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Courier Driver Survey 2014


Earlier this year, Insure Courier decided to conduct a courier driver survey. Please find the results below;

The survey was in 2 parts.

Part one was designed to collect some meaningful courier driver data. Shift patterns, working hours, fuel spend etc.

Part two was just for FUN! For example, the funniest things you’ve experienced whilst on the job and the best and worst things about being a courier.

Please find the results to our Courier Driver Survey 2014 below! Thank you to the 40 courier drivers that took part, you have been entered into our free prize draw which will take place shortly.

Part 1 Results – This section is all about courier drivers thoughts on the current trading/working environment

How long have you been a courier driver?

You can see from the results that 32.5% of participants have been a courier driver for over 10 years! 60% have been a courier for over 4 years which shows that most of the drivers surveyed are long-standing and experienced.

Q2 - Are you a self-employed courier?

Almost 98% of the courier drivers surveyed answered YES to this question. This doesn’t surprise us as many of our contacts are self-employed and shopping for their own insurance. Couriers working for someone else are likely to be covered under the companies courier fleet policy.

If you have 3 or more courier vehicles on individual policies, make sure you speak to insureCOURIER about switching to a fleet policy. This is highly likely to save you both time and money!

3 - Is working as a courier your main job95% of those surveyed reported that being a courier was in fact their main or full time job.  This left just 5% of participants who worked as a courier in their spare time to earn extra cash!

4 - Do you own your courier vehicle

42.5% of courier drivers that we surveyed own their courier car or van and have purchased it out-right. All the other participants that own their vehicle either leased it or had it on finance. None of the couriers that took part in our survey used a vehicle that was owned by the company they work for. (However, please note that 38/40 of the participants that took part in our survey were self-employed.)

How many delivers do you make each day as a courier?

At insureCOURIER we speak to courier drivers every day and we know exactly how hard you work!! A massive 70% of the courier drivers we surveyed make between 1 and 20 deliveries each day. This suggests to us that longer journeys and less frequent trips are common amongst courier drivers. However, around 17.5% of those surveyed reported that they make in excess of 80 deliveries per day!

6 - How far do you usually travel for deliveries

Confirming our suspicions created by the findings from our previous question, over 66% of courier drivers surveys reported that they travel in excess of 60 miles to make a delivery.

A few of our respondents that reported covering over 60+ miles per delivery left some very insightful comments, thanks for these!! It seems a lot of you make nationwide deliveries or cover the whole of the UK. One participant stated that he travelled up to 400 miles for a delivery! We hope that you’re aware of some good service stations to help break up your journey!!

7 - What type of goods do you usually carry?

Almost 60% of you carry pre-packaged parcels with unknown contents. The least popular type of goods in transit was low risk cargo e.g. newspapers (5.41%) followed by theft attractive items (16.2%) and the engineering parts (18.92%).  These findings closely match what we would have estimated based on our goods in transit insurance enquiries.

Some of the customers that answered ‘other’ to this question reported carrying the following types of goods and more; anything, all of the above, medical supplies, kitchen stock, all small goods.

Do you work similiar shift patterns each week?

As you can see from the graph, the answers to this question were almost equally split with 47.5% answering YES and the remaining 52.5% answering NO! This doesn’t surprise us as the majority of couriers taking part in this questionnaire were self-employed. Some courier firms tend to do open to any available jobs and with therefore work any hours. However, some freelancers have temporary contracts for larger firms who need deliveries at specific times of the day.

How many hours approximately do you work each week?

As we mentioned previously, at Insure Courier we know how hard our courier drivers work and the findings to this question prove that! 30% of you reported that you worked between 51-60 hours a  week while a further 17.5% of you work more that 60 hours!! Well done, hats off to you. We can assume that those working shorter hours work as a courier part time.

What are the closest shift patterns to the ones you usually work?

 9am – 5pm = 52.5%

12pm – 8pm = 12.5%

6pm – 2am = 2.5%

7am – 3pm = 32.5%

 Surprisingly, the 9am – 5pm shift is the most popular. This is followed by the early morning shift of 7am – 3pm.

How much money do you make on an average delivery?


Under £5 = 31.43%

£5 – £10  = 11.43%

£11 – £20 = 5.71%

£21 – £30 = 8.57%

£31 – £40 = 0%

£40+ = 42.86

Almost 43% of couriers estimated that they get over £40 for an average delivery. In fact, those that specified their exact earnings reported getting up £150 per delivery. However, many of you highlighted that it was difficult to give a precise answer as this figure often varies depending on distance travelled and the type of goods being transported.

 Do you load or off-load the goods yourself?

 Everyone who took part in the survey has to load or off-load the goods themselves at least some of the time.  Courier work can be a physical demanding job when compared with other driving roles.

13 - What is your estimated cost of fuel

We’re sure you don’t need us to tell you about rising fuel costs! Over 52% of you reported that you spend over £500 a month on fuel. This is obviously one of the biggest outgoings for those in driving jobs.

14 - What are your average daily earnings after costs

There was a range of different answers to this question however the vast majority of you reported that your earnings were either less than £100 a day or somewhere between £100 and £200. A lucky 2.5 % of you earn between £300 and £399 per day!

15 - What does your courier insurance cost

We’re pleased to report that the answers to this question match the reality and that most of you pay less than £1500 for your courier vehicle insurance.  Reported premiums did vary rising up to between £3000-£3499. When you receive your courier insurance renewal price we’d always recommend shopping around to see if you can get a better deal somewhere else. As a broker, Insure Courier can do this on your behalf. We’ll also ensure that you have the right protection for you needs for complete peace of mind.


16 - Over the last 12 months has your courier insurance...

Answers to this question clearly varied. There are a number of reasons why premiums can change but this is usually a reflection of your claims history, license points, cargo, hours and mileage etc. However, their are a number of other reasons such as an increase in claims and fraud within the industry which may cause premiums to change.

17 - Do you have any of the other types if insurance listed below

As we suspected you have all taken out a range of other insurance policies to cover other risks in you life. Just so that you’re aware, insureCOURIER is part of The County Group who provide a complete range of business and personal insurance products as well as financial solutions. If you need help with anything else then please do not hesitate to get in touch. We offer a generous 10% off to those that hold multiple policies with us.* T’s and C’s apply.

18 - How do you normally get insurance quotes

Over 47% of couriers that took part in the survey reported that they would normally shop for their insurance by using a price comparison site. This doesn’t surprise us as this option is becoming increasingly popular due to the fact that they allow you to compare various quotes quickly and conveniently. Surprisingly however, the second most popular option was to phone around different providers to find the best deal. It’s likely that this is due to the fact that these couriers would prefer to speak to a ‘real person’ rather than a computer and get some advice regarding the level of cover that they require too.

Did you know that a broker could offer the best of both worlds? Brokers like Insure Courier will take your details from you once and then shop the market for a cheap quote on your behalf.  Our experts will also offer you all the help and advice you need in selecting the right cover for you.

19 - In the last 12 months, has the number of deliveries you make...

We’re pleased to report that over 87% of you believed that the number of your deliveries you make had either stayed the same or increased in the last 12 months. This hopefully means that there’s plenty of work out their for couriers at the moment and that we’re definitely seeing the back of the effects of the recession now.

Part 2 Results – The FUN part! This section looks at your best and worst experiences on the job as well as your funniest stories!

We asked couriers what the best and worst things about their jobs were. Although we couldn’t print them all, here’s a small selection of the best/most common type of answers;


  • “Being out early in the morning when there’s no traffic about.”
  • “One day when I got offered a new job every where I went. (Office to Newcastle, Newcastle to Coventry, Coventry to London, London back to the office.”
  • “I’ve never had a good day!” 🙁
  • “Getting over £400 for one drop off and only spending £60 on fuel.”
  • “I meet lots of celebrities due to working for one customer who designs clothing. I once met a very well know actress.”


  • “Probably yesterday (1st May) when I was hit by someone coming out of a gateway 230 miles from home at 5pm near the M25. 2.5 hour wait there then another 1.5 hour wait at Northampton to be transferred to another recovery vehicle. Back home to bed at 4am. Followed by today’s (Friday) lost earnings and sorting everything out. Nightmare!”
  • “Stuck in traffic for hours due to the tube strike.”
  • “The worst day I have had, was last Tuesday when I fell down 2/3 steps at a house.”
  • “When clients don’t appreciate how much you’re paid per job.”
  • “Other reckless, inconsiderate, stupid drivers!”
  • “Working for 15hours without stopping.”

A selection of you funniest stories:

Sorry we couldn’t publish them all!

  • “My funniest day as a courier was when I had to take 8 boxes of ladies tights from Marks and Spencers all the way from Swinton, Wiltshire to Dublin.”
  • “All too rude!”
  • “Getting my van stuck in the snow on a certain celebrities grass verge. He wasn’t best pleased because him and his wife had to push my van out.”
  • “Trying to deliver to some posh persons house in a pitch black village or street and using your torch to try and find their premises looking like a thief in the night! Sometimes you think the person is going to come out with a shotgun and tell you to get off their land.”
  • “Once I had to do a run down to Great Yarmouth and took my friends dog down with me. I went on the beach and threw a stick in the sea and the dog ran so fast and went into the water and started swimming. When she got the stick she looked at me proudly. Then she realised she was in the water and panicked, swimming back frantically. It was the first time she’d been in deep water so it was so funny.”

We hope that you found the Courier Driver 2014 both informative and interesting. We’ll be back with another survey in 2015 to see if you’re opinions have changed. Thanks again to everyone who completed the survey.