June 22, 2023
Are you looking to find out if you can drive a minibus? Or just want to learn more about doing so before you agree to do it? We’ve put together this helpful article to give you the answers you need! You’ll also find a few links to other articles and guides that we think you’ll find useful.
Can I Drive a Minibus?
The answer to this depends on a few different factors:
- How many seats the minibus has
- When you got your driving licence
- Whether you have a D1 entitlement on your licence
- If you are over 21 years old
All drivers with a full UK driving licence will be able to drive a minibus that has up to eight passenger seats with their standard B1 (car) category.
If a minibus has more seats than you will need additional entitlements on your driving licence. For anything up to 16 seats, which is what is classed as a minibus, your licence will also need to show a D1 entitlement.
If you passed your driving test between 1990 and 1997 then a D1 entitlement will have been automatically applied to your licence. If you passed before 1990 then you will also have an entitlement to drive a minibus, but because of the change to licence categories this would be covered under your A entitlement.
Drivers who got their driving licence after 1997 will need to apply for a D1 entitlement if they plan to drive a minibus with over eight passengers.
If you are under 21 years old then there are only a few rare circumstances where you will be able to drive a minibus and you will need to have a Passenger Carrying Vehicle (PCV) qualification.
What Does My Licence Need to Show to Drive a Minibus?
As we mentioned above it will depend on when you pass your driving test as to what your licence will need to show. For drivers who passed before 1990 then it will be covered by your category A entitlement.
For drivers who passed after 1990 then you will need a tick next to your D1 entitlement. If this is not shown, then you cannot legally drive a minibus with more than eight passengers.
Is There an Age Limit on Driving a Minibus?
There isn’t an age limit on driving a minibus, but if you’re over 70 years old or under 21 then there will be additional steps you need to take before you can legally get behind the wheel.
Drivers who are 70 and over will need to be able to meet the standards for driving a D1 in order to drive a minibus, despite their licence automatically entitling them to it.
Drivers under 21 years old will need to have a PCV qualification, which most drivers will not need unless they are driving something with more than 16 passenger seats. This will not allow them to drive a minibus at all times but rather in just a few circumstances which are:
- Driving a passenger vehicle out of service with no passengers
- Driving on a regular service where the speed limit does not exceed 50 km (approx. 30 mph)
- Driving a passenger vehicle that can carry no more than 16 passengers under a PSV operator licence or Section 19 or 22 permit
Do I Need to Take a Test to Drive a Minibus?
Yes, if you do not already have a D1 entitlement on your licence you will need to get one in order to drive a minibus, which does require passing additional driving tests.
You can first apply for a provisional D1 entitlement, which will allow you to learn how to drive a minibus. If you need it in a professional capacity you will also need to have a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC).
Once you’ve got a provisional driving licence you will then need to have two forms (D2 and D4) completed by a doctor in order to confirm you meet the medical requirements in order to drive a minibus.
After qualifying for the medical test there will then be a theory test you need to take, followed by a separate practical examination. Just like with a standard driving licence you will need to have passed the theory test before you are able to take the practical exam.
Do I Need Training to Drive a Minibus?
Whilst it’s not a legal requirement to have training before driving a minibus we do recommend getting some guidance before you get behind the wheel of a minibus, especially if you’ve not driven something that large before.
If you are driving the bus as part of your role at work, or in connection with it, then your employer should offer you support and training to you.
Do I Need a Permit to Drive a Minibus?
It will depend on why you are driving the minibus as to whether you need a permit.
If you are driving a minibus as part of your job role then you will need a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC). This requires 35 hours of training, and this will need to be completed every five years to maintain valid certification.
Additionally, the business will need either a Section 19 or Section 22 permit to allow their employees to drive minibuses. This should not be something that you need to organise but should be taken care of by the business.
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