Are you fully covered under your car insurance policy? For many people a car is more than a way to get from A to B, it is their only available form of transport, or perhaps also the way in which they make extra cash. For example, the car boot sale remains a popular British pastime, both as a way of picking up bargains for buyers and a way of getting rid of unwanted bric a brac for sellers.
The early morning trip to a car boot sale is for some people an effective second income. But it could have hidden problems, and end up costing someone a considerable amount of money, as opposed to earning them extra.
This is because using your car at a humble car boot sale will probably not be covered on your car insurance policy. It’s likely to be classed as commercial usage of your vehicle, and therefore you’re unlikely to be protected on your policy to or from the car boot sale, and even at the car boot sale itself. This is just one definition of commercial usage which is not covered on the typical car insurance policy, and therefore creates something of a secret pitfall for thousands of British drivers.
Car boot sales
Car boot sales tend to go up and down in popularity, and could be connected to the overall financial climate. The tighter things get, the more tempted many Brits may be to pack the family car with goods and head off to find themselves a pitch at a sale. The more regularly people do this, the higher the risk they would not get a payout after an incident, as typically the only way a policy would protect them is if they named their job as a market trader.
Another example of commercial use on your vehicle could include moving items for cash, for example if you’ve got a large vehicle or small van, but no commercial insurance, and agreed to take a number of pieces of furniture or other belongings as part of someone’s home move in exchange for money. Again, you may well not be covered to or from a destination and critically not when you’ve got the goods in the back of your car during the move, so be sure to check the small print and ask your insurer before attempting this.
Of course, anyone who goes to car boot sales simply to buy or who moves bits and pieces on a non commercial basis, i.e. simply taking their own belongings between two properties during a move, will generally be fine on their existing policy. But even those considering a single boot load of goods to make some cash in one sale could well be at risk of not being insured during their venture.
Early honesty could be the key here, as anyone who admits to their insurer to having gone to a number of car boot sales could find that their car insurance premium suddenly soars. So to avoid paying through the nose and ending up in something of a gray area, it’s advisable for drivers to look over their policies and contact their insurers before attempting to use their vehicle to sell at car boot sales, or undertake similar activities.