Author Topic: freelance driving  (Read 858 times)

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freelance driving
« on: January 09, 2017, 07:15:53 PM »
hi guys n gals  im looking for advice on going freelance after 15 years lining other peoples pockets, lots of tour experience,  is it as easy as phoning around and waiting to get your foot in the door somewhere????


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Re: freelance driving
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2017, 07:26:33 PM »
Hi I'm looking to do the same thing too in east anglia is it easy to get in too

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Kevan Portas

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Re: freelance driving
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2017, 08:41:48 AM »
Well chaps. Wouldn't really know about going freelance, I've always been happy to be employed. However, it's the quiet time of year at the moment, so don't expect too much in the way of work for a month or two.
Having said that, February half term normally means companies that go abroad needing drivers for ski work, or at least feeders. OK it's schools, but it could be a foot in the door. I would suggest looking for a firm in your area that does this kind of work. Or of course, if you are willing to travel, then cast your net wider.

Good luck.
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John Williamson

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Re: freelance driving
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2017, 02:49:52 PM »
The upside is that you are your own boss, so you can, in theory, pick and choose your work.

In reality, it's not quite so simple. For a start, unless you are well known, companies will be reluctant to hire you until they know you well, and you won't get the decent work straight away. You'll likely start off by getting the piss-up jobs that nobody else wants to do, and the wage rate will be "take it or leave it". Then there's the paperwork. You will be expected to show the taxman and other Government departments that you are, in fact, freelance and not just playing the system by showing invoices paid by a number of coach companies or other businesses. There's a bit of a catch 22 here, in that you won't get the self employment certificate until you've been self employed for a while.

If you are self employed, you need to sort out your own tax and NI, though you can claim stuff against your tax that us wage slaves can't such as  mileage from home to work, part of your mortgage payment to account for your office space and such like, and while you can claim a discount on your council tax for office use, you will be replacing that with business rates. You are also responsible for your National Insurance payments, you get no sick pay unless you set up your own insurance, not even SSP, and you are not entitled to paid holidays. It almost goes without saying that you are not entitled to unemployment benefit, so if you don't work, you don't get any income unless you fight the DHSS or whatever they're called this week, tooth and nail for it. You will also find many coach companies, having been bitten before, will only pay you as PAYE through the books, so you need to make the necessary adjustments in your tax return. It is strongly recommended you pay an accountant to sort these problems out. There are drivers' agencies out there who can deal with some of the faffing about for you, but they take a commission on your fees and one or two have a very bad reputation for not paying on time or at all.

Mind you, it works for some, and they enjoy it, so good luck...

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Re: freelance driving
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2017, 09:14:38 PM »
The post above by John has some good information and advice. Click the link below - It will tell you if your status is as an employed or self employed person. The easiest test before going to the trouble of filling out the form below is how many different companies/organisations you work for in any 12 month period. If it is 4 or less then you should be employed/PAYE by all 4 of these organisations( I know madness)
In a nutshell it is very difficult for a 'Driver' to have a self employed status.

If you do go down the self employed route and work from home you will get a 'work from home' or 'home as office' deduction from your tax liability.
You don't/wont pay business rates when working from home as long as only one room in the house forms part of your business i.e. and office in you spare room.
National Insurance will be just 9% on your profit or if this is below 8,060 (as John said get an accountant!) then you will pay 2.80 per week


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Re: freelance driving
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2017, 07:24:31 PM »
Nothing wrong with freelance if you start up correctly.
Make a few business cards and hand them around. Send your details off to all the operators within around 50Mile.
Set yourself a scale of charges and print this out for delivery to the operator - ie: 10/hr mon to fri 15/hr bank holidays and weekends - ten hour minimum day. 100 day tours - (just a guide - charge as you feel fit but remember companies only want you at their convenience and since this is usually at weekends and holidays ther is no sense in giving cheaper rates for the high demand days and if you dont mention a mimimum day you just might be paid for driving 4 hours on a 15 hour day to Blackpool). A rule of thumb way to calculate an applicable rate for your area is to take the hourly rate paid by the operator and add 25-33% to make up for zero benifits by way of NI sickness etc etc as mentioned in another entry. Make sure your dress the part for the job and check over each coach carefully before to drive away - otherwise you might just find a scratch or more is blamed on you. Log your travel and mobile costs and if necessary add them to your drivers tariff. Thers plenty work out there if you are up for it but dont expect it all year so in the slack periods get on with a bit home DIY.. Good luck