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What type of vehicles do same day couriers use?

Same day couriers use a variety of vehicles depending on the size and weight of the packages they are delivering, as well as the distance they need to travel. The most common types of vehicles used by a same day courier include:

  • Motorbikes: Motorbikes are ideal for delivering small packages and documents in urban areas, as they are agile and can navigate through traffic easily. Businesses in major cities consider the motorbike to be a speedy and secure solution when making urgent, local same day shipments and packages.


  • Cars: Cars are small, fuel-efficient vehicles that are designed to carry a variety of package sizes. They are ideal for delivering packages to businesses and residences in urban and suburban areas. Cars are a great option for inter-city deliveries that require same day precedence.


  • Small Vans: Small vans offer more cargo space than cars, making them ideal for delivering larger packages and multiple packages at once. A small van can carry typical carry a pallet, but guidance on weight and size must be taken into consideration when looking at this option. Small vans make a good choice for rural deliveries, as they have more ground clearance and can handle rough roads.


  • Medium Vans: Known in the trade as Medium Wheel Base vans (MWB) offer 3m of load length. Medium-sized vans offer even more cargo space than small vans, making them ideal for delivering large or heavy packages. They are also a good choice for deliveries that require special equipment, such as a temperature-controlled van. Most people would consider these ‘Transit’ size vans selecting the appropriate van for the load that needs to be delivered.


  • Large Vans: Again, known in the trade as Long Wheel Base vans (LWB) - Large vans are one of the most popular vehicles used by same day couriers. They offer large cargo space (up to 4m) and are ideal for delivering large or heavy packages, multiple packages at once and palletised loads. There’s a variant known as an Extra (XLWB) which has similar dimensions, but offers a longer load bed typically offering up to 4.25m. The LWB and XLWB varieties are a staple of multi-drop courier companies too, such as Amazon, DHL, DPD and Fedex.


  • Luton Vans: Arguably the most versatile van in the same day courier armoury. Commonly known as ‘Box Vans’, Lutons can typically carry a maximum of six pallets (weight restrictions apply) and have the largest bed and cargo capacity of all vans. In addition, there’s a wide variety of variants, such as secure box, curtain side and tail lift options for specific loading and unloading requirements. Lutons are a great option for light abnormal loads.

Some same day couriers may also use other types of vehicles, such as trucks or trailers, for deliveries that require a significant amount of cargo space and load capacity. Anything from a 7.5T lorry, right through to an articulated 26T lorry may be considered. This option is typically favoured by – but not restricted to - larger businesses and wholesale trades.



As mentioned above, same day couriers are not restricted ‘standard’ vans. At Parcel Pal Ltd, whatever van you need, it’s almost a guarantee we can help. For example, temperature controlled vehicles range can range between anything from a small van right through to a fully articulated 26T lorry. If you’re unsure, feel free to ask, we’d be delighted to assist.


In addition to the type of vehicle a same day courier can offer, more conscientious companies also need to consider the fuel efficiency of the vehicle, as well as the cost of insurance and maintenance. They also need to make sure that the vehicle is reliable and can meet the demands of their delivery schedule.


In recent years, there has been a growing trend towards using electric vehicles for same day deliveries. Electric vehicles are more environmentally friendly and can save couriers money on fuel costs. However, electric vehicles have a shorter range than traditional fuel-powered vehicles, so couriers need to make sure that they have access to charging stations.


This is an area Parcel Pal Ltd is paying particular attention to, especially where local same day deliveries are concerned. Look out for more on this subject specifically in the future.


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