Vans are the essential workhorses for many businesses, but they are also increasingly popular as leisure vehicles for private use. People get very attached to their vans and once they've had one, the chances are they'll have another. 

A van gives you surprising freedom, there's no longer any issue about whether that piece of furniture will fit in the car, it'll definitely fit in the van. If you have a dirt bike, mountain bikes, a surf board or even just fishing gear then a van will make your life a lot easier.  If you are off on a camping trip, a van gives you the option of sleeping in the back if the weather is bad. Vans are also a lot of fun to travel in, the visibility is great because you're above the height of the average car and they are surprisingly comfortable on long journeys. 

If you are using your van for work or business you will need commercial insurance but if you're using your van for social, domestic, pleasure or commuting then you'll need private van insurance. As with car insurance, this can take the form of comprehensive insurance, third party, fire and theft or just third party. The Association of British Insurers categorise vans on a scale of 1-20, from low risk to high.  Among other factors they consider size, weight, value, cost of repairs and emissions but generally speaking the bigger and more powerful your van is, the more it will cost to insure. 

Unfortunately, vans are particularly targeted by thieves who expect to find expensive tools or equipment. A van is broken into every 23 minutes in the UK. The freedom that vans offer is particularly appealing to younger people, but young drivers can find themselves facing very high insurance premiums for a van. Young drivers are statistically high risk.  23% of 18-24 year olds will have an accident within 2 years of passing their driving test. There are things a young driver can do to try and keep their van insurance as low as possible. Things such as fitting an immobiliser and telematics will help, as will parking your van securely in a garage. 

Many people over-estimate their annual mileage. By reducing your annual mileage, you reduce the risk of an accident and therefore your insurance costs. You could also increase your voluntary excess, which will make it more costly for you if you have an accident but will reduce your insurance costs. If you modify your van as a camper van you must tell your insurer, but you don't have to re-register the van as a motor caravan.