Vans with the cheapest insurance

Why cut into your hard-earned profits with expensive van insurance when there are some great cheap-to-insure options?

James Wilson
Aug 2, 2021
Ford Transit Custom front three quarters view

Van insurance is a thorn in the side of many drivers, being that it is an additional business cost that eats into profits. It makes sense, then, to find a van with the cheapest insurance. Not that this is an especially easy task, as the insurance goal posts seem to be changing all the time. Fear not, as we have found eight of the cheapest vans to insure.

All models below are classed as medium-sized vans. Even though they all fit this description, there is a significant amount of variation in body styles. Panel vans are the simplest and one of the most common, with a cabin upfront with two or three seats and then a large cargo area behind. Crew cab vans are very popular, too. These use some of the cargo area for extra seating. There are countless other variations, each bringing advantages that will appeal to different types of drivers.

Vans can have incredibly long model names which can appear to be utter gibberish. Case in point being the Vauxhall Vivaro 3100 2.0d 120PS Dynamic H1. There is, however, some meaning to the madness. ‘Vauxhall Vivaro’ is the make and model. ‘3100’ refers to the maximum permissible weight of the van plus passengers and cargo. ‘2.0d 120PS’ means a 2.0-litre diesel engine producing 120hp.

‘Dynamic’ is the trim level and finally ‘H1’ refers to the height of this model - often manufacturers have different height and length options labelled with 'H' and 'L' figures. The higher the number, the taller or longer a van is.

If you work in areas where there are current or planned additional costs to drive older, more polluting diesel engines (such as the ULEZ charges in central London) it could be financially sensible to choose a van that meets the latest emission standards - called Euro 6. For a refresher on what you need to know about ULEZ charges click here and for more info on Euro 6, take a read of this article.

Many of the vans in this article can be insured for the same amount. Odd though this might seem, it is not uncommon for a particular company to target certain drivers (such as van drivers) and offer competitive rates to attract their business. As such, if you look at more than one of our top five and find that prices are wildly different, it could well be worth shopping around insurance providers some more.

Finally, none of the insurance quotes shown below are Black Box policies - this means you don't have to worry about being monitored or having your premium suddenly jump up, if your driving is deemed high risk. The details used to generate the quotes shown can all be found at the bottom of this article.

Vans with cheap insurance

1. Mercedes Vito

Used deals from £13,496
Monthly finance from £318*

Example modelExample insurance premiumExcess
1.6 111 CDI L2£672£200

 

Although the Mercedes Vito is seen as a more upmarket van, as a result of being a Mercedes, it is tied with five other vans on this list for the title of ‘cheapest van to insure’. It comes with a range of diesel engines and a choice of manual or automatic gearboxes. There is also an electric version which would be worth considering if your work is going to be focused on local areas, as the range per charge is a modest 93 miles and there are savings to be had from driving a zero-emission vehicle in certain cities (such as avoiding the London ULEZ charge, which applies to a large proportion of older diesel vans).

That said, electric Vitos, known as eVitos, are much more expensive to purchase and insure currently - the annual premium would more than double. Panel vans come in a limited range of specifications that focus on function rather than thrills. Progressive trim is the entry-level model and this comes relatively well equipped - for example, all models have a reversing camera, which is a handy addition on any van.

2. Peugeot Expert

Used deals Limited stock

Example modelExample insurance premiumExcess
1.6 BlueHDi 100 Professional SWB£672£350

 

The latest Peugeot Expert was launched in 2016 and although the previous version is a great workhorse, the new model marked a significant improvement in terms of equipment, safety and styling. That said, Peugeot still caters for those wanting a van which comes with the essentials - such as a good-sized load bay, easy-to-clean interior and the ability to connect smartphones through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, helping to improve the ease with which calls can be made on the move.

As for fuel type, there are diesel and electric models to choose from. Peugeot’s diesel engines (which it calls 'BlueHDi') are amongst the best in the business when it comes to emissions and fuel economy. There are two main flavours of BlueHDi engines; one a 1.5-litre engine and the other a 2.0-litre. Since 2016, both versions have been available with different power figures - although Peugeot includes the power figure next to the engine name, which makes looking through car adverts easier. For example, the BlueHDi 100 is a 100hp diesel engine.

3. Renault Trafic

Used deals from £14,495
Monthly finance from £316*

Example modelExample insurance premiumExcess
dCi 120 Sport Nav£672£350

 

Renault is one of the few manufacturers which makes a van with a sporty edge to its styling. For Renault Trafic models such models include the Black Edition and Formula Edition - the latter was used to help promote Renault’s Formula One racing team. Meanwhile, Sport Nav trim is basic, its styling isn’t quite as sporty but it makes up for this with the promise of low insurance premiums.

In 2019 Renault updated its diesel engines to be compliant with the latest emissions legislation. This is great for those who drive in areas where the local authority imposes charges on more polluting non-compliant cars, such as central London. Older versions are still great vans, though, as they are comfortable enough to drive and the rear cargo area is one of the more spacious for a mid-sized van.

4. Volkswagen Transporter

Used deals from £16,995
Monthly finance from £396*

Example modelExample insurance premiumExcess
2.0 TDI BMT 102 Startline£672£350

 

Few vans are as widely recognised as the Volkswagen Transporter. Not only that but it feels like a very upmarket product compared with most vans. All generations of the Transporter have come with great build quality and modern cabins for the time, so they make strong used choices.

As a result, they can cost more to buy than rivals from Peugeot or Vauxhall, but as they are desirable used, this can reduce monthly payments when using PCP finance - as the expected value of the van at the end of the contract is just as important in shaping the monthly payments as the new price. This also means that those who pay cash are likely to get more money back when they come to sell than with most other vans.

The latest version (pictured above) was launched in the autumn of 2019 although this was more of a significant update than a completely brand new model. The hardest changes to spot are the exterior ones, but trust us, Volkswagen did change the front bumper, grille and headlights. Inside there were bigger changes, including the addition of a media system that has been used in Volkswagen cars, such as the Polo.

5. Toyota Proace

Toyota Proace front three quarters view

Used deals from £11,499
Monthly finance from £277*

Example modelExample insurance premiumExcess
1.6D 95 Comfort Van£672£350

 

The Proace is part of a quadruplet of basically identical vans - the other three being the Peugeot Expert, Citroen Dispatch and Vauxhall Vivaro. Just like its stablemates, the Toyota promises to be economical and easy to drive. It does have one big advantage and that is its five-year/100,000-mile warranty, which is longer than its sibling vans, making it a particularly good choice as a used van, as a three-year-old model would have two years' of manufacturer cover left compared with nothing for the others.

The Proace doesn’t have the largest cargo area (especially compared to rivals such as the Renault Trafic) but then its smaller size helps the Toyota be easier to manoeuvre around town. There are different lengths, mind - called compact, medium and long. No points for guessing which is the smallest. There isn’t a choice of heights, though.

6. Vauxhall Vivaro

Used deals from £10,695
Monthly finance from £216*

Example modelExample insurance premiumExcess
3100 2.0d 120PS Dynamic H1£683£350

 

The Vauxhall Vivaro van moved from being built on the same platform as the Renault Trafic to being built on the same platform as the Peugeot Expert in 2019. Our insurance quote is based on the newer version. In truth, there are benefits to both vans - much of which has been covered in the sections for the related vans above. The older Renault-based models have a large cargo area but the newer Peugeot-based models are easier to drive through crowded urban roads.

Another thing to bear in mind is that the Vauxhall Vivaro is actually made in the UK - while the overwhelming majority of cars and vans sold in the country are made overseas. Therefore, by opting for a Vivaro you are buying into a British-built van. The Peugeot Expert and Citroen Dispatch are made on the same production line, too.

7. Ford Transit Custom

Used deals from £13,450
Monthly finance from £285*

Example modelExample insurance premiumExcess
2.0 EcoBlue 130PS Low Roof£747£200

 

Surprising it may be for a van, but one of the Ford Transit Custom’s standout features is how good it is to drive. We aren’t talking about performance car handling, but its steering is amongst the most precise you will find in a van. Plus, there is a range of punchy yet frugal diesel engines to choose from. The 130hp unit is a great all-rounder for those that expect to do town and motorway driving. There are different length and height Transit Customs to choose from, too.

The Transit Custom was updated for 2018 bringing with it a much more imposing grille design. There was a raft of other changes, too, namely making the interior feel more upmarket. As Ford has seemingly constantly tweaked the Transit Custom over the years, a simple rule of thumb is the newer the van the better it will be.

8. Nissan NV300

Used deals Limited stock

Example modelExample insurance premiumExcess
1.6dCi 120PS H1 Acenta£795£450

 

The Nissan NV300 is based on the same platform as the Renault Trafic and therefore the older Vauxhall Vivaro. It was launched in 2017 and comes in three flavours: entry-level Visia, mid-range Acenta and range-topping Tekna. Visia models are quite basic but they do come with Bluetooth and a USB port for charging.

Initially, Nissan offered the NV300 with a choice of two 1.6-litre diesel engines but since then these have been replaced by three 2.0-litre engines (all of which meet the latest emissions standards). Nissan claims that the 145hp 2.0-litre engine is capable of 52.3mpg, which is quite high for a commercial vehicle. One of the biggest bonuses of the Nissan NV300 is its long warranty, which lasts for five years or 100,000 miles.

Additionally, Nissan has set servicing intervals for 2.0-litre versions of the NV300 for every 25,000 miles or two years, which is a pretty big mileage gap, meaning that high-mileage drivers may have less to spend on servicing with the NV300 than many other vans.

*Example insurance quotes

In each of the example insurance premiums quoted above the following driver information was used. The main driver is a 27-year-old man living in Marlow, Buckinghamshire in his parents’ house who has held a full UK driving licence for seven years and has five years’ no claims bonus. He is a sole trader and has been established for one year. He is not a member of a trade organisation, he will not be carrying dangerous goods and he will not be visiting hazardous sites. His business insurance covers public liability insurance. There is signage on the back and sides of the van but no bad driver hotline. At night the van is parked on the driveway at his parents’ home. He has no motoring convictions, no children under 16 and no medical conditions. His father, who has held his licence for over 25 years, is a named driver on the policy. The policy is comprehensive and is set to start three weeks after the date of the quote. He pays annually.

*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
Deposit: £0
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.

 

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