The cost of van insurance has jumped by a massive 29.5% over the past year, according to new figures from insurance market experts Consumer Intelligence – with the average renewal price now more than £1,600 a year.

Consumer Intelligence attributes the rise to a 2% increase in insurance premium tax charged to companies and the Government's decision to award larger compensation payments to people who have an accident and suffer life-changing injuries, known as the Ogden rate changes.

Consumer Intelligence pricing expert John Blevins said: "The acceleration in insurance costs for van drivers is down to the Ogden changes in March with tax rises and claim costs adding to the pressure.

"Before the Ogden rules came into effect in March, prices were rising by around 1% a month and then rocketed by 11.4% in April, with the insurance premium tax rise in June adding another 2%."

How to cut the cost of van insurance

Our Cheap Van Insurance guide has step-by-step help on cutting costs – but in brief:

  1. Get the right cover. Check how much cover you need, eg, do you need to carry hazardous materials, require quick repairs?
  2. Find the cheapest quotes. The quickest way to do this is via comparison sites. We suggest you compare in the following order: The Van Insurer*,*, Gocompare* and MoneySupermarket*. Also check the big sites the comparisons miss – Aviva* and Direct Line*.
  3. Check special deals. You can sometimes get deals with extras, eg, free breakdown, directly from insurers or brokers – see Van insurance special deals.
  4. Grab cashback and haggle. While you should now have a cheap quote, you may be able to shave even more off the price. Haggling can be particularly effective if you're a higher risk driver.