Category Archives: Career Advice

Working as a Food Courier in London

The internet has had a huge impact on the food delivery industry and as a result the demand for food couriers is higher than ever.

If you own a motorcycle and are interested in working as a food courier, then below is a guide to help you get started.

Finding work

The first thing you’ll need to do is find work, whether it’s working freelance or for a company. Check online job sites and local newspaper listings for food delivery jobs regularly. Food delivery work is usually not too hard to find, especially in London. Although it will certainly be easier to find work if you have experience, it’s still possible to get work even if you’re a young driver with little-to-no experience in the food delivery industry.

Getting insurance

Something you will definitely need in order to work as a motorcycle courier is the right type of insurance. A typical motorcycle courier insurance policy will include the following types of cover –

  • Road risks – You can choose from the usual types of cover here – third party only; third party, fire and theft; and fully comprehensive.
  • Public liability – Liability claims from the public are always a risk when you drive for a living. If you were involved in an incident where a member of public was injured or killed then you could easily end up having to fight a liability claim so this type of cover is highly recommended.
  • Breakdown assistance – If you don’t already have breakdown assistance for your bike then you can have it included as part of your insurance policy. Sometimes it’s cheaper to get breakdown assistance as part of your insurance so it’s definitely worth enquiring how much extra it would costs.

Practical aspects of the job

  • Road safety – Road safety is extremely important when you work as a food delivery courier, especially when you’re using a motorcycle. On a motorcycle, you’re completely exposed and cars often can’t see you so you need to take extra car when on the roads, especially during rush hour traffic.
  • Hours – Although a lot of food delivery is done during peak hours around dinner time, this isn’t always the case and you may have to work anti-social hours depending on the type of business you work for.

Driving For a Living in London

Although there are countless office jobs in London, not everyone likes the thought of being stuck behind a desk for 8 hours a day. If driving is something that you enjoy then below are some of the main types of driving jobs you can do in London.

Types of driving jobs

  • Taxi driver – Black cabs are everywhere in London. If you want to work as a private hire taxi driver then you’ll need to get a private hire licence and pass the Knowledge test. You’ll also need to get A good thing about working as a taxi driver in London in comparison to a lot of other cities is that there are a lot of dedicated taxi lanes.
  • Courier – Another type of driving work you can get in London is working as a courier – either for a major courier firm or as a freelancer. Couriers are more in demand now than ever thanks to the explosion of online shopping. In order to be successful as a courier you will need to work long hours as it’s not a particularly well paid job in most cases.
  • Food delivery – Food delivery is big business in London so you also have the option of working as a food delivery driver. This job is actually very similar to being a courier in that you’ll probably need to work long/anti-social hours to make it worth it. An advantage of doing food delivery of working as a courier is that you don’t have to carry heavy parcels around.

Things you need to be prepared for

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  • Stressful driving conditions – It almost goes without saying but in order to work any kind of driving job in London you’re going to have to be prepared to work in stressful driving conditions. London is notorious for its traffic, with countless cars, buses, taxis, vans etc. clogging up the roads. You also have cyclists and couriers on mopeds to worry about.
  • Getting your own insurance – Although some companies will have their own vehicles with insurance, in most cases you’ll need to get your own cover when working as a driver in London. For example if you work as a minibus taxi driver then you’ll need to get a private hire minibus insurance policy from a site like Insure Minibus.

What Does it Take to Become a London Black Cab Driver?

If you’ve ever thought about becoming a London black cab driver then the first thing you should know is that it’s not easy. In addition to meeting the minimum requirements to apply for a taxi driver’s licence you must also be able to demonstrate an intimate knowledge of the capital’s roads and landmarks as well as being equipped to deal with the stresses that driving in such a congested city brings.

Requirements

Below are some of the key requirements to work as a black cab driver in London –

  • You must be at least 21 years old – Although you can apply for a taxi driver’s licence from the age of 18, you cannot actually be licensed until you’re 21.
  • You must be eligible to live and work full time in the UK – It stands to reason that if you want to work as a black cab driver in London then you’ll need to be legally able to work in the UK on a full time basis.
  • You have a full UK driver’s licence – This is another minimum requirement to apply for a taxi driver’s licence.

Further requirements include –

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London black cab drivers must have an excellent knowledge of London’s roads and landmarks

  • Passing the ‘Knowledge’ test – All London black cab drivers must pass the Knowledge test, which shows they have comprehensive knowledge of London’s roads and landmarks and what the best route for a particular journey would be.
  • Being in good physical health – You must also pass a medical test that shows you’re in good enough shape to work and not suffering from any serious medical conditions.
  • Not have any serious convictions – If you have any serious convictions on your record then it’s very unlikely that you’ll be cleared to work as a black cab driver.

Getting black cab insurance

If you work as a black cab driver, then you’ll need to get black cab insurance to cover you for road risks, liability claims, loss of licence etc. There are many excellent sites where you can easily get black cab insurance quotes, such as Multiquote Taxi. Insurance comparison sites like this enable you to get quotes from different providers by filling out one simple form.

Getting quotes from different insurers is just one of the ways you can save money on black cab insurance. Other ways include –

  • Having somewhere secure to park your cab when not in use
  • Installing security features
  • Paying for your policy annually rather than monthly
  • Increasing your excess

Starting a Motor Trade Business in London

When a lot of people think of starting a career in London, they imagine working in an office for a big corporation. However it’s certainly possible to start your own business in the capital and if you have a passion for cars, then a motor trade business could be the perfect fit.

Below are some of the main types of motor trade businesses you can choose from as well as some of the practical considerations.

Types of motor trade businesses

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  • MOT garage – If you have experience working as a mechanic then you might consider opening your own MOT garage. You will of course need a premises for this, as well as staff so it’s not viable in every circumstance.
  • Breakdown recovery agent – You might also consider working as a breakdown recovery agent. The good thing about this type of business is you can start it with relatively little investment, work as a freelancer and don’t require your own premises. You will have to be prepared to drive in the London’s notoriously stressful driving conditions on a daily basis however.
  • Mobile mechanic – This is another type of motor trade business you can run without the need for a premises or too much initial investment.
  • Vehicle sales – Buying and selling cars is another very viable way to make money in the motor trade. You will need a good knowledge of cars to make it a success though

Practical considerations

  • Choosing a premises – Depending on what type of motor trade business you want to start, you might need to get a premises. You should think carefully before investing in a premises and make sure it is in a good location and has adequate space for your needs.
  • Paying tax – When you run your own business, even if it’s as a freelancer, you need to make sure you are paying tax at the right rate. Failure to do this can land you in legal trouble and also put your business in jeopardy so it’s very important to take care of.
  • Getting insurance – In order to operate a motor trade business you’ll also need to get a motor trade insurance policy from a site such as Traders Insurance. A motor trade policy will protect you for road risks as well as providing cover for your premises itself if you choose to get a combined motor trade insurance policy.

The 5 Most Useful Employability Skills

When it comes to finding work, practical careers skills are extremely important. However just as important are what can be termed as ’employability skills’. These are skills that make you an excellent employee for employers and that make you an asset to their company.

With this in mind, below are the most useful employability skills you can have.

5 Tips for Success When Looking For a New Career in London

Working in London is something that many people dream of. The UK’s capital city is a hive of activity and commerce and is an excellent place to work and further your career.

If you’re looking to start a new career in London, then below are 5 great tips to ensure you have the best chance of success.