December Deals – Week 1

This week we are feeling festive and we are giving away FREE RAC for any new commercial vehicle policy taken out this week.

rac_breakdown

The Cover Includes:

Roadside
Recovery
Home Start
Onward Travel
European Cover

Renewal Not Due Yet?

Don’t worry, if your renewal is not due this month then we won’t let you miss out on our great deals. If you direct message us on our twitter (@goodsintransitd) with your name, number, email address and renewal date, we will email you a voucher for money off the premium we quote you. We will pass this information on to our quotation team and then they will contact you closer to the time of your renewal.

Terms And Conditions:

Vehicle specifications:
Assistance is available to when travelling in a car, motorised caravan, van or minibus that complies with the restrictions set out below:
Vehicles not exceeding 10 years in age
Maximum Vehicle weight: 3,500kg (3.5 tonnes) gross Vehicle mass (GVM)
Maximum car length: no restriction
Maximum Vehicle width: 2.3 metres (7ft 6″)
Some vehicles may weigh in excess of 3500kg and measure over the maximum dimensions noted. In these instances, breakdown assistance will be provided by RAC Commercial Assistance.
If the Vehicle should breakdown whilst towing a caravan or trailer we will recover your vehicle together with the caravan or trailer (maximum caravan or trailer length 7.6 metres (25ft) including tow bar).

Free RAC Breakdown Cover For Any New Commercial Vehcile Policy

NOVEMBER FREEBIE OF THE MONTH – CONSISTS OF FREE FULL RAC BREAKDOWN COVER FOR ANY NEW CAR OR VAN POLICIES TAKEN OUT IN NOVEMBER .

The cover includes:

  • Roadside
  • Recovery
  • Home Start
  • Onward Travel
  • European Cover

rac_breakdown

Terms And Conditions:

Vehicle specifications:
Assistance is available to when travelling in a car, motorised caravan, van or minibus that complies with the restrictions set out below:

Vehicles not exceeding 10 years in age
Maximum Vehicle weight: 3,500kg (3.5 tonnes) gross Vehicle mass (GVM)
Maximum car length: no restriction
Maximum Vehicle width: 2.3 metres (7ft 6″)
Some vehicles may weigh in excess of 3500kg and measure over the maximum dimensions noted. In these instances, breakdown assistance will be provided by RAC Commercial Assistance.

If the Vehicle should breakdown whilst towing a caravan or trailer we will recover your vehicle together with the caravan or trailer (maximum caravan or trailer length 7.6 metres (25ft) including tow bar).€

How to avoid excess wear and tear on your van

There’s nothing you can do to prevent the miles from clocking up on your van but there are steps you can take to extend the life of the vehicle.

Treat your van with respect and it shouldn’t let you down, as well as getting insurance consider these suggestions to cut down on wear and tear.

1. Look after the bodywork

Take pride in the appearance of the van. Try to clean the exterior of the vehicle as often as you can. Wash the bodywork, clean the wheels and reduce the build up of dirt and grime, a clean van looks good and it make you look more professional too.

2. Protect the interior

Line the inside of the van with plywood panels to prevent the interior of the bodywork from taking a pummelling.

Ideally, do this as soon as you get the keys to the van, the sooner you line the interior the faster you can get to work!

3. Clean the cab area

Work as a courier and the cab of your van is your office.  Do you really want to litter the dashboard with empty styrofoam cups, chocolate bar wrappers, dirty rags and stashes of takeaway menus?

Clear the clutter as often as you can. Sweep or vacuum the floor, wipe down the dash with anti-bacterial spray and create a clean and healthy work zone. It’ll look better and make you feel better too!

4. Check those service schedules!

Regular servicing is just as important as washing and cleaning your van.

Have the van serviced as per the owner’s handbook, don’t scrimp on routine maintenance, the van might break down as a result.

Cover high miles in the van and it’s sensible to look after it with a proactive maintenance schedule, keep the vehicle in sound mechanical order and that’s a great way to extend its life.

Any of these tips could be used to prevent wear and tear on your workhorse.

Use them, don’t abuse your van!

Why white van man gets a bad name

Ask the vast majority of motorists who they think the worst drivers on the road are and there’s a good chance they’ll say ‘white van guys’ without blinking an eye.

Drivers of vans, especially those who run around in white models seem to have the worst reputation, but is this a tad harsh?

We highlight some of the issues that give white van man a bad name and suggest you avoid these acts if you’re a courier and don’t want to be tarnished with the same brush.

What does white van man do wrong?

He tailgates

Ever been sat in the outside lane of a motorway, overtaking a slower moving vehicle only to notice a white Transit clinging to your bumper?

It doesn’t matter what type of car you are driving, whether it’s a Fiat 500 or a Ferrari California. The van will be tugging at your tailpipe trying to get past.

Some white van drivers are guilty of tailgating. Avoid this if you want to prevent an accident and keep fellow motorists happy at the same time.

He talks on his mobile

We all know the dangers and the consequences of chatting on the phone whilst driving so why do some white van drivers still insist on breaking the law?

In fairness it’s not just van drivers that are guilty of this misdemeanour, drive around and you’ll see tons of other drivers doing the same.

To save your reputation as white van man though, buy a hands-free kit and chatting whilst driving shouldn’t be such a problem.

He stuffs his face whilst driving

We’ve all seen this. There have been reported cases of van drivers stuffing a sausage butty down their neck, chomping on crisps or tucking into burgers as they try to beat the rush hour traffic.

Don’t do it if you drive a white commercial. Take a break if you need to and tuck into your snack by the roadside, eating whilst driving is a distraction and it really messes up your van!

He drives aggressively

Ever been cut up by a white van, had to slam on at junctions because a van pulls out in front of you, or been forced to swerve due to the actions of a van driver that seems to be on some kind of kamikaze mission?

We’d like to point out that not all van drivers are so rude, the ones we like to insure at Goods in Transit Direct are careful, considerate drivers, join them and become less aggressive behind the wheel.

He parks in ridiculous places

Okay we know what couriers are going to say about this.

Sometimes it’s hard to make deliveries without parking in crazy places, especially when you have over 100 drops per day to complete.

White van man has a responsibility though. Try to be a little more considerate when you are making deliveries, park as best you can to avoid annoying pedestrians and other road users.

One final thought

Try to imagine life as white van man. He has a lot of deliveries to make and works in a pressurised environment.

Give him a little slack!

Should you buy or lease a van?

Picking out a new van is pretty easy. You head to the garage, consider what you need it for and choose the one best suited to the job. The hard part is figuring out how you’re going to pay for it. Your old van is knackered, you need a new one.

So, the decision you have to make is should you buy it or lease.

What’s the difference?

You know buying. You do it every day – picking up a coffee, selecting a chocolate bar from the vending machine. To buy it you either need to dig deep into your bank or takeout a loan. But once you’ve handed over the money, the van is yours.

The other option is leasing. With leasing the big thing to know is that you’ll never own the van. You pay a monthly fee to make use of it. There are other schemes, like paying a certain amount upfront to use the vehicle for 2 years.

Why buy?

Here are the advantages of buying:

  • As we said, once paid for the van belongs to you. It’s an asset and part of your business. Yours to do whatever you want with.
  • More often than not, it’s the best value. When purchasing the van upfront you have room to haggle the price down to something within your budget.
  • You can trade your old van for your new one to take that price even lower.
  • You aren’t restricted to any sort of mileage limit, which is often a downfall of leasing.

Why lease?

And the advantages of leasing:

  • For any smaller businesses that don’t want to shell out on regular maintenance costs as a van depreciates, leasing is a popular option.
  • If you like the idea of regularly driving the latest and greatest van that’s on the road then leasing is ideal. At the end of your leasing contract you can return it and then choose a newer van.
  • Lease companies often offer a choice of a straight lease or a lease purchase. The latter allows you to purchase the vehicle at the end of the contract.
  • If the van breaks down, the company that owns it fixes it. Perfect for keeping costs down.

So which is best for you?

If you’re in a strong financial position then you’re best is to buy. Yes, you’ll have to pay for maintenance costs etc but the van will be in your possession and it could save you money in the long term.

Leasing is great if you don’t have the instant financial hit that a purchase requires. Remember though, it’ll work out more expensive in the long run. And if the leasing company you chose have a mileage restriction that you go over, you might be hit pretty hard with some added charges!

Happy van hunting!

What to do if your vehicle is stolen

One of the worst things that can happen to any courier is to become a victim of theft. Their van is their livelihood and if it’s stolen, they’re out of work.

Not to mention all the goods stowed away in the back. But that shouldn’t be a problem if you have goods in transit insurance.

But what should you do about the van itself?

Here we’re going to look at the things you should do immediately after learning that your vehicle has been stolen.

The police – Usually the first thing you’ll go to when you’ve been robbed is your phone. Time to dial 999, right?

Well before you do, make sure you have all the details to hand. You’re going to be asked questions and you don’t want to be fumbling about trying to find information you don’t have to hand. Note down things like your registration number, the make and model, colour etc. The police should then give you a crime reference number which can be used in the event of an insurance claim and a refund on vehicle tax.

Insurance – It’s important that you get on to your insurance company straight away for advice. If the vehicle still hasn’t been recovered and the insurance business pays out a claim you’ll need to alert the DVA to the date of the payment and the address of your insurance company.

Tax refund – If your van has been stolen but not recovered then you’re able to apply for a refund of the vehicle tax you have paid. Remember though, in most instances it takes a few days for a car to be recovered, so don’t put forward your tax refund application until at least a week has passed.

For this you’ll need the crime reference number you took on your phone call to the police, so make sure you don’t lose it!

As we said, a stolen vehicle can be disastrous for any courier. Make sure your car is safe at all times!

What is goods in transit insurance and why do I need it?

For anyone just starting out in the courier business getting everything right first time can be tricky. There’s everything from buying the van to the goods you’re going to carry to think about. But there’s one aspect of becoming a courier that many drivers overlook. And that’s goods in transit insurance.

It’s vital that it is made use of. To give you a better understanding of what goods in transit insurance is, we’ve put together a brief guide.

Simply put

If you’re driving commercially the bottom line is that you’re going to need more than your average insurance policy. You need cover that meets the needs of your business and your legal obligations. The most important aspect of which is the goods you’re carrying.

In simple terms, goods in transit will insure the items you’re carrying as part of your business. That could mean your own items like building materials, or someone else’s goods. This allows you to drive safe in the knowledge that if the items are lost, stolen or damaged whilst on the move you aren’t the one who has to shell out the money replacing them.

It’s important to make use of goods in transit insurance if your business revolves around transporting other people’s goods. The financial implications are much worse than if it was your own goods that were damaged in transit.

Why?

When customers are looking for a business to transport their goods reputation comes above anything else. Most customers will expect you to have goods in transit insurance, and running a business without it will prove to be an uphill battle.

When looking for goods in transit insurance it’s important you find a policy that suits your individual requirements. Don’t cut corners either. If you’re carrying goods worth thousands of pounds it’s better to be over prepared rather than under.

Without the right cover you’ll be held liable for the cost of damaged goods, and that could prove to be a huge dent in your business.

Get in touch with us here at Goods in Transit today to organise the policy that’s a best fit for you.

Stay safe on the road with a 5-S guide

You have a number of responsibilities as a courier driver.

As well as being responsible for customer deliveries and collections you have a duty to remain safe when you take to the road.

Regular vehicle maintenance will ensure your van is in a roadworthy condition.

Routine checks are important..

Your vehicle should be safe and in fine fettle too…

Plus you have to consider your conduct on the road and eliminate any factors that might affect your driving ability.

Follow the 5-S guide and it should help you out in this area.

S1 = Slow down Speed is one of the biggest causes of accidents in the UK. Sure it’s hard to back off when you have numerous multi-drop parcels to deliver but stick to the speed limits to avoid accidents and points accruing on your licence.

S2 = Sober up Never drink and drive. Your reactions are impaired, you are a danger to other road users and pedestrians plus you shouldn’t be over the limit when you are working or driving anyway.

S3 = Stay Sharp – You need to be focused when you are driving for a living and this means getting your eyesight tested every couple of years.

If your vision is impaired how are you supposed to see the road ahead?

Get your eyes tested if you haven’t done so for a while. 

S4 = Keep Secure Clunk-click on every trip, make sure you are secure and your passengers are secure if they are travelling in your vehicle.

Get into the habit of fastening your seatbelt before you make a journey, seat belts help to save lives.   

S5 = Remain Silent  Mobile phones are a distraction when you drive a vehicle, a good safety tip is to switch your phone to silent when you are making a journey and avoid taking calls when you are on the move.

There you have it, the 5-S guide which should make you a safer driver out on the road.

Take care on your travels.

 

Are modern devices guilty of hindering driving ability?

Sit behind the wheel of a modern car and you have technology at your fingertips design to enhance your driver pleasure.

At the touch of a button air conditioning wafts through the cabin, your favourite songs are played through the interior speakers; you hear audio texts and listen to a voice that tells you where you should be going.

Is this good for you though?

There’s an argument that too much technology can actually hinder your driver skills, let’s take a look at the evidence and see if this is true.

The impact of vehicular technology…

Example one:

Satellite navigation How did drivers cope prior to sat-nav systems? They had things called maps, they had to read the maps and plan their route, whether they were delivering parcels or collecting furniture from a house.

Today a sat-nav guides you with a mechanical voice, you become dependent on the guide and that’s fine, just as long as the system works.

Say the sat-nav develops a fault though, how do you find your way then?

Learn how to read road maps just in case the unthinkable happens. 

Example two:

Park assist Okay you need to park your vehicle, there’s only one space available but it means you’ll have to parallel park between two other vehicles. Don’t worry, let the park assist on the vehicle take the strain, sit back and let it do all the hard work.

That’s all well and good, say you then have to drive another vehicle that doesn’t have a parking assist function though, what happens then?

Parallel parking is a skill, it takes a little bit of practice but with patience you can master this technique.

Learn it and you’ll never have to worry about parking again.

Example three:

Rear parking sensorsReverse into a space and there’s something comforting about the ‘beep, beep, beep’ of your parking sensors. They guide you backwards, they let you know when you are close to objects and with their help you park perfectly in the space.

Don’t become too familiar with this type of audible warning system though. Drive another vehicle that isn’t equipped with rear parking sensors and you’ll have to gauge the space, this become alien to you when you get used to parking sensors.     

Modern technology assists drivers to a degree but you can’t compensate for sound driver judgement.

Insure your vehicle and hone your driver skills, don’t become too reliant on gadgets and gizmos, human input is still a vital commodity.

Van packing the safe way

One way to save money when you move home is to hire a van.

Rent a commercial, pack it with your belongings and away you go, you’ll be loaded up and moving into your new home in the blink of an eye.

Or will you?

Hiring a van is one thing, packing it with goods is something else.  There’s quite an art to packing a commercial if you haven’t done this before, we know, we’ve done it at Goods in Transit and it’s never as easy as it seems.

How do you make it easier?

Try this advice for starters…

  • Pack what you can into boxes – The more items you can pack into boxes the easier your life is going to be. Packing boxes are great, you can fill them up and stack them neatly on top of each other – this saves room in the van.
  • Wrap before you pack – Before you place goods into boxes wrap them in paper, give them a protective layer prior to packing in the box. Toss things in as they are and there’s a pretty good chance they won’t last the journey, add a paper barrier and they’ll be fine.
  • Cover items of furniture – Place blankets over table tops, chairs and sideboards to prevent scratches during transit.
  • Size the job up – Load larger items of furniture into the van first, then pack smaller items around them, it’ll save you having to jiggle things around afterwards. Squeeze your settee flat against the cab of the van. Then slide mattresses down the side to plug the gaps.
  • Use original boxes where possible – Dig around in the basement, loft or garage for any original boxes you might have kept. Appliance boxes in particular are extremely useful. They’ll prevent pricey electrical items from getting damaged during transit.
  • Invest in moving insurance – Just to be safe, purchase moving insurance. Accidents happen so cover all bases, get insured and know your goods are safe in transit.