Motor trade insurance is essential for anyone who needs to drive or work on vehicles that do not belong to them or are in the process of selling. That is people fixing or selling cars or vans, roadside assistance, restoring vehicles, valeting vehicles, tyre fitting or even auto electrician.

There are two main types of motor trade insurance:

Standalone Road Risk – this type of policy covers you for driving vehicles belonging to customers, vehicles for sale under your business, as well as vehicles that you own yourself.

Garage Policy – this policy covers your garage/property and equipment within it, public liability and is designed depending on covers required from there.

We offer optional extras alongside these two base levels of motor trade insurance, including:

  • Garage Buildings/Premises
  • Tenant Improvements to a rented premises
  • Garage Equipment normally kept at your premises
  • General Stock
  • Vehicles Located at your trade/business premises
  • Money Cover
  • Business Interruption
  • Public Liability /Products Liability
  • Service Indemnity/Defective Workmanship
  • Employers Liability
  • Goods in Transit
  • Engineering Policy

Levels of Motor Trade Insurance Cover

When you apply for either Road Risk or Garage motor trade insurance, there are several levels of cover to opt for.

We’ll discuss a few of them below, but of course you can always call us to discuss your individual needs.

Third Party: This is the minimum level of cover available under motor trade road risk insurance. A third party road risk policy covers not you or the vehicle you are driving but any other party involved in the accident if you are deemed responsible for the accident. i.e. You are test driving a customer’s vehicle and rear ended another vehicle on the road.

Third Party, Fire & Theft: This is just as it sounds – it’s the same as third party cover but it also includes damage caused by theft (as long as no blame can be placed on you) or fire as a result of an accident.

Comprehensive: This is the highest level of road cover and insures you whether you are at fault or not. Any damage to a vehicle (as stipulated in your policy) ie, Car or light commercial vehicle, under your custody or control can be claimed for under comprehensive cover. You will however be liable for the excess on the policy and your no claims bonus will be affected.

The level of cover you require greatly depends on the nature of your work. This is very much the case when choosing cover under a garage policy.

There are optional extras to add to any policy, such as:

  • Employers’ liability – for if you have employees working for you
  • Product liability/ Service Indemnity- covers faulty parts put into cars, especially useful for mechanics
  • Public liability – good for a physical location where customers can visit. If a member of the public gets hurt whilst on your premises.

Don’t forget, Garage insurance cover is also made for those with premises where equipment and vehicles may be stored. Road risk only policies tend to exclude vehicles whilst stored or on your garage premises.

How do I know what’s right for me?

The best way to know what the right insurance is for you, is to talk to the people who know insurance inside out! Britton Insurance has been providing insurance policies for nearly 40 years and we’re happy to talk through your case on a one-to-one basis.

If you want to chat through your options, think about the following in preparation:

Who do you want to include on your insurance policy?

Remember that the more people that are included in your road risk policy, the higher the risk, therefore premiums could rise. Make sure you have all the details of who you would like to add and we can talk through the various options available to you, working out the best cover and optional extras.

What are you required to do legally?

It’s a good idea to write down a list of all the things you will be carrying out as part of your motor trade business. This may help us to advise you on what motor trade insurance you will need, but it will also help you to understand what cover you need and what options you want. Your insurance will be rated according to the percentages of work you do to 100%. So if you do 30% Sales, 50 Repairs and 20% Tyre fitting your policy will differ from someone doing 100% Repairs.

What feels right for my business?

The best we can do is advise you, but you also have to be satisfied that you’ve got the right type of cover and liability for your situation, your premises and any customers you deal with. Ultimately, motor trade insurance is made to help you out, not to make anything more difficult. Don’t always go for the cheapest option, make sure that you’re happy with the cover offered and that it includes those extra covers you really need.

Tell us everything!

That’s the most important thing when a) we’re deciding what cover to offer you and b) when you’re signing on the dotted line. When we discuss your business with you, make sure you don’t withhold any important information from us – this conversation will form the basis of your quotations and if you later disclose information that we should have known, this will change your premium and your options.

Treat your first call to us as helping us get to know you better. We’re happy to help and we want to know the best cover options for you.

Who needs motor trade insurance?

Anyone who trades in the motor industry from sales, mechanical, tyre fitting to valeting. If you work in the industry you will require this specialist insurance to suit your needs.


Vehicle sales

Buying and selling vehicles means that you require motor trade insurance. It allows the salesperson to drive vehicles to or from showrooms or garages, move vehicles between properties and test drive.

NOTE: You should not try to use your basic car insurance policy to drive vehicles that aren’t for personal use, having a motor trade road risk policy allows you to drive vehicles under your custody and control without it being reregistered into your name.

Full time & part time trade

Whether you’re a full-time salesperson or just take part in selling part-time, you should apply for motor trade insurance. Proof of trade is required to be kept whilst in the trade but this can be anything from adverts, receipts for parts, receipts of sale.

Vehicle repair

Repairing vehicles generally involves moving them, sometimes in between locations, therefore you will need motor trade road risk insurance if you are driving or test driving a customers’ vehicle on public property.

If servicing vehicles, it is important to not only be covered for driving, but by taking even the basic liability elements of a garage policy covering you for the public whilst on your property, any employees and service indemnity.

NOTE: Vehicle repair covers those who have a static garage that a customer visits and also mobile mechanics who may carry out repairs on the roadside or at someone’s home.

Vehicle recovery

If you drive a recovery truck, you need motor trade insurance! Insurance options include driving the recovery vehicle itself, and anything that you are towing under goods in transit.

Vehicle cleaning

Anyone who valets or cleans cars or vans should have motor trade insurance both liability and road risk. It covers you in the event of accidental damage whilst cleaning and driving the vehicles if left in your custody and control.

If you’re not sure what options are available, what you need for your personal circumstances or how much it will cost you. The best advice we can give is to talk to people who know.

Britton Insurance specialise in motor trade insurance and are now one of Ireland’s leading motor trade insurance brokers.

As mentioned above, we can offer stand-alone road risk policies and Garage policies, including any extras you need for your business. It’s an essential part of the day-to-day running of any motor trade enterprise, so start the conversation today!