A New Side Hustle – Being a Courier

I recently put a post in Instagram  https://www.instagram.com/p/CHVnC2Els-y/ about becoming a courier and as it’s got a little bit of interest I thought I would put a post together so everyone has all the information they need.

My Why?

For me one of the hardest things about finding the right-side hustle is not down to the job itself but childcare. I will literally do any job – I am not too proud. And as all parents out there will agree childcare is the absolute bane of our lives usually costing us a huge fortune. Sometimes finding any employment that allows us to work alongside our children either before school or during is a massive headache.

When I started to look at side hustles, I knew I needed something where I could take my child along so started researching different things I could do. This is the list I came up with;

  • Teach English Online
  • Courier
  • UberEats delivery
  • Amazon delivery
  • Amazon selling
  • Mystery Shopping

After a family meal (pre-covid) I spoke to a cousin of mine who had recently started a new job as a courier with Hermes. She is a parent with four children (baby and three in school) and her husband works full time so I asked her how she manages to do a job with the kids. She said she always takes the youngest one with her and sometimes depending on how big her round is she will take the other kids after school too.

Of course, I then had lots of questions like; Is it safe to take the children? Do they let the children come with you? Is it worth it monetary wise if you use your own car and petrol? And the answers she gave me were yes, yes and yes!

I was definitely interested!! I Googled Hermes and applied online and within a few days I was contacted by the Delivery Manager in my area. She sent me the induction pack by email to read through which told me how to set my phone up for the round. I started that weekend taking my daughter along. When I arrived on site, I was really nervous and excited at the prospect of being able to earn without me worrying about childcare arrangements and after a quick 30-minute induction I was off!!

The first round of 29 parcels took me forever and I was frustrated at using my phone and the app so ended up going around in quite a few circles lol!! By the time I had finished the deliveries and calculated the cost of me driving around in circles with what I got paid I just couldn’t see it being financially viable. However, I plodded on with it a few more times and soon I got the hang of it. I soon realised it’s all about being fast and efficient which ultimately pushes your minimum hourly wage up. For example today I delivered 50 parcels and the rate (although this can change depending on lots of factors; size of parcel etc …) was approx £1.00 (I always work on £1.00 to make it easier to calculate), so 50 x £1 = £50.00 made (no tax has been taken from this). The deliveries today took me 4 hours so 50/4 = a minimum hourly rate of £12.50. I understand this is not completely accurate because I will have tax to pay but I have also not taken into account the running costs of my car, petrol and use of my own phone which I will be able to use to offset a certain amount of tax. This leads me onto my next point – keeping strict records.

Records

I am classed as a self-employed courier which means I am responsible for paying the tax and national insurance on everything I earn as a courier. I do not have to register just yet as I am already registered to pay tax in my main employment. The earnings I am making now will not be taxed until next tax year so all I need to do for now is accurately record the details of my earnings and anything I can offset. For example;

I record the date, time started work, time finished work, number of parcels delivered, starting miles and ending miles.

The records are really important so make sure you keep them and update them every time you work!

Insurance

Lastly insurance, so you can amend your car insurance to include business insurance and in particular insurance as a courier to ensure that the parcels you are carrying are insured but when I asked for a quote from my existing car insurance I found them to be really expensive. Not only that, they were going to charge me the amount for the year and at the time I wasn’t sure if I was going to do it for the year and then I would have to pay for insurance I didn’t need. Luckily Hermes has an option where they insure your car only for the time that you are working and they debit the amount from your pay every week which works out about a few quid every time which I think is totally worth it.

Earned so far

Here is just a little snippet off what I have earnt so far;

78 deliveries £46.10 earnt, average earnings per item £0.59

98 deliveries £78.62 earnt, average earning per item £0.79

Courier adjustments + £12.80

30 deliveries £22.98 earnt, average earnings per item £0.77

43 deliveries £41.05 earnt, average earnings per item £0.95

Courier adjustments + £8.42

Courier adjustments are extra payments given to you for working Sundays, which I now my preferred day.

If your thinking of a side hustle, I would definitely recommend becoming a courier. It’s flexible, you are in control of your earnings and your hours and even more importantly than all that – YOU CAN TAKE YOUR CHILDREN ALONG!! Win Win!!

I pack some snacks, books, colouring and an iPad to keep my daughter entertained and she is absolutely fine 😊

Happy Hustling folks

H x