North East Connected


Van drivers are almost twice as likely to listen to podcasts than others with 1 in 4 tuning in weekly, according to research by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

Podcasts have soared in popularity by 85% in last two years amongst van drivers, according to the findings.

To support its drivers in their quest for knowledge, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has named its top ten podcasts, covering everything from mindfulness to mentoring. 

It’s estimated that around 15 per cent of the UK workforce is now self-employed and according to the Office for National Statistics, carpentry, plumbing and construction are among the most common occupations for self-employment.

When you consider the vast range of skills that these self-employed tradespeople must master – from marketing and website-building, to accounting and business administration – it’s no surprise that tradesmen are turning to podcasts to learn new skills on-the-go.

All Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles come equipped with an audio system and Bluetooth capability and, depending on vehicle and specification, Volkswagen’s Discover Media system and App Connect for integrating smartphone apps, voice control and a mobile phone interface – helping van drivers stay connected whilst on the move. 

With tens of thousands of podcasts on the market today, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has narrowed down the field to name its top ten podcasts which can be enjoyed on the road.

David Hanna, Head of Service and Parts for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, said: “Podcasts are just one of the ways you can stay ahead of the competition all while you’re out on the road getting the job done.

“Our dedicated Van Centres are on hand 24/7 whenever you need them – to keep you on the road and tuned in – it’s all part of our Working With You promise.”

1 // For morning motivation

Even if you don’t have entrepreneurial aspirations, the Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders podcast can be an incredibly useful learning resource.

A series of recorded lectures from Stanford University, past guests have included Guy Kawasaki (Apple), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), and Marissa Mayer (Novellist).

2 // For the entrepreneur

Ever wondered how you turn a small business into a great success? How to Be Awesome at Your Job Host Pete Mockaitis interviews experts and successful business leaders across a range of fields to uncover what simple, actionable advice they would give those just starting out.

Even if you’re not a business owner, you can learn a lot from this podcast about how to succeed with customers or improve your overall performance at work.

3 // For self-improvement

For those who are fans of personal development, Order of Man is the podcast to listen to. Host Ryan Michler interviews “the best men the world has to offer” on everything from fitness and fatherhood, to career and dating. Order of Man bills itself as different to the typical “men’s advice” you find in magazines – favouring honest, authentic conversations with men who want to better themselves and the world around them.

4 // For managing your money

Whether you’re starting a business or just trying to make your monthly pay cheque go further – we could all learn a little something from the next podcast. Listen Money Matters consistently tops the list of personal finance podcasts. Learn to manage your finances effectively, and free up capital for those things that matter.

5 // For the great and the good

Every weekday, TED Talks Audio brings you the latest TED talks in audio format. Hear thought-provoking ideas on every subject imaginable — from Artificial Intelligence to Zoology, and everything in between — given by the world’s leading thinkers and doers. TED Talks Audio will ensure you always have your finger on the pulse, while you concentrate on getting from A to B.

6 // For learning the lingo

If Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles recent advertising spot ‘Spanish Lessons’ has inspired you to pick up a second language, then Innovative Language is for you.

It offers entire libraries of short, fun lessons in more than 40 languages, with options to suit beginners as well as more advanced students. The lessons focus on functional everyday speech, facilitating an intuitive understanding of a language, similar to the way native speakers learn and use their own languages. So, if you want to learn a language in the time spent behind the wheel then Innovative Language may well be the podcast for you.

7 // For peace of mind

From the team behind the popular meditation app, Radio Headspace talks to athletes, scientists, and members of the Headspace community on how our minds help us reach our goals – and change our lives.

Covering a range of topics – from what motivates us to how we make decisions – the weekly podcast is a great companion for if you find yourself trying to restore some work/life balance through meditation or mindfulness.

8 // For four-four-two

If you ever feel a bit stuck on site when the conversation turns to football, The Football Ramble weekly podcast all about the beautiful game might well be just the ticket. Marcus, Pete, Jim and Luke have picked up a huge following – plus there’s a new move into European football that has fans excited too.

9 // For fun facts

Stuff You Should Know, often abbreviated as SYSK, is an award-winning podcast and video series published by Stuff Media and hosted by Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant. The podcast is ranked in the Top 10 on iTunes.

The podcast, released every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, educates listeners on a wide variety of topics, often using popular culture as a reference – it’s a good light-hearted listen after a long day.

10 // For every trade

The Streetwise Tradesmen Mentor, John Clarke, shares what has helped him to build his successful business. From the decisions he’s made, tips and tricks of the trade to lifestyle, fitness and overcoming his battles with mental health.

Research suggests that tradesmen are disproportionately affected by issues surrounding mental illness, so this often frank and always entertaining podcast, could also be just what you need if you’ve been wondering how to speak to a friend and loved one about how you’ve been feeling.

For more details on Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ award-winning range of products and services, or to find your nearest Van Centre, please visit

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