Need cover for your heavy goods vehicle?

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Last updated: 22/10/2020 | Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Heavy goods vehicle (HGV) insurance

If you own an HGV you are legally required to take out a van insurance policy, even if you do not plan to drive it. Generally, the basic structure of the insurance policy will not be that different from a car or a standard van. However, there are specific issues that are only relevant to HGVs and therefore it’s important to understand what sort of policy you need before shopping around.

In This Guide:

What is the difference between HGV and lgv?

If you are driving an HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) or LGV (Large Goods Vehicle) you can use the same licence. These licences will cover all commercial trucks which have a gross mass of over 3.5 tonnes (3500 kg). Often, you will hear that you need a different licence but this is actually when the term LGV is thought to stand for ‘Light Goods Vehicles’ such as vans or pickup trucks.

How do you get a licence for HGV and lgvs?

To get a licence for HGV and LGV vehicles, you will need to complete 4 tests and 35 hours of training every five years. This is called a ‘Certificate of Professional Competence’ (CPC). If your HGV is put to use on a goods-carrying business then you will have to hold an operator’s licence.

HGV insurance categories

As with any other vehicle, there are three main types of HGV insurance, third party, fire and theft, and comprehensive. How useful these policies will be depends on your individual circumstances therefore it’s important to compare insurance before you purchase it.

Third Party Only (TPO)

This is often the minimum that you will need to be able to drive legally in the United Kingdom. If you have an accident that was your fault and you have this insurance your insurer will pay out for any costs to third parties, either through damage or injury. This will also cover any injuries to passengers. However, this type of insurance will not cover you and your van in the event of an accident.

Third Party, Fire and Theft (TPFT)

Generally this is the same insurance as TPO, and will additionally cover you for fire or theft, and the damage caused by a theft.


Comprehensive will give you the most protection. It will cover everything that the two other categories do. Depending on which type of comprehensive you purchase, it can also cover windscreen damage, medical expenses, personal effects, and accidental damage.

Other things to consider

Aside from the main three categories of policy, there are a few additional things to consider when applying for HGV insurance:

  • Commercial Insurance: Generally HGVs will be used for commercial purposes, and you will need to get specific cover depending on the type of business that you are doing. Categories for commercial insurance include Hire and Reward, and carriage of own goods. The differences between these categories are minor but you must make sure you are correctly covered.
  • Hazardous Goods: If your HGV is carrying hazardous materials you need to be specifically covered for this, and not all insurers provide such cover so it’s important to check the terms and conditions before taking out a policy.

How to save on HGV insurance

There are a number of ways that you can save on your HGV insurance

  • Telematics or Black Box van insurance: Insurers will offer you the option of placing a GPS tracker on your HGV. This will report back on your driving and if you are deemed to be a ‘safe’ driver (adhere to speed limits, stick to main roads) they will reduce your premium.
  • Fleet Insurance: If you own more than one HGV, it will save you money to put them all onto one policy.
  • Cameras: Installing cameras on the dashboard can eliminate any doubt over who is at fault in the event of an accident and can be very useful for making an insurance claim.
  • Security: Generally the more secure your HGV is, the lower your premium will be. This can mean installing extra locks, an alarm system, and even where you park the HGV at night.
  • Compare van insurance policies: whatever type of policy you need, the most important thing you can do if you want to keep your costs down is to shop around. Use our free van insurance comparison tool to see what's available.