What Vehicle Do I Need to Start a Courier Business?

large courier delivery van

Without stating the obvious too much here, if you want to start a courier business you’re going to first need a vehicle. As discussed in our previous post on research to conduct before starting a courier business there are lots of vehicles to choose from. To help you get the most miles out of your transportation, we’ve broken down some of the available options.

Cycle and Motorbike Couriers

If you’re looking to start a city centre courier business, then a fleet of bicycles may be for you. Similarly, if you’re starting out on a tight budget, a cycle courier business could also be the perfect starting position.

A cycle courier is a green solution for city centre courier services. Not having to pay for fuel will also help you save some extra pennies whilst getting your courier company off the ground. With a bike you can easily cover a 2-mile radius allowing you to undertake a number of office courier jobs in the city centre.

Motorbike Couriers work on a similar basis but will allow you to go faster and cover a larger area in a small amount of time. Due to not having much space to carry parcels, motorbikes would still be limited to city-centre work.

Cars for Small Courier Businesses

Alternatively, if you want to start a courier company but don’t have the money to buy a van, why not start with the car you already own? It could be a great way to start your journey to having a successful courier business.

A car will allow you to cover a much farther distance than a bike and will allow you to carry more than a motorbike. However, it will still be limited in size compared to a van. But when starting your business, it might be all you need for now. Remember, you can always scale up as time and your number of clients progresses. Having a car that’s more economical on fuel will be best suited to a courier role. Whilst zooming round town delivering parcels in your Lamborghini may look cool, it probably isn’t the most practical choice.

If you’re looking to buy a car, we recommend choosing one with a good sized boot and economical mpg rating.

Vans for Courier Companies

The next step-up and, in our opinion, the best place to start your courier company is with a van.

Having a van opens up a whole world of opportunities for you as a courier. A Van or pick-up truck will allow you to access a wider range of clients and offer a broader scope of services. Because you’ll be able to take on larger deliveries or do multi-stop deliveries, you will also find that you can travel longer distances in your van.

However, it’s worth noting that running a van can have a significant impact on your outgoings. The cost of fuel isn’t the most pleasing thing to look at lately but it’s something you need to be conscious of when starting a courier company. Thankfully, there’s a lot of economical options out there when it comes to choosing a van for your courier company.

Visit our brand new delivery vehicle van guide for couriers

Economical Car-Derived Vans

Car-derived vans like the Ford Fiesta Van and Vauxhall Corsavan do a nice job of bridging the gap between a car and a van for a start-up courier company. This is an economical option compared to standard sized vans and could be the perfect starting point for many new couriers.

Small Vans Smart on Fuel Consumption

Maybe you’ve already secured some key clients and knowing that a car-derived van wouldn’t be suitable for your courier company. If this is the case, a small van might be the best starter vehicle for your business. Some economical options include the Ford Transit Courier (it’s kind of in the name…), Renault Kangoo or the Fiat Fiorino Cargo.

Money-Saving Mid-Panel Vans

A mid-panel van is a great size van for almost any courier job. You can fulfill a lot of customer jobs with a mid-panel van making it a worthy investment for your courier company. Some mid-panel vans that we recommend include the Volkswagen Transporter, the Renault Trafic and the Citroen Dispatch.

Mid-size vans typically have a load space length of 2.4 metres, which means they can cover a lot of the work classed as ‘Short wheelbase’ on the Courier Exchange and other courier work websites.

Most Economical Large-Panel Vans

A large-panel van will allow you to haul an impressive amount of parcels and other items for your customers. Choosing the right large panel van can be difficult though, especially when there is so many to choose from. To get you started, we would recommend the Peugeot Boxer, Citroen Relay or Fiat Ducato. Again, these are all economical options, meaning that you’ll have a vehicle large enough for your deliveries whilst making the most of your fuel.

Best Panel Vans for Courier Work

When it comes to selecting a van, especially larger 3.5 tonne vans, there are two names synonymous with delivering goods. The Transit and the Sprinter.  If you ask experienced drivers which vans are the best, these two names regularly crop up, but it’s often just because of personal preference.

We have plenty of proof that they really don’t offer much more than most other brands as a capable tool for the job.

One thing you will find is that many customers know the names ‘Transit’ and ‘Sprinter’, although they don’t always know exactly what one is.

We’ll look more closely at these two ‘powerhouses’ of delivery in a future article.

A Taste of What’s To Come

That’s it for our round-up of the basic choices to help you get started selecting a vehicle for your courier business, but if you really want to make the most of every penny you earn, then make sure to visit regularly.

We’ll be going in to much more detail over the coming months, including in-depth reviews from owners that have operated all types of vehicles to help you decide what’s right for you and what the real cost of operating these vehicles can be, including real-world fuel economy and maintenance bills.

Like this content? Why not share it with others using these social buttons: