There are basically three ways you can work as a courier driver: by running your own business; by working on a self-employed basis as a sub-contractor for a transport company; by working for a delivery company as an employee.
In the case of the first two, we’ll say no more at this stage. That’s because in both instances your qualifications will be very much up to you and your business proposition.
However, working as a courier driver on an employee basis may involve a few other considerations if you are to secure a job.
Although there are no hard and fast rules here, many companies may be reluctant to employ drivers who have serious motoring convictions recorded on their licence. Some might actually demand a completely clean licence, although others may accept relatively minor offences. However, if you have convictions for things such as drink-driving or dangerous driving you may find it more of a challenge. You will, of course, also need to have a licence that entitles you to drive the specific types of vehicles concerned.
Age and experience
Once again, different companies may see things differently here, but some may expect you to have a specified minimum age. A very young or newly qualified courier driver may find it difficult to secure employment with some transport companies.
Note that this isn’t just prejudice against young and/or inexperienced drivers on the part of the potential employer, but because their insurance may stipulate that workers under a certain age will not be covered.
Most employers will expect a courier driver to be an extremely responsible and reliable individual. What they typically won’t tolerate are people who regularly oversleep or those who manifest an apparent “I don’t really care” attitude. Now, there is no single piece of paper that can prove this one way or another, but potential employers are likely to look closely at your past work history and ask for references. If they sense that you are someone they wouldn’t be able to rely on at all times, then finding employment with them is likely to be tricky.
Although there may be legislation in place governing prejudice against people with certain forms of physical disability, the reality of life is that working as a courier driver can involve the need to move around a lot, carry heavy parcels, climb into the back of vans and so on. If you have limited physical mobility or are manifestly unfit, it may count against you in your job application.
Given that you will be going on to client premises, even if typically for only a few minutes, you will need to be presentable and have reasonably good English language reading, writing and spoken skills. You’ll also need to have an ability to relate to people and communicate easily with them. One thing that the typical transport worker can’t afford is misunderstandings with customers or ‘the office’.