Best apps for courier drivers

Many of the apps available on the Apple and Android app markets are designed to make our lives that little bit easier.
 
Whether we need to note down an important date, create a to-do list, book a holiday or transfer some money, as they say, ‘there’s an app for that’! And in a similar vein, if you’re a courier driver, there are a whole heap of apps that could help to make your deliveries smoother and more efficient day in, day out.
 
Before we take a look at some of the best apps, is your courier insurance policy due for renewal soon? If so, the Insurance Factory can help to set you up with a policy that’s as robust as your service, for a price that’s right.
 
We cover a wide range of services for trades including goods in transit, delivery insurance, hire and reward, light haulage, vehicle and goods and courier van insurance. Whatever the nature of your courier business, we’re more than happy to discuss your requirements to see if we can arrange a suitable policy.
 

So, which apps should you download?

Before we take a look at some recommended apps for courier drivers, a word of warning: whether you load these apps onto your smartphone, tablet or other device, you should never use them while driving.

There are serious consequences of being caught using a handheld device at the wheel – potentially leading to points on your licence, a fine or ban from driving. It could even end up costing you your livelihood.
 
That said, if you need to use an app while driving (such as a map) then you could always place your phone into a holder.
 
Now, let’s take a look at some handy apps for someone who owns their own courier business:
 

Google Maps

It’s one of the best map apps on the market, if not the best. A great choice for regular drivers and couriers alike, perhaps one of the top features is its real-time reports on estimated times of arrival and traffic conditions.

You’ll be alerted of any bad traffic, road closures or other incidents on your route and it can automatically reroute you.
 
The good thing about Google Maps is that you can use it without an internet connection, though if it’s being used in offline mode you won’t benefit from live reporting.

Other features couriers might find useful include Street View (handy when you want to get a visual of exactly where you should be delivering) and indoor maps, which can help you to quickly find your way to a certain location in a big place, such as a shopping centre.

 The Google Maps app icon on mobile phone


PlaceMaker Route Planner

This handy app makes route planning super easy. Whether you have five, 50 or over one hundred stops to make, PlaceMaker lets you quickly create a list of stops before launching your top navigation programme, from which it will create estimated travel times. It's compatible with Waze, Google Maps and Apple Maps.
 
If you upgrade to the Plus or Routific subscription it will reorder your stop-off list in optimal order and display the route line on the map.
 

Waze Navigation & Live Traffic

An alternative to Google Maps is Waze, which also links with PlaceMaker. Similar to Maps, you’ll receive instant updates on things like traffic, roadworks, police, incidents and more, with Waze switching your route if it will save you time.
 
You can play your favourite music, podcasts and more right through the app, and you can pick from a number of voices to guide you as you drive. Waze will even show you the cheapest places to stop for fuel, which brings us nicely to the next app…
 

QuickBooks Self-Employed

If you’re a self-employed courier driver, the QuickBooks Self-Employed app can help you to keep your finances in check. You’re able to categorise all of your business expenses and attach receipts to each one.
 
Track expenses on the go, estimate your annual taxes, monitor mileage automatically and ‘snap and store’ receipts for your business. You can even invoice clients on the go, personalising invoices with your courier company’s logo.
 

PetrolPrices.com

Don’t overpay for petrol ever again with the PetrolPrices.com app. It claims to help drivers save money and time at 98% of petrol stations across the UK.

Report fuel prices, warn other courier drivers of petrol stations overcharging for fuel, and compare costs for petrol, diesel and premium fuels at major retailers such as Shell, BP, Circle-K, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and more.
 
This app also gives useful information on petrol stations, such as whether there’s air and water facilities and toilets. You’ll earn points by contributing or correcting information on the app, with rewards coming soon!
 A car filling up with diesel at a fuelling station‚Äč
 

MyFitnessPal

You may think this is a strange app for a courier driver, but bear with us! Even though you’ll be moving about when you take parcels from the back of your van to your customers’ doors, you’ll still be sedentary for a large part of your working day.

So, it pays to be mindful of what you eat, to save you becoming overweight.

MyFitnessPal is a great app for tracking your calories on a daily basis, helping to make sure you don’t go over the recommended daily intake. You can also use it to log your exercise and get tips and advice on how to lead a healthy lifestyle.
 

Headspace

Life on the road can be stressful and take its toll. It’s therefore really important that you invest in your mental, as well as physical, health. Headspace is a great app that can help you to lead a ‘healthier, happier, more rested life’ in just a few minutes each day.
 
Access hundreds of themed sessions on things like sleep, focus, stress and anxiety, and make the most of SOS exercises if you ever need them. This app is a great way to wind down after a long day of deliveries and you can expect to see benefits almost instantly.
 
Don’t forget, the Insurance Factory can help you to save time and money by arranging courier insurance for you and your van. Get a quote today!

Policy benefits, features and discounts offered may very between insurance schemes or cover selected and are subject to underwriting criteria. Information contained within this article is accurate at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.