Are you a food delivery courier?

One of our pupils - lets call him John - wanted to earn some money. A local fast food takeaway was advertising for delivery drivers to transport food to their customers, who had ordered it online.

Becoming a fast food courier seemed like the ideal part time job for John; he could study during the day then carry pizzas, burgers and other takeaway meals to other students (the main market in his neighbourhood) during the evening. He could not only get paid for riding round in his new scooter but could also meet a lot of new people - perhaps a few ladies that he could get to know better!!

He did well at first. He had to provide his own hot food bag which he carried on his shoulder; it was big, bulky and uncomfortable though, and far from ideal. Many of the meals he carried had to be carried flat; pizzas don't like being stacked at an angle and some of the packages leaked, leading to complaints and re-deliveries. He invested in a food carrier which attached to the back of his scooter; and that proved his undoing!

John only had normal everyday insurance on his scooter. He had heard rumours that a special food delivery courier insurance policy was needed for deliveries of takeaway food but no-one else seemed to be bothered about it and it was only a part time job anyway. He thought he would risk it - after all the police had better things to do than chase youngsters carrying nout the vital job of delivering food to hungry students, didn't they?

Sadly he was wrong. And that food container on the back of his scooter was a dead giveaway.

It was only a couple of days after the container was fitted, and on the first delivery of the evening he was flagged down by an officer in a police car. He was asked to produce his insurance details, which he couldn't do at first, but the police officer was able to check them over a device in his car. It turned out that he was only insured standard third party fire and theft; technically he was guilty of driving without insurance.

John was told to leave his scooter; it would be picked up by a truck from the police pound later. The food he was supposed to deliver was still in the hot food container but it was completely ruined by the time he got his scooter back the next day! Since he was the only delivery driver available that evening a lot of students went hungry and his boss was not well pleased.

Eventually he was fined £200 (it could have been much worse but his tears helped reduce it) and his licence was endorsed with six penalty points.

John is still delivering food for the same employer, and he has ambitions of running his own 'ghost kichen' one day. Perhaps by then the food deliveries will be carried out by unmanned drones, but in the meanwhile he is clocking up many more miles on his scooter every evening. He has no choice really; his parents paid the police pound fees, the fine and the cost of his insurance (very expensive because of the fact he had a conviction for driving without insurance!) and he has to pay them back somehow.

The moral? Yes, get a job in the evening to earn extra money if you can. But if you deliver food, make sure you have food delivery insurance first!