More than 15% of Britain’s van drivers are planning to quit their jobs within the next 12 months.

This is the headline of new research from GoCompare Van Insurance.

It could equate to more than 44,000 drivers exiting the industry, leaving a deficit of as many as 22,14 van drivers.

Delivering more trouble

The news comes on top of a huge shortfall in HGV drivers generated by Brexit and Covid. This has led to most foreign drivers returning to their home nations. At the same time, the pandemic has created huge increase in internet shopping and van deliveries. But, as with HGV drivers, working conditions and poor pay are being blamed for low morale of drivers.

Ryan Fulthorpe, motoring expert at GoCompare describes the news as “shocking”. He believes it could lead the UK to “lose a significant number of van drivers over the next 12 months.

“In the wake of theHGV driver shortage, we must improve working conditions for drivers to avoid any further crises.

“Van driving can be a lonely job in nature, but we need to find new solutions to improve these kinds of issues. That way, we can protect the mental health of key workers in this industry and ensure Britain’s economy remains strong.”

Driving solutions

The Government has launched a review into HGV driver training, aiming of reduce the burdens on existing and returning HGV drivers.

GoCompare identified work-related stress, negative behaviour from other drivers, loneliness and poor working conditions as key factors. These affect the health and wellbeing of drivers, motivating van drivers to make a career change.

Delivery drivers are most likely to encounter loneliness, according to GoCompare. Of those struggling with loneliness, 50% said they wouldn’t have a non-work-related conversation over a whole shift.

The financial burdens of being a van driver also play a part in work dissatisfaction. For those without fuel cards, 10% of their yearly salary is spent on filling up.

Two-thirds of drivers also receive inconsistent or insufficient pay, according to the research.

As of June 2021, Britain had seen a 5.2% yearly increase in van traffic, making up an 18.4% share of roads, according to the comparison site.

Read the full research here.