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.

Requirements

  • 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

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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

Pros 

  • 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

Cons

  • 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