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Van insurance shock: Tradespeople facing costs of more than £1,000 in 2024

by Amy Johnson LLB Finance Reporter
25th Jan 24 8:39 am

A national shortage of skilled tradespeople, such as plumbers and electricians, is set to cost the UK £98bn in missed economic growth by 2030 according to research by Kingfisher.

It is currently thought the UK is facing a shortage of 166,000 tradespeople, a skills gap that desperately needs to be filled. However, a new study by van leasing experts in Vanarama has found that tradespeople are facing costs of over £1,000 just to insure their vans, rising costs to run trade businesses will only deter more people from trade professions.

Vanarama’s study, which analysed electric van insurance and diesel van insurance costs for 40 of the most popular tradespeople job titles, found that the highest insurance price for an electric van was £1,159.91 and the highest for a diesel van was £837.28.

Vanarama created an ‘average van driver profile’ to ensure the only variable changed for each insurance quote was the job title and van type. The vans used for this study were the UK’s best-selling van, the Ford Transit Custom and the UK’s best-selling electric van, the Vauxhall Vivaro-e. The value of each van was determined by analysing Auto Trader listings and calculating the average price.

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Mechanics lead in both ICE van insurance and electric van insurance. Yet, the situation takes a steeper turn for them when it comes to insuring an electric van. Specifically, mechanics face a considerable expense of £1,159.91 to ensure coverage for their electric van over a year, which is £152.62 more expensive than the lowest insurance quote received for the 40 job titles.

The challenges for mechanics don’t end there. The gap between their costs and the next more expensive quote widens when transitioning to electric van insurance. While, for a diesel van, Mechanics incur a £39.09 difference compared to the next highest quote, the gap extends to £50.27 when it comes to electric vans. £1,109.64, is the next highest quote, which is given to five different trades including furniture removers, lift engineers, and refrigeration engineers.

Trade professionals pay a minimum of £1,004.29 for electric van insurance, which on one hand is a substantial £155.62 saving in comparison to mechanics, but on the other hand, is still a considerable cost. Also, in comparison to the cheapest diesel van insurance, it is still an increase of £281.52.

Vanarama’s study found that furniture removers will receive an annual insurance premium amounting to £798.19 for their diesel vans. This figure places furniture removers in the second-highest quote bracket of the leaderboard.

In contrast, at the other end of the scale, the study finds that occupations such as builders, carpenters, electricians, painters, and decorators all receive an annual insurance expense of £722.77. A difference of £114.51, almost 16% (15.8%) less than compared to what mechanics will pay.

When analysing the data, it’s also interesting to discover that so many trades are quoted the same lower price of £722.77. Aside from the aforementioned trades, 14 other trade jobs, including gardeners, joiners and plasterers received an identical quote, totalling 19 overall.

Vanarama’s study found that the average diesel van insurance annual premium is £753.39 for the trade occupations analysed. Compared to £1,040.56 for the average electric van insurance annual premium, which is an increase of £287.17, this could pose a challenge for tradespeople considering going green and making the switch to an EV.

Those working as refrigeration engineers are hit the worst if they opt to drive more eco-friendly. Refrigeration engineers will need to pay £1,109.64 a year if they want to insure an electric van compared to just £722.77 if they were to drive an ICE van instead. A difference of £386.87, the biggest difference for any trade professional.

Methodology: Following our car insurance reports in 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 this update switches its focus to van insurance, with a specific focus on the trade industry. We selected 56 of the most common trades, whittling the number down to a core 40 as some trades would not require their own van for self-employment purposes.

To reduce the variables and focus on the discrepancy in premiums on job title alone, our report has been created using an average driver profile, similar to ones used before, and covers many factors such as the driver’s location, relationship status and even where the car is kept at night.

In all cases, the cheapest premium available was taken from MoneySuperMarket for each job title. Data gathered November 2023.

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