Tips for Becoming a Freelance Courier

One of the truly wonderful things about living on Great Britain is that you can literally travel from any point in England, Scotland or Wales to any other point on the island and back again all within a single day. For this reason, most companies offer same day shipments or courier deliveries and it’s all in a day’s work. This is not the case in many countries that are 20 or 30 times the size of these three put together and why so many young people find work as a commercial same-day delivery driver or courier of small packages and documents. If you are interested in becoming a freelance courier, here are a few tips to get you started.

What Kind of Driving Licence Do I Need?

This is the most frequent of the frequently asked questions when job seekers are wondering what it takes to be a courier. In most cases, you won’t need the Driver CPC (Certificate of Professional Competence) because you won’t be driving a vehicle over 3500 kg nor will you be transporting passengers or what can be construed as goods. Yes, sometimes you’ll be carrying small packages but those are typically from one business to the next and aren’t exactly classified as ‘goods.’ Mostly you will courier documents that are time sensitive.

Many questions about full driving privileges can be found in the theory portion of your study materials. When you take practice tests such as those on, you should be ready to answer any questions about the CPC because they just might be on your ‘real’ exam when it’s time to take it. Just remember to study any ‘exceptions’ to the rules because these will almost certainly be on both the practice and the real exams. Learning the exceptions is one of the best ways to understand the basic rule.

Buy or Lease a Van or Hatchback

Since you may be required to transport small packages for same-day delivery, a small van or hatchback vehicle would be best suited for work as a freelance courier. Typically, you will carry documents that need immediate attention, such as papers for the courts or legal documents between businesses or legal teams. Sometimes you may be asked to carry small parts needed to complete a job and other times you might be delivering merchandise but a courier is best suited for carrying time-sensitive items.

How to Get Jobs as a Freelance Courier

Whist you could always set up your own website and begin promoting your courier service, this may take months if not years to gather a large enough clientele to keep you in regular work. Most freelance couriers begin by working through a company like SMP that lets you register with them to have access to same-day jobs for a fee. These companies advertise that you can easily make as much as £275 for a single trip, which is a great deal of money although it is not entirely clear what that would entail in terms of sizes of ‘loads’ you’d need to transport.

If you are a new driver, make sure you have proper insurance and always a good, state-of-the-art GPS system so that you can quickly find locations you are delivering to. Buy, rent or lease a reliable vehicle because you don’t want to be broken down midway between pickup and drop-off locations. In all, it’s a great way to get a lot of driving experience in and for those who are bored sitting in an office or on a production line, it’s an interesting way to pass your days. The next step up is to become a professional lorry or bus driver, but for now, this is a great job with better than average pay.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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