As we know, car dealers are falling over themselves for stock at the moment, buying from auctions, from private sellers and even from fellow dealers. But how do you think they get – I mean physically get – the cars that they buy? Some, especially those purchased by big dealer groups or car supermarkets from auctions, are moved by transporters but, remarkably, others are moved individually by people dispatched to drive them from A to B.
In a moment of between-jobs desperation, a neighbour of mine applied for a job with one of the companies moving cars this way. On his first day, he was instructed to get himself to the first pick-up point 20 miles away at his own expense, drive the car 40 miles to the drop-off point and then cross London, again at his own expense, to collect another car. He was to drive this to another place some 40 miles from his home before returning there, once again at his own expense.
“The company said they had no reason to pay expenses because I could set all my travel against tax,” he told me. “They also said that in any case, I could hitch-hike, because drivers always stop for someone carrying trade plates.”
For his day’s work, he would be paid £50 (being £25 per vehicle), with the fuel for each transfer covered by a fuel card.
Unsurprisingly, my neighbour didn’t take the job. Others do, however, driving huge distances so that dealers can have the used cars we’re clamouring for. Drivers such as Paul Jones. To protect his identity, we’ve changed his name and avoided revealing the precise locations of his collections and deliveries. Here’s his story…
How I got the job
“I started driving cars for work a year ago. I had been unemployed for 18 months and then got a job with a company delivering new 70-plate cars. Then, when they had been delivered for 1 September 2020, they made us all redundant. It was tough. I went with another company, but they were rubbish, underpaying and charging me. I was making about £200 a week after charges, so I left. It’s hard to find a good company, but I did eventually.”
What I earn
“I work around 80 hours a week for £750. One six-day week, I worked 106 hours. Part of my job involves inspecting the cars I collect, for which I’m paid £40 per vehicle. When the purchase is agreed, I have to wait for the money to come through to the seller’s account. If the wait goes over one hour, I’m paid an additional £10 for every hour. I’ve earned £65 just waiting for payment to be confirmed. On top of that, I’m paid 20p per mile to drive the car to the customer. I’m allowed to expense my travel between jobs.”