July 22, 2016 at 9:48 AM
Are you considering buying a van and joining the thousands who work for themselves, delivering for online stores, large retail outlets, or parcel delivery companies?
In a highly competitive industry, often the only way to make that little bit extra is to minimise your vehicle overheads.
Here are 10 great apps which can help save on your vehicle running costs.
Although not strictly an app, there are a number of comparison sites online to hunt out the cover you need for the best price. That said, be sure to check with insurance providers direct. They may be cheaper than the comparison sites.
Once your first year’s insurance is sorted, time to start looking to the future, and the cost of next year’s cover. Hopefully, some no-claims bonus will come into play. To help that along Direct Line for business has launched an app that tracks your driving behaviour.
After just 300 miles have been logged, less than a day’s work for many, the driver is provided with a score out of 100, with 100 being the best, safest driving score. A promotion code is then given which can be redeemed via website or mobile. A regular high score should go a long way to reducing the following year’s insurance premium, keeping those vehicle costs down.
Considerable savings can be made on fuel when you are filling your tank on a daily basis. What Gas, is available for both Android and iPhone, and shows almost all fuel stations in your area. Although free and easy to use, the prices need updating by the user.
For the princely sum of 2.99GBP, this app automatically updates the latest fuel prices, allowing you to find the cheapest local garage or one further afield. Available for both iPhone and Android, this app shows over 11,000 filling stations across the UK, so wherever your journey takes you, you can save on filling up.
Although not the cheapest at 13.99GBP, with CoPilot Premium you get what is considered to be the best mobile satellite navigation system on the market, combined with the cheapest fuel stations on your route. A great way to ensure you don’t use up precious fuel detouring too far off route to a cheaper filling station. CoPilot Premium is available for both iPhone and Android.
Designed specifically for multi-drop vans, this Android app allows up to 50 drops to be programmed in, before combining with Google Maps and Navigation to provide the fastest available route. A snip at 2.49GBP, and it doesn’t require additional sat-nav to operate.
Only available for iPhone at 69p, if you want to calculate what each journey will cost to ensure your charges are adequate, UK Fuel Calculator can work it out for you. Just tap in the price you’ve paid per litre for your fuel, enter journey starting point, and your destination. The app will display your journey cost. A great way to keep a complete record of journey costs against charges.
With the high penalties dealt with anyone caught using a mobile while driving, most of us these days switch them off when behind the wheel, to avoid the temptation when the message tone beeps. For self-employed van drivers, the opportunity to make extra money, or the risk of losing some with an unnecessary journey, may be the reason for the text.
Presently only available on Android, SMS My Car and Me gets over this problem by reading out texts, Whatsapp texts, and other notifications. The recipient can also reply to messages by voice, or choose whether to pull off the road and use their mobile.
A free app available to RAC members and non-members alike, this traffic app is ideal for professional van drivers, where traffic hold-ups are both time consuming and expensive. Real time updates allow detours to be arranged around traffic accidents or roadwork bottlenecks using your route planner.
And finally, to help you manage your first year’s (and longer) finances, and keep everything in one place, Earnest has arrived. Available free, but for iPhone only, this basic profit and loss sheet allows you to add all income, outgoings, expenses, debits and credits to help keep your new business venture in the black.
Transfer all the data to your computer or laptop, print out, and pass to your accountant, or use when completing your online self-assessment.