What Do You Need Before Working as a Self-Employed Courier?
- 12 Feb 2021
Self-employed delivery work is more popular than ever right now, particularly during the COVID19 pandemic with more people than ever before shopping online. You can be sure that delivery driving is a secure, in-demand role that you’re unlikely to lose even in a worldwide crisis like the coronavirus pandemic because people won’t stop shopping for things and getting them delivered.
Working as a self-employed courier has plenty of benefits. Not only is it flexible enough to do as a side hustle if you like, but you can take as little or as much work as you want whether you’re working full- or part-time. However, to work successfully as a courier, there are several requirements that you and your vehicle will have to meet. Here’s what you’ll need before you get started.
A Suitable Vehicle:
Consider whether or not your vehicle is the right choice for delivery driving. If you have a smart car, it’s probably going to be more trouble than it’s worth. A small or medium van is typically the best option since you have space to easily load it with parcels at the start of the day, but you can also get away with delivery driving with a larger car if you have a lot of boot space and can create some additional room by putting your back passenger seats down. Some companies will have restrictions on the type of vehicle that you can drive to operate as a self-employed courier with them, so always check this before you apply to start work.
A Clean Licence:
It goes without saying that you’ll need a clean, or mostly clean, license to work as a self-employed courier. After all, even though you are self-employed you’ll still be agreeing to represent a company and they don’t want to deal with anybody who is a dangerous driver under their brand. Licensing requirements will be different for each delivery company that you will work with, so be sure to check the individual requirements before deciding where to work. For example, you may need to have no more than three points on your licence or have held your license for a certain period of time.
The Right Insurance:
Bear in mind that you’ll need to change your insurance policy if you’re going to be using your vehicle to earn an income. When you work as a self-employed courier or delivery driver, it is down to you to make sure that your car or van is covered with the right business insurance, and the company that you are delivering for will usually ask to see proof of this before you begin work. Business insurance will protect you in the event of an incident, collision, damage or theft of your vehicle while you are on the job and may also extend to cover any parcels that you were carrying at the time. You can use this van insurance checker to find the right van insurance policy with business cover to use.
Customer Service Skills:
To be successful as a self-employed courier, you’ll need some customer service skills. Chances are that you are going to be the only human that a customer will interact with during the process of purchasing products online, and you’ll need to leave a good impression. As a self-employed courier, it’s your responsibility to ensure that customers receive their packages in a timely manner and undamaged. You may also need to communicate with customers to let them know where a package has been left if they were not available when you tried to deliver it - clear communication skills are key.
While you can use a sat-nav to get around when you start working as a delivery driver, good local knowledge will always help you do your job that little bit easier. Spend some time getting to know your area, especially residential areas that you might not be very familiar with. The easier it is for you to get to where you are going on your delivery rounds, the faster you can get packages delivered to your customers - and the more money you’ll make.
Finally, as a self-employed courier, you’ll need to be self-motivated. Since you’re in charge of how often you work, the work that you pick up and how long you work for, it’s important to be able to take responsibility for your job and make sure that you are doing enough to cover your expenses and more. You will need to be disciplined and able to take control when it comes to taking work to do and making sure that you follow through with agreeing to do the work you’ve taken. You’ll also need to take more charge when it comes to getting paid as you may be required to send invoices.
Self-employed delivery driver jobs are ideal for any driver who wants a side-hustle or a flexible way of making money full-time, but you’ll need these key things before you can get started.