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Van-trepreneurs – a new breed of van drivers

Britain is a nation of entrepreneurs, especially since the downturn has led to many people being made redundant from their regular job. It seems that more and more of us are setting up our own businesses, covering a huge range of services and many of these  require a van for business.

So what kind of business can you set up as a van-trepreneur and what do you need to consider before using a van for business and commercial purposes? How will using your van for business affect your van insurance premiums?

Starting a business with your van

There are lots of different businesses that you can run using a van and a little imagination. For example, some great ideas for using a van for business are:

  • Bulk delivery– supplying and delivering bulky items, such as pet food or gardening supplies helps people to enjoy the savings of buying in bulk without the hassle of getting their purchases home.
  • Mobile catering– from a simple sandwich round to a full-on burger van, mobile catering can be big business if you pick the right spots at the right events.
  • Mobile services – for drivers with a puncture or a flat battery, a mobile service can be a real lifesaver. Mobile valeting and bodywork repairs are also very popular as they save time for busy drivers.
  • Delivery– with eBay and online shopping growing more popular all the time, home delivery is always in demand. You can set up a delivery round as part of a courier firm or as an independent.
  • Man-with-a-van– as straightforward as it sounds, this is perhaps the easiest of all van-based businesses, as you need no stock or special skills, just you and your van to help people move stuff around.

Many van-based businesses are available as a franchise, giving you the backing of an established business model and a well known name. Find out more about van-based franchises.

Staying legal as a commercial van driver

While a van-based business may give you lots of freedom, such as being your own boss, working from home and choosing your own hours, you need to make sure that you stay legal. You do not need any special licence to offer a man-with-a-van service, but you may do for businesses such as catering or sandwich rounds. Check with your local authority if you are not sure.

You will also need to check carefully with your van insurance companyto make sure that you are covered. A basic van insurance policy will probably exclude commercial use, so chances are you will need to take out a special policy to cover your van for business use. The cost of this will depend on a range of factors, such as whether you carry expensive stock or equipment and whether this is left in your van overnight. If you are transporting goods for other people commercially, these may not be automatically covered by your van insurance policy.

To be sure that you are covered, simply talk to your van insurance company. They will be happy to help with any amendments to your cover or any extras that you need to make your business safe and successful.

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One Quote Direct Insurance Services Limited trading as Octagon Insurance Services is an appointed representative of Europa Group Limited and acts as a credit broker and not a lender in relation to premium finance contracts. Registered as a limited company in England and Wales No. 5479983. Europa Group Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, Financial Services Register No. 309794. Registered office: Europa House, Midland Way, Thornbury, Bristol, BS35 2JX.

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