May 21, 2021 | Car insurance,

What’s the difference between car and van insurance?

Insuring your vehicle is crucial to protect you, your passengers, and other drivers against any accidents or unexpected damage.

With so many policies available, how do you know which one to choose? And, is there a difference between car and van insurance? 

In short, yes. While cars are mainly used for independent travel and private use, vans are often used for a variety of business-related tasks that other vehicles cannot perform. Vans also come in different shapes and sizes that can affect the type of commercial vehicle insurance needed.

At Campion Insurance, we’re here to help you find the best car and van insurance quotes across Ireland. 

Who needs car insurance?

Private car insurance is a legal requirement for any driver over the age of 17. If you’ve recently bought a new car or your current insurance policy is about to come to an end, finding the right quote can help you save money and feel confident in your cover.

The kind of cover you require may vary depending on your car and what you use it for. There are three general insurance categories: 

  • Third-party
  • Third-party, fire and theft
  • Comprehensive

What do these car insurance options cover? 

Third-party insurance

At a minimum, third-party motor insurance is mandatory by Irish law (Road Traffic Act, 1961). You will need to display your car insurance disc in your vehicle when driving.

Third-party insurance protects you against liability if you injure a third party (either a passenger or another driver). This insurance type also protects you against liability if you damage a third party’s vehicle or property.

Besides third-party insurance, other kinds of car insurance are available. They can help you feel more comfortable on the roads. 

Third-party, fire and theft insurance

This kind of insurance involves the same coverage as third-party insurance. However, in addition, your car will be covered for fire damage or if your car is stolen. 

Comprehensive insurance

For complete protection, a comprehensive insurance policy is the one to go for. You will receive cover against third-party liability, fire and theft, but comprehensive cover will also cover damage to your car in the event of an accident even if it was your fault. 

Optional extras

Alongside the main insurance policies, you can add other elements to your cover. For example, you may wish to have No Claims Discount protection or windscreen cover. 

You may also like to insure against any damaged or stolen personal property kept in your car or sign up for emergency recovery services. If you have to hire a car while your own vehicle is off the road, you can get a policy that covers the cost of the rental. 

At Campion, we help you find flexible insurance options and are happy to advise you on how to tailor cover, including optional extras, to your individual needs. It’s quick and easy to get a quote online. So why not get in touch today to discuss your car insurance requirements?


hand holding black wheel of car

Who needs van insurance?

Whilst drivers of all private vehicles legally require third-party insurance, if you own a van or commercial vehicle, you may need different or additional cover. Vans need different cover to private cars because they are often used for purposes outside of personal travel. 

You may also see ‘commercial vehicle’ insurance options on the market. Commercial vehicles (CVs) are vans, lorries, or trucks used for transporting goods or materials for business purposes. 

It’s important to know that there are technically no differences between van insurance and commercial vehicle insurance policies. However, which you go for depends on the weight of your vehicle. If you have a van weighing over 3.5 tonnes, you may need to take out commercial vehicle insurance. Smaller vans can be covered by standard van insurance. 

Similarly, a commercial vehicle cannot be insured on a van policy if any modifications have been made or if there are seats in the back.

Private, commercial or fleet insurance 

If you use your van for private travel — for example, hobbies and going on holiday — you can take out a private van insurance policy. However, if you use your van for work or commuting, you will need commercial or ‘business’ van insurance. 

Once you’ve established you require business van insurance, you’ll see there are three categories of commercial van cover:

Carriage of own goods: this type of insurance suits sole traders or other people who carry goods, such as tools, for business purposes.

Carriage of goods for hire and reward: if you carry goods for other people in return for payment, this type of insurance can cover your van.

Courier and haulage: this type of insurance policy covers your van if you carry items for other people across long distances — for example, if you import or export goods.

As with car insurance, we can offer you additional extras to suit you, such as no claims protection and legal liability to tow a trailer.

Fleet insurance

The number of vans you drive also affects whether you need private, commercial, or fleet insurance. A fleet is essentially a group of vehicles owned by a single person or used by a single company. So, if you or your company operate five or more vehicles, your best option may be to take out a fleet insurance policy. 

Fleet insurance covers all the vehicles you use for your business under one policy, making it easier to plan and manage. Some specialist companies will insure as few as two vans under fleet insurance, but most require a minimum of five to qualify. At the other end of the scale, some companies can insure thousands of vehicles under a fleet policy.

At Campion Insurance, we can compare a range of policies and insurers to find a fleet cover that works for you.

So whether you’re looking for car, van, private, commercial, or fleet insurance, we can help you find a policy that suits your needs at the best possible price. Feel free to contact us for a quote or call on 1890 300 301, and we’ll be more than happy to help.


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For the purpose of determining the term over which pension contributions are made, we have assumed your birthday was exactly six months ago.

If your target retirement age is lower than the age at which the Social Welfare pension commences (age 68 if you are born on/after 01/01/1961, age 67 if born before this date but on/after 01/01/1955 and age 66 if born before 01/01/1955) the calculations allow for funding for this gap, in addition to the cost of the annuity.

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We have allowed for inflation of your target monthly income of 2.5% per annum between now and your retirement date.

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Your monthly pension contribution increases by 2.5% each year up until your retirement age and is invested in a pension plan with an annual management charge of 1% and a 5% charge on each contribution, in line with the Standard PRSA fees and charges maximum limit.

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