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How To Get Started As A Courier


The logistics industry has come a long way over the last few years. The spread of delivery applications like Deliveroo has opened up a whole new market for short-distance couriers, just as Uber and Lyft did for private hire vehicles.

If you’re looking to earn a little bit of extra cash on the side, or embark on an entirely new career, then life as a courier might be interesting for you. Let’s take a look at the steps you need to take to make that dream happen.


Before you go any further, you’ll want to look at your options, and decide exactly what kind of couriering you want to do. Are you available to work nights, or at weekends? How far are you willing to travel? Do you need to balance any other work or family commitments?

Get a Vehicle

Having decided exactly what it is that you’d like to do, you can shop for a vehicle that’s appropriate to the job. Bear in mind that your car is going to be under additional strain whilst it’s being used for professional purposes. Make sure you factor in the cost of fuel, ongoing maintenance, and replacement car tyres before you make a decision.

Work out Costs

Ideally, you’ll get all of these costs down on paper so that you can work out whether the business is viable, and whether the reward is worth the effort you’re going to be putting in. If you can do anything to limit your costs, then do it ahead of time.

There are other costs to consider, too – especially if you’re looking to expand later on. For example, you might determine that you need to allocate a sizeable marketing budget to get the word out, or to invest in uniforms, warehousing facilities and computer systems. This should ideally be included in your business plan.


You’ll need to be licensed to drive the vehicle you’re operating. That means that non-drivers will be limited to bicycles. If you’re transporting a lot of stuff in a single trip, then getting a licence for larger vehicles (bigger than 7,500kg) might help to make your would-be business more viable.


If you’re driving a car for professional reasons, then you might find that your existing insurance policy doesn’t cover you. Make sure that you establish this, and that you’re driving with appropriate cover. If you’re not, then you might be in for a nasty shock should you wish to make a claim.

Getting Started

Breaking into the courier business can be difficult. Competition for space can be very high, and you might find yourself having to concentrate on a particular niche in order to break through. If you’re determined and competent, however, there’s nothing preventing you from establishing a business that’s profitable and fulfilling.