As of 1st February 2021, there has been a change in the law when it comes to minibus tyres that are over 10 years old.

You can read the full changes here on the .gov website but we have taken the relevant points for schools and minibuses and surmised them for you.

Two major changes came into force regarding tyres.

  1. You should not be using tyres over 10 years old on front axel or as single wheels of your minibus (9 to 16 passenger seats)
  2. You need to ensure the manufactures date code is legible/visible on your tyres.

If you have a 17-seat factory-built minibus have like a Ford Transit you will have double wheels at the back of the minibus. All other minibuses are likely to have single wheels at the front and back of the vehicle so you must check the dates of your tyres.

If you have a Ford Tourneo this is 8 passenger seat and is considered a car.

What does this mean for schools with 10 year+ tyres?

Your minibus will fail its MOT if it has tyres over 10 years old on the front steered axles or on any single wheels of your minibus.

Tyres without a legible manufacture date code fitted to a minibus will also fail the annual test.

If the manufacturer date code is not legible on other wheel positions, such as a twin wheel on a 17 seat Ford Transit, this will be a minor fail result. There would be an expectation that the tyre will be replaced.

Out on the road – a DVSA enforcement check

Your minibus will be issued with an immediate prohibition notice if it has tyres over 10 years old on the front steered axles or any single wheels.

If the manufacturer’s date code is not legible on all tyres fitted to minibuses this would attract a delayed prohibition.

Who is responsible for your tyres?

Gov.uk clearly states ‘It’s the operator’s responsibility to make sure they have an adequate tyre management system in place and that they regularly consider the risks associated with using older tyres, even if the law permits.’

Where tyres more than 10 years old are legally used on other wheel positions, their age should be recorded and a specific risk assessment is completed, that considers the distance, speed and loading conditions that the vehicle will operate under (for example, operating only in urban areas).

If the operator can’t show us that they’re adequately managing their tyres, the DVSA will consider referring them to the Traffic Commissioner.

Is now the time to appoint a transport manager?

Castle Minibus are Champions of Minibus safety and when it comes to managing your minibuses we recommend schools appoint someone who can manage all that is required under a Section 19 Permit. This includes;

  • Knowing what a Section 19 Permit is
  • Arranging the legally required vehicle safety inspections
  • Managing the required daily vehicle checks
  • Managing and evidencing driver training and assessments
  • Helping prevent accidents and damage to the vehicle
  • Recording and managing tyre dates
  • Evidencing a minibus safety system.

Castle Minibus has developed the UK’s only Online Minibus Compliance Course that covers all of the above to educate and certify those given the role of minibus management for only £145 (+VAT).

For more information and to access the online compliance course please call 01869 253744 or email enquiries@castleminibus.co.uk

Photo credit: Robert Laursoo on Unsplash