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Guide To Motor Trader Insurance

By Eamonn Turley
Eamonn Turley Insurance Expert

Eamonn Turley has a wealth of experience within different insurance sectors. Through hard work and over time, he has gained expertise in digital marketing and user interface design. Elements that are crucial to any successful online business. The key aim is to develop websites that are intuitive, fast to load and provide insurance quotes tailored to your needs.

Expertise: Digital Marketing, Insurance, Home Insurance, Vehicle Insurance, UI Design
from the MultiQuoteTime Editorial Team - Fact checked

The team at MultiQuoteTime will fact-check content to ensure accuracy at the time of writing. In addition, we also review and update content on an ongoing basis. We aim to keep the content fresh and useful. If you are considering applying for any of the products, please take note that it is important that you read the terms and conditions that are applicable.

Nov 2023

Many types of trades exist, typical examples include motor trader, van trader and bike trader. Whichever trade you are in, comparing multiple trader insurance options is one step in finding a suitable policy. MultiQuoteTime works in partnership with QuoteZone who can help you by providing multiple car trader insurance quotes from a panel of select UK brokers. Get started by selecting the Get A Quote option above and complete one simple online form. Once submitted, you will be contacted via telephone by specialist motor trade insurance brokers, providing you with a quote that is specific to your existing motor trade business or motor trade insurance for new business start-ups,

If you are a car enthusiast and work on cars part-time or even as a hobby, you should consider part-time motor trade cover. Even as a hobbyist, you will have collected expensive equipment and may have a few classic cars in your garage. These can be protected from financial loss by have the correct cover in place.

What is car dealer Insurance?

Car trader insurance also referred to as road risk Insurance is a cover specific to a business that deals with motor vehicles. These can be any type of motor vehicle, including vans, cars, motorbikes, electric vehicles and minibuses. Examples include dealers who buy and sell cars, mobile mechanics that offer a repairing and servicing service, a garage or MOT centre. Car traders can be either full or part-time, and policies are available to all trader categories.

What levels of motor trade Insurance are available?

  • Road Risk Cover - This is financial protection for anyone who operates vehicles on UK roads and is required by UK law. There are three levels of cover in this area. 
  • Third Party -  The basic option is third party cover. This gives you the necessary cover to legally run your business. In essence, it covers the cost of any damage to a third party only. In plain English it does not provide any cover for your possible indemnities such as damage to your vehicle's, legal costs or damage to your place of work.
  • Third Party with fire and theft - One step up from third party this adds extra cover for damage to your vehicle by fire and theft.
  • Comprehensive -  This covers all above plus any damage to your own business. To repeat, you will get all the benefits of the above two options plus protection for your own vehicles, even if you or one of your employees is responsible for causing the damage.
  • Combined Cover - This is financial protection for the vehicles under your control along with the buildings and equipment you own related to the business. You need to decide what level of road risk cover you need and the level of cover required for buildings, tools and equipment.

Who is required to take out a motor trade policy?

Anyone who deals with a third party vehicle, road risk or motor trade insurance is required by UK law. This includes auto trades who buy and sell vehicles, mechanics and valets. Many traders and mechanics work from home and if they outgrow the space they will move to a forecourt or larger garage, work from home motor trade insurance is also available for this growing sector in the UK.

Are you eligible to apply for trade Insurance?

Many underwriters will require solid proof that you qualify for motor trade insurance. This boils down to being able to provide proof that you work in the motor trade. Examples of this type of trade work include the buying or selling of motors, the repair or valeting of vehicles, or the transportation of vehicles. This is not a question of being a full time or a part-time trader, but that you actively operate within the motor trade industry and that you can provide proof of this. In summary, who will need to meet the following requirements. If you provide a vehicle recovery service, you will need recovery ruck insurance

Both part and full time operators in the motor trade business can take out a car trader insurance policy. Most insurance firms only issue this type of policy to people from 25 to 74 years of age and who can prove they are in the motor trade business. 

  • Proof that you do work within the motor trade industry. For example, if you are a motor trader, buying and selling vehicles, the receipts will act as proof. 
  • You will need a full UK driving licence and be over the age of 25

How to reduce your trader insurance premium

  • Speak with your motor trade insurance broker: Consult with your broker to ensure that you are only paying for cover that you may not need, but be careful not to under insure.
  • Limit to standard cars only : Brokers will charge a higher premium if you are dealing with high performance, classic or HGV vehicles. If you do not deal with these categories, make your broker aware.
  • Number of Vehicles under your custody: If possible, reduce the number of vehicles that you have registered with the MID at any point in time. This can be an effective way to make a substantial reduction to your quoted premium.
  • Security : Make sure all vehicles are stored in a secure location or garage. Improving security should lower your risk and result in a better quote. 
  • Hire experienced drivers : If possible, only employ drivers over 25 with a clean driving record.
  • Increase the excess, the amount that you are responsible for in the event of a claim.
  • Pay Annually, paying monthly will normally attract extra admin costs that can add up over time. To get the cheapest combined motor trade insurance policy, pay your premium on an annual basis, as this will normally be discounted over instalments payments method.
  • Vehicles Types : If you can limit your policy to a particular car category example standard cars as opposed to all vehicle categories that would include high risk categories example sports cars or classic cars, in so doing your motor trade insurance provider should be able to offer a lower price based on the reduced risk.

Do I need Motor Trade Insurance?

If you or your business is engaged in any aspect of the motor trade, whether it's buying, selling, repairing, or cleaning, having a motor trade insurance policy will offer financial protection. This insurance is essential to safeguard you and your customers in case of any issues. 

In summary, the term "motor trade" is a term that encompasses anyone or business that works with vehicles in any capacity, full, part-time or occasionally. Below, we highlight some of the common occupations that would be covered under a such a policy.

Vehicle Body Repair Shops

Provides cover for tools, machinery and equipment and vehicles under your custody. Polices can be tailored to your specific needs, for example if you test drive customer vehicles you will also need road risk insurance and if you have staff you may also include employee insurance which is a legal requirement. Public liability cover can also be included to protect your business against third party claims for injury or property damage.

MOT Station

If you run an MOT test station, you will have undergone training and will no doubt understand the risk that are involved in operating your business and the need for the correct cover to protect your MOT station. A MOT station insurance policy is a form of motor trade cover that is tailored to cover the requirements of your business operation.


As a mechanic you will need cover to test drive customer vehicles also cover for the vehicles that are in your custody. In addition, you will have expensive equipment, tools and machinery and may operate out of a garage or provide a mobile mechanic service. The standard motor trade policy can be easily tailored to cover all your business operational risks.

Car Wash / Valets / Car Wrap

If you are engaged in keeping cars in pristine condition by providing a care wash station, car wrapping service, valeting or a professional detailing service valeting service, again, motor trade policy is the solution to cover your risk. These policies can cover your core business, plus if you dabble in forecourt car sales, cover can be extended to include vehicles that are in your custody or that you intend to sell.

Above, we looked at just a few examples of typical business that can be covered by a motor trade style policy that is tailored to the needs of the specific business operational requirements.

Find out more about motor trade insurance

If you are considering starting a motor trade business, you will most likely carry out online research to find answers to your specific questions. We have compiled some start up guides, some of which may have answers to your trade start up questions. We also have an FAQ section, which we regularly update with common and sometimes unusual questions that we get asked. Before taking out a motor trade policy, know what should be covered and at what level. Then shop for the best quote that provides what you need.

Compare a range of quotes from a panel of exclusive brokers

Quote Zone works with a wide range of insurance brokers that offer policies that can be tailored to your exact business requirements. This means that the cover provided is not in excess of your actual requirements. This means that you only pay for the cover that you need.

What our experts say:

"Working with other people's vehicles opens you to a wide range of risks and damages can be punishing if you are found to be liable, that is why it is important to have an insurance cover that is tailored to your business needs. Each business will have different requirements, and this type of policy is easily adjusted to cover your unique needs so you are not overpaying."  Eamonn Turley Founder of MultiQuoteTime

Motor Trade Insurance FAQs

Am I eligible for motor trader's insurance?

  • Must be at least 23 years old
  • Have full UK driving licence 
  • Provide accounting proof that you deal in vehicles with part-time or full time

What Is Covered Under a motor trade Policy?

A standard motor trade insurance policy typically includes coverage for driving customer vehicles, for example road testing customer or collection or delivery of vehicles. Cover in a combined policy will also provide cover for custody of vehicles, and the property that houses the vehicles may also be included.

Can I get cover for Forecourt or motor trade premises?

Most traders unless they operate from home will have business premise a forecourt, MOT station etc. If you fall into this category, then a combined motor trade insurance policy will offer that additional cover for your business premises and contents.

Who is covered under a motor trade Insurance policy?

Any owner of the business or employee will be covered if and only if they are named in the motor trade policy. Some policies are written so that any employee of a motor trade business will be automatically included as a named driver, but there are higher premiums associated with that type of cover.

What is the cost of motor trade insurance?

The cost will depend on a number of factors, some of the more important factors are listed below. Each insurance company will weight these risk factors to arrive or calculate the final premium. As the insurance calculation can be different, it is always important to get multiple quotes when searching for a good deal on any insurance product.

  • The age and driving history of any named drivers
  • How much excess that you choose, a higher excess should reduce final costs.
  • Security measures to keep vehicle sin your custody safe and secure.
  • Your history of claims.
  • Cover type, whether it is comprehensive, third-party only, third-party, fire & theft
  • Business address, if area of high crime can be a negative factor

Link that May be Helpful

Do I Need Motor Trade Insurance?

If you work with vehicles in any form it is likely that you will need motor trade insurance some examples include mechanics, valeters, Car body repair shops, SMART car repair engineers, MOT stations, car jockeys, dealers and vehicle recovery agents.

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