Delivery Van Driver

The Job and What's Involved

As a delivery van driver you would collect goods and deliver them to customers. You could deliver a wide range of items, for example supermarket shopping orders, furniture, domestic appliances or company wages.

Your duties would include:

  • Collecting goods from a depot, warehouse or pick-up point.
  • Loading the vehicle to match the delivery route.
  • Planning the route to make sure deliveries are made on time.
  • Unloading goods at the right addresses.
  • Collecting signatures and giving invoices on delivery.
  • Recording mileage and fuel purchases.
  • Updating delivery records (often using a hand-held computer).
  • Returning undelivered items to base.

Your vehicle could vary in size, depending on the load and your licence. Many vans are 3.5 tonnes or less, but you might also drive vehicles between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes.

If you work for a security firm, delivering valuables or cash, you would drive a specially adapted van with a time-lock safe and other security features.

You would usually work between 40 and 48 hours a week. Some companies offer overtime in the evenings and at weekends.

For safety reasons, there are legal limits on drivers' hours, depending on the type of vehicle you drive. For example, if your vehicle is over 3.5 tonnes, a tachograph in the vehicle will record the number of hours you drive, the speed and distances you travel and the time you spend loading and unloading.

For some jobs you may be provided with a uniform and specialist clothing, for example, on security deliveries, you may be issued with body armour and a helmet.

Full-time drivers can earn from £12,000 and around £20,000 a year.

Some employers offer bonuses for attendance or for reaching work targets.

Getting Started with this Career Choice

Typical employers include courier services, manufacturing companies and retailers throughout the country.

In recent years there has been an increase in delivery opportunities, partly due to the growth of online shopping.

Education and Training

To work as a delivery driver, employers would expect you to have:

- Basic ability in English and maths
- A good driving record and an appropriate licence
- Good eyesight and colour vision

If you gained your car driving licence before 1 January 1997, you can drive vehicles up to 7.5 tonnes without passing a separate test.

If you gained your car licence after 1st January 1997, you can drive vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes. To drive vehicles between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes, you would need a category C1 licence. To gain this you must be at least 18, and pass medical, theory and practical tests. Contact Skills for Logistics for a list of approved LGV training providers.

You will also need a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC). You can find out more about the scheme on the Gov UK Website.

You may be able to get into this career by completing an Apprenticeship with a delivery company.

Apprenticeships and Advanced Apprenticeships provide structured training with an employer. As an apprentice you must be paid at least £95 per week; you may well be paid more. A recent survey found that the average wage for apprentices was £170 a week. Your pay will depend on the sector in which you work, your age, the area where you live and the stage at which you have arrived in the Apprenticeship.

Entry to Employment (e2e) can help to prepare those who are not yet ready for an Apprenticeship. In addition, Young Apprenticeships may be available for 14- to 16-year-olds. More information is available from a Connexions personal adviser or at www.apprenticeships.org.uk.

There are different arrangements for Apprenticeships in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

For further information visit My World of Work www.myworldofwork.co.uk/modernapprenticeships, Careers Wales www.careerswales.com; and for Northern Ireland contact www.careersserviceni.com.

To find out more about relevant licences, visit the Business Link and Directgov Motoring websites.

See the job profile for Large Goods Vehicle Driver for more information about driving vehicles larger than 7.5 tonnes.

A Few More Exams You Might Need

When you start work, you would usually be required to complete a short induction programme. This is normally completed in-house and could cover the following:

  • Paperwork and forms.
  • Company rules.
  • Routes and procedures (under the supervision of an experienced driver).

Your employer may also put you through the C1 test and Driver CPC. See the Driver CPC website for a list of approved training providers.

To drive valuables, you may also need training in defensive driving and personal security. If you are working on a contract with a security firm, you will need a Security Industry Association (SIA) licence. Visit the SIA website for more information.

You could work towards qualifications such as NVQ Level 2 Carry and Deliver Goods, and NVQ levels 2 and 3 Driving Goods Vehicles.

Featured Job Guide - Ambulance Technician

Ambulance Technician

As an ambulance technician you would respond to accident and emergency calls, as well as a range of planned and unplanned non-emergency cases. You would usually work in a team, providing support to a paramedic during the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of patients at the scene of an incident and during hospital transfers.

You may use life saving skills as part of your day-to-day work.

________________________________________________________________________________

Skills and Personal Qualities Needed

A delivery van driver needs:

  • Excellent practical driving skills and road safety awareness.
  • An enjoyment of driving.
  • The ability to work alone and concentrate.
  • Patience and a polite attitude towards other road users.
  • Good spoken and written communication skills.
  • A reasonable level of fitness.
  • The ability to complete record sheets and paperwork.

Your Long Term Prospects

With experience, you could move into supervisory or management roles, or into related areas of transport and retail.

Get Further Information

Driving Standards Agency (DSA), Stanley House,
56 Talbot Street, Nottingham NG1 5GU
Tel: 0115 901 2500
Website: www.dsa.gov.uk

Road Haulage Association (RHA),
Tel: 01733 261131
Website: www.rha.uk.net

Road Haulage Association, Roadway House,
35 Monument Hill, Weybridge, Surrey KT13 8RN
Tel: 01932 841515
Website: www.rha.uk.net

Skills for Logistics, 14 Warren Yard,
Warren Farm Office Village, Milton Keynes MK12 5NW
Tel: 01908 313360
Websites: www.skillsforlogistics.org and www.careersinlogistics.co.uk

Security Industry Authority (SIA),
PO Box 1293, Liverpool L69 1AX
Tel: 0844 892 1025
Website: www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk

Other Related Jobs

Additional resources