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How Much to Charge Per Mile for Delivery in the UK

Published: 8/10/2021Last updated: 8/24/2021

No one can say that courier driving is easy. The key to making money as a courier driver is to make sure you know what to charge, or expect. Doing so makes your life easier.

But if you ever wonder how much to charge per mile for delivery to make it all worthwhile, then you’re not alone.

And it’s not always that straightforward. It depends on whether you are driving as a subcontractor for FedEx, Amazon, Hermes, or another multi-stop courier delivery company – or whether you’re doing delivery for one of your own customers.

So what should you know about how to cost per mile and whether you’re charging enough?

In this post, Pete will teach you all about what you can expect to charge per mile for each type of courier delivery. It helps you make delivery a little easier and, ultimately, increase your earnings by making sure you:

  • choose the right type of delivery service
  • charge the right amount
  • leverage tools to reduce time on the road

This is part of a series of regular posts from Pete the Courier Driver with hints and tips for delivery drivers. If you’re new to delivery driving, make sure to also check out How to Make Money as a Courier.

Let’s get started.

How Much to Charge Per Mile for Delivery

Subcontract with a company

If you’re doing it as a subcontractor, the person who gives you the job is going to want their share of the fare.

So, if I got the job through somebody else, in a small van (maybe in a car), [I’d charge] 50p a mile. Small van 65p a mile. Medium wheelbase, about 80p. Long wheelbase, 90p. Extra-long wheelbase, £1 going up to £1.10 in a Luton, maybe £1.20, £1.30, if it was a curtain, tail-lift job. And then after that, you’re into lorries, and lorries are £2.00 plus.

Subcontract for yourself

For my own customer, I would be looking to add at least 50% again. So if I was doing a small van job for someone (my own customers), I’ll be looking at charging my£1.00 a mile, 65p for the van if I had to get it off on to somebody else, and 35p for me. Or, if it was one of our vans, £1.00 per mile. Again with Lutons, I’ll be looking at £1.50, maybe £2.00 per mile, even potentially going up to £2.50.

Now, as always in life, it’s a matter of how much can you get? Some customers will pay more than others, and then you’ve got that dilemma. You want to charge them a competitive rate so they don’t go off to somebody else. But at the same time, you don’t want to cut your own arm off. So you don’t want to be charging them £1.50 a mile in a Luton van when they will happily pay £2.00.

And also, you’ve got to bear in mind, you’ll give them a good service, they’re using you all the time. Customers are very difficult to come by, but once you’ve got them, they’re loyal.

Now you’ve got to bear in mind that you got to have a minimum mileage. So for example, if it was a small van and someone says, he’s going three miles, I’m not going to charge him three quid. Because you’ve got to send the van there, you’ve got to wait for the load to go on board, you’ve got to ship it, you gotta take it off. This all takes time.

It’s going to take at least an hour, plus diesel, plus rent a van. So with that, the minimum price on a job (on a small van), minimum price, even for one game on the corner, it should be £25.00 going up to, I would say about £65.00 in a Luton van and increments in between like before.

Multi-stop delivery

Of course, you don’t have to do it by the mile. You can do it as a multi-drop job. There are advantages and disadvantages. The disadvantage is the more stops you gotta find, the more difficult the job is. This is why I’ll always say that I recommend you get a decent app. If you’re going to multi-drop, get yourself a decent multi-drop app. This is why I say Circuit is the best. But the advantage of a multi-drop job is you’re not going to be doing that many miles. You will charge them probably about £1.00 a drop. But you’re going to be looking to make a drop every three minutes, or something like that. And you can do an awful lot of drops in a day.

The advantage with this is you won’t be doing anything like the amount of diesel.

So if I’m going to do a Luton job and I’m going to go a hundred miles and I’m going to go a hundred miles back again, that’s 200 miles in a loop and back again, that’s going to be 20 miles, it’s going to be half a tank of fuel. That’s probably going to stand me in at, roundabout, I’d say £50.00.

Whereas you can run around town all day, you could, if you got your routes sorted and you know where you’re going and you got it all locked in, you could probably do a tank of diesel twice a week.

The other advantage you’ve got with multi-drop is the fact that you can do them in smaller vehicles. So if you have got that problem where you’d like to have a go at doing the light haulage thing, but instead, the van doesn’t quite fit on the driveway. It’s just convenient that you’ve got the family car or something like that. That could also be the way forward.

Wrapping it up

There’s your long and short of it. You’re going to be looking at a small van, 50p a mile, going all the way up to Luton at £1.10, £1.20 a mile. Minimum charges on a job, small van,£25.00 going up to £65.00 in a Luton. And, as a multi-drop job, if it’s a proper multi-drop job, you’re probably looking at around about £1.00 a drop. And you’re looking at getting in about 200 to 250 stops a day.

Note: If you’re a courier and want to make money driving and finish work earlier, try Circuit Route Planner for free.

  • Angela Barnard

    Angela Barnard

    Freelancer Writer
Angela is a content strategist, blog writer, and editor based in Poole, UK. She loves helping businesses and brands develop their content stories and communicate messages in plain English. You can find her on LinkedIn