Tips for courier drivers

Thinking about working for yourself as a courier driver? You’re not alone: self-employed courier work is an extremely popular way of paying the bills in the UK now.

While there are some definite downsides to being your own boss, some people believe the positives outweigh the negatives.

Self-employed courier drivers are not beholden to anybody, except their clients. They can develop their business as the sole responsible stakeholder and conduct marketing and branding exercises according to their own needs.

Here are some tips for courier drivers to help you stay comfortable on the road, keep your business profitable and generally succeed in business.

Choose the right vehicle

Choosing the right vehicle is extremely important for both cost efficiency and comfort reasons. While it might be tempting to purchase an old second-hand vehicle for your work, these tend to be rather inefficient.

Some older vehicles also incur charges for driving within London, and will soon incur similar charges for driving in other metropolitan areas. More modern commercial small vans are extremely fuel efficient and reliable, although they cannot be easily fixed using tools you might have at home.

The latest iteration of the Ford Transit, the Renault Trafic, and the Mercedes Vito are all wonderful choices for couriers working in all fields. 

For drivers that cannot immediately afford to purchase or lease a vehicle of their own, courier van hire companies provide a stopgap solution. Van hire companies are all fully insured and provide relatively new models of vans that won’t cost you the world to run. 

Clean and replace air filters 

Cleaning and replacing your air filter are easy enough tasks, but it could make your van far more efficient. All vehicles have an air filter that prevents dust, dirt, and pollen from getting into the engine. When the filter becomes clogged up, less air can get into the combustion chamber, making the engine less efficient.

The more oxygen that gets into the chamber, the more efficient combustion will be. Air filters are very cheap for most commercial vans and can be replaced at home with very little messing around. 

Take regular breaks 

Although it might be tempting to drive constantly to make more money, you are jeopardizing both your business and your health if you don’t take regular breaks. Make sure to plan for breaks so that you don’t work yourself to the bone and cause an accident on the road.

Drivers working for large companies have their breaks enforced, but self-employed couriers need to make sure that they have adequate rest using their initiative. The consequences can be devastating if this advice isn’t followed.

Insure yourself properly 

If you are not properly ensured to take packages, you shouldn’t be carrying them in the first place. In the event of a package loss due to an accident or theft, you need to know that you’ll be covered and able to compensate the owners of any packages lost.

Courier insurance is vitally important. Vehicle insurance is also a legal requirement for all people on the road.