How do I buy car insurance for an old commercial truck for private use?

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Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Oct 31, 2016

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Here's what you need to know...
  • Many types of commercial trucks and be purchased for private use
  • You should talk to your insurance company prior to purchase to make sure your policy will cover your truck
  • If you’re purchasing a used commercial truck for continued commercial use, your car insurance will be higher than if you used the vehicle privately

Commercial trucks are valuable assets for a business, but once the truck becomes too old for the business, it may be sold to the general public for private use.

If you buy an old commercial truck for private use, you will need to buy car insurance for it.

The car insurance application process is the same for a commercial use truck as it is for any other motor vehicle; however, depending on the intended use of your new truck you may need special insurance for it.

Be sure to enter your zip code above to begin comparing commercial truck auto insurance quotes online from many top companies.

Types of Commercial Trucks that can be Used for Private Use


There are many commercial trucks that are used in multitudes of businesses. Commercial trucks can be purchased ready to roll brand-new while other trucks are bought as chassis cabs that will need additional bodies or equipment added.

Some trucks are harder to reuse for private use, such as a dump truck or a refrigerator truck, although a farmer may buy a used dump truck for personal use.

More common commercial trucks that are sold for private use include:

  • tow trucks
  • pickup trucks
  • flatbed trucks
  • cargo vans

Specialty Insurance for Commercial Trucks


If you buy an old commercial truck for private use then you will need to buy private auto insurance for it, as described in the section below.

However, there are some used trucks that you may buy from a business with the purpose of reusing it for your own business. Tow trucks are a good example of a resale truck that can be reused for someone else’s business.

A company that sells its tow truck because it no longer needs it or buys a newer model to replace it can sell the tow truck to a private owner. However, most people do not need a tow truck for personal use.

Usually, a person who buys the tow truck intends to use the tow truck for his own business, whether it is an existing one or a startup company.

In this case, the new owner of the commercial truck will need to purchase commercial auto insurance for it.

Not every insurance carrier sells commercial insurance, so you will need to find an agent that can provide you with the proper liability insurance.

Commercial insurance is usually more expensive than private insurance and it provides less coverage at a higher premium. That is because a commercial truck is considered to have a higher claim risk than a truck that is used privately.

If you only buy private car insurance for a truck that is used commercially and you have an accident you will not be covered by your insurance policy, so you always need to secure the appropriate insurance for what your needs are.

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Private Auto Insurance for Commercial Trucks

If you buy a commercial truck for private use, then you can buy regular car insurance for it. The most common case for this is the purchase of a cargo van or other type of industrial van or truck that was used for a business.

Many times people will buy an old commercial truck because it can be purchased cheaper from a company than a used truck from a dealer and most commercial trucks are well maintained.

Provided you are not using the commercial truck for commercial purposes, you can simply insure it with standard car insurance.

Before you buy the old commercial truck, you should call your insurance agent and find out how much it will cost to insure it.

If you already have car insurance with your agent you should confirm whether or not the new car will be covered for the drive home before it is officially listed on your policy.

If you are certain you are going to buy the truck you should buy the insurance for it before you pick it up just to be sure you are covered.

Commercial trucks for private use are sometimes cheaper to insure than regular cars. Usually, cargo vans are very basic models that are not designed to carry passengers in the back, so the insurance for them is nominal.

Also, if you are buying a used truck, it is probably an older model and older trucks are usually less expensive to insure because they have a lower cash value.

Commercial Truck Insurance Quotes


Prior to buying private car insurance for your old commercial truck, you should compare rates with different insurance providers to see who can provide you the best deal.

You want:

  • The maximum coverage that you need
  • The lowest price possible
  • A carrier that is reputable

You can find out what your insurance rate will be right now for that old commercial truck by requesting car insurance quotes online for free. Just enter your zip code to start!

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