A driver is someone who drives a vehicle for a firm which provides a product or a service.
Who can I work for?
You can work for a wide range of firms, delivering anything from furniture to groceries. Giant supermarkets providing online goods for their customers are spawning jobs, as are courier services for clothes retailers.
Where and when can I work?
The hours may not be suitable for people with young children, as they can be anti-social – ie, weekends, nights, early mornings. You may be required to drive anywhere in the country and spend periods away from home – or even go abroad. You are likely to work 40-48 hours a week.
What can I earn?
£11-£18,000 a year. Added perks come with attendance and target allowances, anti-social shift bonuses and bonuses.
What are the benefits?
Freedom to break free of the shackles of being tied to a desk by working in the great outdoors.
Are there chances of promotion?
With experience, so comes your bargaining power to work for companies which pay more. You can also progress into supervisory or management jobs or train other drivers. Or you could branch out into becoming a bus or coach driver or become a driving instructor.
What will I be responsible for?
Collecting goods and dropping them off. Loading the vehicle. Planning the most efficient route. Unloading goods. Collecting signatures on deliveries and signing invoices. Recording mileage and fuel payments. Updating delivery records and returning undelivered items.
What qualifications do I need?
Drivers need a full, clean valid driving licence. The weight and size of the van you can drive also depends on your driving qualifications. The law states that if you passed your car test after 1st January 1997, you can only drive vans that carry less than 3.5 tonnes. If you wish to drive vehicles that carry between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes, you need to pass the LGV (Large Goods Vehicle) medical, theory and practical tests to gain your C1 category licence. Employers may pay for you to train for and take this test, but if not, you can train for it privately at a specialist driving school. If you want to drive even larger vehicles still, you need to pass further practical tests for categories C and C+E licences (large vehicles and trailers).
However, if you passed your car test before 1 January 1997, you are automatically entitled to the C1 licence and are able to drive vehicles up to 7.5 tonnes. Age is also an important factor on what lorry or van you can drive. The minimum age for driving small vehicles is 17, but for driving vans that require a C1 licence it is 18. For C and C+E licences, the age restriction is even higher, at 21.
Do I need any experience?
Employers usually ask for one year's experience of being a delivery driver. You can acquire experience through an apprenticeship with a local delivery company. Training on the job is provided.
What attributes are needed?
Reliability, punctuality, concentration. You need to show excellent driving skills and road safety awareness. Alertness and communication skills.