Ever thought about making a living from your van? We take a look at six ways to make money with a van, so it can pay its way!
Electricians, plumbers and builders have long known the advantages of a trusty van to transport their necessary kit. But there are plenty of other ways in which owning one could help you launch a business.
1. Become a courier or van delivery driver
The popularity of internet shopping has grown hugely over the past few years. According to market analyst Mintel, a total of 2.8bn packages were delivered in 2016 and it predicts that figure is set to soar to four billion by 2021, making the courier and express delivery market worth a staggering £13.2bn - all of which means there’s more demand than ever for self-employed courier and delivery drivers.
While it’s possible to operate a business using a car, having a van gives you a big advantage, as you’ll be able to transport larger packages and heavier loads. And the more you can carry and deliver, the more you’ll earn.
If you think you’re up to delivering the goods, then look for job ads from logistics companies asking for self-employed drivers or search the websites of large delivery businesses such as Yodel and Hermes, which advertise for couriers.
To do well, you’ll need a sound knowledge of the streets on your patch so you can quickly plan efficient routes for your day’s drop-offs. Oh, and being a sociable, ‘people’ person helps too, so you can deliver service (and packages) with a smile.
2. Grow a gardening business from your van
If you’re the green-fingered type who likes being outdoors and has horticultural know-how, then you could thrive as a gardener. A spacious van means you can carry all the necessary hefty gardening kit you may need, including lawnmowers, rakes and spades, as well as heavy pots and planters, shrubs and compost.
You’ll need to enjoy getting your hands dirty and have a ‘happy to work in all weathers’ attitude. But the pay-off – creating green and pleasant places and spaces – will be a business that’s a breath of fresh air.
3. Set up a cleaning company
If you get great satisfaction from sprucing up your home until it’s sparkling (Hey, Marie Kondo – does it spark joy?) then setting up a cleaning business could be right up your street.
There’s always a demand from busy people who don’t have the time (or perhaps the inclination) to spend hours on housework. And though you may start small, if you build a spotless reputation you could soon be cleaning up financially!
To stand out from the cleaning crowds, you might want to offer specialist services such as carpet cleaning – or why not set up a niche, eco-friendly company using only natural and organic products if that’s something you’re passionate about?
Your van will need to be big enough to carry cleaning equipment such as a good quality vacuum cleaner, mops and buckets.
4. Upcycle old furniture
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. And if you’re the artistic type who’s pretty nifty at sanding, painting, distressing or reupholstering old pieces of furniture to give them a new lease of life, then a career as a professional upcycler could be for you.
Sites such as Gumtree and Preloved offer second hand furniture at bargain prices, while Freecycle advertises items being given away for free. It’s also worth browsing car boot sales and charity shops for pieces.
A van will give you the easy means to transport any large items you get your hands on – and deliver revamped pieces to your buyers, too.
5. Start a ‘man (or woman) and van’ business
From home and office moves to picking up eBay or Gumtree purchases and transporting cumbersome pianos, sofas or motorbikes, there’s always a demand for someone with a van!
You’ll need to be fairly fit and able to lift heavy loads into your van, know how to secure them safely, plus enjoy driving and dealing with people to set up this sort of service. If that sounds like it suits you, then it’s a case of enjoying the open road!
6. Dog walking and vans
Being a dog-walker is the ‘pawfect’ profession if you have a passion for pooches, are confident and experienced around dogs and love being outdoors.
A van kitted out with the necessary cages and ventilation to ensure safe transportation will allow you to ferry around several dogs at a time; explore some great places to walk your dog .
What van insurance do I need for my business?
Admiral Van Insurance offers four levels of cover, as you’re using your van for a commercial business, you’ll probably need our Own Goods or Haulage cover.
Own goods insurance covers tradespeople such as builders and gardeners who use their van in connection with their business.
If you transport tools or business goods in your van, you might want to look at our Goods and Tools upgrade, which covers your van’s contents should they be damaged or stolen. It offers four levels of cover to suit your needs - £1,000, £2,000, £4,000 or £6,000.
Looking for courier van insurance?
Our Haulage insurance is ideal for anyone who uses their van to deliver third party goods, so it’s also a good fit for a ‘man with a van’ business, such as furniture removal.
Don’t forget to let your insurer know of any modifications you’ve made to your vehicle in relation to your business; gardeners might have tipper units or caged sides fitted, for example.
You’ll also need to decide what level of cover best suits your business needs, with the options being:
- Third party, fire and theft
- Third party only
Admiral’s comprehensive van cover has independent financial researcher Defaqto's highest five star rating, indicating it’s one of the highest quality offerings on the market.
If your business relies on your van being on the road every day, then you might like to take out hire vehicle cover as a policy extra. If your van gets written off or stolen, we'll replace it with a similar size vehicle (up to 3.5 tonnes and 7 seats) for up to 21 days.
And you needn't worry about collecting the van - we'll deliver it to your door complete with £15 complimentary fuel.