How to Start Your Own Road Transport Franchise

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road transport franchise

In the modern world – and particularly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic – courier and delivery businesses are catering to increasing consumer demand. If you’d like to become part of this thriving industry, you can find out more about setting up your own road transport franchise unit below.

As more and more consumers browse online stores and opt to have their purchases delivered to their doors, the market for road transport businesses is steadily increasing. Since 2014, courier and express delivery sales have risen by 62 percent, and volumes are predicted to grow by 54 percent between 2019 and 2023 (Mintel).

So, it’s a great time to join a road transport franchise and take advantage of rising demand for courier services. Here are a few other reasons to get involved…

Why start a road transport business?

  • The UK’s network of road transport businesses is becoming more and more extensive to accommodate the amount of goods being transported. In fact, the road transport sector is the largest of all the freight modes, thanks to its reliability, flexibility and door-to-door delivery service.
  • These days, pretty much anything can be delivered by road transport, from large household appliances to online food orders. When you join the courier industry, you’ll have the chance to provide a vast range of services and boost your income potential.
  • Many road transport franchises use the latest technology to organise their operations. Customers can often book and purchase items online and track their deliveries on apps, helping franchisees maintain high levels of service.
  • A courier business with a relatively limited territory can get off the ground for as little as £6,000 and usually costs up to £20,000. Meanwhile, a depot-based franchise is also fairly affordable, between £20,000 and £60,000.

The courier and express delivery market is booming, much of which is underpinned by surging online retail sales. However, the marketplace remains hugely competitive, marked by slim margins and a growing expectation to provide more for less. – Marco Amasanti, Retail Analyst at Mintel

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Tips for starting a road transport franchise unit

1. Make sure you launch or buy into a road transport business with a strong reputation. Customers and other companies want to use a courier they can rely on, as they’ll be trusting you to deliver their products in good condition.

2. When deciding on the type of road transport business you’ll set up, you’ll need to think about whether you’ll buy or lease your delivery vehicle. Your chosen van, truck or lorry should be reliable and safe, and have good fuel economy. If you buy it, ask a mechanic to check it over and remember to include vehicle depreciation values in your business plan. If you’re joining a franchise, the franchisor may specify the type of vehicle you use.

3. If you have the option, consider offering different delivery options, such as one-hour delivery or an overnight service. You could also think about the type and size of materials you deliver, and whether you will provide specialist delivery services such as confidential materials or oversized items. And if you’re not joining a franchise with an established pricing structure in place, make sure you calculate the costs associated with transporting different items before drawing up your list of charges.

4. Once your business is up and running, keep focussed on providing excellent service. In particular, make sure you deliver your cargo safely and punctually. If damage and delays become a regular feature in your business, your reputation will suffer, limiting your profitability.

Franchise options

World Options

As the name suggests, World Options offers global courier services aimed at commercial customers. Meeting the remarkable demand generated by the online shopping industry, it provides retailers and other businesses with a cost-effective and hassle-free service that saves them time and money.

  • Becoming a World Options franchisee: As a World Options franchisee, you can balance your work and personal life while turning a substantial profit. The courier franchise is seeking out individuals who are ambitious, passionate about the World Options project and committed to growing their business by working closely with the franchisor.
  • How much you need to invest: A World Options franchise costs around £30,000 +VAT.
  • What you get for your investment: Franchisees get access to the entire franchise package and ongoing support from the franchisor’s dedicated management team. Because you’ll join a network of over 70 franchisees, you’ll be part of a large-scale team that you can approach for advice and extra support.

Speedy Freight

Speedy Freight advertises itself as the UK's leading same-day courier service. It offers a unique service that sees packages picked up within an hour of an order being made, and then delivered within 24 hours. This ensures that customers are happy and the business is able to grow.

There are now 30 franchisees providing services to both commercial and domestic customers, and the company encourages business-oriented individuals to apply.

  • Becoming a Speedy Freight franchisee: Franchisees need to be able to commit to growing their business over a sustained period and demonstrate good managerial skills. They’ll also need to be dedicated to the business’ values and providing “speedy” service to each and every customer.
  • How much you need to invest: A Speedy Freight franchise unit requires an initial investment of £38,500. As with other franchises, you may be able to borrow up to 70 percent of this figure from an official lender.
  • What you get for your investment: Franchisees can look forward to ongoing training and support, and access to its accounts department to help with invoices.


InXpress is the go-to business for your international shipping needs and has partnerships with world-famous names like DHL, TNT and UKMail. As one of the world’s largest parcel delivery franchises, it has the experience and expertise to help grow new franchise units in a variety of international markets. Its UK network now consists of around 80 franchisees, but there are still plenty of opportunities for savvy entrepreneurs.

  • Becoming an InXpress franchisee: The company is looking for individuals who are sales-oriented, business-minded and excellent communicators. All franchisees must be committed to the InXpress brand and understand that the business model should be followed to the letter. Click here to find out more and register your interest.
  • How much you need to invest: If you’re considering an InXpress franchise, you can expect to make a total investment of £30,000. Working capital of approximately £15,000 will also be necessary to get your business on its feet. As the franchise can be run from home, business premises are not required, which reduces your overheads.
  • What you get for your investment: In return, you can access start-up and refresher courses online to boost your knowledge and expertise, while a dedicated business coach will aid your development. This solid support network has enabled InXpress to be a British Franchise Association-HSBC Brand Innovation award winner and has led franchisees to see a return on investment just 18 months after the launch of their unit.

Get started today

Browse our selection of profitable road transport franchises to find your perfect investment opportunity. From takeaway food deliveries to home removal, there is a whole range of sub-sectors to choose from. You can also browse our full range of courier and delivery franchises. 

>> Read more articles on the Courier & Delivery sector

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