To become an owner driver, the first thing you need to do is decide whether you want to set up your own courier business where you have multiple vans out on the road, or would you prefer to be a freelancer and simply work for yourself?

Being an owner driver is a great job, especially if you love driving and for the flexibility that it offers. You get to choose the hours you work and how much money you earn.

There are a lot of other considerations to make:

How far are you prepared to travel? Will your delivery radius be confined to your local area or will you travel further across the UK? You will need to consider this when choosing the types of delivery services that you want to offer to your customers. Which courier services will you offer? Will you offer courier contracts? Same-day or next-day deliveries or both?

When you have decided the services that you want to provide to your customers, you’ll need the right sized vehicle with a valid MOT to fulfil those deliveries. You’ll also need to ensure you are insured correctly.

Whilst there aren’t any specific qualifications needed to become an owner driver you will need an extensive knowledge of the geographical area that you will be operating in. Good knowledge of the local area and the local roads will save you time during your day and reduce the chance of late or missed deliveries. You will need a clean driving licence and the correct licences for your chosen type of courier work.

Delivery man checking list on clipboard near car[/caption]An owner driver should have good time management skills and will need to be well organised. This is fundamental for the everyday tasks such as route planning, predicting and managing possible delays while keeping to your delivery timetable, so that all customers receive their goods promptly, avoiding customer complaints.

Your admin skills and record keeping need to be accurate and efficient to keep your deliveries, PODs, invoices and payments on track.

It is important to be of good physical health; owner drivers do lots of heavy lifting and bending when loading and unloading their vans. Do you have a backup plan for those days when you are ill and confined to your bed?

To become an owner driver you’ll need to enjoy driving, but most of the day you will need to be happy with being alone on the road, in between customer drops. When you arrive at the delivery destination, you’ll need to be friendly and approachable with your customer. If they are met with a smiling friendly and efficient owner driver, then they will want to book with you again!

Some other considerations:

House numbers are sometimes hiding behind hanging baskets!

The time leading up to Christmas gets very busy for deliveries especially time critical deliveries. Everyone wants their order in time before the big day even if they did leave the ordering too late!

Dogs like surprising you, by running to greet you at the door or barking loudly to try to deter you!

Finally, being your own boss, it is down to you to find lots of courier work and to build a customer base. This is not always easy when you are self-employed and there is no sales office doing this for you. Courier Market can help you! Our transport exchange app is designed to put you in contact with a network of other self-employed drivers, couriers, van drivers and courier companies all of whom have courier work that they cannot fulfil with their current resources. You can increase your own income, quickly and easily, by advertising your availability on the app with your vehicle size and current location. Our smart matching system sends you notifications of jobs that are waiting for you to book. We take the stress away of how to book up your quiet days and eliminate your empty backloads!

Courier work jobs are available now on our Courier Market transport exchange platform.

Download our app on Apple store or Google Play. It’s free to join and free to use!