If you like the idea of working as a courier then you’re not alone. A lot of people like the idea of driving for a living but don’t necessarily want to drive a truck or become a taxi driver, where you have the risk of dealing with unruly and potentially violent passengers.
Working as a courier can be a great way to make a living but you should be well informed about the realities of the job before making a decision. When you choose to work as a courier, you have two main options - either work for a large, established courier firm; or set up on your own as a freelancer.
Before looking at the pros and cons of both, let’s look at the requirements for becoming a courier driver.
- Good organisational skills - You need to be able to keep track of the parcels you’ve delivered, know where you’re going next and the best route to take.
- Good driving skills - As well as being able to drive a van well, you should also have a good sense of direction and be able to stay calm under pressure.
- A friendly and helpful demenour - You’re going to be dealing with the public all the time working as a courier so you’ll need to be friendly and polite and willing to help with any issues that might arise.
Working for a company
- You’ll have a steady stream of work
- You’ll gain a lot of insight into how a large courier operation works (useful if you want to set up your own courier firm in the future)
- You’ll often have insurance taken care of for you
- There isn’t much scope to advance your career
- You are not your own boss and have to adhere to company rules you may not agree with
Working as a freelancer
- You have freedom that you wouldn’t have working for a large courier firm
- You can create long-lasting relationships with customers and potentially scale your business up as it grows
- You have to find your own customers, which can be quite tough when first starting out
- You’ll need to take care of your own tax, MOT, fuel costs and courier insurance
- A lot of people prefer to use large, established firms so you might find it tough to get your own work