PolicyPlan ‘Courier Van Insurance’ – are you insured?

A few words of warning about the popular PolicyPlan ‘Courier Van Insurance’ policy offered by many brokers, including Coversure and Business Choice Direct, The policy is managed by PolicyPlan Limited, PolicyPlan is an appointed representative of Staveley Head Limited. These policies have been worrying me for a while now and I really don’t think I’ve made enough fuss about it.

Put simply, if you have a PolicyPlan ‘Courier Van Insurance’ policy it appears to me that there’s a good chance that you’re driving completely uninsured if you carry some completely innocuous goods which same day couriers are often asked to carry. That’s uninsured for motor risks – not just for Goods In Transit.

The PolicyPlan ‘Courier Van Insurance’ policy is a joint Motor/GIT policy and they’ve carried all the common GIT exclusions over to their endorsement ME21 (or ME21a) which renders the whole policy void (including compulsory motor insurance) if you carry certain goods. Worse still, the list of goods you’re not allowed to carry has obviously just been copied from the common exclusions on GIT policies aimed at hauliers, rather than same day couriers.

So, while it might make sense for the insurer to limit their GIT liability in the case of a whole artic load of mobile phones, computer chips, or even shoes, this whole policy (including compulsory third-party motor insurance) is completely invalidated by a courier delivering a single mobile phone, laptop, hard-drive or a book of stamps. Really.

Goods which you’re ‘forbidden’ to carry under the policy include: Read More…

Posted under Courier Financial Issues, Insurance for Couriers

Posted by Alec at 10:13 am, May 31, 2018

1 Comment so far

  1. Uninsured courier added on  June 2nd, 2018 at 22:10

    I’m in my secomd year with policyplan and I had no idea I wasn’t insured to carry this stuff. I regularly deliver blood for the NHS and often do things like mobiles and computers. I’m shocked that I’ve been driving round with no insurance even though this is a proper courier insurance policy. My main employer has even checked my policy both years and not said anything.

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Allstar Fuel Card Services and their £2 Network Service Fee

I’ve just been reading that Allstar Fuel Card Services have introduced a £2 ‘network service fee’ every time someone uses one of their cards to pay for fuel.

If the responses of the small number of same day courier company owners who’ve noticed this extra charge are anything to go by, the company had done little to inform their customers of this new charge – several seeming to have only realised when their invoices have arrived or when the matter was raised recently on an industry forum.

Looking at Allstar’s website leaves me wondering how they can impose these charges while continuing to make the claim that small and medium businesses will ‘only pay actual price of fuel used’ (www.allstarcard.co.uk/sme) . I’m surprised that they consider that paying an extra £2 every time you fill your tank can be considered only paying the actual price of the fuel. I consider it as charging an extra 5p/litre on a typical 40 litre top-up.

For many years I’ve recommended Allstar fuel cards Read More…

Posted under Fuel Prices

Posted by Alec at 3:05 pm, January 28, 2013

22 Comments so far

  1. John Bainbridge added on  January 29th, 2013 at 18:39

    An Allstar competitor rang me in October warning me of the charge, when queried with Allstar I was told nothing is definite and if they do introduce anything we would receive proir notice and the opportunity to negotiate the fee. The first we knew of the fee was when it appeared on invoices.

    We are certainly looking at alternatives – we cannot afford the 4p or 5p increase per gallon.

  2. We have seen enquiries triple since AllStar introduced these transaction fees, with a many companies looking for a lower cost alternative.

    Our company, Forecourt Fuels, offer a unique savings guarantee that ensures business customers will pay at least 3 pence per litre less than national average over 12 months otherwise they receive a cheque for the difference!

    We also supply fuel cards free of charge with no set up costs and definitely no transaction fees!

    Call Becky free on 08000 14 14 64 for further information on our range of fuel cards

  3. Christina added on  January 30th, 2013 at 18:17
  4. We introduced Allstar to our drivers in August 2012 – apparently 6 weeks before they changed their T&C’s. We had no prior warning of the charges, but if you haven’t read their new T&C’s please read them – the audacity of the Company is outstanding! Customer service? I don’t think so.

  5. We have seen a huge influx of calls from existing Allstar customers looking for a better deal.

    We like to think our package of SERVICE, SAVINGS & SECURITY is the best on the market.

  6. Alec added on  February 6th, 2013 at 17:44

    It seems that Allstar is now owned by Fleetcor, who also own CH Jones (Keyfuels) and The Fuelcard Company. Could it be that they’re assuming that many of their disgruntled ex-customers will unwittingly continue as customers of Fleetcor even after changing over from Allstar?

  7. Kate added on  February 8th, 2013 at 12:19

    As mentioned in an earlier comment, we only found out about the transaction fee when it appeared on our invoices. I was told a letter was sent to us on 12th December 2012 informing me of the new charge. I find that in itself a little cynical seeing as we have a 30 day terminiation period and the charges were introduced on 1st Janaury! Odd how weekly invoices reach us no problem but this letter……???? I am now knee deep in fuel card bumph – Allstar are the only national coverage card (as far as I can tell) but we don’t want to pay £thousands just for the sake of convenince. Their sister company The Fuelcard Company (not to be confused with the Fuel PEOPLE Company)have offered to waive the £12 card fee for the first 12 months as a ‘compensation’ for the upset caused by Allstar. No decision yet, still got a shed load of fuel card bumph to read through…….

  8. Kate – how national do you need? My better half uses UK Fuel Cards with no card fees for the first 12 months anyway. http://www.ukfuelcards.co.uk/fuel-cards has some info on site locations.

  9. Colin Appleby added on  February 11th, 2013 at 10:27

    I’m constantly amazed that anybody still falls for the Allstar sales pitch, which has always been based on a massive red herring: universal availability. If you have a fuel card that can only be used at Esso or Shell etc., what’s the problem? Think about it: are their filling stations a rare sight, really? Next time you’re driving somewhere, pick a brand at random and see how long it is before you pass the logo. As for the Fuelcard Company, don’t bother if your most convenient garage is BP, or you refuel on motorways a lot, where BP has the widest coverage – they won’t tell you that they don’t have a card that covers BP, they’ll just try to push you onto something else. You should try The Fuelcard People, not the Fuelcard Company – the difference is, well, the difference between dealing with a company and dealing with real people. No queueing for a call centre, for a start, just phone the same person you always talk to. And, unlike the pump price Allstar card, you can expect 3p or 4p per litre discount.

  10. That’s from your totally unbiased position as an employee of ‘Creative Marketing Direct’ presumably Colin? I see that your employers list ‘The Fuelcard People’ as a client on their website.

  11. Colin Appleby added on  February 12th, 2013 at 15:41

    Alec, if I’d wanted to hide my affiliation, I’d have signed in with just my first name and not used my work email. Which bit of my posting isn’t true and fair comment? Oh… It’s all true and fair comment, you just wish that I hadn’t pointed it all out? By the way, “Alec,” are you now going to reveal your true identity and vested interest?

  12. You seem to be accusing me of having a vested interest in some fuel card business, is that correct?

  13. Colin Appleby added on  February 13th, 2013 at 17:02

    No, not accusing you of anything, old sausage, merely enquiring with a half-smile and a raised eyebrow – I’m always bemused if somebody who doesn’t want their own identity known decides to have a pop at me. Let folks draw their own conclusions, but it’s really not that big a deal, is it?

    Meanwhile, you didn’t answer my question, so I’ll ask again: which bit of my original posting isn’t true and fair comment?

  14. I haven’t passed comment one way or the other on the truthfulness of what you’ve said, I have no knowledge of the subject. I passed comment on the fact that, unlike everybody else who’s spammed this topic offering their services, you chose to promote your client’s offering without mentioning your connection with them and as if you were a disinterested third party making a recommendation.

    When challenged you made a libellous accusation against me, claiming that I had a vested interest.

    As for my identity, my name’s Alec Simmons, not that it’s any of your business. It’s no secret at all and I’m extremely well known in my industry so I have nothing to hide. I have no vested interest at all in any fuel card companies.

  15. If anyone was curious about UK Fuels following Su’s post. Feel free to contact me to discuss any thoughts on our cards. 01473 295 444 – just ask for Matt

  16. Andy added on  March 5th, 2013 at 15:02

    Does anyone have any (preferably impartial) advice with regards to viable alternative fuelcards for a fleet of 20 or so diesel cars and vans? Good UK wide coverage is essential. I’m currently looking at UK Fuels Plus Card, TMC Fuel and BP plus.

  17. Karen added on  March 5th, 2013 at 18:05

    What an absolute disgrace! I have just noticed the charge on my Feb invoices, after telephoning them they told me that nobody could talk to me about the “network fee” and they would have to ring me back it would take 5 days!!! I phoned as a new customer and they told me that they may introduce a fee…..! Out of order,moving as we speak to an alternative provider!

  18. Julia added on  March 26th, 2013 at 13:01

    Had noticed a Network fee on our invoices and contacted Allstar, after being told they had no idea what the charges were and that someone would ring us back in about five days, we stopped using the cards. Someone has just phoned back saying we were informed of the new charge last year, the guy did not know what the charge was for and told me that he had only been with Allstar for 5 weeks!! I then asked if I was a new customer would I have to pay the extra charge and he said “I don’t know”, apparently they paid for a new computer system last year to send all invoices out by email and that didn’t work, makes you wonder if we are being charged for their unusable computer system! A terrible service from a provider we have used for 15 years. We are a small building company running company vans and cannot afford extra costs etc. This is a complete con and totally unacceptable.

  19. We are also having major issues with Allstars new Transaction Fees. We recently had a meeting with our account manager and expressed our outrage, she agreed to negotiate a lower transaction fee for our group and would call me back the following Monday, this was in January and we are still yet to recieve that call back, the only response i get from the “Dedicated customer service team” is that Julie (the account manager) is off sick, surprise!!

    It is alos no surprise that these transaction fees are not applied to any Government Funded account i.e. Police force, Department of Transport etc..

    I feel strongly about using another Fleetcor fuel card provider but we do need a wide coverage of both major brand and supermaket forecourts,for both Petrol and Diesel,but they seem to own all the fuel card companies that can provide such coverage, without the additional admin time to manager more than one fuel card when each driver at every cost centre has one. Any recommendation would be appreciated, preferably from other fuel card users.

  20. Rod Collins added on  April 5th, 2013 at 16:18

    We are also suffering from a lack of customer service or interest by Allstar.
    Their Terms and Conditions clause 6 on fees is clear that they will communicate tariff changes. Clearly they have not and on being pushed they have provided us with their August 2012 standard tariff in April 2013.
    They are taking funds without authority.
    Perhaps they need a class action to bring them to their senses. They take a mechant fee fromn the petrol stations as any “credit card” provider. What unique additional service makes them think their “network” is worth £2 plus VAT?

  21. Rod Collins added on  April 9th, 2013 at 15:17

    Business Car is proposing to run an article on the Allstar Network Fee fiasco in their next issue.
    I’ve just received an email from Allstar with attachment of the cover pages from our September 2012 invoice that invited us to subscribe to their ebilling to SAVE TREES, SAVE MONEY and SAVE TIME… it failed to attach the tariff that would add costs not SAVE MONEY!

  22. Christine Frost added on  May 14th, 2013 at 14:35

    I also tried,(and I do mean tried) to speak with someone at Allstar regarding this network fee which suddenly appeared on our invoices without any advance notice. In the end I emailed them and eventually got a reply 16 days later with the same twaddle regarding their tariffs. We are also looking for an alternative provider.

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Crystal Segments T/a Event Domain (eventdomain.co.uk) and Clear Debt Solutions Ltd (CDS) – scammers or terminally stupid?

Unlike most things I write this doesn’t really have much relevance to the same day courier industry but these scamming fools have annoyed me so much that I’ve got to write about them somewhere – and this is as good a place as any.

Back in March 2009 I added a free listing for my business on the eventdomain.co.uk website – “Web Directory for the Conference, Hospitality and Event industry”. Almost three years later these scammers are pursuing my company for an alleged debt for advertising on their site. I’m not the sort of person to be taken in by scams like this, so they won’t be getting a penny from us. Hopefully anybody else who’s being harassed for non-existent debts by this shower of conmen will find this article and be armed with the information they need to avoid being harassed into paying up.

At the time we registered on their site it displayed a clickable ad: “Add your company for FREE – Register Today”. Clicking the ad led to another page containing the following text:

Standard Listing

Drive targeted Event-sector visitors to your business

A standard entry with Eventdomain gets you the following:

It provides the first stage in advertising and gives you basic internet presence
It’s a low cost way for you to be found
It will help in ranking you in the search engines

It also mentions an enhanced ‘Sponsored Listing’ at a cost of £40 for 13 months.

Being a cheapskate and not being the sort of person who would ever pay to advertise on some tinpot directory site with a very limited presence I entered our details for the Standard Listing. I received Read More…

Posted under Advertising, Courier Scams, Legal Issues

Posted by Alec at 6:13 pm, February 2, 2012

39 Comments so far

  1. Alec added on  February 2nd, 2012 at 19:29
  2. Nicholas added on  February 3rd, 2012 at 11:31

    Hahah this was a funny read. The guy in question ‘Chris Given’ is something of an odd ball if the truth be told. I agree entirely about the company info, he’s made it all up lol. The site is a dead end directory that no one has ever heard of. I would be surprised if he gets anywhere near the traffic he claims, or if many people pay for a link from the site… hardly SEO gold..

  3. Alec added on  February 3rd, 2012 at 17:26

    Well my emails don’t seem to be stopping the flow of demands from CDS on his behalf – I’ve received yet another letter today – “URGENT ACTION REQUIRED” apparently. So I took some action and phoned him. He hung up on me as soon as I asked “Is that Chris?”. What an odd way to run a ‘business’. Coward.

    Maybe I’ll pop round to see him over the weekend, or send one of the drivers round with a message for him. There doesn’t seem to be any other way of me stopping this harassment by him and his agents.

  4. Alec added on  February 4th, 2012 at 12:01

    So my driver popped round to see him a few minutes ago, he only lives around the corner apparently. It seems that rather than the West End offices suggested by the false addresses listed on various websites, this ‘business’ is run from a scruffy little semi in Romford. The driver didn’t knock on the door because, as he said: “It looks like he lives with his mum or something, I wouldn’t want to scare her”.

  5. Alec added on  February 4th, 2012 at 17:20

    What a prat this ‘man’ is. Rather than just answer my emails or reply to the points I’ve made on this page he’s been to the police to report me for threatening him.

    The ‘threat’? I sent him a message on ukbusinessforums.co.uk saying

    I’m fed up of being harassed by your debt collection company for non-existent debts. You’re a conman and a criminal and you’ve annoyed me now. You’re going to regret it.

    Try googling for eventdomain scam

    Well Chris, you are going to regret it. Firstly you’re paying a debt-collection company to chase a debt which you KNOW doesn’t exist – you’ll regret that. Secondly I’m going to carry on plastering details of your fraud and your lies all over the internet – you’ll regret that. Thirdly, since you’ve gone running to the Police, I’m probably going to be reporting you to them myself for fraud when I get round to it – you’ll definitely regret that.

    If either you or your debt collectors showed any interest in resolving this sensibly then I might believe that it was all an honest mistake. But since I know you’ve read this page and can see the evidence for yourself then I can only assume that you’re a particularly inept fraudster who believes that he can extort money from innocent businesses just by employing a disreputable debt collection company.

    Well that sort of tactic might work with pathetic gimps like you who hide behind made up businesses on the internet, but I’ve run real-world businesses for nearly 30 years, dealing with thousands of suppliers and customers. A freaky-looking, second-rate con-artist like you isn’t going to get the better of me.

    I notice that this page is currently ranking third on Google for Crystal Segments and 15th for Eventdomain. Maybe I’ll see if I can’t get that bumped up a bit.

    Have a good weekend won’t you.

  6. Sarah added on  February 6th, 2012 at 21:17

    Here are the site stats eventdomain currently claim http://www.ukbusinessforums.co.uk/forums/showpost.php?p=1872774&postcount=8

  7. Alec added on  February 6th, 2012 at 21:36

    “You cant just invent those credentials……”

    Oh my word, what planet does this fool live on?

    “I’m one of the top start-up entrepreneurs in the Country” Of course you are Chris. That’s why your 7+ year-old business doesn’t have a high enough turnover to have to register for VAT and you have to resort to blatant fraud to make an extra £150 here and there. Impressive credentials.

  8. This page is now first on Google for ‘Crystal Segments’ and 7-8th on the first page for ‘Eventdomain’. That can’t be doing your ‘reputation’ much good can it?

    Maybe you should respond to my emails now?

  9. And I see that Nominet have responded to my complaint about your site’s Whois entry. Next you can expect to hear from Trading Standards about your fraudulent business methods and the lack of contact details on your website.

    Are you getting the picture yet? You picked the wrong person to try and scam.

  10. Spencer added on  February 14th, 2012 at 15:15

    Alec, we’ve had exactly the same thing (with pretty much exactly the same dates and contact details)

  11. anymore updates?

  12. sarah added on  February 19th, 2012 at 13:22
  13. Gerard added on  February 24th, 2012 at 13:28

    CDS are after me too – exactly the same as you have outlined. Just been on the phone the lovely Lisa Smith. I’ve had enough of this farce and have spent far too much of my time – have you complained to OFT?

  14. Gerard added on  February 24th, 2012 at 15:25

    Perhaps we could have a hands up if your company is being chased? I’ve got my hands up twice as both my companies are being persued.

  15. Andy Farrell added on  February 26th, 2012 at 09:32

    Us too. Exact same thing, last night my girlfriend told me about Event Domain and a debt recovery agency pursuing her for supposed web advertising dating from before she launched her business.

    How have others handled it? I think this may be one for the police.

  16. Gerard added on  February 26th, 2012 at 11:28

    From my further investigations, I believe it should be fairly easy to put a stop to this guy and recover any money he has received from any vulnerable or other company he has actually managed to scam money from. The wheels are in motion…

  17. Gerard added on  February 26th, 2012 at 22:44

    Andy, firstly advise Clear Debt Solutions in writing/recorded delivery that the debt is in dispute and they will be in breach of OFT guidelines if they continue collection. There are standard letters on the internet.

    Unless proper proof of debt can be produced by eventdomain, all they can do is take you to Court and we know that they would lose without proper evidence. They will know they will lose so wouldn’t want to incur that cost of court proceedings anyway.

    I’m in the process of contacting other ‘advertisers’ on eventdomain to guage the full scale of what is going on.

  18. Gerard added on  February 26th, 2012 at 22:47

    I am also investigating a possible criminal investigation, although I believe the guy is just severely misguided. Regardless of whether this is a scam or otherwise, the distraction and harassment this guy is causing has to stop.

  19. Gerard added on  February 27th, 2012 at 13:11

    Just received advice from Consumer Direct as follows:

    1. eventdomain’s actions are caught by the Unsolicited Goods and Services Act 1971.
    2. A letter should be sent to the business address entitled “Unsolicited Goods and Services Act 1971”. This letter should outline the facts including the amount owed, what is wrong with their actions etc. It should ask eventdomain to confirm in writing within a reasonable timescale that no money within is in fact owed and non compliance with this request will result in a report to Trading Standards.
    3. A copy of this letter should be sent to CDS requesting them to withold collection as the amount is in dispute.

    If you haven’t reported this issue to Consumer Direct, you should do as they will pass details to OFT, so I’m sure the more people that do this, the more likely OFT will take notice.

  20. We’ve had dialogue with our local Consumer Direct, including directing them to this page, and they say they’ve passed it all on in various directions – presumably to the OFT and certainly to Lancashire Trading Standards re CDS.

    One thing I discovered was that CDS’s consumer credit licence as Debt Collectors has lapsed and their application for a new one is “pending”; upon passing this to Consumer Direct they came back saying yes Lancs Trading Standards already aware of the company. 🙂

    You can find the register online at http://www2.crw.gov.uk/pr/default.aspx

    Compiled a load of other info too – web.archive.org can be used to show Event Domain’s website at the time of their claim of a contract… in our case it handily shows a large Free Ads invitation whereas the current one says no free ads. This combined with a whois report about our website domain showing we didn’t register our site till after Chris Given’s claim to be advertising us, is rather damning of his claim.

    Consumer Direct’s advice to us is not to be too concerned about sending them letters or anything; that the “Doorstep Visit / an operative will call” threat is likely just scare tactics designed to intimidate people into paying.

    Bizarrely, Consumer Direct managed to speak to Christopher Given and he was maintaining his claim of a legitimate debt – though he hasn’t followed through with his promise to forward them his supporting documentation.

    Had a good chuckle at the “high flying entrepreneur” claims he makes – the Event Domain website is laughable.

  21. Gerard added on  March 2nd, 2012 at 11:13

    Cheers for the web.archive tip. I’ve got all I need now!

  22. I too have been harassed by this guy, are their any updates on this.



  23. sarah added on  April 29th, 2012 at 16:03

    he’s still happily posting over on http://www.ukbusinessforums.co.uk

  24. Gerard added on  May 2nd, 2012 at 09:53

    Just received my formal letter to him sent by recorded delivery returned by the PO as it was not collected (I wonder why?). Looks like I will have to hand deliver them next time I am in the area – certainly will be nice to meet him at last.

  25. sarah added on  May 5th, 2012 at 17:42

    maybe his Mother wasn’t in to sign for it!

  26. matt added on  May 21st, 2012 at 13:09

    We have also had this issue and are unable to contact eventdomain and keep getting passed from pillar to post with clear debt solutions. Any update to the situation above from your end would be gratefully received.

  27. denis added on  May 22nd, 2012 at 19:38

    I have had the same problem with my events company over the last year. if you have strong evidence then maybe you should contact Event magazine, Conference and Incentive magazine and also Meetings and Events magazine and Square Meal as these are the leading publications and therefore can spread the word about this scam. I also think that CDS are more into this then they let on.

  28. Me too. I have just received an email from this guy, Saying I owe him 200 quid from a FREE listing from 2005!!

    When I suggested to him that is sounded like an email scam he went bananas!!
    This guy needs stopping fast.

  29. Spencer added on  July 4th, 2012 at 13:30

    Seemingly Clear Debt Solutions have had a winding up petition issued against them on 3rd July. Whether this will stop event domain who knows

  30. Gerard added on  September 28th, 2012 at 14:37

    CDS are now Guardian Recovery and still chasing the debt. Time to get the police involved.

  31. sarah added on  October 3rd, 2012 at 07:59

    How are you getting on with this Gerard? Did you go to the police?

  32. Caroline added on  November 5th, 2012 at 14:27

    Have you seen the hilarious ‘testimonials’ clearly left by cheap seo drones leaving links on his blog

  33. Just read through this after looking through his website. Any updates? Good luck anyway.

  34. sarah added on  January 19th, 2013 at 11:10

    I notice he has posted up a comment on his blog regarding this website – http://www.eventdomain.co.uk/blogevent/

  35. Alec added on  January 19th, 2013 at 11:32

    Did he really have nothing better to do on Christmas Day than post a worthless message on his blog? Worthless because the comments he quotes do nothing to support his claims:

    “I can confirm that in many cases contracts do not have to be in writing” – true but they have to be CONTRACTS and have to have been AGREED. We certainly didn’t agree to take any paid service from this fool or his imaginary business.

    “With respect, I believe you are well aware of what you are offering to businesses”. I agree with this comment from Sue Wiseman from Barking TS; I’m sure he’s absolutely aware of what he’s ‘offering’ to businesses – nothing except a scam. Does anybody ever start a sentence with “with respect” unless it contains something the other party is likely to take as a criticism or insult?

    So it seems we now have a contact at his local Trading Standards office who is already aware of his activities:

    Sue Wiseman
    Trading Standards Enforcement Officer
    Environment Department
    London Borough of Barking and Dagenham
    Roycraft House
    15 Linton Road
    IG11 8HE

  36. Gerard added on  February 27th, 2013 at 14:00

    You report fraud online at http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ – I would encourage everyone to do this to stop this joker.

  37. jonnycooper added on  April 16th, 2013 at 17:56

    So glad I came across this Article(totally by chance)thank,s Gerties Cafe.I was just about to use Eventdomain,s (free) services but upon doing a little more digging after spotting this article,I am absolutely convinced that the man and his alleged company are total CON ARTISTS,and my advise for what it,s worth,would be to Steer Well Clear of E D.

  38. Roger Watts added on  June 10th, 2013 at 13:19

    I understand that this post is a little ancient, however I wish to make it very clear (excuse pun) That Crystal Clear Debt Solutions are a legitimate ,licensed company operated out of southampton. We have no, and have never had, any connection with any of these mentioned companies or activities and will action further comments from this date forward, now that we have disclosed this information.

  39. Alec added on  June 10th, 2013 at 13:30

    As you’re the only person who’s mentioned ‘Crystal Clear Debt Solutions’ feel free to take any action you see fit, against yourself.

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Business Opportunities for Freelance Same Day Courier Owner Drivers

Sorry about the misleading title – there are NO ‘courier business opportunities’ on this page, just a few words of warning for anyone thinking about becoming a ‘freelance same day courier’ or a ‘courier owner driver’.

As the recession, or ‘downturn’ to put an optimistic slant on it, starts to bite, particularly in the building trade, we’re starting to see more and more new entrants to the same day courier industry. It seems an inevitable feature of every economic slowdown that the industry is swamped with out of work tradesman and redundant factory-workers, keen to put their unused van (or their redundancy payment) to use starting a new business for themselves.

It’s an easy enough business to get into, just a van and a mobile phone required. Nowadays it’s apparently not even necessary to have a collection of maps, or even any map-reading skills; just spend £75 on a satnav and you’re ready for work. That’s the theory at least.

There will no doubt be no shortage of local and national same day courier companies Read More…

Posted under Courier and Freight Exchanges, Courier Basics, Courier Business, Courier Scams

Posted by Alec at 4:02 pm, October 5, 2008

26 Comments so far

  1. Interesting comments – especially seeing as the banners on this site are full of the same ‘get rich quick make 250 quid a day adverts’ you choose to berate…..

  2. Alec added on  November 7th, 2008 at 08:20

    Yes, they’re deliberately left there for the ironic effect. They’re contributing financially towards the running of a site which is used to criticise their business methods. Every little helps.

  3. Like you style m8!!

  4. david added on  January 23rd, 2009 at 17:15

    is a v.w caddy a car derived van?year 2001 thanks for help

  5. Gary Johnson added on  May 4th, 2009 at 14:41

    Like your honesty! I was made redundant in April 2009, and would love to become a courier, but reading your comments and those on the COD Forum has given me second thoughts. I probably will go out there and do my best, but won’t expect the earth. I’m just a hard working dedicated bloke who wants to work for a living, believe me, trying to work for myself and just scraping by is a whole lot better than being a ‘jobseeker’ and being turned down for jobs that offer the minimum wage. At least trying to become self employed rekindles my pride. Thanks for confirming my thoughts that couriering is not something to be taken for granted, I just hope my determination can see me through.

  6. I do agree with this comment. Yes, there will be a lot of people looking for work within this insudtry in the next 2-3 years, until other jobs start picking up.

  7. Thanks for the advice

  8. Milner added on  February 19th, 2010 at 10:32

    Alex’s comment about a certain national courier paying their owner drivers 44p P.L.M. is spot on. He has not mentioned who they are probably for profesional reasons whereas I have no qualms when it comes to naming……….Step up to the stingy podium……RICO LOGISTICS,…Tarrra !
    Yes my friends, since 2003 when I started with them diesel costs were aroun 72p litre.and their rate was then 44p.
    Now 7 years later and diesel at around £1.13 their rate is…..44p
    Add to this you have to plot on at one of their depots and wait your turn for a job (you could wait all day and not move until you decide to go home at 5 o’clock)You may get lucky, or you could get a local drop for (You wont believe this) 3 quid !!
    So if your thinking of signing up with Rico (”Earn £600 per week” )Logistics think long and hard my freinds, As for me, once bitten…….

  9. i have been made redundant and was very glad i stumbeled over your site a lot of these sites say you can start up with a car or a van do you think it possible to start using a car as i wanted to see if it’s ok befor i lash out and sort a van out

  10. It depends on who your customers are likely to be. If you’re looking at subcontracting then probably not – most companies won’t use cars.

    Ask the question in the forums at http://www.codforum.org.uk – in fact you don’t need to ask it, it’s been answered a few times I think.

  11. THOMSON LOGISTICS added on  November 1st, 2010 at 23:06

    I’ve read all the comments regarding your ‘editorial’, i have been involved in this industry for just over a month, call me nieve but have earned between £600 and £8oo per week for between 10 and 12 hours daily work. My last job in the ‘security industry’ on paye was for over six years working at least the same or in many cases more hours for on average £350 a week! yes you have to show commitment and willing and perseverance but what position dosen’t!

  12. Nick preece added on  February 23rd, 2011 at 17:56

    Hi folks read the comments.. interesting!!
    like most people saw the money that you could of so called earned, being money orientated my eyes saw ££££££ signs.but I remembered that old saying.. You Don’t get nothing in life for FREE!!

  13. mitaspeed added on  February 28th, 2011 at 11:21

    Having looked for a job for 18 months now, and having just been made redundant, I have read this article with great interest, and done some further research. Yes, you can earn money, but not from the initial job, especially these days, as if you drive to london from Leeds, you only get paid to go there. coming back is the trick. seems you need to be a member or a freight exchange/courier exchange/shed to get returm jobs (or have a great contact list!!) But why do they all charge so much money!!

  14. Cannot same added on  March 13th, 2011 at 14:20

    TNT are the same 50p per mile promise you the earth lucky if you make £150 after fuel taken out.Thats working 12 to 14 hour days

  15. gary bollington added on  April 11th, 2011 at 18:00

    i agree with everything you have said its good information i too have been made redundant and was considering returning to this job the rates are much the same theese days when i was working for pony express in the late 80s early 90s back in them days it did pay as fuel was about half as much as it is now the estimate for london to manchester is probably nearer £60 than £40 though making it impossible to make any money at all

  16. 🙂 I smile as I look at all the posting remembering when I started back in 2001 and the rates where 44p per mile fuel was in pennies not pounds and the miles where there for the taking its another very quiet monday with little work but we still have to pay for the merc on the drive the insurance GIT public and other various training to keep upto date with DFT & other bodies my advise to you is dont do it once the van fuel insurance & holiday money is put away your wages are low 🙂 hope this helps ohh yeah and people never pay there invoice on time

  17. benjamin button added on  June 3rd, 2011 at 17:13

    Just a word of sympathy for the owners of (same day) courier businesses.

    Lets not forget a courier company often:
    -Has to wait 45 days + for payment
    -Gets all the hassle and lose business if a driver screws up.
    -Take the hit if a customer goes bust, the driver gets paid regardles.
    -Has to accept drivers take their frustrations out on the companies vehicles, often at great expense to the courier company. Ins goes up, damage needs to be sorted etc etc and any profit soon goes down the drain.

    On top of this a driver gets paid every week/month, the courier company often has to wait 45 days + to get paid, that is IF they get paid.

    The bottom line is that no one is forced to drive for x pence per mile! So if you don’t agree with what you get paid per mile, stop whinging and go try and earn the money else where.
    Alternatively set up your own courier biz and tell your potential customers you will charge them £2.00 per mile to keep your (self employed) drivers happy………..
    Sorry but never that easy and straight forward in any Biz………..

  18. Pete added on  July 28th, 2011 at 00:13

    Wow. Now I am depressed lol. Thanks to your site, I am now looking much deeper into this prior to taking the plunge. Thank you so much.

  19. Paul added on  August 3rd, 2011 at 22:14

    I have been mulling this idea of self employed courier over and over. Searching the sites and have come across many offering high earning potential. Fee’s attached. It all rang a little false because normally anything sounding too good to be true usually is, -in all areas of life I have found… so I am always the skeptic. Thanks for the advice. I am very grateful for it! It seems to ring out more honest that all the 600 quid this and that…. I guess the reality of it is: If you are a bloke with 20 vans and you get 20 muppets to drive ’em then you could probably rake it in…but if you wantit to last you need the best from your muppets so you’ll have to be really good to them by being pleasant and not give them the impression you think they are muppets. -Maybe even buy them chips sometimes! All business is based on exploitation. Social intelligence merely requires agreement or compromise. God saved the queen but screwed you and me…..their swindle continues!

  20. Simon Dal added on  August 6th, 2011 at 19:49

    Some good comments and mostly correct.
    If you subcontract for TNT you have to have a van less than 4 years old ,PAY for your van to be vinyl’d up in TNT logos at around £450+ . Buy their corporate uniform £115.
    And their rate is still £0.25p round trip mileage.
    DHL you have to rent a pda they supply and pay £200 deposit. still £0.26 per mile.

    Rico well You can make more delivering pizzas for dominos.
    I know i have been in this industry since 1994.

  21. Nigel added on  November 22nd, 2011 at 14:54

    I have been in the industry for 8 years and worked for many companies owning and using 3.5 ton vans tipical day is leeds to Aberdeen collection then Glasgow collection then Newcastle 3 collection and back to leeds to unload by the time I have paid for everything I am left with minimum earnings. As a pensioner of nearly 2 years I can’t afford to retire and am unemployable in any other job.

  22. michael spallin added on  January 10th, 2012 at 17:53

    think i will pass on it

  23. thankyou for your honesty i will be using the forum for any questions we are family business we are just getting by with certain contracts we do have you have opened our eyes even more thankyou everymuch dave and jess

  24. Alec I dont know why you spend your time worrying about ownerdrivers .Its up to them if they are incapable of managing their own affairs

  25. Liam added on  May 4th, 2012 at 18:27

    Liam you may not care about owner drivers but if all newcomers to this courier business knew of certain courier firms making money on the back of unsuspecting newcomers. Then they wouldn’t be able to keep on paying crap mileage rates. Its firms like ricoh/tnt/dhl and certain city sprint bases (not in london) paying 50p or below that make it so hard for any decent firm to keep hold of there accounts and pay there drivers decent milage rates.
    I worked for 18 yrs as a motorcycle courier in london and now i have moved from london i am a van driver and only get 63p a mile but i often get a double or treble up which is where i make money. if i am struggling on 63p a mile then these rip off merchant firms need burning to the ground

  26. Dean added on  June 28th, 2012 at 04:05

    Very interesting site. I do the same kind of work here in the USA, and we face many of the same issues as independent contractors, low rates, high fuel costs, etc. It’s quite interesting to read about the problems and challenges of drivers in the UK.

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Speed limits for vans – are the DfT even more confused than the rest of us?

For many years there’s been confusion among some van drivers over the speed limits that apply to their vans. This has led to many prosecutions of drivers of medium and large vans for exceeding the speed limit.

Many van drivers just assume that the speed limits for their vans are the same as for a private car. In many cases, particularly for smaller vans, they may be right, but for anything bigger than a small van they’re wrong.

The maximum speed limits for all goods vehicles of 3500kg and less, unless lower limits are indicated by signs, is 70mph for motorways, 60mph for dual-carriageways and 50mph for single-carriageway roads. The only exemption is for ‘car-derived vans’ with a maximum loaded weight (GVW) of 2000kg or less, to which the speed limits for cars apply (70, 70, 60).

For many years it seems that the police have interpreted ‘car-derived van’ as meaning any small van with a GVW of 2,000kg or less. This would include many of the vans typically driven by same day couriers, vans like the Escort, Courier, Berlingo/Partner, some Doblos, Combo, Nemo/Bipper/Fiorino, Kangoo, as well as some of the more obvious ‘car shaped’ vans like the Astravan, Fiesta, Corsa and Punto.

In December 2007 the Department for Transport (DfT) issued a document Read More…

Posted under Courier Basics, Speeding, Vans

Posted by Alec at 7:48 pm, October 4, 2008

Tags: ,

32 Comments so far

  1. Good article – you’re right that a great many drivers don’t realise that speed limits are different to those for cars.

    However, I’m not sure things are as confused as you say. The DfT page you link to also states that “the van design must be a derivative of a car body”. This clearly rules out all but car->van conversions, like the Astravan.

    The DfT also says that taxation class is unrelated to speed limits. Speed limits (it says) are related to the load capacities of the vehicle and whether or not it is used for carrying passengers.

    I do agree that it seems bizaare that a Nemo is subject to lower speed limits than an Astravan, however. I think it is a case of vehicle designs overtaking the law – these small vans with big payloads didn’t really exist in 1984, when the van speed limits were introduced, did they?

    Thanks for taking the time to highlight this, look forward to seeing your response from the DfT…


  2. Well I’ve had my reply:

    Dear Sir,

    Thank you for your enquiry (copied below) and request that we list car-derived vans: Because of the limited definition in law of a car-derived van, the only test of whether an individual vehicle falls into that category is via a court of law. Government departments cannot make that judgement and so do not issue lists of car-derived vans.

    When asked to comment on a specific vehicle this department has applied a rule of thumb that;
    – vans sharing the same chassis and body shell with a car but with some of the window apertures filled with metal, appear to satisfy the definition of car-derived van.
    – vans comprising a car chassis throughout and the car body-shell from front bumper to “B” post (the door-post behind the front-doors ;with, say, a box body behind), appear to satisfy the definition of car-derived van.

    Using those criteria, this Division recently advised an enquirer that the Vauxhall Combo did not appear to be a car-derived van since its wheel-base and track are different from those of the Corsa car. However, we added the caveat that our advice was subject to any decision made in a court of law. In the case of the Vauxhall Combo Kombi; this vehicle appears to be derived from the Combo van not the other way about. And therefore the Combo cannot be described as car-derived.

    To answer your last point, about the police application of the law: As the law stands at present the only recourse for a motorist is to challenge the speeding prosecution in court.

    I regret that I cannot advise you further.

    Malcolm Burch
    Senior Policy Advisor
    LRI 2
    Department for Transport

  3. I can’t see really this ever coming up in court to provide a definitive answer. For once the police seem to apply the law in the way any reasonable person would expect it to be applied – if the vehicle is registered as a car-derived van and has a GVW of 2000kg or less then (as far as I’m aware) they treat it as being subject to the same speed limits as a car.

    As far as I can tell all small vans with a GVW of 2000kg or less are automatically registered with the DVLA as ‘car-derived vans’, while all small vans with a GVW of over 2000kg are registered as ‘panel vans’. It seems to me that the police use the vehicle definition that’s returned when they search the DVLA database to determine the vehicle classification and therefore the applicable speed limits.

    Despite the assertion of the Senior Policy Advisor from the DfT I’ve never heard of a Berlingo or Combo driver being prosecuted for doing 70 on a dual carriageway – Caddy drivers, Transit Connect drivers and Doblo drivers, yes; but I’ve never heard of a driver of a vehicle with ‘car-derived van’ on its V5 Vehicle Registration Document being prosecuted for doing 70 on a dual-carriageway, or 60 on a single-carriageway. If anyone knows different then please let me know.

  4. Alec added on  October 2nd, 2008 at 10:29

    It turns out that not all vans under 2000kg GVW are described as CDVs on their V5. I’ve seen examples of a Doblo and a Kangoo both described as ‘panel van’, so it seems that the V5 description can’t be used to define the vehicle type.

  5. christopher inman added on  October 19th, 2008 at 20:42

    I have a ticket for a Vauxhall Combo for 69mph on the A27 dual-carriageway at Holmbush (Hove/Portslade) dated 23/08/2008. It is a hire van (long-term) and I do not have the registration document. Sussex police, by the way.

  6. I am so confused now . I have just bought a vauxhall combo and start a new contract same day delivery tomorrow. What the hell speed am I spose to be doing ! Surely if your V5 states its a car derived van then thats your answer…. it is a govenment document after all ??????? isnt it ????
    I cant take a day off to argue it in court everytime I get flashed by a stuffing camera. They need to get their heads out their backsides and sort it out !

  7. great web site, please could you help me,i have just got a notice of intended prosecution, in a v.w. caddy,tdi.reg 02.it tell me recorded speed was 76mph,speed limit 70 mph,vehichle limit 60 mph. the registration certificate says its a panel van,light goods vehicle,2270kg cross revenue weight,wheelplan 2 axle-rigid body,vehicle category N1.is this a fine i should pay? or is the law wrong here? greatful for any help thankyou dave

  8. Alec added on  January 20th, 2009 at 15:58

    The important thing in the case of the Caddy is the weight – it’s firmly in the ‘goods vehicle’ class, rather than being a car-derived van, and it’s subject to the lower limits. Sorry about that.

  9. david added on  February 1st, 2009 at 16:25

    thanks alec for reply, but i have look at manufacturers plate,it says 1770 kg then 2770 kg, (1)-890kg,(2)-950kg,typ 9kvf,looking at this plate,i think it means 1770kg is the g.v.w.is the vehicle weight?and the 2770kg is the revenue weight for taxin of the van? i could be wrong,i have been in touch with v,w, an they tell me that my van is on the volkswagen germany data system as a caddy derived van 66 tdi 5 speed. any more advice thanks david

  10. dear alec,any comment on david (9)posted february 1 st 2009?

  11. Alec added on  February 4th, 2009 at 13:10

    I missed the ’02 plate’ of your original message – that’s an old shape Caddy, the same as the SEAT Inca? If so it’s under 2000 GVW so it would pass as a CDV on that point but may fail on another point. I don’t think that the front end is identical to a Polo or an Ibiza, in which case it would probably fail on the DfT’s ridiculous definition of a CDV – if you pay any attention to their opinion.

  12. hi Alec,yes it is the old shape caddy,and i do feel the police are wrong,because they told me my van,was not a car derived van,but on the log book it is,but then they told me it gos on the weight of my van,and the only weight on the log book was 2770 kg under revenue weight,there seem to be alot of confused people about a cdv van? i am not to sure what to do at the moment,pay the fine,or go to court?at this moment of time i think i should try the courts,what do you think? thanks Alec

  13. Alec added on  February 5th, 2009 at 14:03

    As far as I’m aware the revenue weight on the log book is always the same as the GVW, and 1770kg is about right for the old Caddy – it’s definitely under the 2000kg anyway. The 2770 is the Gross Train Weight, which has no bearing at all on the issue, it just shows you how much weight you can tow. Have you got an error on your log book maybe?

    So if they’re JUST basing their prosecution on the weight issue then you’ll be OK, as long as you can convince the court that the actual GVW of the van is less than 2000kg. If there’s an error on your log book then you probably just need to contact the DVLA to get it corrected.

    If the police decide to argue that the van’s not car-derived because of the shape then you’re back in that grey area I’m afraid. Personally I think you could maybe convince a court that it was similar enough to the Inca or Polo to be classed as car-derived. Even if that was to fail then the argument that it clearly has filled in rear window panels, holes for the fitting of rear seatbelt anchorages and a filled in rear passenger footwell area may be enough to show that the van is based on the car (windowed version of the van) rather than the other way round.

  14. What I don’t understand is that the Renault Kangoo is actually a van derived car. Until some time after the car version was released, people were advised that the speed limit for vans applied to the car – because I know someone who had one from new and was advised of this by the local plod.

  15. Stevie added on  September 22nd, 2010 at 14:29

    It’s a nasty area that should really be changed in law. People carriers and SUV’s are more of a risk, yet they dont fall foul of the GVW law.
    Could van makers be lobbied to state that all car derived vans have a GVW of 1999kg or less ?
    I’d think owners of most small vans could care less about their ability on paper to carry an extra 10-30kg or so, then being put at risk driving a half empty van of getting done for speeding for no reason.
    Like really, who on earth fills a small van to its maximum weight capacity on a regular basis ?

  16. Stevie added on  September 22nd, 2010 at 14:35

    To add…they claim vans carry heavier loads, so require longer to stop etc.

    Take a new Land/Range Rover. UL weight is circa 2.7ton, fully laden could easily be 3.2 ton or more.

    Which is harder to stop ? a Small van at 2 ton, or a tank at over 3 ton legally travelling faster ?

    This law ( and many others ) is a total farce. Very few small vans now are under GVW of 2 ton. Likes of a Doblo is 2010kg !! that’s mental. I was thinking of buying one, but this has put me off. 11kg means I cant drive at the same speeds as much heavier and more dangerous vehicles.

  17. steve added on  February 16th, 2011 at 20:19

    good news for berlingo & kangoo drivers my son received a notice of intent to prosecute having been caught on camera doing 71mph on a dual carriageway in kent in his berlingo van.having read previous comments on this website i got my daughter who is a police officer in thames valley to speak to a traffic officer colleague who advised her that the key factor regarding class of vehicle is the gvw.i then rang the kent police ticket bureau & spoke to the camera operator who had recorded the “offence”.he admitted that a mistake had been made & that both berlingo vans & the renault equivalent i.e the kangoo did not fall into the goods vehicle category that resricted speed limits.he advised that no further action would be taken & that a letter confirming this was being issued today.thats what i call a result & my son owes me several pints

  18. Hi

    I am having the same problem getting clarification of what bracket a Vito Dualiner fits in to, which is to replace my aging Sprinter van. Yes the Dualiner is over 2 tonnes, but it is built on a car chassis, it will have rear windows, but it is not a full van it’s a half way house, half car half van. Mercedes have advised me, if it does not have rear window it is a van, if you have a rear window it’s a car ?

  19. Ken Veitch added on  April 26th, 2011 at 10:56

    My company has just changed from Astravans to the Citroen Nemo, I am now being charged by Grampian police with exceeding the 60mph limit on the A90 dual carriageway. When I challenged it their response was “vehicle is registered as a light goods vehicle”. I’ll try to take it further but I’m not hopeful.

  20. ian shepherd added on  June 7th, 2011 at 20:07

    Ive just bought a vw t5 t32 transporter widow van eg full windows but no seats this taxation class is diesel car description on v5 9 seater ,is it a car or is it a van Ive no idea.Loads of vw t5 calafornias have been miss regitered in this class when they should be 11 plg.It seemes the beaurocrats have no real idea !

  21. Dougie Murray added on  March 11th, 2013 at 19:25

    Hi i have just been issued with a notice of doing 74 on a dual cariageway.The alleged offence took place on dual cariageway near Kirckaldy in Scotland. i was driving a citroen berlingo 62 plate. can you tell me if this is still classed as a ‘car derived van’?? And will it be worth contesting.Any information would be greatly appreciated.

  22. Alec added on  March 11th, 2013 at 19:38

    No idea – that’s what this whole post is about. They’re free to prosecute you just for doing the 4mph over the car limit if they want to anyway though so I can’t see there’s anything to be gained from fighting it.

  23. kevin added on  April 22nd, 2013 at 15:40

    I work for British Gas and for the past 2yrs have driven my 09 plate VW Caddy on the A9 Stirling to Perth road at the 70mph limit but this week I receved a notice of procedings as it says that I was above 60mph. I was overtaking a lorry at the time I was going past the fixed camera when it flashes but I thought it was for the lorry. And when talking to the rest of the guys at work they say they have never been done on that road with same van as me so whats the next step. Do I fight it ?

  24. Alec added on  April 22nd, 2013 at 15:46

    I’m afraid there are no grounds to fight it at all if you’re driving a Caddy – the GVW is over 2,000kg so the exemption for car-derived vans wouldn’t apply even if it was considered to be a car-derived van.

  25. Alastair added on  October 29th, 2013 at 13:38

    I got done doing 73mph in a bipper. Got told its only allowed to do 60but the gvw is under 2,000kg. Is this worth it or not as I hear so many different stories about it

  26. Alec added on  October 29th, 2013 at 13:56

    Personally, being an argumentative sort of person, I think I’d argue that the Bipper and the Bipper Tepee (car/MPV) bear exactly the same relationship as the Fiesta van does to the Fiesta car and therefore the Bipper qualifies as a car-derived van.

    If you’d have been doing 70 then I’d say it was worth fighting it. You were doing over the 70 mph limit for a CDV anyway though so you’ve committed an offence whether the Bipper qualifies as a CDV or not. They’re allowed to use their discretion and let you off at 73 but are they likely to use discretion if you manage to prove them wrong on the car/van thing?

    If your van’s V5 happens to say ‘car-derived van’ then it might help your case. Otherwise I don’t know – and that’s the whole point.

  27. tim withington added on  November 20th, 2014 at 17:56

    Just had a notice of intended prosecution against me for doing 69mph in a 70 mph area in my combi van. Surely this cannot be right has it falls in to the van exemption of car derived vans under 2t.

  28. According to the DfT definition it’s not a car-derived van. But according to the latest government guidance at https://www.gov.uk/speed-limits it depends on what it says on the V5 (log book) – which is clearly rubbish because identical vehicles are sometimes listed as panel vans and sometimes as car derived vans.

    Personally I’d fight it in court, particularly if your V5 happens to show the body type as ‘Car Derived Van’ – since the latest guidance claims that’s the deciding factor.

    The whole thing’s a mess and the law needs rewriting to exempt all vans under 2,000kg.

  29. Arran added on  December 23rd, 2014 at 01:30


    hi alec would appreciate your input on this one, have been done on the a180 in grimsby for doing 68mph in my vauxhall combo and been told i should only be doing 60mph which is rubbish as v5 log book clearly states car-derived van with with of 1805kg gross, so challenged police saying i should be able to do 70mph and even 2 vosa guys at side of road agreed with me, they then claimed to contact vosa/dvsa and check this who confirmed i couldnt travel at 70mph so i challenged vosa/dvsa who said they cannot confirm this and it would be dft department for transport, so the police have lied about their enquires, and are in the wrong anyway as i can travel at 70mph have challenged to go to court with this anyway, but whats ur input

  30. Kate Pascoe added on  July 20th, 2015 at 17:51

    Help! My husbands received a notification of intended prosecution for doing 72mph on a dual carriageway in a Citreon Nemo by Wrexham in Wales. His vehicle is tracked, and the company has provided evidence it was doing 65mph maximum. We believed the van to be CDV as the weight is under 2,000kg and it certainly looks tiny like a car, so he’s politely contested it in writing – but they’re passing it to the courts, they were empathetic but stated they’re doing him for not being a CDV. This seems crazy, and reading other forums and comments we’re not alone. What can we do?

    He has requested the V5 from his employer (which he did not have sight of before), and the dam thing says it’s a heavy goods vehicle – after we stopped laughing, the horrid reality is what does he do if it ends up in a court hearing? Have the guidelines been clarified now, can we get the V5 classification changed at this stage to a CDV? Would it be in time and enough?

    He’s raising it with his company too, as the whole fleet drives to car speed limits, just no one else has been prosecuted yet so he’s the first. I don’t want him to lose his licence by repeat offending, but he’s adamantly driving at car speed limits still, which worries me greatly. Ironically last year he was prosecuted in Wales, for exceeding 60mph on a normal single main road and went on a speed awareness course and cleaned up hs act a bit – the interesting thing is last year, the same police treated his vehicle as a CDV. Is it safe to bring tin court if he needed too, or would it be dangerous to flag a recent offense?!

    Help. The Wife!

  31. Mike added on  August 12th, 2015 at 14:29

    I notice the most current advice from the DfT is dated 5th March 2015 and states:-

    Car-derived vans are designed to weigh no more than 2 tonnes when loaded and are based on car designs (eg Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa), or the vehicle is built from a platform which has been designed to be built as a car or a van.

    So, based on this the old shape VW caddy was built on the VW A03 Platform, same as the following list, so should be classed as a “Car Derived Van”

    SEAT Ibiza Mk2 (Typ 6K, 1993–2002)
    SEAT Córdoba Mk1 (Typ 6K/6KC/6KV, 1993–2002)
    Volkswagen Polo Mk3 (Typ 6N/6KV, 1994–2002)
    Volkswagen Polo Playa (1996–2002) – a rebadged SEAT Ibiza 6K with some cosmetic components from the Volkswagen Polo 6KV
    SEAT Inca van (Typ 6K9)
    Volkswagen Caddy van (Typ 9K, 1997–2003)

  32. Alec added on  August 12th, 2015 at 16:35

    The point is that nobody knows. The law just says ‘car derived van’, without being specific. It’s up to the courts to decide what constitutes ‘car derived’. That depends on cases actually going to court and then continuing far enough up the legal ladder that they create legal precedent – which they probably never will.

    So we’re left with the police deciding whether to prosecute on an individual basis and magistrates deciding on whether vehicles are ‘car derived’ or not on an individual basis.

    The guidance that you’ve quoted from goes on to state that it’s what appears on the log book which determines whether a vehicle’s ‘car derived’ or not. This isn’t a statement of law though, it’s the opinion of the person who wrote the guidance – and it’s clearly wrong because of the many cases of identical vehicles being described as different things on the log book.

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The Transport of Fireworks by Road

With the firework season nearly upon us there’s an enormous demand from the firework distributors for large numbers of hauliers and same-day couriers to carry out their deliveries over a very short period.

Considering the obvious hazards of firework transportation, and indeed every aspect of the manufacture, storage and transportation of fireworks, it might be expected that firework manufacturers and distributors would be more careful than most in checking the qualifications and experience of the transport companies they use for their deliveries.

I would expect a responsible firework distributor to fully vet their transport suppliers to ensure that they fully understand their responsibilities under ADR and have access to a competent Dangerous Goods Safety Advisor, to offer their own advice to the transport company on the safe transport of their goods if necessary, and above all to ensure that the transport company is fully aware of the training that their staff and subcontractors are required to undertake before transporting fireworks.

I was surprised then to read a message posted on one of the leading courier industry websites looking for 70 vans to do 172 journeys over a 3 day period delivering fireworks. There’s nothing particularly wrong with that, although I didn’t think that the company were likely to find 70 suitably qualified drivers on the website in question. I was slightly concerned at this stage that although the company had mentioned the need for various items of safety equipment, they hadn’t mentioned any need for training.

The next day the company followed up their posting with the information “You do not need ADR because the NEC (explosive content) doesn’t exceed Read More…

Posted under Hazardous Goods - ADR

Posted by Alec at 1:16 pm, October 4, 2008

1 Comment so far

  1. julie added on  November 17th, 2011 at 11:57

    I totally share your opinion. I work in the Fireworks industry and can assure you that any reputable retailer/wholesaler will definitely expect the couriers to be fully ADR licenced. I NEVER transport fireworks and yet I have taken the ADR training at the behest of my employer to address any queries which may arise. It is very irreponsible for any courier not to take this into consideration when you consider that there is a 25 metre safety distance with ALL 1.3g fireworks – I dont know many vans that are over 25 metres long!!

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ADR training wasted on drivers – ‘better suited to traffic staff’

Robert Wilcox, the managing director of Massey Wilcox Transport, has just earned himself a place high up on the list of people I wouldn’t want to work for.

According to this report Mr Wilcox thinks so little of his drivers’ capacity for learning that he believes that ADR training is wasted on them and they should only be trained ‘what to do in the case of an emergency’.

He goes on to say “Drivers are not the best classroom attendees, and whatever is crammed into their heads to get them through the exam is promptly forgotten a week later”. I wonder how Mr Wilcox thinks that his drivers managed to gain their existing professional qualifications, not to mention how he thinks they’ll cope with the new driver CPC qualification. However does he think they manage to drive his company’s vehicles competently and safely if they’re not capable of retaining knowledge for more than a week?

Mr Wilcox makes the case that the traffic staff should have the training because “after all, it’s their decision what is carried and when”.

That might be how Mr Wilcox operates his company, but its certainly not best practice and it’s a possible sign of a company operating on the fringes of legality. It’s for the driver, and no-one else, to decide whether it’s safe for him to take a load out. The driver bears the ultimate responsibility for the safety of his load, his vehicle and himself and no under-trained cretin in a traffic office 200 miles away is entitled to take decisions on his behalf.

It’s this type of attitude – ‘the traffic office knows best’ – which is behind some of the sloppiest and most unsafe practices in the transport industry: drivers’ hours infringements, speeding, overloading, health and safety breaches – all because of the ‘just get it done’ attitude in the traffic office and the pressure put on drivers to do what the traffic staff tells them to do.

Only yesterday I had a call from a same day courier who’d been sent in to an end user to collect a load on behalf of another transport company. The carriage of the load clearly required an ADR trained driver and both the consignor and the transport company were aware of that fact. The owner-driver, Read More…

Posted under Hazardous Goods - ADR

Posted by Alec at 6:02 pm, September 23, 2008

Tags: , ,

3 Comments so far

  1. Robert Wilcox added on  November 7th, 2008 at 18:48

    Having just read Alec’s comments from the 23rd September, I would like to respond.

    I don’t know who Alec is or how long he has worked in the transport industry, and therefore cannot comment if I would consider him suitable for a position in my company or not. But what I do have knowledge of are HGV drivers. After 35 years I certainly know a good one from a bad one and what can and cannot be expected of them.
    Some of the best drivers I have had could bearly read or write, and have one now that finds his way around by comparing the shape of the words of a destination to the road signs. He is a very productive driver and quite happy to be working for someone who can live with and help him with his problem.

    But the content of a ADR course is beyond him. Even the ones who can pass with no problem do not have a retentive memory. Its not usual for these men to leave a collection point with ADR product on board and yet fail to ensure they have a Trem Card.

    I stand by what I say. In the vast majority of cases the decision of what a haulier is going to carry on his truck is made by the traffic management. Providng the product is covered by the driver’s ADR license then that is not a problem. The vehicle or trailer is often loaded in the driver’s absence, and a driver turning in at 4am in the morning is highly unlikely to open up his vehicle to see what is stacked next to what.

    These are all decision made by trained traffic management and therefore it is these people would really need the intensive training to ensure the load is safe both in terms of the mixing of volatile chemicals, and the packaging limits.

    The driver should have concentrated training on what to do in an emergency, and how to interpret ADR labels amd packaging to ensure the product comes within his license remit.

    With regards to the driver CPC training. I would like to point out to Alec that I am currently training my own in house trainer, who will from the September start date, be providing on the job training to each and every driver in excess of the laws requirement of 7 hours per year. in addition to taht will continue with the RHA icon training programme taken up some 3 years ago. So I take exception to his comment that I operate my company “on the fringes of legality”. I abide by the laws controlling every aspect of operating a HGV including ADR. My traffic staff are ADR trained despite the fact is is not a legal requirement and that we only carry printing ink and arable fertiliser. They are also time served drivers and take exception to his calling them “under trained cretins”. Nobody is taking away a drivers need to ensure his vehicle is safely loaded, infact i can only wish some would pay more attention to this requirement.

    I can assure Alec that my drivers are not expected to exceed the legal limits of anything, and I would be very pleased to show him my drivers tachograph records, both analogue and digital, infringement reports signed off by the driver concerned,DGSA annual reports, maintenance records, infact anything he would care to inspect. The only problem is that I don’t think he would get past the “under trained cretins” in the traffic office in one peice.

    Alec’s comments regarding drivers being asked to colect ADR goods they are not licence to handle, reflect the corners that some operators both large and small are prepared to cut. Please do not count me amongst them without first qualifying your asumptions.

  2. Alec added on  November 8th, 2008 at 10:19

    Your response seems to only confirm the opinion I had formed about the way you operate your company. Drivers who can’t read road signs, drivers who ignore basic requirements of ADR and traffic office staff whom you seem to imply would resort to physical violence if anyone dared to question their wisdom.

    I suggest you pay more attention to the legal requirement that your drivers are competent to carry out their work in a safe manner and spend less time voicing your opinion that they actually require LESS training.

    As I made clear in the original posting, I entirely agree that traffic office staff require better training in ADR, I just disagree completely that drivers need less training – and the United Nations and the DfT seem to share that opinion.

  3. Robert Wilcox added on  December 16th, 2008 at 16:26

    According to you then Alec anyone who hasn’t received the high level of education you so obviously enjoyed should be denied the right to gainful and properly paid employment. I don’t judge my people by their acedemic skills as you seem to do, and am not prepared to write them off if they are able to carry out their duties in a fit and proper manner. As for the traffic office staff, please remember it was you that voiced a derogatory opinion of them, and why should they sit back and take that from you.

    All my drivers who handle ADR have received the proper training, along with traffic office staff,and will continue to for as long as they remain in my employ. As far as I am aware this is still a free country and until such times that we are forced to employ only a Pseudo Aryan race that you purport to, I retain the right to form and voice my own opinion of the content of ADR training for drivers.

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MTvan, Courier Finance Ltd & Tim Gilbert: Physician, heal thyself

It looks like Tim Gilbert has finally exposed himself as the arse that I’d always suspected he was. Tim of course is (or maybe was, who knows) head of the failed (or maybe failing, who knows) Courier Finance Ltd ’empire’, which included Speed Couriers, MTvan, CFL and some slightly dodgy-looking ‘learn how to be a courier’ websites designed to either part courier owner-drivers from their cash or to steer them towards the Mtvan website which would do the same.

Somewhat of a self-proclaimed courier industry guru, Tim is quite profuse with his advice to other, less experienced, businessmen on how they should run their same day courier businesses. Some would say that he was well qualified to give such advice, having started Speed Couriers from scratch (along with Martin Rutty) and then apparently playing his part in steering it through its troubles in 2001-02.

The collapse of OnDigital, one of Speed’s largest customers, and their foray into the home delivery market caused severe problems for the business back in 2002, so it might be expected that Tim would be more wary than most of allowing a single customer to become too important to the business, of allowing a business with no history of profitable trading to run up a significant (and Read More…

Posted under Courier and Freight Exchanges, Courier Business

Posted by Alec at 11:13 am, September 16, 2008

Tags: , ,

5 Comments so far

  1. stan added on  October 1st, 2008 at 11:38

    cfl were owed less than £50K (quite a bit less) so how did that sink “a multi million pound turnover business”? (as he put it), also mtvan has “ceased trading” but isnt in liquidation…..work that one out



  3. Update for those concerned



  4. Alec added on  October 15th, 2008 at 14:17

    Courier Finance Ltd
    c/o Tenon Recovery
    3rd Floor
    Lyndean House
    43/46 Queens Road
    BN1 3XB

    Tel: 01273 725566
    Fax: 01273 724502


  5. To whom it may concern, might be a little late but there is a credditors meeting today

    thanks billy

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