What is the right size minibus for your organisation
What is the right size minibus for your organisation is dependent on several variables you need to decide on. This includes how many people you will be transporting, where they will be going, the frequency of the trips and will the passengers being charged for being transported to name a few. In order to keep the costs of minibus insurance down it is advisable to buy a minibus that is suiatble for your needs. Example, buying a 12 seater minibus when you will only ever need a 9 seater will cost your more when it comes to insure the larger minibus.
How many people you will be transporting?
The minibus was created to carry small groups of people on trips so they can stay together and converse on their journey to their destination. The number of seats a minibus can have are from 9 to 16. This does not include the driver.
How far will the average trip be?
The distance the group will travel will factor into how big of a minibus you will need. If the average trip will be under 50 km, then a smaller minibus could be used and multiple trips for each excursion could occur. If the average trip is more than 50 km then a larger minibus is advisable since on most occasions only one trip will occur.
How often will the minibus be used?
The frequency of the outings should play as one of the factors in deciding how big of a minibus you should purchase. It is best to use a vehicle weekly but when the trips are only monthly, a robust pre-trip inspection should occur before each outing. The larger the minibus, the more there is to inspect and replacement parts might cost more.
What are some of the vehicle characteristics that should be known?
What should be noted is that a minibus with 9 or more seats is taxed by the UK government as a bus which is not based on the CO2 emissions. Passenger vehicle of 8 or less are classified as a car and are taxed based on their CO2 emissions.
The maximum weight of a minibus is set at 3,500 kg unless it is fitted with equipment to handle handicapped passengers which can include a chair lift or ramp. Those vehicles can weigh up to 4,250 kg.
Driving a minibus and type of license required should be known. The driver of a minibus does not need a special license other than a typical car license category B as long as they are a volunteer and the trips are for social reasons. They must also have held their driver license since before 1 January 1997, be over the age of 21 and have held their license for 2 years prior to operating the minibus.
If the passengers are to be charged for the trips even if it is to just cover the running costs of the minibus the operator must obtain a category D1 drivers license.
For those organizations that are only going to use the minibus for local outings, a smaller 9 passengers vehicle would probably suffice the needs of the group being transported. For longer trips and those transporting the elderly, larger minibuses that can handle 16 passengers might be preferred. With the larger minibus the passengers can move around more and should be more comfortable. You might also consider buying a second hand minibus to save money on their investment. You can also save money on minibus insurance if a smaller one with 9 seats is purchased.