Latest Guides

Tailored Motor Trade Insurance for you


With over four decades’ experience in this niche area. We work with all kinds of motor traders, irrespective of size, and strive to tailor our insurance services to your individual requirements. Whether you work from home on a part-time basis, have a small-to-medium vehicle repair business with a moderate number of staff or own a large multi-branch car dealership, we will make sure you have exactly the right cover for your business.

We ensure you are always protected

Not only do Smarter Insurance provide cheap motor traders insurance, we also specialise in protecting you and your business assets and making sure that you stay within the law. The latter can be particularly important when you’re just starting out in business. Maybe you’re just setting yourself up, buying, selling and repairing vehicles, and you’re still unsure whether you should work from home or lease forecourt premises or a garage. Smarter Insurance can help you figure out what’s best at this crucial stage and can also make sure that whatever you decide, you remain firmly within the law.

Helping you find the correct insurance cover


Motor Trade Insurance


Depending on your individual circumstances, we can offer you road risk cover only or the full combined motor trade insurance package. Our service covers all aspects of the motor trade, including the following:

  • mobile mechanics
  • part-time motor traders’ insurance
  • mechanics who work from home
  • body shops
  • vehicle body builders
  • garages offering repair, MOTs and services
  • commercial vehicle repair outfits
  • breakdown and recovery agents
  • collection and delivery agents

Combined motor trade cover is only available for full-time businesses that operate from specific business premises, as opposed to companies that work from home or solely on a part-time basis – for these we are only able to offer road risk insurance. The full combined motor trade package can include:

  • material damage to vehicles, building contents and premises
  • interruption of business and consequential loss
  • employer’s liability
  • public liability
  • engineering inspection
  • goods in transit
  • road risk insurance
  • professional indemnity

Our road risk only cover can include comprehensive, third party or third party fire and theft.

Not sure on the best package? Give us a call

If you’re not sure which cover package is right for you, please give our motor traders combined cover team a call on 03334 000610. For combined motor trade insurance, we will need to discuss your specific requirements in more detail in order to figure out exactly what you need, but for a road risk only policy, we’ll be able to offer you a quote immediately.

Whatever you require, if you’d like more information about our motor trade insurance cover, give us a call today on 03334 000610.

Which types of businesses will require motor trade insurance?

If you own a business that involves the possession of vehicles such as cars, vans or motorbikes, you will need motor trade insurance. This can include traders who buy and sell vehicles, mechanics who repair vehicles or MOT centres that test vehicles.

Regardless of whether you have a business as a solo driveway mechanic or a large vehicle trading company who can be handling hundreds of vehicles at one time, you will need motor trade insurance to cover the vehicles under your ‘care, control and custody.’ If you earn an income (even as a part time job) by handling multiple vehicles, then you are responsible for insuring them.

If your company partakes in any of the following activities then you should speak to a motor trade specialist to get an appropriate policy. Such activities include buying and selling vehicles, repairing, servicing or valeting vehicles, restoring old or classic cars, MOT testing, car washing or vehicle recovery operations.

However different businesses will have different insurance requirements dependent on the number of vehicles they come into contact with, the value of the vehicles they handle, the business premises and public access and also whether they have employees.

Does motor trade insurance cover all types of vehicles?

The most common type of vehicle covered by motor trade policies are cars, but you can also get cover for vans, motorbikes and lorries. This may be specific to your insurance policy so check the terms and conditions to ensure all these vehicles are covered if you suspect you will be handling them.

A basic motor trade insurance quote will assume you are handling vehicles under a certain value, say £30,000. If you suspect you may be handling vehicles over the value set on your premium then it is your responsibility to make your insurer aware of this. Of course increasing this value will increase the cost of your premium. However if you damage a vehicle worth more than £30,000, you will be left to pay out the remaining cost of the damage. Your insurance for example will not assume you handle classic cars so if you work in restoration you will need to specify that you are handling high value vehicles.

Some policies will employ a weight restriction on the vehicles, typically in tonnes. This is because heavier vehicles may be considered to pose a bigger risk to premises and the public. For example recovery vehicle insurance may be more expensive due to their size and high risk pick up locations.

When you take out a policy you may be asked for the approximate type, value and number of vehicles you would like covering. This means your insurer should find a policy suitable for your needs, especially if you speak to a motor trade specialist.

What is the Motor Insurers Database?

The MID is a database that maintains a record of all the insured vehicles in the UK. It is used by both the police and the DVLA which helps them to identify uninsured vehicles or vehicles that do not have the correct insurance. The database is managed by the motor insurance bureau.

It is important to register the vehicles in your care to avoid vehicle seizures or enquiries from the police. The database aims to reduce the rate of uninsured driving and if you are caught without correct or valid insurance then you are liable to penalty points and fines.

As soon as a vehicle is in your possession you will need to register it with the MID to let them know you are covering it on your motor trade policy. The vehicle is then your responsibility until you remove it from the MID for example when it is sold or returned to the customer.

It is your responsibility to provide accurate and complete date to the MIB. There are best practice guidelines and file transfer spreadsheets available here: https://www.mib.org.uk/managing-insurance-data/the-motor-insurance-database-mid/fleet-and-motor-trade/ to help you set up an effective system to register vehicles.

What is the difference between road risk only and combined motor trade insurance?

The main difference between road risk only and combined motor trade insurance is the level or amount of cover provided.

Road risk only insurance is the most simple offering when it comes to motor trade insurance. It only covers vehicles owned by and in possession of the business for work purposes whilst they are on the road. It is available in third party, third party fire and theft and comprehensive cover and this works the same as it does with a private policy. Road risk only is the cheapest motor trade insurance available but for many larger companies this will not be sufficient cover.

Combined motor trade insurance is the most thorough cover and although it comes at an extra cost it will cover you for almost any instance. A combined insurance policy can vary in terms of what is included between different insurers. However they typically cover the following: road risk insurance, employers and public liability, premises, tool and money cover, defective workmanship and business interruption insurance and product indemnity cover. There are also options you can add to your policy such as no claims protection and legal expenses cover. The combined policy is the best in terms of having total peace of mind and not risking large pay-outs.

Of course both policies have their restrictions so it is still important to know your terms and conditions to ensure your policy is always valid.

Do I need liability insurance and if so, which type?

Liability insurance is designed to protect you in the instance that a claim was made against your business. There are several categories of liability insurance, but the main two you should be concerned with when buying motor trade liability insurance, are public and employers.

If you are likely to come into contact with members of the public within work such as driving vehicles on the roads or allowing customers into your workshop or showroom then you will need public liability insurance. This covers you if there were to be an accident involving a member of the public related to your work.

If you employ even one member of staff then you will by law, need at least £5 million worth of employer’s liability insurance. This covers you in the instance that someone had an accident or developed an illness due to conditions in the work place. If you are self-employed or just employ one member of your own family then you will not need this cover.

You can buy liability insurance as part of a combined policy or as an extra stand-alone policy. It usually works out cheaper to buy both together, however you may want separate policies if you only need one type.

Can I insure any employee on a motor trade insurance policy?

When you take out your policy it will usually work out cheaper to put all the names of your employees onto a motor trade policy and provide each individual driving history. This covers only these named employees for the level of cover you invest in. However for each employee that has a history of claims or convictions then this could increase the overall price of the policy.

However you can also have a policy which covers anyone under your business name as an additional driver. This tends to be more costly because the driving history of the employees are unknown but can be useful if you have a high rate of staff change or growth. Some people see this as an alternative to admitting to convictions or to get a policy for young drivers. However it does not work like that. Most insurers will render your policy invalid if a claim is made by a driver with convictions or a driver under the age of 25 (some insurers will allow 23) that they did not know about.

If you can get a policy that covers young drivers and drivers with convictions then you should expect that it will be more expensive. Make sure to check the details in your policy to see which of your employees may or may not be covered to avoid invalid policies.

Comprehensive Guide to Motor Trade Insurance

Motor trade is a generic term that is used for insurance that is required by those within the motor trade industry. Whether it is servicing, repairs or buying and selling, every vehicle in ‘care, control or custody’ of a motor trade company will require insurance. This means that any vehicle in the care of a motor trader whether it is being driven, repaired or parked in a showroom will be deemed as their responsibility to insure.

Read more