get a replacement van or tickets for public transport. In some cases, you may be covered for an overnight stay.
  • European breakdown cover. This can be taken out for single European trips or as an annual policy offering cover for unlimited trips to Europe within the policy term.

Be sure to read your policy document carefully to ensure you have the right level of cover for your needs.

Van Breakdown cover exclusions

Make sure to familiarise yourself with any potential exclusions that could invalidate your van breakdown cover. The insurer may refuse to offer cover if:

  • The van is not properly maintained. General maintenance of vans, such as oil checks and tyre checks, are important to ensure a vehicle is safe to ride.
  • The van breaks down on private land. The recovery vehicle may not be able to access the land that you’re stranded on.
  • The van breaks down after a collision. Recovery may be delayed while emergency services tend to the scene of an accident. Some policies may also exclude breakdown recovery following a collision.
  • The van is deemed a heavy goods vehicle. Check whether the insurer will offer breakdown cover for your size of van, as some insurers will refuse cover for these types of vehicles.

Additional cover

In addition to breakdown cover, there may be other types of cover that could prove beneficial to you as the owner of a van. These might include:

  • Special vehicle cover. This will cover other vehicles such as motorbikes as well as caravans or trailers that might be attached to your van and may require protection.
  • Wrong fuel cover. This is cover to get you back on the road if you accidentally put the wrong fuel in the van.
  • Key replacement cover. This provides cover if you can’t find your keys or if they’ve been stolen or damaged.

Pros and cons of van breakdown cover

Pros

  • Save money
  • Peace of mind

Cons

  • If you have vehicle breakdown cover on your own van but decide to drive a different van which then breaks down, you would not be covered
  • If you have personal breakdown cover but someone else drives your van when it breaks down, they would not be covered

Frequently asked questions


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