A Guide to Driving Jobs in the UK

If you enjoy being out and about and you have a clean driving licence, a driving job could be the right route for you to take. There are lots of different driving jobs to consider, from chauffeur to delivery driver, and businesses are looking for ideal candidates in towns and cities all over the country. The way we, as consumers, have changed our shopping habits, with more of us purchasing online and using home delivery or click and collect, has had a knock-on effect in the delivery driver sector. Instead of drivers delivering goods from depot to store there is now much more variety in the locations they are asked to deliver to. And ever-increasing numbers of tourists visiting the UK’s cities, countryside and seaside towns signal a rise in the need for drivers servicing the tourism and hospitality industry, whether that’s delivery drivers transporting goods to hotels and restaurants or coach or taxi drivers taking people to their destinations. And the UK is currently undergoing a skills shortage for HGV jobs.

Across the UK more than half a million HGV drivers are needed. Around 35,000 drivers leave the industry each year due to retirement or ill health but the number of new drivers being trained up to fill the vacancies is just 18,000. HGV drivers are being brought in from overseas and driving agency workers are being called upon more and more to plug the gap. The facts and figures surrounding industries which need drivers show how many driving job opportunities there are. For instance, there are 1.4 million people employed in the transport and storage sector in Great Britain. In 2013, the latest available information, a total of 2.7 million goods vehicles travelled from Britain to mainland Europe.

On the Buses

On the public transport front, 4.7 billion passenger journeys were completed by bus in 2013/14, 51% of these made in London. There are around 35.8k buses in service, 26% of these are in London. Local bus operators employ on average over 100,000 staff around the country.

Home Delivery

For home delivery drivers, the future is looking bright. Online shopping has boosted sales of new delivery vans, resulting in 100,000 new vans being registered in the first three months of 2015, that’s 22.3% up on the same period in 2014 and the highest number of sales since trade bodies started compiling the numbers in 1987. In 2014, online sales in the UK totalled £103bn, and this is forecast is to grow by further 12% in 2015. This equates to £1 in every £4 spent by Britons.

HGV Drivers

There has been an increase of 20.4% (7.9k) of people passing the LGV test. Road and haulage is the larger part of the logistics sector worth an estimated £42 billion a year. Just 2% of HGV drivers are aged under 25 and 60% over 45. One in five (c75k) of the current LGV workforce is due to reach retirement in the next 10 years.

Other Driving Jobs

Ambulance care assistants are drivers who transport non-emergency patients to and from hospitals and social care facilities. They are not trained paramedics. You would require a driving licence and good communication skills for this type of driving job.

Forklift truck drivers load and unload goods and deliveries and move them to and from storage areas. There are no specific qualifications you need to apply for a job but you will have to undergo specific forklift truck training.

To be a mobile library driver you would be expected to drive, operate and park a mobile library vehicle or a Maximum Capacity Vehicle (MCV) (Class C). You would be expected to have a full current driving licence, including category C1 (for vehicles up to 7.5 tonnes) and a Certificate of Professional Competence or be prepared to work towards completion of it.

Qualifications

Licence requirements:

To be an HGV/LGV driver you will need to be over 18 years of age and hold a full car driving licence. You'll also need to pass LGV training and gain a Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC). You may be able to train for this job through an apprenticeship scheme.

To be a bus or coach driver you must have a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC). A Driver Qualification Card is proved once you qualify (DQC). All drivers must do 35 hours of periodic training every five years to keep their Driver CPC.

To be a taxi (more formally known as hackney carriages) and PHV (private hire vehicle or minicabs as some of them are known) driver you need to be licensed by Passenger Transport Licensing Division, Driver and Vehicle Agency. New applications for a taxi driver licence will include checks on previous convictions and health. In addition to the application form you must complete an enhanced disclosure application form. You also need to apply for and pass a taxi driver theory test - followed by a taxi driver practical test. You must be over the age of 18 (21 in some areas including London). If you are a sole trader, you will also need a taxi operator licence. The requirements for being a hackney carriage (or ‘black cab’) driver are slightly different in London. To find out about how to become a taxi driver in London click here.

To be a delivery driver (smaller vehicles) employers will expect you to have basic English and maths skills, good eyesight and the correct driving licence. The type of delivery vehicle you can drive will depend on when you passed your driving test. If it was before January 1, 1997, you can to drive vehicles up to 7.5 tonnes without the need for a separate licence. If you got your car licence after January 1, 1997, you can drive vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes with your car licence. Larger than that and you will need further training to get a category C1 licence. You must be at least 18 years old, and pass medical, theory and practical tests. All drivers will also need to complete a short course to get a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC).

To be a chauffeur you need to have a full UK driving licence and experience as a working driver. Many employers will expect you to have undergone advanced driver training in some form and a criminal records check may be carried out, if you are working for just one employer, or for a company offering chauffeur services. EU Driving Rules EU driving rules state that a driver must not drive more than nine hours in a day (extended to 10 twice a week); 56 hours a week; 90 hours in any 2 consecutive weeks. Drivers must rest 11 hours every day and have an unbroken 45 hours every week. There must be a break or breaks totalling 45 minutes after 4 hours 30 minutes of driving.

Salaries

Average starting salaries for trainee bus and coach drivers are usually between £13,000 and £15,000 a year. Experienced drivers earn from £16,000 to £20,000 a year. This could rise up to £25,000 a year with overtime payments.

For HGV drivers starting salaries can be between £18,000 and £22,000 a year. With experience, this can rise to between £23,000 and £28,000. Drivers of specialist fuel and chemical tankers can earn between £27,000 and £35,000 a year and overtime can increase these figures.

Van drivers can earn from £13,000 to £26,000 a year. Average salaries are between £17,000 and £21,000 a year. Some employers offer bonuses.

For chauffeurs starting salaries can be between £14,000 and £17,000 a year. This can go up to £25,000 a year plus, depending on the contract, location and bonuses.

Driving Jobs in London

London is the most heavily populated city in the country and, with high numbers of number of retail outlets and tourists visiting the capital mean the number of driving jobs is higher here than anywhere else. Whether you are looking for a job as a chauffeur, taxi driver, coach or bus driver, we have even more of the most up-to-date facts and figures you need. If taxis aren’t quite your thing, you can read about other driving jobs in London here.

Sources: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/411410/driver-rider-q3-2014-15.pdf http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-32279715 https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/387397/annual-bus-statistics-year-to-march-2014.pdf https://www.gov.uk/driver-certificate-of-professional-competence-cpc/overview https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/411410/driver-rider-q3-2014-15.pdf http://theloadstar.co.uk/party-parliamentary-freight-group-hgv-driver-shortage-crisis/ http://www.payscale.com/research/UK