If you enjoy driving, then you might have considered working as a man with a van. With an ever-increasing demand for couriers and removal services, there’s certainly no shortage of work for van drivers in the UK.
When it comes to how much you can earn, it will depend on a number of factors, such as your expenses, how many hours you’re prepared to work each week and what part of the country you’re in.
Before looking at how much you can earn as a man with a van, let’s first take a look at the requirements to do the job.
- Your own van – It might seem obvious but to work as a man with a van, you’ll need your own van that’s up to the job. Although vans can be expensive, especially when you buy new, you need to be sure that the vehicle you get will be reliable, day in and day out.
- The correct licence – The good news is that to drive a van in the UK, you don’t need a special type of licence. You will need a current UK driving licence though in order for your van to be road legal.
- The right type of cover – Another thing you’ll need to work as a man with a van is the right type of insurance. When taking out van insurance, you’ll need to think about the cover options that are most important. When you’re transporting other peoples’ possessions, you need to think about more than just road risks when getting insurance. More on this below.
Getting the right insurance as a man with a van
The right type of insurance is incredibly important when you drive a van for a living. Below are some of the main types of cover you’ll need –
- Road risks – You’ll need to get road risks insurance at a minimum to make your van legal to drive. You can choose from third party only; third party, fire and theft; and fully comprehensive.
- Goods in transit – Goods in transit is another type of cover that’s vital when you’re transporting goods on behalf of customers. It will cover the contents of your van for theft, damage or loss.
- Public liability – Liability claims are always a risk when you’re working with the public, particularly when you’re moving and transporting their valuable possessions. Public liability insurance will cover you for any liability claims from members of the public, including customers.
- Breakdown cover – When you rely on your van for making a living, you want to be sure that if you break down, you’ll be back on the road again as soon as possible. Even if you already have breakdown cover, you might be able to get in cheaper when included in your insurance policy.
Other things to consider
- The size of your van – A big thing to think about when you’re first getting started is the size of van you’ll need. If you’re going to be using your van primarily for removals, you’ll need it to be a decent size. Larger vans do cost more but it will save you money in the long run.
- Additional services – You should also think about any additional services you might want to offer customers. This can include things like packing and unpacking as well as hiring additional workers to help you.
How much can you earn?
If you’ve ever used the services of a man with a van, it’s easy to assume they earn whatever it is you paid them. However, there’s a lot more you need to take into consideration.
A man with a van can earn £50 to £100 an hour. It’s important to point out though that this isn’t all profit. Although a professional person who takes the job seriously can earn a very decent living, there are certain expenses you need to take into account when calculating how much a man with a van can earn. Below are the main ones.
- Cost of the van – The first and most obvious expense is the cost of the van itself. Vans are typically much more expensive than the average car, usually costing £15000+ for a new one. Of course, you do have the option to buy used but you need to be careful when doing this since you’re going to be relying on it for work. You can also rent a van if you don’t have the money to buy one upfront. Rental costs will vary depending on which company you hire from and the type of van you want.
- Running costs – Running costs are certainly going to affect how much money you’re able to make as a man with a van. In addition to fuel costs, you also need to think about maintenance and road tax.
- Cost of insurance – The cost of insurance is another thing that will cut into how much you can earn. How much van insurance costs will depend on a number of factors, such as which company you get a policy from, the level of cover you take out and the value of your van. Although insurance isn’t something anyone relishes paying, it’s very important to get good cover as it could cost you a lot more further down the road if you don’t.
- Traffic conditions – Traffic conditions will also affect how much you’re able to earn. Depending on how congested the area you work in is, there might often be heavy traffic and this cuts into your time and therefore, ability to make money.
- Employees – A lot of van drivers choose to work solo but if you do removals, there’s every chance you’ll need help. If this is the case, you’ll need to factor in the wages of any employees you have when coming up with an hourly rate for customers.
What are the best ways to save money?
It makes sense to earn as much as you can when working as a man with a van. Below are some of the best ways to do this.
- Pay for insurance annually – A good way to lower your costs is by paying for van insurance annually rather than monthly. It’s true that you’ll pay more upfront but most insurance providers will offer you a big discount for doing this.
- Rent rather than buy – Vans can be very expensive to buy, so you can save a lot of money by renting rather than buying. If you find you’re able to make a good living doing this work, then you can always invest in a van later on.
- Limit your insurance – Another way you can save money is to limit the cover options on your insurance policy. It’s important to have good cover but by getting third party only rather than comprehensive cover, you can save a lot of money.
Hopefully, it’s now clear that the amount you can earn as a man with a van varies a lot, depending on numerous important factors, with your running costs, hours worked, areas covered and cost of insurance all playing a big part.
What’s certain is that there’s no shortage of work for hardworking van drivers out there and if you’re prepared to put in the hours and take the job seriously, you can make a very good living from it.
I’m Paul Smith, Founder and Director of HouseMoveHelper. I have a great love of business, marketing, the wilderness and love to travel. You can learn more about me here.