Franchising · 15 July 2015

Franchise profile: Transport and logistics staff provider Driver Hire

Driver Hire is over 80 per cent franchised
Driver Hire’s nationwide network of franchised offices supplies temporary and permanent drivers and other logistics staff to local and national businesses helping when customers need extra staff to deal with holidays, illness, peak trading periods or business expansion.The business has just enjoyed back-to-back record-breaking years, with a third now on the horizon.

Q&A subject: Chris Chidley, CEO of Driver Hire


Franchised since: 1987
Number of franchisees: 103 offices, 87 are franchised
Network turnover: 94.5m (2014/15)
Turnover growth last year: 21 per cent

(1) What’s the scale of Driver Hire today and is there still room to grow?

Driver Hire rightly claims to be the UK’s leading supplier of staff to the road transport and logistics industry. Our network covers the whole of the UK, from Aberdeen to Plymouth and including Northern Ireland none of our competitors can match this.

There are no reliable industry figures on the size of the market it’s hugely fragmented. Driver Hire is the largest single player, but our market share is relatively small. This means there are massive opportunities for growth our franchisees can sell non-core services including training and licence checking, as well as permanent and non-driving jobs through our subsidiary brand, “dh Recruitment”.

(2) How has business been performing recently?

The last five years have been outstanding for Driver Hire. The recession wasnt easy, but even through the most difficult years, a number of our franchisees were growing. The downturn affected turnover, but as growth returned to the economy employers were unsure whether to recruit staff. Driver Hire temps provided a flexible alternative. Businesses now have more flexible workforces, so were ideally placed to meet their needs.

Our business has seen record turnover in 2013/14 our 30th year in business and again in 2014/15. Last year’s turnover (£94.5m) was more than 20 per cent higher than our best-ever before the recession. Driver Hire’s success continues; we anticipate that 2015/16 will be another record-breaking year.

Another way of assessing our overall business success is through franchisee performance and new enquiries; on current trading, the average full year turnover for a Driver Hire franchisee is just under 1m. Compare that to the UK franchise industry average of 356, 000 per unit and it’s easy to see why, in 2013/14, enquiries reached record levels.

In 2014/15 franchisees in Aberdeen and Enfield became the first offices to pass the 3m turnover mark. Across the network as a whole, 36 offices were turnover millionaires and 45 grew by 25 per cent or more.

(3) How important a role have innovation and diversification played in the growth of the business?

A very important one. One example is Driver Hire Training which provides, primarily, Driver Certificate of Professional Competence training (Driver CPC) a legislative must-have for all goods vehicle drivers.

Created in 2010, this service has gone from strength to strength: the Driver Hire network now has over 100 JAUPT-approved trainers. With the addition of new courses currently under development, it will offer 15 industry specific training modules. Since its launch, Driver Hire Training has delivered over 100, 000 driver training days and generated over 5m income an additional revenue stream for our franchisees.

Another recent innovation is “dh Licence Check”. This service helps customers meet legal obligations to check the licences of all employees who drive as part of their job. Following the withdrawal of the driving licence paper counterpart in June, “dh Licence Check” has become even more essential. Already adding to franchisees? revenues, it’s a useful way of making contact with new clients where, potentially, they may also be able to sell core recruitment services.



Paul Stafford is the British Franchise Association's PR manager, which allows him ample opportunity to indulge in two of his passions: writing and business. A background in various SMEs led Stafford to the franchise sector in 2012 and a role which sees him work closely with businesses of all sizes and sectors, from international giants to kitchen table startups.

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