Van drivers – a breed of their own

We’ve all heard the infamous tales of the white van man. Travelling at break neck speeds in urbanised areas and thinking the 70mph speed limit is just something you have to hit in third gear. Heaven knows how they get on looking for cheap van insurance, with that stigma attached to their breed.

One thing you can’t say they lack, other than the perceived ignorance of UK speed limits, is passion. And that theory has just been backed by research conducted by one of the van insurance industry’s big boys, Swinton.

The survey unearthed aspects of the UK van driver that, until now, had been part of urban folklore, and nothing more. The key factor – and this will come as no surprise to commercial vehicle insurance providers within the industry – is that over half of them prefer their van to their domestic vehicle. That’s right – 53% of them would rather bomb about at the weekend in their van than their private car.

Other than the added mileage clocked up, this does have other implications, especially if the van drivers believe that their cheap van insurance stretches to their car, or vice versa. Very often, one policy for domestic use does not convey legal entitlement to drive their van.

The reasons for the preferences, and the uses that some drivers put their vans to, are quite surprising.

The main justification drivers gave for these preferences was that driving the van commanded more authority on the road. You can see where this is going, already.

There was a safety aspect, too, and that was the commercial vehicle often offers greater visibility to the road, ahead.

Third on the list was purely the space issue – what that space is used for, as almost 20% said they’d used their van on a first date, I’ll leave up to your imagination.

Fourth – and one that perhaps has the greatest implications when looking for very cheap van insurance in the future – is that collatoral damage, such as scratches, graizes and bumps, is almost expected on the van in the industrial workplace, whereas the value to a private car, financially and socially, would be harder to accept. Especially if they were looking to keep the no claims bonus in tact on the domestic vehicle.

And fifth on the list is reputation – van drivers quite like the ideology of being known as ‘the man with the van’.

In addition, the survey also revealed that one third ran errands for family and friends outside of work, which may or may not contribute to the fact that over half of the van drivers polled spent up to 65 hours a week behind the wheel of their commercial vehicle.

For those amounts of hours spent on the road, whatever the cost of the policy, it would be considered very cheap van insurance for the value of cover over driving time.

So, next time you see that man in the van, just don’t go looking him directly in the eyes – you may be scared of what lies beyond….

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