Five Driving Jobs and How to Get Them
Keeping the Nation Moving
Whether you are delivering a take-away to someone sheltering, dropping off online shopping, helping people get to work or distributing essential food, goods in bulk - demand is growing for these roles, and they are performing an essential service in keeping the country moving. There are roles to suit different levels of qualification and skill, we look at a variety of roles.
What used to be the preserve of lawyers getting contracts across town has blossomed into a substantial gig-economy job that pretty much anyone with a bike can do. Getting those Pizzas, chicken-wings and vegan tacos across town at lunchtime through a pedestrian area, traffic, and up into a third floor flat is quicker and easier on a bike or moped. Bicycle delivery is still primarily going to be an urban occupation. Positions may be casual, self-employed, gig-economy roles or traditional employee positions. These deliveries, often of food, are essential in keeping people safe. As we continue with social distancing, you will be helping to keep people safe and businesses afloat.
What you’ll generally need
- Your bicycle & helmet and to be relatively fit
- A smartphone with a data plan
If you have a moped licence, mopeds with insulated delivery boxes may be issued for food deliveries.
Online shopping has accelerated, and what get’s bought needs delivered! A multi-drop delivery driver does just that—a round of deliveries with multiple drops. Depending on the region, this could be up to 30 drops in a shift. You might be dropping off anything from small parcels bought online to a week’s groceries. You will generally be a manifest of deliveries in a region, and a tracking system to log your times and deliveries. Different operations have different sophistications. You might be working out the route yourself - and packing your vehicle to have the parcels in the right order! Or you may be working with a software system that does this for you.
These roles are keeping the economy going and getting goods to people while reducing their exposure.
What you’ll generally need
- A Full UK Driving licence appropriate to the vehicle
- Able to physically move and transport goods on and off vehicles
- You may need your own vehicle*
- A good sense of direction and people skills
Using your Own Vehicle
If using your own vehicle, please speak to your insurance company to check you are covered while using the vehicle to work.
Using a Company Van
Suppose your employer provides you with a company vehicle. In that case, you may also have a uniform and guidelines on representing the company. Check your driving licence to ensure you are covered to drive – you can drive up to 3.5 tonnes with a car driving licence category B
Pay Rates for delivery drivers
Pay can vary widely based on the specific contract, conditions and experience but generally, you will get either -
- Pay Per Parcel - a fixed rate for every parcel that you collect or deliver.
- Pay Per Drop - You will get a fixed rate for each delivery. PPD rates are generally higher than a per-parcel rate, as one delivery may have several parcels.
- Pay per Day - You will receive the same fixed payment every day you work no matter how busy or quiet you are or how long it takes you.
Gig-economy private hire jobs such as Lyft and Uber are challenging the taxi industry Taxi drivers are generally seen as more skilled professionals and safer. Both can provide safe transport for tourists and visitors, and the availability of taxi transport can reduce drunk driving. At the top end of the scale are chauffeur roles. Initially private employees, chauffeurs are now generally associated with private hire of luxury vehicles such as stretch limousines.
Taxis are regulated by your local council so there may be different requirements and regulations on how they operate depending where you live. Generally, but not always, you will need to be over 21. Usually, Taxis are either self-employed workers or small businesses. There are different types of role – ‘Taxis’ can be hailed on the street as well as booked. “private hire cars” can only take bookings.
Qualifications which will help you find taxi work are -
- Level 2 Certificate in Road Passenger Vehicle Driving - Taxi and Private Hire
- Level 2 Certificate in Introduction to the Role of the Professional Taxi and Private Hire Driver
But you can also work to getting your taxi drivers licence from your local council. You can find your local council website here - https://www.gov.uk/find-local-council then search taxi licence. You will need to complete a form and pay a fee. If you are using your own vehicle, that will also need additional safety checks. Taxi driving can be rewarding – you may start working for a firm and then build up to being self-employed. You can often choose the hours you work. You will need to enjoy interacting with people, have a grasp of numeracy and have patience. You will also need the fortitude to deal with the occasional ‘difficult’ customer. But you will meet people from all walks of life!
In terms of your day-to-day experience, these can be two quite different roles! Bus drivers are generally on a local route and time-table. Being a coach driver can also mean you are paid to see the rest of the country or even abroad! Both these roles perform an essential service, taking many people to work, keeping rural communities connected and providing affordable holidays and transport. Transporting multiple people by bus is also more environmentally friendly than individual cars. Firms may take on Bus Drivers as trainees, where you will be trained to obtain the PCV ( passenger carrying vehicle) licence and a certificate of professional competence (CPC). Both of these are required to drive a bus commercially.
Coaches provide affordable long-distance travel, linking many towns and cities across the UK via high frequency scheduled services between towns and to airports. However, the biggest part of the industry is organised coach tours and holiday travel. This accounted for some 60% of all coach travel in Great Britain before the pandemic. When things get moving again this may even increase with staycations. On coaches and busses, the driver is often the face of the company. How you drive will impact how the company is perceived. In many bus and long-distance routes you may be working on your own – on holiday and tour coaches you may be working with a guide.
HGV or Heavy Goods Vehicles are the backbone of British Distribution! Shifting millions of tons of foods, goods and produce. Being a lorry driver can be a demanding but rewarding job. The Term HGV can cover all sorts of vehicles over 3.5 ton (3,500 kg). HGV drivers are some of the safest on our roads – with regular drugs and alcohol tests, continuous training, and a tachograph unit tracking how long they are driving for, when they take a break, and how long they are taking between shifts.
It can also be a very rewarding experience – with many hours to listen to podcasts, audio-books and radio Heavy Goods Drivers can be among the most erudite, well-read and cultured individuals, able to invest hours each day in themselves that office workers just can’t – not to mention the fact they get to travel all over the country, and potentially internationally, meeting many different people. While traditionally seen as a male job, more women are becoming HGV drivers.
Different Types of Goods Vehicle Licence
Some terms used have changed, but you will still see the old terminology used. What was “HGV Class 1” is now officially known as “LGV C+E. HGV Class 2 is now LGV C. Most drivers looking to move to HGV will go straight from a car licence to LGV C so you can drive any rigid truck up to 32 tonnes. You can also continue training to be able to drive trucks with trailers like articulated lorrys up to 44t.,
There is no direct apprenticeship scheme, but training may be included in other apprenticeships. Once you get your licence, which will involve theory, medical and practical tests, Once you have your licence, you will then need to get a Driver CPC (Certificate of Personal Competence) in order to work.
Jobs might be advertised as
To find out more about how to become an HGV driver visit this advice page from the UK Government