Becoming self-employed is a great way to take control of your life and set your own hours. If you enjoy spending time on the road, becoming a self-employed heavy goods vehicle (HGV) driver might be the right choice for you. HGV drivers are an essential part of the transport industry as they move goods to support the supply chain.

In fact, there’s currently a massive shortage of these drivers and plenty of work for you to take on. Still, you may wonder, how much do self-employed HGV drivers earn? 

This guide will discuss the earnings of self-employed HGV drivers, including: 

  • How much do self-employed HGV drivers earn? 
  • What are some financial considerations of working as self-employed?
  • How can you manage your finances as a self-employed HGV driver?

How much do self-employed HGV drivers earn?

As a self-employed HGV driver, your income will vary depending on how many jobs you take. But it is good to have an idea of what you can expect to earn annually. We’ll discuss a few factors to consider. 

Average earnings

According to the National Careers Service, HGV drivers (also LGV or Lorry drivers) earn about £19,000-£36,000 annually. For self-employed drivers, this income could vary depending on your experience and client base. You may be able to earn more if you take a lot of jobs. But, if you can’t find enough work, that will hurt your income.  

As a self-employed driver, you won’t have to worry about a set salary like employed drivers. You can set your own service fees and decide how many jobs to take. The more you work, the more money you’ll make. You could also focus on larger transport opportunities or longer distances to earn more from each job. So, choosing the self-employed path gives you a chance to maximise your earnings as you grow your career. 

With that said, you will need to market yourself and actively seek out your client base. Plus, at times, there may be fewer work opportunities. This irregularity means your earnings could vary from one month to the next. 

The HGV Driver shortage 

There is currently a shortage of HGV drivers in the UK. In fact, vacancies in the industry have increased by 56%, which has led to issues with the movement of goods. If you want to be an HGV driver, now is a great time to do it. You can take on this demand and help restore the supply chain. 

This shortage also means you can earn more as an HGV driver right now. Since there’s a demand for this role, it’ll be easier to find and earn jobs. Plus, you can charge more for your services because there’s little competition. 

What are financial considerations for a self-employed HGV driver?

Once you understand how much HGV drivers can earn, you may think this is the right path for you. If so, keep a few financial considerations in mind. 

Taxes

As a self-employed person, you need to manage and report your own taxes, including income tax, dividend tax, and national insurance. To inform the HMRC of your taxable income, you’ll submit a Self Assessment tax return. 

If you expect to earn over £85,000 annually, you’ll also need to register for VAT and comply with Making Tax Digital (MTD) processes. MTD is a government initiative to simplify and digitise the tax process, with requirements that will eventually expand to many businesses. 

Insurance 

As an HGV driver, you must have sufficient lorry insurance to cover you while on the road. This insurance will be an essential regular expense for your business. On top of this, you may want to look into other forms of insurance for HGV drivers, such as public liability insurance or coverage of the goods you transport. Though paying for insurance may cut into your business earnings, it is a necessary and valuable way to protect you from financial risk.  

Expenses 

Self-employed HGV driver’s also have business expenses and startup costs to manage. For example, you’ll need to rent or buy a lorry for your services. Then, regular expenses might include lorry maintenance, petrol, and road tolls. 

Many of these expenses will be tax-deductible, meaning they lower the amount you owe for taxes. But, you will need the cash flow to cover the costs, and they’ll lessen your overall business earnings. 

How can you manage your finances as an HGV driver?

You need clear and updated records to manage your HGV driver finances. Self-employed persons must track their business earnings and expenses and keep those records for about five years. 

Business current account 

First, opening a business current account helps you separate your business expenses from your personal ones. This account is a useful step to clear financial accounting and bookkeeping. 

Accounting software 

Modern accounting software, like Countingup, will help you maintain accurate records to track your business performance and report your taxes. Unlike most options, Countingup is a business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place.

The app has features that help you organise your finances and make better business decisions. With automatic expense categorisation, you can easily track your tax-deductible expenses. Plus, the app allows you to create and send unlimited invoices while on the road. With ongoing tax estimates and cash flow insights, you can plan and track your earnings. Even more, Countingup is MTD compatible, automatically calculating your VAT with each transaction. 

Countingup can help you manage your HGV driver finances and track your regular expenses, such as petrol. The receipt capture tool will remind you to snap a picture as soon as you fill the tank and pay with your Countingup Mastercard. This way, you don’t need to keep messy piles of receipts. These tools help simplify your finances so you can confidently keep on top of them wherever you are.

You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward! 

Simplify your self-employed finances with Countingup

Financial management can be stressful and time-consuming when you’re self-employed. That’s why thousands of business owners use the Countingup app to make their financial admin easier. Rated ‘Excellent’ on TrustPilot, people call Countingup an ‘Amazing app’ with an ‘Excellent approach.’ Start today and enjoy your first three months free.

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