Winter is, without a doubt, the most treacherous time of the year for van drivers up and down the length of the UK. If there is any time of the year that van drivers are likely to dent an impeccable van insurance policy, this side of Christmas and the New Year is it.
And we’re not just talking about sleet, snow, ice and fog – big enough threats to a no claims bonus in their own rite. No, this is something altogether more deadly than a bout of inclement wintry showers and definitely more avoidable, yet no less deadly.
Drink driving remains the scourge of UK roads and, for the businessman who relies on his wheels to carry out his job, the single most likely cause to increase costs if and when a lost license is returned. One of the standard questions on any application form when searching for online van insurance quotes is ‘do you have any prior disqualifications?‘. Whether it was a moment of madness that cost you your license or not will have no bearing on the outcome. Your first van insurance premium, when returning from a drink-drive ban, will be a headache worse than the one after you were caught behind the wheel above the legal limit.
your license, your job, your livelihood
As a domestic driver, being drunk whilst in charge of a motor vehicle can bring shame on the household and, for a while, lose you certain losses of privileges. But, other than a hefty fine, the household income may be largely unaffected. For the sole trader or the driver as part of a fleet for a larger organisation, the affect can have deeper ramifications.
Usually, the big corporation will not appreciate the slight on their reputation; even if you are offered a position elsewhere in the company, it may be on lower pay and you will always have that stigma hanging over your head.
For the self-employed commercial vehicle driver, especially if your sole trade is along the lines of a taxi driver or courier service, you may as well shut up shop and call it a day if you’re found guilty of driving under the influence.
There are many costs to consider. As well as writing off the prospect of ever finding a cheap van insurance policy again, will you be able to fund your vehicle if it is paid for through a loan? It will, in effect, become a non-productive burden on your capital, as will any road-tax, MOT or van insurance that you will have paid for, but is now useless as a tool to adding profit to your bottom line.
The message is simple. Enjoy Christmas, of course, but as soon as you reach into your pocket to buy that first drink (there will inevitably be a festive ‘one for the road’), take out your keys and leave them with someone who will not let you have them back until you are in a fit condition to get behind the wheel, again.