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How Much Money Can You Make If You Have a Van?

You might have heard the term ‘Man and Van’ before and wondered what the term actually means, and if you’ve got a van, you might have wondered if you could be a ‘Man and Van’ business. Experts at Compare My Move have put together a guide on how to become a ‘Man and Van’ business, and how much money you could make if you do.

What Size Van Do I Need?

You can start a Man and Van business with any size van, but you will have to consider the type of work you’d like your business to do and the license that you have. The bigger the van you have the more items you can transport and the more work you’ll be able to do. Here is a list of the most popular vans for removals and their capacity.

Type of Removal VanAverage Loading Capacity in Cubic FeetNumber of Boxes That Can Be Transported

Medium Wheelsbase Transit and Sprinter Van

280-380

30-40

Long Wheelbase Transit and Sprinter Van

380-530

30-50

3.5 Tonne Luton Van

550

40-60

7.5 Tonne Luton Van

880-650

40-80

The most important thing you have to think about when driving a van is the weight. In the UK, you can drive a commercial van on a standard UK Driver’s License if it weighs below a Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of 3500kg. If the GVW is more than the 3500kg mark, then you will have to get a Category C1 license.

Because electric vans usually have a heavier GVW due to the battery weight, the maximum GVW for UK drivers to drive an electric van without the C1 license is 4250kg. However, you do need to complete 5 hours of training to drive an electric van at 4250kg - whereas to drive a non-electric van even if the GVW exceeds 3500kg, you don’t require any formal training (although training is advised).

Am I a Sole Trader or a Limited Company?

This question is completely up to you, there are a few differences between the two and recommendations in which you should be. The biggest difference between a sole trader and a limited company is that a sole trader is self-employed, whereas a limited company can be made up of one or more persons.

One of the other key differences between being a sole trader and being a limited company is the liability involved. When you are a sole trader, you are solely responsible for any losses the business makes, meaning that any debts can be taken from you. Whereas as a limited company, you will only be responsible for the investment you put into the business.

Another difference that you have to keep in mind is although limited companies are generally more tax-efficient, the paperwork involved with being a sole trader is more straightforward. It is recommended that becoming a limited company is better for you once your business is making a significant amount of income and profit.

What Insurances Do I Need?

When you start a business, no matter how small, there are some insurances that you need to keep in mind to legally operate as a company. These insurances may not apply to you if you are a Sole Trader, but will be applicable if you are a Limited Company.

Employers Liability Insurance - As soon as you become an employer, you must get Employer Liability Insurance. It will help you in the event of an employee getting injured or ill while doing work for you, and because of this, the cost can vary with the job role and industry. For example, an employee for a trade company is going to be more expensive under the EL insurance than an office worker. You will be fined £2500 a day if you have employees and do not have Employer Liability insurance.

Commercial Motor Insurance - If you are using a vehicle such as a van for business use, you legally have to have commercial motor insurance. If you have employees who also use company vehicles for business, it is your responsibility to purchase commercial motor insurance for the fleet. If your employees drive their own private vans under your company, you do not have to pay for their commercial motor insurance. However, you are in charge of ensuring that they have motor insurance as the employer.

Commercial Property Insurance - Commercial property insurance protects any properties in which your business operates, they cover things such as fire, burst pipes, subsidence, theft, weather events, etc. While it isn’t a legal requirement for a commercial property to have commercial property insurance, most mortgage companies will refuse a loan to a business that doesn’t have this insurance in place. It is also recommended and advised that every business has commercial property insurance.

How Much Money Can I Make?

The amount of money you can make from a Man and Van company will depend on multiple factors, but the main factor is the amount of goods you can move - which will take into account the size of your van and the number of members there are in your team. We’ve worked out the average hourly charge for the 3 most popular van types used by Man and Van companies.


Size of VanCost (£)

Basic Transit Van

£36

Large Transit Van

£57

Luton Van

£83

source

Companies that use Luton vans tend to make more money than companies that use transit vans, about a 78% increase on average. However, these hourly rates can change depending on the members that are involved in the move.


Size of Van1 Member2 Members3 Members

Basic Transit Van

£36

£54

£66

Large Transit Van

£57

£74

£93

Luton Van

£83

£97

£120


As you can see, the more members you have, the more efficient you can be and the more you can charge customers. This aligned with the size of your van allows you to charge up to an average of £120 an hour for removals.

Man and Van services don’t only work for one hour, and most services will have a minimum price. This can be as little as 3 hours, but prices will usually be determined in a day and ½ day measures. Here are the average day rates for Man and Van services depending on members of the removal team.


Length of Time1 Member2 Members3 Members

½ Day (4 Hours)

£149

£195

£255

Full Day (8 Hours)

£279

£369

£469


If you are simply one person with a van and are planning on starting a Man and Van company, then you could be making an average of £279 a day. Depending on where you live, and other factors such as what you’ll be transporting, you could charge more.

How Do I Find Customers?

Once you have a Man and Van business, you can’t start making money until you have customers, so what is the best way to attract customers to a Man and Van business? We have a few tips and tricks to find your customers. One thing you need to keep in mind is that with a small Man and Van business, most of your business is going to take place locally, therefore your customer attraction needs to fit this.

Social Media - Using social media is one of the best ways to get your business name out there, many people will use platforms such as Facebook or Instagram to find local businesses, and it gives your customers an easy way to review and share your company.

Word of Mouth - Word of mouth will count heavily on one thing, customer satisfaction. When you are a local company, you need to establish yourself in the community and when people ask for recommendations you should be the first thing that people talk about. Giving a good experience to someone could therefore generate a lot more customers through word of mouth.

Lead Generation Companies - There are companies out there that are designed to generate leads for your business. Companies such as Compare My Move pair users with Man and Van or Small Move companies. Although lead generation companies will provide more business and more customers than other methods, unlike other methods, you will have to pay a fee to use them.

Having a Website - For local companies, having a website is crucial to attracting customers. When people want a removal company or a Man and Van, the first port of call is often to Google “Man and Van near me”. Google, knowing their location, will then list business websites that are close to them. Not having a website will take you out of this running and lose you customers.

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