Retraining as a delivery driver is easier than you might think. You really don’t need much more than a good licence, insurance, a great van and a few essential supplies to get started. If you’re looking to retrain as a delivery driver, here’s everything you need to know.
1. Are delivery drivers needed in the UK?
Yes. Delivery drivers are in high demand in 2022. According to Wales Online, “The number of temporary delivery drivers has fallen by more than a quarter as thousands of workers return to their pre-pandemic jobs in hospitality and retail. Delivery work was a “lifeline” for many people during the various periods of lockdown amid a big increase in online shopping, according to jobs site Indeed Flex. Its research suggested the number of temporary drivers available for work in June was 28.8 per cent down on its March level, with many opting for shifts in the hospitality and retail sectors instead.” And this is all across the country with large cities being hit the worst by temp drivers returning to their pre-pandemic roles.
2. What skills are good for a delivery driver?
To be a good delivery driver, you need a few skills. First, you need to be able to drive well and like it. That means you’re unflappable in traffic, understand road signs and parking restrictions and don’t get into fits of road rage. You’ll also want to be good at navigating and managing your time. As much of your workload is self-directed, you’ll need to make sure you don’t get behind on deliveries. Good people skills don’t hurt either. You’re going to see a lot of people during your day and for a number of reasons. Maybe they are waiting on life-saving medicine or they have a return to make. Whatever their issues, you’ll need to support them in a calm and professional way – even if something does go wrong. Lastly, you’ll need good budgeting skills. If you’re not working directly for a firm as an employee, your monthly payments will vary and you’ll need to know how to save.
3. How much do UK delivery drivers make?
The average salary for a UK delivery driver is £23,475. But that can vary greatly. See, most delivery drivers are not employees of the firms they drive for. They are independent contractors. And that means their wages fluctuate based on demand. Nimbefins reports, “Research by PayScale has the average UK delivery driver earning £8.94 per hour, just a shade over the UK’s National Minimum Wage of £8.72 per hour (as of April 2020).” And what app you’re on and when you choose to work is a pretty large determining factor on how much you’ll earn. It’s also possible to earn more just by working in a big city like London.
4. What qualifications do you need to drive a van?
First, you need to have the correct drivers licence for the van you’re going to drive. Up to 3,500hg you just need a normal car licence. After that, you may need other qualifications to drive larger vehicles. Then you’ll need to get a van, tax it, get an MOT and find the right insurance. According to Money Expert, “If you own a van, whether you use it for commercial or recreational purposes, you’ll need to be insured to operate that specific vehicle. Your name will have to be listed on the van’s insurance policy, and any insurance you have for another vehicle isn’t portable to the van. This can be confusing if you and your spouse own a car and a van, and want to swap vehicles. Both of you will need to be listed as drivers on the policies of both vehicles for you to exchange cars back and forth.” And lastly, you’ll need a smartphone to accept and manage your deliveries. For most gigs, this sort of equipment won’t be provided.
5. What is better – renting or buying a delivery van?
Renting is better if you’re just getting started as a delivery driver. Renting a van lets you try out this new role without a load of fixed costs and extra expenses you’re not ready for. You can get a short term refrigerated van rental for £375.00 + VAT per week or a long term hire for £950 + VAT per month depending on mileage & spec of the van. And that’s way cheaper than trying to buy one right now. According to CF, “The average selling price of a three-year-old medium-sized van, with 60,000 miles on the clock, for example, is 58% higher today than it was at the start of 2020. The data, from pricing experts at Cap HPI, reveals that the typical medium van was worth £7,550 18 months ago, but is now achieving an average selling price of £11,900 – an increase of £4,350.” If you’re not sure driving is right for you, that’s too much money to sink in on a trail run.
6. Is delivery driver a good career?
Being a delivery driver is a good career if you love the flexibility. Most roles allow you to set your own schedule. And if you like driving and alone time, there’s nothing better. You’ll need to be good at managing your time and working to a timetable, but being a delivery driver can be very rewarding.
7. Essential delivery driver gear
Here are some things you need if you’re going to start making deliveries:
- A great van
- Tax, MOT, essential contact and insurance documents
- A good smartphone or GPS and charger
- Cold weather gear for you and your vehicle
- Emergency breakdown kit
- Professional, comfortable clothes
- A paper map (yes, really)
- Food and water for a day or two
- A spare tyre
- A fuel can
Becoming a delivery driver is a very lucrative and in-demand career right now. If you’re looking and how you can participate in this exciting field and want to talk about van rentals, our helpful team is standing by.