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How Many Hours Can a Delivery Driver Work?

Working as a local courier can be a great way to make some extra money. But how many hours can a delivery driver work in a day? Is there a daily duty limit? What are the rules and regulations for delivery drivers? In this blog post, we will answer all of these questions and give you a bit of insight into the roles and responsibilities of this job! Read on to learn more.

how many hours can a delivery driver work

How Many Hours Can a Delivery Driver Work in a Day?

According to UK health and safety standards, the maximum number of daily driving hours a delivery driver can work is 11 hours. After 11 hours, drivers should take at least one period of an hour, and it is not recommended that delivery drivers work more than 12 hours on any given day. This includes continuous or accumulated driving, making deliveries, or completing other work-related tasks. After six consecutive days of work, UK domestic rules state the driver should also have a weekly rest period of two days to avoid fatigue and burn out.

moped riding delivery driver outside subway store

Can Delivery Drivers Choose Working Hours?

If you are carrying out deliveries as an independent contractor then yes, you are able to dictate which hours you want to work and only take on the jobs you want. If you are hired as part of a larger company then you may have slightly less flexibility when it comes to choosing your working hours, however, as delivery drivers often work 24 hours a day, you are more than likely to be able to pick and choose the shifts that fit best around your schedule.

man in gray and orange jacket and black pants sitting on brown wooden bench

How to Get More Hours as a Delivery Driver

As a delivery driver the best way to get additional working hours is to be efficient and fast with your deliveries. The quicker and more effectively you can carry out drop offs, the more you will be able to make during your shifts and the more you will be relied upon to carry out available shifts. The best way for delivery drivers to do this and become more advanced in their role is by expanding their skills and knowledge. In addition to knowing how many hours a delivery driver can work, being trained to deliver in a variety of different vehicles and offer multiple types of deliveries will be a great way to show your commitment to the job and enable you to land more jobs and responsibilities.

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What are the Overtime Rules for Delivery Drivers?

Domestic rules in the UK state that most drivers are not entitled to overtime pay unless they have worked more than 48 driving hours in a week. This is set out in the Working Time Regulations 1998. This Regulation does not apply to workers who are under 18 years old or those who are self-employed. If in doubt about whether you are entitled to overtime pay, to avoid disagreements, you should always keep a weekly record sheet of hours worked or even fortnightly driving time.

brown paper bag on gray concrete floor

Can a Delivery Driver be Required to Work Weekends?

Yes, a delivery driver in the UK can be required to work on weekends. This is because delivery drivers typically work shifts that are not constrained by the traditional nine-to-five work week. Instead, they often work extended hours during the week and on weekends to accommodate customer demand. They are entitled to receive overtime pay for any hours worked over and above their contracted driving hours a week.


Deliveroo order ready for courier pick up

Are there any Special Considerations for Bicycle Delivery Riders?

There are no strict rules in the UK regarding maximum weekly driving hours in which bicycle delivery drivers can work. However, it’s important to be mindful of your own physical limitations. Many cyclists find that they tire more quickly when they’re riding in heavy traffic for extended periods of time. If you are working long hours on a bike, then you are more prone to riding accidents. So regardless of whether you are using bicycles or passenger carrying vehicles, it’s therefore important to still take daily or weekly rest periods and be sensible and know your limits.

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What are the Consequences of Working Too Many Hours as a Delivery Driver?

As briefly touched upon above, there are a few potential negative consequences of working too many hours as a delivery driver. First, you may be at an increased risk for accidents or injuries on the job. Second, you may become fatigued and not be able to perform your job safely or effectively. Third, you may experience burnout and eventually need to take time off from work, losing you money in the process. Finally, excessive overtime can lead to health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. Whilst it is important that you deliver great service working as a delivery driver, it is also important to look after your own mental and physical well being.

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Key Consideration

As touched upon above, delivery drivers are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Working long hours as a delivery driver in a vehicle can have serious consequences for your health. The combination of long hours behind the wheel and unhealthy foods many drivers tend to pick up for convenience during their route can be a recipe for disaster.

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If you’re a delivery driver, it’s important to take immediate action and make time for healthy meals and exercise. Try to break up your day with short walks or exercise, and pack plenty of fruits and vegetables to eat on the go. Don’t forget to take regular breaks to stretch and move around. By making these small changes, you can help protect your health and reduce the serious damage associated with these common chronic diseases.

If you are a delivery driver who feels able to carry out their job via bicycle then this can be a great, healthier alternative. You can still do the job you love and stay fit in the process!

Cycle food courier riding in rain

Why Become a Delivery Driver

  1. Delivery driver jobs are in high demand meaning you are likely to secure a job quickly.
  2. The work is flexible and can fit around your other commitments making it the perfect flexible full time role or side hustle.
  3. You can earn a good wage while working for reputable companies. You will effectively be the face of the businesses you are delivering for.
  4. The job is challenging and provides you with new opportunities to learn.
  5. It provides great freedom and independence for those who love to drive and work alone.

Necessary Delivery Driver Skills

  • Good time management and planning skills
  • Strong customer service, especially communication skills
  • Great driving skills behind the wheel and knowledge of traffic rules
  • Discipline and patience
  • Independence and ability to problem solve alone whether a small issue or in life or death emergencies
  • Attention to details, specifically taking care of packages and ensuring they arrive in optimum condition

How to Become a Delivery Driver in the UK

There are a few things you need to do in order to become a delivery driver in the UK. The most important thing is to have a valid driver’s licence and access to your own bike or vehicle. You’ll also need to be able to pass a background check, and you may be required to have some previous driving experience (this will depend largely on the company you are applying for).

Most companies will provide on-the-job training, so you don’t necessarily need any previous experience in the field. However, it’s always beneficial to have some knowledge of the industry before applying. Service Club’s Academy of micro learning modules is a great place to start if you want to upgrade your existing skills or learn more about how to become the best delivery driver you can be!

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Wrap Up

That’s it for our look at how many hours a delivery driver can work! We hope you found this information helpful. If you’re thinking of becoming a delivery driver, or are currently working as one, be sure to check out our resources for more information on the industry. Good luck on the road!

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