What it's really like to work as a self-employed delivery driver - withwise

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What it’s really like to work as a self-employed delivery driver

Being a self-employed delivery driver means that you are responsible for delivering parcels on behalf of your main contractor – but there’s much more to the job than people initially think.


Delivery drivers are trusted to manage the process of moving customers’ goods from A to B, collecting items from depots and then completing the quickest and most efficient routes to get these out to the end consumers.


Self-employed delivery drivers are able to manage their own working patterns, allowing for complete freedom over when and where they choose to work. This flexibility is an extremely popular aspect of the job and why it appeals to a broad range of people. 


Becoming a self-employed courier is proving more and more popular nowadays, with the general working population placing a greater emphasis on work-life balance and flexibility than at any previous time. The ability to fit work around your own schedule, visit new places and meet new people is something that many subcontractors are enjoying within the role.


In this blog, we will discuss the pros and cons of working as a self-employed driver, hopefully helping you decide whether this is the right career for you. 


Courier work is a completely unique role, allowing for independence over your schedule and workload, all whilst getting to know the area your routes are based in. Below are some of the main advantages that come with being a self-employed delivery driver:

  • Flexibility
    • Self-employed delivery drivers are not expected to work a certain number of days per week or per month – this allows them to create the best work-life balance for them individually. They have the freedom to work as and when they see fit, as frequently as they would like.


  • Ability to visit new places
    • A great thing about being a self-employed delivery driver, unlike the typical 9-5, you are able to visit new places as you deliver items to customers. You’re never stuck in one place as you are always on the go, getting to know your routes and meeting new people.


  • Boosted income
    • During busier periods, such as peak season, there is a lot of potential to boost your income by accepting more routes from your main contractor. Of course, extra routes are subject to availability, but having the option there to make extra money is always nice. Also, by working with Wise, you could be able to boost your income by up to £30 per week – without even picking up extra routes!


  • Freedom
    • As there is no contracted commitment, courier roles allow you to choose how much time you work and for how long. You are only required to work when you’ve chosen to, so there is no need to request time off or worry about when you’re booking holidays.


It is only fair we educate you on some of the trickier or negative elements attached to self-employment so that you can weigh this up in your decision-making process.

  • Work offered depends on demand
    • As delivery work is based on the demand from customers and parcel volume, it means the number of routes available will vary from time to time, meaning your earning potential changes from week to week in some cases.


  • No employee benefits
    • While working for yourself has a lot of positive advantages, one of the main disadvantages of being a self-employed courier driver is that you miss out on ‘traditional’ employee benefits. Being self-employed means that couriers are not entitled to employee benefits such as health care plans, pensions or sick pay. However, this is a problem that affects all self-employed people; it is not specific to courier jobs.


  • No paid holiday
    • Self-employed delivery drivers are able to take time off whenever they please, but unlike a conventional desk job, whatever holiday they take is unpaid. Nevertheless, if you plan ahead and manage your funds efficiently, it shouldn’t become a problem.


  • Independently managing your own income and tax
    • As a self-employed driver, you will be responsible for ensuring that you’re paying the correct amount of tax to HMRC – unlike traditional employment, where your employer calculates this on your behalf. Not only this, you will also be required to register for VAT and find a suitable accountant. However, it is not all doom and gloom – at Wise, our driver products have helped over 60,000 self-employed drivers across the UK boost their income, whilst taking all the hassle out of managing their taxes.


If you are a self-employed delivery driver and are looking to boost your income by up to £30 per week and have access to a range of discounts at major retailers, refer your main contractor here to get started & earn yourself £100! 

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