codforum - the freelance courier owner driver forum

frequently asked questions and top topics

Some topics crop up regularly on codforum, and newcomers often ask the same questions.

This page summarises some of the most popular or interesting topics on codforum, with links to selected posts and information on other sites.

Just pick a topic from the list on the right and read on!

there's a lot of good knowledge of the industry from the forum members



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where do I start?top

Start by reading all the topics on all the codforum forums!

should I start?top

Should i become a courier owner driver?

If you read nothing else, read these threads

how do I start?top

How do i become a courier owner driver?

This is a difficult one. You may wish to avoid the problems associated with dealing directly with the end user or you may wish to hit it head on and find your own customers to deal with.

You will find all you need to know right here on codforum but to start with try these below

can I use my car?top

You can use a car, and there are different opinions, but most codforum members agree you'll find it easier to get work with a van. It's more flexible than a car and people will take you more seriously.

motorcycle courieringtop

most use a van, but there is call for motorcycle couriers, especially in heavily congested cities.

can I start part time?top

Yes, but — you'll stand a better chance of success and find it easier to get work if you do it full time.

how much will I earn?top

Well, you won't be earning £250 a day, and for the first couple of months you might not get anything at all. After a while you might have a turnover of £400 to £700 a week, before taking out your costs — van, fuel, insurances, phone, subs, etc.

scams and rip-offstop

Couriers seem to be regarded as easy targets for the scam merchants.

They generally pretend to be agencies or 'clearing houses' — they offer to get work from customers and farm it out to owner drivers.

Some of the recent scams have these features:

  • you have to pay a weekly or monthly amount by standing order to be on their books
  • you have to fill in an application form and provide references which you get charged for
  • they offer an hourly rate instead of loaded mile rates
  • the promised pay is unrealistically high
  • they offer 'shifts' with set hours
  • they say they have lots of big customers who are crying out for couriers
  • they use a 'virtual office' address
  • they have an 0871 or 0870 contact number
  • they use a premium-rate short text number
  • they use 'specialist courier' in their blurb

some posts about this topic...

information on other sites

what rates to charge top

There are two sets of rates — one for your own customers and another for 'trade' when you're subbing. And you'll probably use a different rate for backloads and part loads. And the rates you can charge are different in different parts of the country.

Most people charge a rate of so many pence per loaded mile (pplm), and the rate will depend mostly on the size of vehicle. You'll have to work out your rates as part of your business plan, but some of the topics here will give you an idea of where to start.

working out mileages top

The price for most jobs is worked out on the loaded mileage, so we have to have a way to quickly work out mileages between two points, so we can quote while the customer is on the phone. You can tell the customer you will ring back, then use satnav or multimap to work it out, but they could have given the job to somebody else in that time.

codforum members have come up with some quick and simple ways to do it, which are described in the posts below.

what does xyz mean?top

If you've seen a word, abbreviation or acronym and you don't know what it means, you might find it in the courier glossary

backloadstop

finding backloads

multi-dropstop

multidropping, sameday, longhaul?

choosing a vantop

whats is the best van to get, a small one, big one?

should I buy a van or hire?top

should you buy or rent a vehicle? what are the pros and cons? see what some of our members say

insurance top

There are three types of insurance you should have:

  • van insurance to cover you to use your van to carry goods for 'hire and reward' — this can be courier insurance or light haulage insurance depending on the type of work you do. this type of insurance, often called road risks insurance is a legal requirement.
  • goods in transit (GIT) insurance to cover the goods you are carrying. this is not a legal requirement but often required by businesses you do work for

You should also have public liability insurance, but you probably don't need employer's liability.

Freight / exchanges / logistics billboardstop

People often ask whether these logistics billboards are worth joining.

Billboards are places for couriers to advertise loads and empty vans. You won't get enough work from them to keep you busy, but you might get enough to cover the subscription cost. They are good places to network and get to know other couriers, which helps keep the work coming in. They will not help you build up your own customer base.

getting customers top

summary coming soon!

business stationerytop

summary coming soon!

what equipment do I need? top

summary coming soon!

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