Will signwriting your van void your fleet insurance?

Branding your van with your business name or logo is a great form of advertising but can it also impact on your vehicle insurance. In this blog, we look at the pros and cons of signwriting your van and why it’s vital you let your insurer know if you plan on making this modification.

Advertise your business with signwriting

When you’re starting a new business venture, one of the most difficult challenges in the first few months is attracting customers and establishing a loyal client base. Advertising is a great way to raise your company’s profile, but with traditional print, TV or radio ads costing upwards of thousands of pounds this type of activity is often out of budget for most start-up businesses.

That’s why signwriting is such an attractive option for SMEs. Far cheaper than advertising on TV, radio or in a magazine, signwriting a business vehicle enables you to reach hundreds of customers every day, with just a one-off payment as low as a few hundred pounds.

What is van signwriting?

Signwriting a van is when you apply visual elements such as your business logo, name or contact details to the exterior of your vehicle, essentially branding it with your business’s identity. It’s a common practice in commercial companies like taxi firms, driving schools, food delivery services and supermarkets.

Sole traders or small business owners also often signwrite their main business vehicle because of the professional image it conveys. To this end, many self-employed tradespeople like plumbers, carpenters and builders choose to signwrite their work van with their business branding to distinguish from competitors and stand out on the road.

What are the main types of signwriting?

When it comes to signwriting you have a few options. The cheapest is to have a magnetic sign made. This can be affixed to the sides, back or roof of your vehicle, and easily removed between uses. You’d be looking in the region of a few hundred pounds for this type of sign.

Another equally popular but slightly more expensive option is vinyl adhesive. These would be cut from a stencil and would affix to your van’s paintwork. They’re considered a semi-permeant solution, as the vinyl can simply be peeled off if you decide you want to re-brand or sell the vehicle on.

The other option is vinyl wrap. This is when you wrap the entire exterior of your van in a custom made-to-measure covering. This option is the most expensive, but can give you a completely unique look and allow you to change the colour of your van without respraying.

Is it a good idea to signwrite your work van?

Like most things in life, choosing to signwrite your van has its pros and cons.

There’s no doubt that a signwritten vehicle looks more professional and legitimate than a plain van, so from this point of view it can create a positive first impression about your business and help to convert trust in the eyes of your customers.

Another big benefit of having a signwritten van is the publicity and exposure it generates for your business. It doesn’t matter if your van is sitting in a car park, parked on a driveway or in use on the road, everyone who lays eyes on your van will see your business name and details, which is a great way of generating leads and attracting new customers.

This makes signwriting a great business investment. It’s essentially an ad for your business that you only have to pay for once, but can benefit your income generation for years to come.

What are the negatives of signwriting a vehicle?

Signwriting your vehicle, while great for business, can also inadvertently act as a beacon for burglars. There’s evidence to suggest that signwritten work vans are a more attractive target for break-ins as a thief can safely deduce that they might find tools or equipment of value inside. This then makes them a more lucrative prospect than breaking into an unmarked van, which could just be empty.

Can signwriting your vehicles void your insurance?

No. Signwriting won’t void your fleet vehicle insurance, providing you inform your insurer.

Signwriting is considered a vehicle modification, in the same vein as adding alloys, so it’s vital you disclose this to your insurer, as failure to do so could impact your potential to make a future claim.

Can signwriting a van increase your fleet insurance premiums?

Not necessarily, but it has been known to in some cases. It depends entirely on who your insurer is, what their policy is on modifications and where signwriting sits within this. Contact a specialist fleet insurance broker, such as Bluedrop Services, who can advise and help find the best insurance for your circumstance.

As we’ve already covered, signwriting your van can make it more attractive to criminals, so some insurers might consider a van with signwriting a higher risk and adjust your monthly or annual premium to reflect this.

On the flip side, signwritten vans are more easily identifiable than a generic white van on the road. Some insurers view this as a positive, believing that a driver of a signwritten van is more likely to drive carefully and with greater caution, which can actually lower your premiums.

One thing is for certain though, when it comes to adding any kind of branding to a road vehicle you use for your business, you must make your insurer aware. Non-disclosure of this kind could void your policy, leaving you high and dry when you need it most, so it’s never worth the risk of staying quiet.

Haydn Press
the authorHaydn Press