Your Go-to Guide for Minibus Driving
You are sure to have been on a minibus at one time or another, pretty much everyone has. Minibuses are a great means to transport large groups of people from one place to another and are also an affordable way to travel. You can use a minibus to take the family on holiday, to travel with friends, to help someone move to another house and so on. That being said, what do you really know about driving a minibus including what you can do when driving one?
Who Is Allowed to Drive a Minibus?
Actually, anyone that has a full car driving license can drive a minibus. Unlike professional drivers looking to renew their HGV licence after a lapse, minibus licence is much more simple! Your full car license actually includes a minibus as standard, take a look at the back of your license if you are not sure. Of course, you should double-check that your license has this before you go making any bookings for minibus hire. Now, it’s not just the physical side of being able to drive a minibus that needs to be addressed. There are a few rules related to minibus driving as well, this being the case when a form of payment is involved. You will be glad to know that the rules are rather easy.
When You Are Driving for Free
For situations where you are driving a minibus for a personal reason and not in a professional way or for a reward, you will not need to apply for a separate license. You are legally able to drive a minibus, without the need for a separate license, so long as there are no more than 16 passengers. However, some restrictions apply. One restriction is age-related, you must be over 21 and you must have held your full license for a minimum of two years at this point. In addition, you will have to meet the ‘group 2’ medical criteria according to your GP to show assurance that passengers will be safe when you are driving. The weight of the minibus is also restricted and must be under 3.5 tonnes. It is also not allowed to tow a trailer if you are driving a minibus. For drivers who are over 70 years of age, they may need to undergo another medical exam and complete a D2 application so that they can drive a minibus.
When You Are Driving for Cost
You cannot always drive a minibus for free. When you hire a minibus you may be surprised at how expensive it is, as well as the costs of making a long journey, it all adds up. You may just be driving for friends, for family or for a voluntary cause, however, the costs of the journey still need to be covered. If you want to do this, you will need to apply for a minibus permit. Make your application through the DVSA and ensure that you are over 21 years of age. The permit stipulates that you must use the minibus for a specific group of people, not simply for the general public. In addition, the minibus should hold between 9 and 15 passengers – these are the minimum and maximum parameters.
When You Are Driving for Profit
Finally, let’s look at if you are driving for payment. If you are going to professionally drive a minibus that you have hired you will have to get a new license. Initially, you should apply for a Passenger Carrying Vehicle (PCV) license. In addition, you will need a Public Service Vehicle (PSV) license. Iy is relatively easy to get these licenses and you will have to engage in some training, driving hours and take a test. When you have these licenses you are marked as being a professional in minibus driving. Hence, you will be able to avail of freelance minibus driving work or apply for work as a professional minibus driver.