Updated: 21/04/21

What is a self employed courier?

A self-employed courier is a person responsible for delivering parcels on behalf of customers. But there’s far more to the job than initially meets the eye. 

Couriers are tasked with managing the process of moving goods from A to B, from collecting goods from clients to executing the quickest and most efficient routes. Depending on the job in question, there may also be an element of time pressure thrown into the mix, with some deliveries requested last-minute when time is of the essence! 

Self-employed couriers manage their own schedules, giving them complete freedom over when and where they choose to work. So these roles provide all the benefits of self-employment, and couriers are free to accept or reject different jobs as they choose.

Self employed courier jobs are becoming increasingly popular amongst those searching for a role outside the typical 9-5. Flexible and varied work means that no two days are ever the same. Working as a courier means that you can fit work around your schedule, explore different places and meet new people every day. However, as with any job, there are some not-so-great aspects to be aware of.

In this blog post, we’ll take you through the pros and cons of couriering to help you decide whether it’s the right job for you. 


  • Flexibility
  • Real self-employment
  • Explore the city
  • More holidays
  • Make extra money


  • Dependent on demand
  • No employee benefits
  • No paid holidays



Courier work is particularly unique in that it gives workers total independence over their schedule and workload, all while getting to know the city and meet randomers. Let’s get started with just a handful of some of the beneficial things that come with being a courier. 

Flexibility that works around you

While traditional courier companies might pressure employees to start at a set time and work a certain number of hours to be guaranteed work, Gophr allows you to plan courier jobs around your schedule. Couriers are not expected to fulfil a certain number of hours per day. This allows for the best possible work-life balance through complete freedom to work as and when suits you, and as little or as much as you’d like.

Real self-employment

“Gophr sees self-employment as a strength to be leveraged, as opposed to a weakness to be exploited.” Click To Tweet

Experience true self-employment; simply log in when you want to work and you’re set to go. Our jobs aren’t assigned by a controller/dispatcher, they are calculated using our algorithms based on your location and direction of travel. This reduces the likelihood of courier favouritism that is prevalent in the traditional courier space. It allows you to accept and reject jobs without fear of getting penalised. Gophr treats self-employment as a strength to be leveraged, as opposed to a weakness to be exploited (more on this in the coming months!).

Explore the city on your own terms

One of the best things about being a courier is that, unlike conventional 9-5s, you get to be out and about in the city, getting to know your way around and meeting lots of new people. You’re never stuck in the same place. If you’re a cycle courier there are plenty of hotspots around the city to hang around with your mates. 

More holiday time

With no timetabled commitment, courier jobs allow as many breaks as you wish. You only work when you want to, so there’s no need to book time off with your manager. 

Make extra money

Over busier periods there’s a lot of potential to make extra money by accepting more jobs. Of course, jobs are subject to availability (if anyone has the secret on how to get customers to book more jobs please get in touch with sales@gophr.com), but it’s always nice to know that if you want to make a bit more money, the option is there. 

To give you an idea of the possibilities we can give you here at Gophr, some of the best-performing couriers make between £5,000 – £7,500 a month. Obviously, experience is required to understand the most efficient ways to make cash on the Gophr platform, but we’ll help you every step of the way.



It wouldn’t be fair to go through all the advantages of being a courier without offering a perspective of the other side. While we don’t think there’s much not to like with being a courier, here are some less glamorous things worth considering. 

Dependent on demand

Given that courier work is based on customer demand, the number of jobs available will vary from time-to-time. Naturally, things like seasonality impact the amount that couriers are able to work, unlike other jobs in which employees are paid whether there is a high volume of work or not. If you have no other source of income, this can be somewhat of a strain as customer demand shifts month-to-month. However, if you organise other work in low season (we encourage this at Gophr) and budget accordingly, you can mitigate against these downsides.

Miss out on employee benefits

While there are a number of great aspects about being self-employed, one of the main things that couriers miss out on is employee benefits. Whether it be health care packages or pension contributions, being self-employed means that couriers don’t receive these employee perks and have to take care of things like their own taxes. However, this is not an issue unique to courier jobs, as it’s the norm with any self-employed person.

No paid holidays

While couriers are free to take their holiday as and when they please, unlike conventional desk jobs, these holiday days are unpaid. However, it shouldn’t prove to be a problem for those that plan ahead and manage their funds effectively. 

“At Gophr the couriers will benefit from a very unique level of independence which allows for greater flexibility around their schedule” Click To Tweet

While courier work is a perfect fit for a lot of people and their lifestyles, for some it might not make as much sense. Self-employment means having to sort out mundane things like taxes and pension contributions, while work volume can shift depending on customer demand. Having said that, couriers benefit from a very unique level of independence which allows for greater flexibility around their schedule. Also, the nature of the job means that no day is the same and you’re always meeting new people. 

Whether courier work is a good fit for you will depend entirely on your needs and how much you value the pros and cons of the role. Hopefully, this blog will have given you greater insight into all of the different aspects that come with the territory. 


If you have any feedback or comments, please join the discussion below.

Interested in a courier job? Apply to Gophr today to start enjoying flexible hours, greater earnings, and more control.