This article was originally featured in Wigwam Magazine on 4th September 2020.
We’ve all been there. You’ve got something that needs moving, but it’s too big for you to handle on your own. Maybe you’re moving house, or picking up that sofa you got for a bargain on Facebook Marketplace. Either way, you need a van – but how do you find one?
This is the idea behind VANHEROES. We're a Swindon-based startup on a mission to help everyday people get the job done with local man & van services.
To date, our platform is home to a handpicked community of over 100 professional van drivers and removal businesses in Swindon, and growing. Our drivers, also known as “Heroes”, are each manually vetted and approved by the VANHEROES team, making sure important things like licenses, tax, and insurance are sorted before they can save the day.
Booking a job is done through the VANHEROES app, where users can simply list the items they need to move, choose a pickup and drop-off address, and select a preferred date and time for their job to take place. The app then calculates a quote instantly using a complex algorithm, ensuring a fast and competitive price every time.
Once the job is posted, it is added to a job board where it is accepted by an approved driver. These often range from small house moves, to large item deliveries and storage runs. Users can request an extra helper or “Sidekick” to help load the van and safely carry heavy items inside the property if needed.
The app is packed with other helpful features to make booking and managing jobs a piece of cake. Payments are securely held on booking and transferred to the driver once the job is complete, so no need for any last minute negotiating. There is even a chat function to message drivers with any last minute questions before the big move!
The idea for the company came to CEO & Founder Shane Moore after he was unable to find a local van driver to help pick up a secondhand Wendy house for his daughter. Frustrated with the inconvenience and time-consuming process of renting a van himself, he knew there needed to be an easier way to find local van drivers looking for work.
Since launching the app in 2018, VANHEROES has grown to serve a network of over 1,000 customers, with mounting support from homeowners and local businesses in Swindon.
Hamlyn Deas, Managing Director & Co-Founder of VANHEROES, thinks that Swindon was always the perfect place to launch the app:
“People often compare what we’re doing to apps like UBER and Deliveroo, but I always see VANHEROES as an enabler for removal services, not a competitor. There are loads of brilliant removal companies and professional van drivers in Swindon, all with years of experience. Our goal is to connect those people and help them get regular work at a good price, all while offering an easy and affordable service for everyday people.
“I recently became a homeowner myself, buying my first house in Swindon just last year. I think everyone in Swindon knows it’s a great place to live, especially younger people looking to buy for the first time. If VANHEROES can make the already stressful process of moving house (or even one piece of furniture) a little bit easier – or save someone’s Saturday from the pain of renting a van – I feel like that’s just another win for everyone!
“Swindon is an up-and-coming town, and it’s great to see people and businesses embracing what we are trying to do. London or Bristol may have felt like a better place to launch an app like VANHEROES, but we always felt there was untapped potential here in Swindon. There’s a real need for a service like ours, and it’s been amazing to help prove that our town is an exciting, modern place to start a home – as well as a business.”
The VANHEROES app is available now on iOS and Android for Swindon and surrounding areas, with future plans to expand. Users can refer friends to both receive 10% off their next removal job.