4 skills every delivery driver needs

Are you considering a career as a delivery driver? Setting up your own courier service can be incredibly rewarding, not to mention lucrative if you develop a reputation for your excellent service over time.

Being a delivery driver is a sociable job, as you come into contact with numerous customers on a day-to-day basis.

Plus, there’s something very satisfying about delivering a parcel safe and on time and seeing that smile on a customer’s face!

According to the National Careers Service website, the average salary for delivery van drivers is £14,000 for starters, rising to £27,000 for experienced workers.

The average working week tends to be around 44 to 46 hours, and there’s usually a requirement to work evenings, weekends and bank holidays.

Of course, this could all be different if you decide to set up your own company, where you have the potential to earn more money and have greater flexibility around things like your working hours.

If you’re serious about a career as a delivery driver, then you’ll need to think about insurance before you can get out on the road and begin delivering goods.

The Insurance Factory has plenty of experience arranging courier insurance policies and can tailor cover to match your specific needs.


What skills do delivery drivers need?

A delivery driver unloading boxes from his van

As with any job, there are certain skills you’ll need to be an excellent delivery driver.

Some of those skills may come naturally, while others can be learned and honed over time. Here are four essential skills every delivery driver needs.


1. Excellent driving skills

It really goes without saying, but to be a successful delivery driver you need to be good at driving!

More than that, though, you need to enjoy driving because you’ll be spending most of your working week behind the wheel.

Having excellent driving skills is more than just being able to read traffic signs and carry out manoeuvres correctly.

It’s as much about being patient and considerate on the road – something that can be put to the test in high-pressure situations, like the twice-daily, rush-hour commute.

If you’re confident that you’re someone who can ‘keep calm and carry on’ in such situations, then no doubt you’ll make an excellent delivery driver.


2. Concentration

Working as a delivery driver involves long periods of time spent on the road, so good concentration is a must.

It’s easy for driving itself to become monotonous, especially if you’re going to be covering long stretches on the motorway, or regularly driving the same routes. Some ways you can ensure maximum concentration include:

●        Avoiding stimulants (such as coffee) if you can as these can actually make it harder to concentrate on the road. They could also increase the risk of you driving in an irrational or aggressive manner.

●        Getting the recommended eight hours of sleep a night, which will make sure you feel refreshed before your shift and make you less likely to feel drowsy at the wheel or rely on stimulants.

●        Avoiding fatty and unhealthy foods when driving, as these can make you feel sluggish at the wheel, not to mention uncomfortable.

●        Putting your tech (such as your smartphone) away and out of sight so you’re not tempted to check it while driving (something which will land you penalty points and a fine, and could even jeopardise your career as a delivery driver).


3. People skills

Good social and communication skills are really important, seeing as you’ll be coming face-to-face with numerous customers every day – and you want to make a good impression.

It’s almost a given that you’ll encounter a tricky customer at some point or another, even if you’ve done all you can to deliver a top service.

You need to be sure that you’ll keep a cool head in these situations, empathising with the customer (even if you don’t necessarily agree with them) while patiently explaining how you’re going to put their problem right.


4. Organisation

There’s no doubt about it: delivery drivers need to be organised, in all senses of the word!

First, you need to be organised when you’re out on deliveries – arranging customers’ parcels in order, planning the routes and factoring in alternate routes just in case.

You also need to be organised with your van, carrying out regular checks to ensure everything is in good working order and to prevent your vehicle from letting you down when you need it most.

Of course, you can’t stop mishaps (like breakdowns) altogether, which is why having a good courier insurance policy in place is really important.

If you’re going to be setting up your own courier business, then you’ll have the responsibility of taking on lots of administrative tasks, which will involve a good deal of paperwork.

This is also where great organisation skills come in handy, together with being thorough and paying close attention to detail.


So… what next?

A silver delivery van travelling along a motorway in the evening

If you’ve decided you’ve got what it takes to be a delivery driver, and wish to set up your own business, it’s time to get to work!

You’ll need to start with your business plan, which should detail things like the business overview, market and competitor analysis, service delivery, three-year forecast and start-up requirements.

Then you’ll need to sort out the admin (like setting up as a sole trader), buy yourself a reliable van and arrange courier insurance – which is where the Insurance Factory comes in.

We provide policies for a wide range of services and trades, including delivery insurance, vehicle and goods cover, and van courier insurance.

We also arrange policies packed with features and benefits tailored to the specific needs of your business and vehicle, such as:


●        Cover for vehicles up to 7.5 tonnes

●        Goods in transit up to £10,000

●        Liability cover up to £2m, with cover extension available up to £5m

●        Cover for carriage of goods, and hire and reward


We’ve got years of experience providing competitively-priced policies to delivery drivers, so why not find out what we can do for you?

Get a free, no-obligation quote today.