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Before we get into the ‘hows’ of getting a minibus licence, perhaps we should start with the ‘whys’. Getting your licence to drive a minibus can be hugely personally and professionally liberating, and give you plenty of options in your job and your personal life. We’ve already looked into some of the career choices for PCV licence holders and you can be anything from an ambulance driver to touring band’s bus driver with this versatile qualification to your name.

 There are some layers of confusion around minibus driving and exactly what permissions and permits you need in what situation.  You don’t need a minibus license in every scenario where driving a minibus is required, but it does broaden your employment horizons considerably and gives you more flexibility with the kind of minibus you can drive.

When You Don’t Need A Minibus Licence Or Permit

If you have a regular driving licence you may be able to drive a minibus for up to 16 passengers without a special minibus licence, but there are catches. If you’re driving a minibus on a regular car licence, you can’t do it for any kind of payment in return for the driving service – so not for ‘hire or reward’. This means you’re restricted to friends, family and casual driving arrangements where everyone understands you’re not being paid for the service. When you want to drive a minibus without payment, you don’t need a minibus licence or permit, but you do need to adhere to some conditions.

These including being over 21 and having had your minibus for over two years together with meeting certain medical standards which may be specific to your age range. The minibus would need to be without a trailer, and would need to weigh under 3.5 tonnes, or under 4.25 tonnes if there are facilities for disabled passengers on board like ramps and other specialist equipment.

When You Need A Minibus Licence Or Permit

Sometimes you might need to charge for fuel even if you’re not charging for your services, and under these circumstances, you’ll need a permit. There are a maximum number of passengers you can carry with a minibus permit, which is currently 16. In addition, you need to be driving for a community or voluntary organisation, and only providing a service for the members of that organisation, with any costs going exclusively towards fuel and running costs.  For this kind of permit you can apply via your local Council or DVSA.


When You Need A Minibus Licence

For anything more professional, you’re going to need a Category D PCV licence – otherwise known as a ‘Passenger Carrying Vehicle Licence’. This means you can carry upwards of 8 passengers and you can charge for your services as well. Our training is intensive and you can pass in minimal time by going through a few well-defined stages on your way to becoming qualified.
We’ll guide you through several tests including a theory test, some case studies, practical driving skills, and then a final demonstration once you’re completely comfortable with everything you’ve learned. Read about our PCV training and cost in more detail and apply for driving jobs via our Job Finder service.


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