Van driver job
Steven Wells works as a driver for a car rental business. He is based at Edinburgh airport and drives a variety of different cars from the airport to other depots in Scotland.
What sort of cars do you drive?
I can drive any model from the range that we hire. It could be a Ford Ka, a Peugeot 307 or a Vauxhall Zafira. Sometimes, cars have to be driven to another location to balance our stock if we have too many. At other times, we may not have enough of a particular model and I have to go and collect a car.
Do you find it difficult to drive so many different types?
Not really. Many of them have similar instrument layouts. When I get into a strange vehicle, I take a moment to check on where the indicators are and I always check the rear view and wing mirrors.
Do you have a typical day?
Yes – every day involves driving and the only real variable is the route. However, sometimes unusual things do occur; occasionally I find that previous drivers have left something valuable or important in the car before boarding the plane.
How did you get into this job as a van driver?
I got this job through Scottish Employment Opportunities, the national charity which helps people with disabilities to find jobs. I was disabled with a back injury and this job is suitable because it enables me to sit down for most of the time. It is a job that I'm able to do and one that enjoy.
Did you receive any training?
My driving ability was tested and I received instruction on how to check for car damage. I've also trained in fire and accident procedures.
What do you like best about the job?
Occasionally, brand new cars need to be collected or delivered, and I really enjoy driving them for the first time. I also enjoy working with the team.
Are there any disadvantages?
It can be frustrating when there are traffic problems and you are held up for long periods.
What skills and qualities are needed for this job?
Good communication skills are essential. You also need a mechanical knowledge of cars in case of a breakdown. Obviously, it's important to drive in a safe and responsible manner.
Steven's route to his van driver job
- S grades (GCSEs in England).
- Higher national certificate.
- Make sure you enjoy your job.
- Learn how to communicate with colleagues and clients.
Van driver related jobs
- Bus/coach driver
- Car valet
- Driving instructor
- Parking attendant
- Railway train driver
- Taxi driver
- Salaries depend on the level of employment, the type of car and the age of the driver.
- Young people aged 18 or over working as drivers can expect to earn about £12,000.
- More experienced drivers earn up to £15,000 and chauffeurs driving expensive vehicles can earn up to £25,000.
- No formal academic qualifications are needed to become a driver, but applicants should have some English and maths ability, an appropriate licence and a good driving record, as well as good eyesight and colour vision.
- Those with considerable driving experience and, in some cases, experience of working with people, may have a better chance of employment.
- Apprenticeships may be available with some large organisations.
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