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Monthly Archives: January 2019

January 24, 2019

Minibus compliance course

minibus driving course

To help the public in operating a minibus correctly and legally there are minibus compliance courses. The newest one is the Castle Driver Training Minibus Compliance Course which started in September of 2018. This is an ISBA, RAC and RoSPA approved course that is designed to help schools and non-profit organisation in operating their minibuses legally and safely.

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What does the course include?

There are 2 parts to this driver training course. The first part involves the classroom study that is broken down into 4 sections. The second is an onsite assessment of your facility.It may also help to do some online training before embarking on the course by checking out minibus safe driving videos.

Part One the classroom

First section

This is about the legal aspect of operating a minibus on UK roadways. This includes just who can operate the minibus and what must be held by the driver. In legal terms this means the permits and licenses required by the UK Government.

For most operators they must have a category D1 drivers licenses, but there are some B category holders that can operate the minibus. The advice and requirements issued by HM Government can be found here. Also explained is who in the organization is legally responsible for governmental compliance.

Second section

It involves the minibus itself which includes the required safety inspection and their frequency. This includes the daily inspection required before anyone boards the minibus and the weekly checks. Both are done to ensure the vehicle is safe to operate and transport people.

Also discusses is how operating a minibus is different than other types of vehicles.

Third section

Both the drivers and schools responsibilities in operating the minibus are covered. This will make it clear who is liable for what. Also examined are the penalties if one or more areas are not in compliance with the UK governmental regulations.  

Fourth section

The planning and taking of trips is discussed. This includes the actual way to plot out the course and what emergency protocols should be applied to the trip.  


Part Two on-site assessment

After the first part is completed a qualified driving instructor from Castle will go to your facility and inspect safety aspects of your transportation system. This assessment will last on average ½ a day.

This type of minibus compliance course offered by Castle is not required by law, but has real life advantages.

Every organization is required to be in full compliance with the laws and regulation set by the UK Government. By taking this course you can prevent the suspension of minibus operations at your facility because of non-compliance issues. It will also help to prevent fines from being placed on your facility for being in non-compliance.

In December of 2018 the feedback from enrollees of the Castle Driver Training Minibus Compliance Course graded it at a 97% satisfaction rating.

With the completion of this course many insurance companies will also offer a discount on the minibus insurance premium. If you need assistance with the insurance, please call one of our knowledgeable independent insurance brokers who can help you find the policy that is right for your organization.

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January 20, 2019

Best Club Minibus

best minibus club

Best Club Minibus

The best club minibus to be used to transport your group is partially dependent on the number of club members you have. For clubs that own their own minibus you will need cheap minibus insurance. This is also true if you are using an MPV as you club minibus. The insurance will insure that any passengers are fully protected just in case of an accident.

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What is the Right Size minibus for My Club?

Picking the correct size sports club minibus will help to keep the cost of buying, operating and insuring the vehicle down to a minimum. Minibuses can have as few seats as 15 all the way up to 35. It is more economical and safer to have one large minibus than it is to operate several smaller ones. Just in case your club expands, there should be a few seats extra to accommodate the new members when choosing the right size. If you need to buy a new or a second hand minibus that is large maybe these frugal driving tips will belp you lower the fuel costs.

Why is a Minibus Safer than a Van?

It is true vans can accommodate up to 12 passengers, but they were initially designed to transport items for tradesmen. Minibuses were designed solely for the transportation of people. Because of the way a minibus is constructed, the passenger area is designed for maximum safety for them.

  • Minibuses have dual rear wheels which minimizes the possibility of the vehicle rolling over in case of a tire blowout or accident.

  • The passenger compartment is a reinforced steel cage to protect the occupants when the vehicle is involved in an accident.

​Why is a Minibus more comfortable than a Van?

Because the minibus is designed for human transport, the layout of the interior is more accommodating so passengers are more comfortable during the trips.

  • This includes a center aisle instead of an aisle to one side.

  • Bucket seats are also generally used in minibuses where vans have bench seats.

  • On average the ceiling in a minibus is nearly 2 feet higher than in a van.

  • The entry steep is lower on a minibus than a van for easier access.

​What are the Extra Amenities a Minibus has verses a Van?

Both will have air conditioning and a radio, but that is where the similarities end. Minibuses have overhead storage on most models so the seating area is less cluttered and more comfortable. They can also be fitted with flat screen TVs to help keep the occupant entertained on long trips. Many of the minibuses are also equipped with Wi-Fi devices to help keep the passengers connected.

​What Type of Insurance is needed to operate a Minibus?

There is a special minibus insurance policy available to protect not only the vehicle, but also the passengers and their property. Once you have decided on the right size minibus for your club, one of our independent minibus insurance brokers can assist you in finding the right coverage to meet your needs. This makes it possible to have the coverage you needed at the price you can afford.

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