Driving a minibus and type of license required

Driving a minibus and type of license required

Driving a minibus and type of licence required depends on why the people are being transported and if people at all will be in the vehicle at all. The qualifications and requirements to operate this type of vehicle have changed since 1997. Before that time all a person needed was a standard B1 category operator’s licence. To make sure that you do not invalidate your minibus insurance, please adhere to rules that govern driving a minibus within the UK.

What types of vehicles are classified as a minibus?

There are two basic types of mini buses that are operating on the roads in the UK. Mini Buses are a vehicle smaller than a bus, but similar in configuration that can carry up to 9 passengers along with those that can carry up to 16 passengers.

The maximum weight of a minibus must be below 3.5 tonnes if it is only fitted with traditional seating. The handicap accessible models can weigh up to 4.25 tonnes. The maximum length of the minibus is 8 metres.

When can a person operate a minibus if they only hold a category B license?

It is possible to operate a minibus legally with only a typical car license under specific conditions. The most common reason is for a trip by a non-profit organization like a church group where if a fee is charged it only covers the costs of using the minibus like fuel. All passengers must be part of a group and which is not open to the general public. In no situation can a category B license be used for hire and reward purposes.

A minibus can also be driven with a category B license if no passengers are present in the vehicle when it is on the road.

If a fee for fuel will be requested from the passengers then a minibus permit must be obtained from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency.

The driver must also be a volunteer, be over the age of 21 that has held a license for a minimum of 2 years. The minibus can also not have a trailer attached to it.

What is required to be a professional minibus driver?

The commercial minibus operator must obtain a category D1 driver's license that includes a passenger carry vehicle license provision. Many organisations that hire these types of operators also require that a minibus compliance course be completed and passed.

If I am over 70 years old can I get a minibus license?

Yes, operators of mini buses can be over the age of 70 as long as they hold a category D1 driver’s license and do not have any medical condition that would disqualify them from keeping their license. This is handled by them filling out a special application where the medical condition they need to meet is included.

The requirements for driving a minibus and type of license necessary are simple and straightforward to follow. Remember there is a distinction between volunteer drivers and the professional minibus operators in the types of license required. 

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