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Driving Minibuses

There are special arrangements allowing people to drive a minibuses or bus without needing to have a passenger carrying vehicle (PCV) driving licence entitlement. Drivers of minibuses having 9-16 passenger seats normally need to hold a PCV licence category D1 or a category D licence to drive larger buses.

Exempted passenger carrying vehicles

People who have a full category B (car) driving licence may drive:

  • a passenger carrying vehicle manufactured more than 30 years before the date when it is driven and not used for hire or reward or for the carriage of more than 8 passengers
  • a minibus with up to 16 passenger seats provided all the following conditions are met:

a) the vehicle is used for social purposes by a non-commercial body and not for hire or reward
b) the driver is aged 21 or over
c) the driver has held a car (category B) licence for at least 2 years 
d) the driver is providing the service on a voluntary basis
e) the minibus maximum weight is not more than 3.5 tonnes or 4.25 tonnes including any specialist equipment for the carriage of disabled passengers
f) if the driver is aged 70 or over, is able to meet the health standards for driving a D1 vehicle

When driving a minibus under these conditions you may not receive any payment or other reward for doing so other than normal out of pocket expenses. You may not tow a trailer and you may only drive minibuses in this country. Drivers aged 70 or over will need to make a special application, which involves meeting higher medical standards.

Holders of a full category D (PCV) driving licence can also drive a passenger carrying recovery vehicle. This is defined as a vehicle (not being an articulated goods vehicle combination) which:

  • has an unladen weight not exceeding 10.2 tonnes
  • is being operated by the holder of a PSV operator's licence and, is being used for the purpose of :

a)  going to, or returning from, a place where assistance is to be, or has been,  given to a damaged or disabled passenger carrying vehicle
b) giving assistance to or moving a disabled passenger carrying vehicle or moving such a damaged vehicle



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