For the courier car drivers and everyone else in the UK using a smart phone as a Sat Nav is possible and legal if done correctly. The main thing to remember is to plot your course and set your phone in the hands free mode before even starting the engine. By following the legal guidelines you will not invalidate your courier insurance.
What you need to do to use your phone as a Sat Nav before you start out on your journey.
The placement of your phone in a holder is regulated by the UK government. Technically by UK law it is illegal to affix your holder to the windshield. This way your view of the road is unobstructed. In the UK Highway Code the windshield has to remain clear at all time.
To help prevent a driver from being distracted the handling of a cell phone for any reason is prohibited by law. This includes text messages, phone calls or changing screens when the engine is on. The only way to interact with a cell phone is when it is in the hands free mode and it responds to your voice.
If a driver becomes distracted for any reason by using their smart phone and caught the fine is £200 and 6 points are then given against the driving record of the offender.
If you are involved in an accident you phone records will be investigated. If you were using your phone when the accident occurs you could be prosecuted.
While the driver of a courier van or any other type of vehicle can not physically touch the cell phone, other occupants of the vehicle can. This includes navigators, assistants and passengers.
Motorcycle couriers are free to use smartphones for navigation and many do. All you need is a proper handlebar mount that will secure your smartphone and then use as your sat nav. Using a smartphone is a cheaper option than the traditional GPS navigational unit.
The proper use of a smart phone as a Sat Nav is the responsibility of the driver of the vehicle, whether commercial or private. If a driver is ticketed for improper use of a smart phone and points are placed on the driving record, their insurance premiums will increase due to the increase in risk associated with the driver. If you need any information on this topic our knowledgeable insurance brokers can and will assist you.
Road safety should always be foremost in the mind of any driver particularly courier drivers. Never forget the basics that we covered in the road safety reminders article.
The best van to use for a delivery driver would be one with a small displacement engine. This will save on the fuel used to complete the deliveries and reduce the cost of the courier insurance. Many other factors need to be considered. Some of these include the type size of the item that you will be delivering. If your a fast food delivery driver you will need something to be able to park in residential area so a small size and economical or even delivery bike may be the best solution. Which ever van you choose be sure to take out the correct level of van courier insurance.
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The Citroen Berlingo equipped with a 1.6 L diesel get up to 55 mpg in an urban environment and is an ideal choice to make. It can handle a payload of up to 681 kg and access to the back is made through a side sliding door. To help keep the cost of insurance down, this vehicle comes standard with an immobilizer and has GPS tracking capabilities.
The Ford Transit Connect is another reliable choice. This deliver van has a 1.6 L TDCi diesel under the bonnet and is capable of obtaining 57 mpg in an urban environment and up to 70 mpg on the highway. The van also has a sliding door on the side to access the packages. Safety features that will receive a discount from an insurance broker include an automatic relock system. This locks all the doors on the vehicle when they have not been opened in the last 45 seconds. There are also powered deadlocks and an immobilizer that are standard equipment.
The Volkswagen Transporter T6 is a very popular model chosen by many couriers. This van has a 2.0-L TDI power unit that obtains a combined mileage of 47 mpg. There are also the safety features of a driver fatigue monitor and Electronic Braking Control, both of which are standard. They also help to lower the cost of your courier insurance along with the alarm system and immobilizer to help protect your investment.
The Ford Transit Custom has a 5 star Euro NCAP rating and is the best selling delivery van in the UK. Under the bonnet is a Euro 6 2.0 L Ecoblue power plant that has a combined fuel economy of 49 mpg. It has a payload of more than 1.4 tonnes and is equipped with a six speed automatic transmission. The safety features that will provide a discount on your courier insurance include Pre-Collision Assist that automatically brakes when a pedestrian is detected. There is also a roll stability control system to prevent the vehicle from rolling over when the payload is shifting.
The Ford Transit Cargo van is considered the most reliable delivery van in the UK and has a NHTSA’s 5-Star Safety Ratings. With the 3.7 L Ti-VCT petrol engine it has a combined fuel economy of 17 mpg. There is standard equipment of a rear view camera, tire pressure monitoring system, roll stability control and a safety canopy system with a full length side air bag in the cargo area. These standard items should be presented when talking to your courier insurance broker so a discount can be obtained in your premium.
These are considered the best van for a delivery driver to own in the UK. All of the road safety features not only help the driver stay safe, but also keep their courier insurance premiums at a minimum annual cost.
Below we have explored the 3 main cycle delivery service methods. These are broad categories and overlaps do exist with a plethora of in between business setups. The cargo can also vary from time sensitive documents to fast food delivery.
Express mail delivery is always in demand, but the postage costs can be high even excessive. Can you provide a competing service for the local businesses in your town or city?
This is a model that can be entered into with minimum investment and is perfect for standard cycles with a few inexpensive addons to help carry documents safely. As these can be very important take an urgent contract that needs signing and returning. If business grows you have an option to add a small trailer.
This model is best suited to high occupancy commercial arrears or possibly residential areas. The later may be suited to working with the local council to deliver time critical documentation or correspondance.
This is operating under a simple on demand basis with the courier providing a collection and delivery service. The delivery time being based on the service deliver parameters agreed within the contract. In this model urgent deliveries would be the most expensive.
Request for this service can be at any time of the day and it is vital to be able to optimise for efficient use of your fixed resources. The cargo size may be larger than standard mail so consider wither adding trailers or employing cargo bikes.
This typically involves delivery on a larger scale from depots located on the outskirts to town or city center.
Most likely will need a secure storage area and good levels of insurance that includes goods in transit and storage. Trikes are more suited as deliveries will be larger with many operators offering a local outsourcing service to the bigger national carriers like DHL for example.
GIT covers the goods that you are in temporary charge of on behalf of a third party (the owner of the goods). So whilst your standard courier insurance covers your vehicle, goods in transit cover abbreviated to GIT covers your for damage to the goods that you or your company are hauling or transporting.
Please take note that some courier polices will have some GIT cover. However, it is normally capped at a fixed amount which may not be adequate for your business needs.
It is important to be aware that this type of cover can be very particular and does come with common exclusions, for example dangerous chemicals would not normally be included. In addition some insurers may only provide partial cover for items deemed an easy target for theft. Electronic items would normally fall into this higher risk category.
If you receive a haulage request for goods that are different to what you normally haul then you need to consider if your existing cover extends to this new type of goods. On these occasions it is best to first check with your broker if your current cover is adequate. If not you could suggest to the potential customer to provide their own GIT cover. If a one off job getting the customer to provide the cover may be the best option.
Be aware that that some brokerages will not cover some materials except if specifically included. For example dangerous chemicals or expensive items such as gold or diamonds are normally excluded. if unsure please read the policy details. If at any time you change the types of good that you work with double check with your broker to verify that your existing policy covers the new haulage category.
You are responsible for any goods that are in your possession. This means if any damage or loss occurs you or your business will be held liable. To protect your self you need a good take out goods in transit insurance to cover any damage or loss..
The same as the goods that you move around, courier policies come in all shapes and sizes to suit the different ranges of customer. Each business will have unique features maybe they transport dangeorors of ultra expensive goods. In these extreme cases a standard courier policy would not be sufficient in terms of cover. The premium amount will be much higher to reflect that added risk taken by the underwriter. Indeed you may even find it impossible to get insurance if you are deemed too high a risk.
The reverse is also true, maybe you need food delivery insurance in which case the premium increase will be much lower than for delivering precious items
In the UK you must have the correct motor insurance in order to drive your vehicle on the UK roads. When you work as a courier then you will need cover classed as 'carriage of goods' also referred to as GIT insurance.
Standard car insurance can sometimes provide a very limited cover for couriers, but is not really adequate for a full time business. However, do check your with your insurance provider to see what way you are currently covered if you decide to provide a delivery of goods service.
Very much like normal car insurance, courier insurance falls into three main types of cover which are third party only, third party fire and theft, and fully comprehensive. Each category will come with an excess similar to standard car insurance. The difference with courier insurance is that the excess can be very much higher. If necessary you could consider taking a out a separate policy to cover the excess. A better approach is to focus on improving driving standards and thus lower your risks.
It is a legal requirement to have car insurance. You should not assume that your standard car insurance will cover you for operating a courier service. You will need to contact your broker to advise them of change of use. In turn they will change the policy to include business use, but the premium will be increased
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The courier business has seen explosive growth in 2 key sectors with the UK.
Demand for couriers is greatest in the business regions of major UK cities. This demand is of a business nature, delivery of urgent documents for example. However, a demand for fast food delivery service exists in all regions of the UK as the love of fast food continues. Hot on the heels of fast food is beverage delivery.
The new dray service, launched earlier this year, comes on the back of a more than 200% boost in revenue for the courier from the food and beverage sector in 2017
Before embarking on this path work out any upfront costs and study your competition. Take into account all upfront and ongoing costs, including the cost of food courier insurance .
Because of the different entry levels, opportunities exist for those starting off with a small budget for example providing a simple bike courier service. Which ever approach you plan it is paramount that you position yourself as a firm that not only delivers, but provides great service.
If you can think of something that can set you apart from the pack then all the better. A path exists to start as a bike courier progress to a van couriers and beyound.
The ease of entry is also the downfall of the courier industry so be warned whilst it is relatively easy to enter competition will always be at your heels. To some it may seem that all you need is an office, a mobile device, and a courier vehicle. As a result, there are many new courier businesses that start up each only to fail.
Many other opportunities exist in the haulage of goods sector. These are in general more expensive to set up as normally you will need to invest in vans or heavy goods vehicles. If you can enter at this level and be successful the rewards will be huge.
Do the research, create a business plan and be cautious taking nothing as given, in other words be prepared for long hours and hard work. Success can be achieved with determination, planning and a service minded attitude
If you do not have unlimited money for a fleet of push or motor bikes, most likely you will have people working for/with you on a self-employed basis, rather than as employees. A key advantage of this is that they will be responsible when it comes to providing their own bikes and equipment, in addition to storing and maintaining them.
We all know that motorcyclists and cyclists are indeed vulnerable on the roads, but they also can be very visible. Because of this you can enhance both your rider’s safety and the company advertising by the use of bright, noticeable colours or logos.
Whether you are the owner a haulage company, or work as a driver for one, road safety must always be observed. This is of particular concern for drivers that offer a service that requires them to operate during nighttime and sometimes against the clock. If you deliver fast food as a night job, tiredness can lead to accidents. Taking precautions will help mitigate your chances of being in a road accident. Should you have an accident make sure you are covered with food courier insurance or courier driver insurance.
As the old saying goes … an ounce of prevention better than of pound of cure. There is nowhere this is more true than in the transport industry. Regularly scheduled vehicle check-ups, along with maintenance might sometimes seem at times tedious, but one should not take the safety of themselves and other motorists lightly. As they go about their delivery work, drivers should be confident that their vehicle is in the very best condition possible.
Perform a regular check to ensure that your brakes, tyres, wheel bearings, and steering, should all be in proper working condition. BY adding a regular maintenance into your work schedule you are taking positive steps to lower your risk of filing a claim against your insurance company. The ultimate benefit of regular maintenance is it will help ensure safety of you and your cargo.
It’s true that sometimes, that no amount of preparatory measures will ensure that you have a 100%, accident-free operation. Perhaps, even though you have observed all of the precautionary measures possible, you are still not able to control how other drivers are going to act.
Should it happen that you are involved in an accident while doing your delivery work, you would do well to know a certain emergency procedures such as treating minor injuries, how to prevent the situation from worsening, and getting the proper in the shortest time possible.
Many road accidents occur as a result of the most seemingly minor or insignificant reasons. One of the primary reasons for accidents is that a driver is overly fatigued. This however is far from an insignificant issue. As far as road safety goes, one of the top priorities is that the driver must be able to the manoeuvre the vehicle effectively, especially at night. It is of the utmost importance, that drivers are well-rested prior to setting out on a long journey. Remember, even an urgent delivery is not as important as a delivery driver acting responsively and driving safely on the road.
A government survey showed that at 27% of drivers admitted to short periods of drowsiness and have nodded off or fallen asleep at some time whilst driving. So While the temptation may be there to work longer hours, you need to sleep at least six to eight hours night. Regardless of what a the company may say they need you to do, you must sleep and take other rest stops as recommend, or even mandated by law.
As a delivery driver, it’s always best to have some essentials with you at all times. Consider making a small bag of these, or put them in the vehicle permanently. These could include a radio, map, a roll of world-famous duct tape, a log book, scissors, a calculator, a few wrenches and screwdrivers, and a set of jumper cables.
The purpose of courier insurance is to protect not only your vehicle and its cargo, but also you. As is very often the case, as a courier, you will be transporting valuable packages for your clients. In addition couriers spend most of their time driving and this extends your risk of being in accident. Most standard insurance policies will not provide the cover require at the level required.
This is exactly where courier insurance comes into play. This type of insurance is specifically designed for the unique risks couriers are exposed to. The correct Courier Insurance policy will cover you should your cargo be stolen, lost, or damaged in transit.
Many opportunities exists to work as a courier on a part time basis. The most popular is food delivery. This is popular as it something that you can do in the evening time to supplement you income. No qualifications are needed, but you should take out food courier insurance if using your own car or van. With online shopping dominating a need exists for delivery drivers. Both could be a part time job or you could go the self employed route full time.
A standard business car policy can provide cover as to the value of the vehicle in addition to any damage that you may cause to people, property, and other vehicles. However, it will not cover the goods you are transporting. Although it is not illegal to transport under standard car insurance, it not wise to take the chance.
Having the right type of cover in place for both your vehicle and its cargo are essential to protect against crippling payouts. This very special type of insurance is designed to handle the unique risks that couriers face as they operate their business including:
Standard car or van insurance will in most cases not provide you the additional cover for goods in transit. However, do check with your broker as it may be included but with limit on payout. If the limit leaves too much exposure ask to get it increased or take out goods in transit insurance as an addition.
Failure on your part to acquire the correct courier Insurance policy, could have the results of a fine, points on your license, or even a driving ban. In the worst case scenario you also have to cover the costs of the items being couriered. Is it worth the risk?