Driving a van or your own car for catalogue delivery work and directory distribution can provide an occasional extra earner, or can develop into a steady and regular income.
There are several direct sales outfits, like Kleeneze or Avon, who you can work for and build into a useful part-time, or full-time income, if the demand is there.
With this kind of work, you deliver a catalogue and order form to private residences, and then call back a couple of days later to collect the catalogue and any orders.
The orders are then fulfilled and dropped off usually a few days later.
Catalogue and parcel delivery
If you enjoy keeping fit and getting out in the open air then catalogue, directory and leaflet delivery might suit you.
Most catalogue and directory delivery work involves picking up the catalogues from a local distribution point or having them dropped at your property by van. (You'll need dry secure storage facilities)
You'll then have an area which you have to distribute to within a specified time period.
Work can be seasonal (catalogues), or regular (leaflets) and can be carried out during the day or evening.
Catalogue delivery jobs can be quite physically demanding as the catalogues normally have to be delivered within a set time period.
One of the major players in the UK is
Home Delivery Network
Don't forget that there are also catalogue sales opportunities like Kleeneze where you distribute catalogues and take orders for a variety of domestic products.
You can find freelance catalogue delivery jobs, or work using your own car as a courier driver, by looking in your local press or contacting your local free-ads paper.
Although you can still make money by doing catalogue delivery and collection, the home-distribution catalogue market isn't as good as it used to be for new starters.
Internet shopping has captured the high end purchases while door-to-door and catalogue cleaning product sales have fallen with the growth of 'pound shops', discount supermarkets and other cut-price high street outfits.
Another way of finding home delivery work is to ask any companies that publish free magazines in your area if they have any local magazine and free paper delivery work available.
Yellow Pages, BT and other directories are delivered in the UK by Deya Limited:
Delivery Jobs with Deya.
Jobs delivering Local Directories with Thompson:
Hermes self-employed courier application form
TNT Post also offer jobs delivering leaflets and directories.
As well as checking out the local ads for driving jobs, it is quick and easy to find driving work online. There are useful links below to some of the major catalogue, home delivery and courier companies.
You can also find driving work by leaflet drops, placing cards in newsagents and post offices and visiting likely businesses which may need a driver.
A final word of caution - watch out for guides and agencies that promise you work in return for an up-front registration fee. Do your research and google for reviews and check for
There have been a number of instances of people paying a fee to get a guide on becoming a courier and failing to see any work materialize.
Additionally, for the car or van owner, home delivery driving jobs are also often carried out by owner-drivers using their own vehicles. You can also find driving work by leaflet drops, placing cards in newsagents and post offices and visiting likely businesses which may need a driver.
You'll usually be asked to pick up a car or van load of catalogue goods from a distribution depot or warehouse, and then carry out a multi-drop route delivering items to customers' homes.
You can find courier driver work on sites such as:
where you post your details and can search for courier runs starting in your area or return runs etc.
Finally a caveat - be careful and do your research before parting with any cash for guides or e-books etc that promise to tell you how to become a courier and earn up to hundreds of pounds a day - You're unlikely to get rich working as a self-employed courier but if you are hard-working and willing to go the extra mile, you can make a reasonable living from it.
Additionally many Pharmacies (Chemists) offer delivery of prescriptions and employ van drivers to drop in local areas.
Highest demand for this driving job is at nights and weekends again, so it's great part-time work.
Some companies supply mopeds or scooters, or you can use your own vehicle to do the delivery driving.
Find work by contacting take-aways and restaurants in your area.
Pizza or take-away delivery driver jobs are still plentiful, as even during a recession people often order a take-away as a treat, in preference to a more expensive restaurant meal or night out.
Essentials are a mobile phone and A-Z or satnav as even if you've lived in the area all your life, you're guaranteed to get orders from places you've never heard of.
Downsides are that you'll be out late at night carrying cash and leaving your vehicle unattended in sometimes rough areas and dealing with drunk and stroppy customers.
The plus side of evening work is that you'll generally collect a lot more in tips.
Pizza Hut Drivers Wanted Opportunities for motorbike and owner driver delivery people. Pizza Hut will even provide CBT motorbike training for its delivery people. (external site - opens in new window)
Dominos Pizza Owner Driver Jobs If you have a full licence with less than six points and no bans in the last five years, you could be delivering Pizzas in most parts of the UK. (external site - opens in new window)
Deliveroo Food home delivery via bike or scooter (external site - opens in new window)
The ever popular man with a van is there to help customers with all kinds of jobs, from removals to collecting and delivering large purchases and getting rid of rubbish.
If you have a van and you're physically fit and friendly, then this could be the ideal way of earning a part time income for you.
There are loads of potential customers for the van owner driver - everything from house moving to a taxi-van service, where clients pay by the hour for the services of a van and driver.
Note that if you're disposing of waste on a commercial basis, you'll need to obtain a waste disposal licence. You'll also need an assistant for some jobs.
Plus for any commercial use of your car or van you'll need to talk to your insurer or a reputable broker to make sure you have the correct insurance cover.
The proper insurance is vital both from a road traffic accident point of view and also to cover goods that you might damage while moving. What happens if you drop that top-end plasma TV when you're lifting it off the van?
If you live in a big city especially London then there can be opportunities to work as a courier.
You'll need to be fast and reliable and own your own bike, cycle or car. Contact the courier companies direct, watch local ads, or check out the Motorbike weekly and monthly magazines.
Most of the work tends to be during business hours, so it's not generally an easy job to carry out on a part-time basis, although it might suit you if you're working shifts.
But beware, as this is a job you need to be
It's a great job when the sun is shining and if you love driving or biking, but there are generally plenty of traffic hazards and discomforts.
(To name but a few - you can be too hot, too cold, too wet, get saddle sore, suffer an aching back, experience lorries turning left when you are between them and the curb, everyone wanting to turn right in front of you, and of course car doors opening in your path!
The author speaks from experience here - biking artwork and pre-print around London and Essex on a Honda CB250 back in the seventies (and SyQuest drives on a 400F in the eighties). Great in the summer but switched to van driving in the winter...)
Courier companies usually have vacancies for delivery drivers and riders in most major cities and towns in the UK including Cardiff, Bristol, Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Portsmouth, Southampton, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
In London and other major cities particularly, there is also the option to do cycling courier jobs.
Even in the age of broadband communication, it's often necessary for something to be moved physically from A to B (or even A-Z !).
Items range from legal documents and contracts (which have to be physically signed) through gifts to various types of media and proofs.
Reflective clothing, good lights and a helmet and lock are a must for anyone on a bike. Many find the exhaust fumes difficult, so it is wise to wear a mask if you are likely to encounter lots of heavy traffic for a good part of your journey.
Over the past few years, bicycle couriers have been more in evidence as cities become ever more congested, especially during rush hours.
The money isn't fantastic but if you enjoy cycling or want to keep fit for weekend road races, then it's worth considering.
Deliveroo Food home delivery via bike or scooter (external site - opens in new window)