• Home
  • About Us
  • Blog
  • Contact
        • TecHGV

          Get Your Fleet Compliant With Us!

        • CanonMs

          Document Control Center & Asset Management…

        • SinaLearn

          Learn Amazing Courses with Sina Learn

        • TecMCH

          Create Repair Order, Job Done, Download Reports….


What if I was to tell you that there is a job you can train and qualify for in less than 3 months and in no more than 1 year you could be getting £30k+, after 2 years £40k+, you’d probably shout “snake oil salesman… (or person)”. But you’d be wrong!

What if I’d tell you that there may be a good chance you wouldn’t even need basic English, or Maths… and you’d be working on your own, in an office with an amazing view, regular brakes and guaranteed daily and weekly rest periods. You guessed it, the job is that of HGV driver. The office would be your cab and the rest… well, that’s history, as they say.

…and so it was that the entire industry had a fairytale-like nuance where drivers quickly learned that there was a tax loop-hole. In certain circumstances, individuals were (and, to some extent are) allowed to be limited companies, paying only 6% tax and thus making even more money. I can tell you stories of people taking home £1200/week since 2014. But it couldn’t last… conversely, it didn’t need to end exactly now when we’re recovering from a pandemic and trying to absorb the changes and costs of Brexit… But why does this matter to you. 

Let’s explore it in a bit more detail!

But first of all, there’s need to mention an essential aspect: at the start of 2016, the UK had become reliant on a large community of EU drivers (Polish, Romanian, Bulgarian, etc). Some of them, about 100,000 (this figure will come into focus again) had no real relation to the UK. They came in, worked for circa 3 to 6 months at a time, then went back home for a few months. They mostly didn’t rent property. Instead they slept in the lorries they worked in.

The storm clouds gather

There was Brexit. By all accounts an, an unexpected surprise for the government of the day. Everyone involved, even Farage, agreed there will be a cost to the country from exiting the EU. 

Then came the pandemic. A once in 100years event that, last time around wiped out 18million people (or, at least, so said that scientist in World War Z). 

In parallel, HMRC was eyeing, amongst others, this community of HGV drivers come tax-avoiders with a piece of guidance called IR35. What a joy this one is to read. It’s bafflingly simple (so much so that even some solicitors get it wrong). All it says is that you can’t get to pay tax as a limited company unless you are one. If you’re otherwise an employee or self-employed but set-up a limited company to avail yourself of a more advantageous tax, then you get to see what it means to “…rather eat one’s own faeces with a rusty teaspoon” (I’m sorry I couldn’t put that in more pleasant terms… tis what it is and whoever dealt with HMRC will agree). 

The perfect storm

Brexit starts to bite. New EU drivers and even ones here after 2016 are all but rejected and stop coming to the UK.

The pandemic hits and, with it, the financial stimulus packages the Treasury put together. All these Ltds that weren’t supposed to be Ltds can and indeed get (up to) £50k loans. They immediately leave the UK. 

But wait! the good news doesn’t end there! 

The Ltds were paying their directors wages and those wages are turned to furlough… the gift that keeps on giving (or at least until end-Sept 2021). So all these drivers that took government guaranteed loans of up to £50k, now also had £2-3k monthly coming into their accounts. Why go to work?!

And the icing on the cake? well, that’s the IR35. So let’s recap:

get £50k loan, get £2-3k monthly to stay home, then get told IR35 is changing and you’ll have to pay full tax (20%) when you go back to work. You add those 3 and you can see how none of the temporary EU drivers wouldn’t want to return.

The aftermath

news articles start popping up about a severe driver shortage (HGV driving still hasn’t been added to the shortage occupations job list at the moment of writing this thought), about 100,000 (told you this number will come up again!) HGV drivers to be more exact. Various editors make the logical connection and see how demand will drive wage increase, driving up costs to operators that, in turn, will put their prices up, pushing the cost along the supply chain. It so happens that the consumer is the last link in this chain. 

How did nobody see this coming?

The above was rhetorical… but I’ll take this opportunity to put my money where my investment is. I’ll make a prediction: this greed (make no mistake, from taking loans that weren’t supposed to be given out to Ltds that are not Ltds, to furlough that wasn’t meant for people that work alone in a cab is greed, ALL GREED!), again, this greed that the industry has shown will hasten automation and see the end of the HGV driver profession. I predict the regular depot-to-depot runs will be the first ones to be done by self-driving trucks. The rest will follow within a few years.

Powered by