Amidst a global pandemic that has pushed almost a third of the world’s population into self-isolation, the demand for couriers is higher than ever before.
Recently classified as key workers by the UK government, the country is reliant on couriers to transport essential goods at a time of national crisis.
While the need for couriers has grown in recent years due to the increase in online shopping, the current COVID-19 outbreak has highlighted the critical role of delivery drivers. As one of the few industries experiencing current growth, an increasing number of people will be looking for opportunities within the sector. If you’re considering launching a career in logistics, find out everything you need to know about becoming a courier now.
1. Employee vs. subcontractor?
Although some companies employ their couriers, a significant number choose to hire subcontractors on a freelance basis. If you sign up as a driver and choose shifts on an ad hoc basis, for example, it’s highly likely that you’ll be self-employed.
Many people enjoy the flexibility that comes with working as a self-employed driver but there are some obligations you’ll need to consider. Everyone is who self-employed needs to register, for example, and you’ll be responsible for managing your own tax returns and liabilities.
2. Do you need insurance?
Personal car insurance doesn’t cover you while you’re working as a courier, even if you use your own vehicle. Due to this, you’ll need to take out courier insurance before you can take to the road. While some courier firms arrange insurance on behalf of their drivers, not all logistics firms do this, so be sure to double-check.
If you do need to arrange your own cover, you can use a price comparison site in order to ensure you get a good price for your courier insurance. There is a lot of competition when it comes to courier and driver insurance, so you can make savings just by shopping around.
3. Maintaining your vehicle
If you’re not an employee and you use your own vehicle for work, then you’re going to be responsible for maintaining it too. In some cases, drivers are even responsible for maintaining company vehicles, so be sure you understand your obligations before you sign any contracts.
Keeping your vehicle in a roadworthy condition is essential. Failure to do so constitutes a criminal offence and will invalidate your insurance, so it’s vital that you perform regular checks and keep up to date with relevant vehicle testing.
Beginning your career as a courier
Although different delivery firms have varying arrangements, many couriers are paid per delivery. While the per delivery payment may seem relatively low when viewed in isolation, you can make a considerable amount if you put in the hours. Alternatively, you may prefer the security associated with a full-time, permanent position as an employee. Whichever option is right for you, becoming a courier can be a rewarding and enjoyable career choice.