Currently, there’s a huge demand for HGV drivers and as spending habits change, the need for more drivers is likely to keep growing. If you’re looking to fill the gap and become a HGV driver, knowing about the benefits is essential for making an informed decision.
Whether you’re already a HGV driver, or looking to make a complete career change, there are multiple benefits of being a self-employed HGV driver.
Some of the benefits we’ll explore are:
- Higher potential earnings
- Improved professional freedom
- Costs can become tax deductible
- How Countingup can simplify your financials
Higher potential earnings
One perk of being self-employed becomes clear when you get paid after a job — all the money you’ve earned is yours. Instead of watching your hard-earned cash go through an employer first, and leaving you with a portion, you get the full amount to yourself.
Without an employer taking a cut, the amount you earn on any given delivery should start to increase. An additional bonus of working independently of a business, is that you won’t be limited by a salary either. You could spend the same time behind the wheel, and find you go home with considerably more money.
Removing the ‘middle-man’ (an employer) effectively functions like a pay rise. If you do end up earning more per journey, you might notice that you don’t need to take as many jobs to make the same amount.
With an increasingly high demand for HGV drivers, there’s no shortage of jobs for you to take. This has the added bonus that companies who need your services urgently, are willing to pay more to get them.
The increased demand also means that you’ll benefit from improved job security. With customers ordering online more than ever before (2.8 billion parcels in 2019-20, rising to 4.2 billion parcels in 2020-21), it’s projected that demand for drivers to deliver these packages will only continue to increase. With that in mind, you won’t need to worry about finding a new career in the future.
Improved professional freedom
Perhaps the greatest benefit of being a self-employed HGV driver is being able to choose your hours. The privilege of being your own boss means you can focus on improving your work-life balance.
It’s no secret that being a driver can be isolating, but as a self-employed driver, you can make the decision to spend time with your friends and family as and when you choose. Where being a traditional employee may require you to choose between two important events, you could be able to attend both when you’re managing your own hours.
It’s not just your schedule that gets more flexible, but how you work as well. Where an employer might demand a certain delivery quota per month, as a self-employed driver, you can take your time.
If you enjoy exploring new places, then deliberately selecting jobs that take you to locations you’ve never been to before could be an excellent opportunity. Staggered correctly, and you could even find yourself taking multiple working holidays per year.
Frequently being on the road can feel extremely liberating, especially if you’ve previously worked in retail or an office.
Costs can become tax deductible
Whilst paying additional costs may not feel beneficial at first, various things you pay for can now become tax-deductible. Your training for a HGV license, for instance, could be written off as a tax-deductible expense.
For example, if you earn £50,000 in one year and claim £20,000 in expenses, you’ll only pay tax on £30,000. You also get to keep your tax-free personal allowance of £12,570. This brings your taxable profit down to £17,430. It’s easy to calculate your taxable profit with this handy formula:
Taxable profit = Income – Expenses – Personal allowance
If you bought a computer specifically for work (or various other office supplies), you can claim the cost as a business expense. Purchasing a vehicle, fuel, and insurance are other examples that would fall under tax-deductible expenses.
Not everything can be seen as a business expense. Anything that is considered a private purchase (such as a games console or new TV) does not qualify for tax reductions.
As a self-employed driver, one of the biggest perks is having a business account, like Countingup. Accounts like these not only let you keep track of your professional finances, but come with additional benefits such as simplifying the management of your taxes.
By using a dedicated business account, you’ll be able to utilise the built-in accountancy features to speed up your financial management.
Simplify your finances with an easy app
You may think that figuring out your finances is going to take up a lot of your time, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Countingup is the business current account and accounting software in one app. It automates time-consuming bookkeeping admin for thousands of self-employed people across the UK.
When it comes to completing deliveries the most important part is getting paid, but before that can happen you’ll have to send an invoice. Creating a template ahead of time can be a great idea, but you’ll still have to fill out and send each one individually.
Using Countingup’s invoice feature takes seconds and reduces the time takes to create and send an invoice. There are even options to add a company logo and adjust payment dates – all from your phone.
The other side of getting paid is tracking your expenses. Fuel can easily become one of your biggest costs as a driver, so make sure it gets written as a business expense. It becomes super simple with the app’s receipt capture feature.
Once you’ve got all your expenses on the app, they can be automatically organised into HMRC-approved categories. This takes most of the hassle out of completing your self-assessment tax return.
You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward!
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