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A Guide to Becoming a UPS Personal Vehicle Driver in 2024

Learn how to become a UPS personal vehicle driver and work for United Parcel Service, a reliable and efficient international delivery network.

Key Takeaways

  • UPS Personal Vehicle Drivers work seasonally, using their own vehicles for package delivery during peak times.
  • Requirements include being 21+, having a clean driving record, and the ability to lift 70 lb.
  • Earnings start at $21/hour, with potential increases based on location and seasonal demand.
  • Flexible scheduling allows drivers to choose routes and hours, with weekly pay and mileage reimbursement.

United Parcel Service, also known as UPS, is the oldest American national parcel carrier, with over a century of delivering goods inside the U.S., as well as internationally.

As a company that created a nationwide gold standard for parcel delivery, it’s among the most sought-after employers for delivery driving opportunities.

Apart from full-time delivery, UPS also provides work opportunities for part-time rideshare drivers through the UPS personal vehicle driver (PVD) program.

We’ll review everything you need to know about the program, including its requirements, responsibilities, working hours, and expected payment.

What Distinguishes a UPS Personal Vehicle Driver?

UPS PVDs tend to be seasonal rather than full-time employees, working on a temporary contract during periods when the demand for UPS drivers is higher than usual.

An example is the holiday season between Thanksgiving and New Year. The term “seasonal support driver” is also used to describe the role.

While UPS PVDs aren’t independent contractors but regular employees employed on a temporary contract, they’re still free to choose their route and work hours.

Just as the name “personal vehicle driver” suggests, you get to use your vehicle for delivery rather than the truck or van provided by the company.

As your personal vehicle will likely be smaller than company-issued delivery vehicles, you’ll be responsible for handling a smaller number of packages than full-time drivers.

What Are the Responsibilities of a UPS Personal Vehicle Driver?

As a UPS PVD, you can expect to be responsible for:

  • Picking packages up from the UPS warehouse and loading them into your personal vehicle
  • Driving along the routes you choose yourself, making sure you complete them in full
  • Unloading the parcels and delivering the packages to the correct addresses
  • Sticking to delivery schedules, which you’re also free to choose
  • Handling the digitized delivery ID and verification system

What Are the Requirements for Becoming a UPS Personal Vehicle Driver?

To become a UPS PVD, both you and the personal vehicle that you plan to use for the job need to pass certain criteria. We’ll go over both lists below.

Driver Qualifications

You’re required to meet the following:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Possess a valid driver’s license
  • Be able to lift and carry packages weighing up to 70 lb
  • Pass a background check by having no serious convictions or felonies
  • Have a clean driving record, with no moving violation within a year before applying
  • Have no at-fault accidents within three years before applying
  • Own a smartphone with a reliable internet data plan
  • Have a checking account for payment deposits
  • Wear the UPS uniform or hi-visibility vest that the company will provide you with — additionally, you’ll have to acquire your work shoes (in the form of closed-toe boots or shoes with non-slip soles)
  • Own a reliable vehicle you can use to deliver packages or use a rideshare rental car instead

A helpful advantage that working as a UPS PVD has over many other delivery jobs is that you won’t need a Class A Commercial Driver’s License or any other sort of specialized CDL.

Vehicle Qualification

Your personal vehicle has to fulfill the following requirements:

  • You must present a proof of registration
  • You need to present valid proof of auto insurance in full compliance with your state’s regulations
  • Must be in good condition and free of any visible damage marks
  • Must weigh less than 10,000 lb
  • Needs to have a covered bed or closed top and lacks any oversized rims or lowrider suspension
  • Has to be clear of any company logos, bumper stickers, political messages, or offensive statements

How Do I Apply to Work as a UPS Personal Vehicle Driver?

The application process is remarkably simple and takes only about 20 minutes of your time.

All it takes to begin the process is to click “Apply Now” on the UPS jobs portal, choose the “Seasonal Support Drivers” option, and continue with the application if there are any available jobs.

If not, you can opt for receiving job alerts in the future by entering your contact details.

If a job opportunity is available and open, you can proceed by creating a site profile, entering your personal details, watching a few orientation videos to get a better idea of what the job entails in practice, answering a brief questionnaire, and finally sending an application, along with the required paperwork—including photos of your car, proofs of identity, a valid driver’s license, and payment details.

UPS should get back to you in no more than a few days, after which you’re free to start working as a PVD.

When Can I Apply for Work as a UPS Personal Vehicle Driver?

If you try to apply outside of the holiday season, when PVD gigs aren’t in particularly high demand, you may find yourself facing an empty job board.

It’s worth subscribing to UPS’s job alerts to not miss a potential job opportunity since the competition is fairly high and you may find yourself easily losing the job race.

In anticipation of the holiday season, UPS may open its “Seasonal Support Drivers” job opportunity as early as late October and may leave it open through November all the way into January, depending on the level of demand.

This makes the job ideal for students who may want to use the winter break to earn extra money.

How Much Can I Make as a UPS Personal Vehicle Driver?

UPS itself advertises $21/hour as the beginner pay for its seasonal support drivers.

Of course, you’re still eligible for a potential raise, with Glassdoor’s statistics estimating the average hourly compensation for UPS PVDs in the US to be between $23/hour and $31/hour, with a $27/hour median.

The salary itself pegs working for UPS as a superior option to most other package delivery jobs, with FedEx’s median salary standing at $23/hour, Amazon’s at $21/hour, DHL’s at $24/hour, etc.

As you’re working on a temporary contract rather than as an independent contractor, you can also expect to receive additional benefits that you’d rarely get working for most gig-economy-based delivery jobs, which usually rely on freelancers.

Which Expenses Can I Expect While Working as a UPS Personal Vehicle Driver?

UPS will cover your gas expenses based on the current standard IRS mileage rate.

You also don’t need to worry about any self-employment taxes, as UPS handles the taxes according to your contract.

On the other hand, you can expect to pay for any maintenance costs for your vehicle.

When Do I Get Paid?

As a PVD, you receive compensation on a weekly basis, just like regular drivers, driver helpers, and all other UPS employees. You’ll receive a payout for last week’s work every Thursday, which should reach your deposit account in between 1 and 4 business days.

What Are the Working Hours of a UPS Personal Vehicle Driver?

You’re free to set your working hours and delivery routes as long as they fit into UPS’ standard working hours (9 a.m. – 8 p.m.). Make sure to schedule it at least several hours in advance of your planned shift.

Most PVDs work on Monday or Friday, between 6 and 8 hours, but you may also do longer or shorter shifts if you want to, as well as work on weekends.

Regardless of when you schedule the start of your shift, make sure to arrive at your distribution point at least ten minutes in advance so you have enough time to load the parcels into your car and prepare for the trip.

Your work hours don’t account for bathroom or lunch breaks—your journey is tracked, and you aren’t allowed to make long detours or off-route stops.

Short bathroom breaks are certainly allowed, but be sure to take care of all your needs before heading on route. Just in case you get hungry or thirsty, bring some snacks and drinks you can consume along the way.

If you’re quick and plan your route well enough, it’s possible that you may finish your work even faster than scheduled.

At the same time, if you’re slow, you may end up working overtime. Your shift finishes after you complete all deliveries along your route.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Working as a UPS Personal Vehicle Driver?

As we’re nearing a wrap-up, let’s sum up all the pros and cons of working as a PVD for UPS:

Pros

  • High wages received weekly: At a median value of $27/hour, the wages are high for the industry’s standards, and they’re deposited to your account on a weekly basis.
  • Flexible schedule: You can choose your working hours, which is a great option if you have multiple part-time jobs or other commitments to take care of during the same day.
  • Working on an employment contract: Rather than as an independent contractor, you get to work as a temporary employee, being granted extra benefits and saving you from self-employment taxes.
  • Mileage reimbursement: UPS will reimburse the amount of money you spend on fuel according to the current standard IRS mileage rate.
  • Comfortable work atmosphere: You can work independently, with no one to closely supervise and micromanage you, and the management will remain respectful and hands-off as long as you fulfill the expected goals.

Cons

  • Lack of availability outside of the holiday season: It can be difficult to find work outside of the holiday season, so you may want to consider an alternative package delivery service or grocery delivery service.
  • Physical demands: Continuously lifting and carrying heavy packages can be quite physically intensive if you’re not fit enough and can put a heavy strain on your body.
  • Heavy workload: It’s sometimes impossible to finish the shift within the time window you set in advance, so overtime is unavoidable.
  • Weather conditions: You don’t get to choose the weather conditions you’ll operate in, so be ready to drive and deliver packages in snow, heavy rain, storms, and extreme high or low temperatures.
  • Vehicle maintenance: Your vehicle will see a lot of wear and tear during the course of your work, so be ready to invest in maintenance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Need to Do a Drug Test When Applying as a UPS Personal Driver?

UPS doesn’t conduct a drug test during the hiring process, although you may be required to do one in case of getting into an accident while on the job.

Am I Allowed to Have a Beard, Long Hair, or Unconventional Hairstyles?

While UPS grooming criteria used to be notoriously stringent, they relaxed following a new set of appearance guidelines in November 2020. The new rules allow beards, long hair, and certain previously forbidden hairstyles, as long as they’re kept neat and hygienic.

Does UPS Hire Felons?

Candidates with any felonies discovered during the background check will be instantly disqualified.

Wrapping Up

Working as a PVD for UPS is a highly lucrative way to earn money, especially during the holidays, when drivers are in particularly high demand.

Certain bonuses, such as an employment contract and mileage reimbursement, make it a more attractive option than much of the competition.

Its flexible nature, combined with limited availability, makes it an ideal option for university students looking to earn extra money during a holiday break, especially since it requires no previous driving experience or a commercial driver’s license.

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