Is the school run in the van legal?

Mammy was once told that, for one of her smiles, the ‘coloured’ crooner would walk a million miles. Although the Black and White Minstrels have long since been outlawed as politically incorrect, it seems that the sentiment remains, only this time Mammy is returning the favour.

Results from a recent survey by Kwik Fit, the tyre fitters and auto-repair specialists, have recorded that the average parents rack up an impressive 491 miles on UK roads ferrying their offspring to and from various sporting activities in which they are involved as part of the school’s extra curricular program. For owners of domestic vehicles, such as your family saloon or 4×4, other than the expense of the fuel and additional wear on the tyres, there is little other issue. Indeed, it is all the more to sport the ‘Mum’s taxi’ badge in the rear windscreen.

However, it is a very different story for van and commercial vehicle owners who think nothing of picking up their son, and possibly a couple of his friends in the back if it is a larger van, and running them to the soccer game after school and then returning to pick them up again after they’ve finished their shift.

Van insurance policies, unlike standard car insurance, can be very specific in relation to what the vehicle is permitted to do under its cover policy. Vans, after all, are classed as a work vehicle. If you are working for a small-medium enterprise and have a very understanding boss, it may well be that transporting third party passengers is included in the policy. However, if you are a sole trader or work for a large organisation, where fleet tracking systems monitor all vehicle movements, the likelihood is that no such allowance has been incorporated within the van insurance premium.

In a previous article here on, we highlighted many of the uses that van drivers use their vehicles for that are not work-related and ferrying children was one of the more common admissions. It does make you wonder how many parents are running the risk of losing more than their jobs if they are involved in an incident whilst doing their children or the school a ‘favour’. For the moms and dads out there who feel obliged to do this or, as is often the case, once you’ve done it the first time, it is suddenly expected of you to do it time and again, using the ‘van insurance’ clause is one hell of a get out for you.

With the onset of winter, with patrols more wary than ever of suspicious driving activity, perhaps now is as good a time as any to ditch the school run if you are a commercial vehicle driver or, at the very least, try to find a cheap van insurance policy, even if it is just 28-day cover, to tide you over the festive season and help ensure it is a merry Christmas, after all.

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