Minibuses are a fantastic way to carry a relatively small group of people easily from Point A to Point B with the minimum of fuss. But before you do, you need to be aware of the laws surrounding it.
Are you legally entitled to drive a minibus?
Your current driving licence may already allow you to drive a minibus with up to sixteen seats, providing you are not charging for the service and you fit the following criteria:
- You are at least 21 years old and have held your driving licence for two years
- If you are over 70 years old, that you meet the "Group 2" Medical Standards (ask your G.P if you are unsure)
- You are driving voluntarily for non-commercial reasons (not as part of your job)
- The vehicle weight does not exceed 3.5 tonnes (or 4.5 with disability equipment) and you are not towing a trailer.
A minibus permit can be applied for and allows you to charge passengers if the following criteria are met:
- The minibus can carry between 9 and 16 passengers
- If it "benefits the community", such as on behalf of a charity or for educational or religious reasons
- That the minibus is not for use by the general public
- Any cost to passengers is made to just cover costs.
Should you wish to operate your minibus outside of these criteria, you will need to apply for a Provisional Lorry or Bus Licence. You can fill the form out online by visiting the government website.
The law can appear a little complicated with regards to this, so if you are in any doubt, you should contact the DVLA with your driving licence to hand. You should not operate any class of vehicle unless you are sure that your licence allows it, as you risk operating it without valid insurance.
Got your minibus licence and looking for a suitable used minibus? Come and visit our Wiltshire minibus centre today to find the ideal vehicle for your needs.