SBT gets in touch with Gavin Sandells, a Brighton entrepreneur who has launched a ‘Van Hailing’ Mobile App, Vanuse

 A local entrepreneur has launched a new mobile app that provides an on-demand van and driver service intended to reduce the cost and hassle of using a van to move an items as and when you need too – similar to Uber, but for vans! Former Project Manager, Gavin Sandells hopes that his app, Vanuse, will solve a common frustration for people who need a van to transport items immediately. The platform simultaneously offers the ‘man with a van’ access to customers who need their help – filling gaps in the driver’s own schedule and providing an opportunity for van drivers and owners to earn some extra cash.

“We have local van owners and drivers signed up already – they recognise that an on-demand service is something their customers often ask for, but calling around seeing if people are available for a quick pick-up and drop-off is a pain,” he said. “With our app, customers and businesses can call on a van and our drivers will be immediately notified if there’s someone nearby who needs their help. The drivers benefit from earning money rather than sitting and waiting for their next job to start.”

One such driver is Boris, who has his own removals business. He was looking for a way to keep earning money when he is in between his own work. “I am excited to be part of Vanuse. When I am available, I log into the app and get notifications of any jobs near me. I have had a few now and it’s been a good experience. The app is easy to use, I get the name of the person I am going to help, along with a photo and details of the items they need help moving. Then once I am finished, both driver and customer get to rate their experience. I receive confirmation of my earning. I can check the history of what I have earned on the app. Money is transferred directly into my bank account”.

All of the drivers and vehicles that have signed up to use the platform have undergone a background check to ensure the safety and security of customers, businesses and their belongings.

Vanuse simplifies payment and removes any need for bartering by acting as an intermediary between driver and customer. Customers receive the cost of the trip before confirming the trip request. The app securely debits the fare from the customers debit/credit card, which is based on a standing fee and the distance travelled. An estimate is provided during the booking process, with a 20-minute journey from Brighton to Peacehaven typically costing around £25.

The app has been developed in partnership with local app developers, Agile App Co, based at the Sussex Innovation Centre. “Its been a great experience working with Agile App to design and build the app, I highly recommend them,” said Gavin.

The Vanuse app is available to download for free from the App Store and Google Apps. The app is currently only available in Sussex. Plans are in place to rollout Vanuse across the UK in 2017.

“We’re ready to spread the word to people across Sussex that the solution is here for businesses and customers to use,” said Gavin. “Say that you’ve got a sofa that you need to get home, are moving all your files into storage, or have to get a drum kit over to the other side of town – Vanuse can connect you with a driver immediately, without all the hassle of needing to hire a vehicle or calling around to see who’s available and how much it will cost, its all done on the app. Now we all have a friend with a van!”