D1 Driver Training

At Castle we’re extremely proud to be working with over 2000 schools, academies, colleges and organisations across the UK. We have become the chosen provider of D1 driver training due to our high standard of support and tuition which leads to phenomenal pass rates.

2000 Schools

Call today to see what we can do for you 01869 253744

Who needs a D1 licence?

If you passed your If you passed your driving test before January 1997 you will have inherited your D1 licence as part of that test, but there is a big difference in driving a minibus compared to a car; just because you’re legal doesn’t mean you’re safe.

For your D1 minibus licence, we provide a complete solution; arranging the theory and practical tests as well as the comprehensive minibus training programme. All you have to do is book your medical and we arrange the rest. We can even recommend a service of specialist practitioners who are experienced in giving the D1 medical test at a more competitive rate than your local GP.

Safety First

Currently 12% of drivers are rejected for the D1 licence on the grounds of poor eyesight or medical conditions. Even if your drivers have a D1 currently it’s worth checking their licences, health and eyesight on a regular basis as statistically 12% of them could be currently unfit to drive, depending on when they were last checked.

What’s involved in D1 driver training?

Ensuring your ready for the test

All candidates are given access to an online portal to prepare for the theory test. Castle can then advise schools on whether they feel the candidates are ready for their theory test based on the time spent revising online.

Castle’s Driver trainers have the latest minibuses and will come to you at your school, academy, college, place of work or even home to start your trainings – saving you time and money. Your minibus driver training can also be scheduled to your preference for timings, term time or holidays; the choice is yours.

In our recent school customer satisfaction survey, 98% of those trained rated us as either excellent or good. Better still, everyone said that they would gladly recommend us to other schools or businesses in their area.

D1 Training
  • Advanced driving instructors

  • Support throughout the theory and practical

  • Latest minibuses for training and tests

  • Pick-up and drop off at your chosen location

  • 50% higher 1st time pass rate than UK average

What if you already hold a D1?

For those teaching and support staff that already hold the D1 licence but have never, or rarely, driven a minibus, Castle Minibus offer MiDAS (Minibus Drivers Assessment Scheme) courses for additional peace of mind. We would also recommend that you have bi-annual medical checks and annual eyesight checks.

Driving minibuses on a standard B car licence

Any vehicle with eight passenger seat or less is considered a car, not a minibus. There are some circumstances where a light-weight minibus can be driven on a standard B car licence; if the gross vehicle weight is under 3.5 tonnes (with an additional allowance of 750kg for disabled access equipment only) and the driver is over 21 years of age, is a volunteer and is driving for social purposes.

For clarification on licences, vehicle weights and permits send your transport manager or staff member responsible for minibuses on the Minibus Compliance Course to receive certification they have received minibus compliance training.

Talk to Castle Minibus today

We would be delighted to answer any questions you have about our D1 Courses.

D1 Course
Consent *

‘Firstly I would like to thank you for all your support over the past few months with helping me achieve my results.

I would also like to give you some feedback about Liz.

Liz was absolutely fantastic, she really made me feel at ease and was a brilliant trainer. She was very professional and explained everything clearly and put up with me keep asking silly questions and repeating myself she also made me feel less nervous.

I think Liz is an asset to Castle and would recommend both you and her to anyone. Please would you be kind enough to pass this onto her?

Kind regards, Rob Moon’

Robert Moon, Bridge and Patrixbourne Church of England Primary School

‘It was great and Cliff was a really good instructor.

Thank you, Sean’

Sean Hopkins,, Teacher of boys PE, Saint Benedict Catholic Voluntary Academy

‘My instructor Paul, from Castle Minibus was very helpful. He praised, helped me to realise things that I needed to do, things that I was doing that I clearly shouldn’t and told me not to give up. He was patient and perservered with me when I was moaning and having a tantrum and gave me reasurance that I could do it. Great service that is highly recommended.’

Deborah Lockhart, The Matthew Arnold School

‘I have been very pleased indeed with your whole process. Your support with the bookings and reminders and the software for practising the theory has made it all seamless. Liz, my trainer was very supportive and rigorous in telling me what areas I needed to work on, and had a lot of patience with me when I struggled with the reverse manoeuvre at first. Her tailored advice meant that I could go in with confidence. Furthermore, she was very flexible with the practical arrangements, for example meeting me near to my house as the test centre was near to my house, which made things easier and also meant I had more opportunity to practise.

Overall an excellent experience, and I would thoroughly recommend Castle and Liz to anyone seeking to obtain their D1 licence. Thanks, Geoff’

Geoffrey Andrews, Sidcot School

D1 minibus driver training candidate with pass certificate‘I send this email to thank you for the resources but I also want to extend a massive thank you to Paul. Not only was he professional and so clearly experienced in all things driving, but he was so supportive and a really lovely man. Without gushing, I felt like I could ask any question without feeling silly and that his instruction was tailored to my needs rather than an agenda that he needed to fulfil.

I had an excellent experience with him over the last two days and I am genuinely grateful for his guidance and in honesty, I would have said the same if I had failed. Thank you again. Nicole’

Nicole Ward, Spire Nursery and Infant School

‘I would like to pass on my thanks to Liz who was an excellent instructor. Firm but fair and with a personable manner. I enjoyed my two days and was very happy with Liz as my instructor. I would certainly recommend her. She gave me confidence.

Thanks

Edward Welch’

Edward Welch, Bristol Cathedral Choir School

Once again a huge thank you for pulling out the stops to get the bus delivered today, it really is appreciated. It definitely confirms that you were the right choice in supplying our minibus. I will be singing your praises to anyone who is thinking of getting a minibus.

A massive thank you !!

Andrew Beckinsale-Yates, Broomhill Junior School

We are delighted that both David Winter and Matt Nichol have passed!

They both thoroughly enjoyed the training and as a school we have been very impressed with the quality and administration of all contact with Castle. In addition, both candidates gave very positive feedback about Cliff.

Louise Bainbridge, School Business Manager, Bernard Gilpin Primary School

Our minibus is absolutely amazing. We`ve started picking up and returning children who live a long way away. And of course it`s publicity for us when we are out and about. I wish we could have got one ages ago.”

Linda Bradley, Byker Primary School

‘I’m very pleased that I passed, Paul was very good and I would highly recommend your company. 

Thanks for all yours and Paul’s support.

Thanks Jake’

Jake Francis, 4th Canvey Island Sea Scout Group

‘Liz was brilliant over the last couple of days and my pass is entirely thanks to her.

She is calm, patient and clear in what is needed to pass and I couldn’t recommend Castle and Liz highly enough.

Huge thanks again,
Milly’

Emily Corrigan, Head of Geography, Kings' Bruton

‘Liz has been amazing and I thoroughly enjoyed our 3 days with her.

She is an excellent instructor and I’ve really appreciated all of the support from Castle.

Best wishes
Emilie’

Emilie Loveless, House Mistress and Modern Languages Teacher, King's Bruton

‘I would like to write and praise my excellent instructor, Karen. She was incredibly knowledgeable, helpful, patient and easy to get on with. She helped me stay calm and eased my nerves and knew what to advise me on and how to improve my weaknesses. She is an asset to Castle Driver Training. Please thank her again on my behalf.

Thanks, David’

David Humphrey, Cambourne Village College

‘We are more than happy with the excellent service that Castle provide, all the staff that have completed their D1 have been extremely grateful for the professionalism and attitude that the instructors provide.

Thanks again
Leo’

Leo Healy, Radley College

‘It was an absolute pleasure to have Paul as my instructor and fingers crossed we will be looking to book in more

practical experiences in the near future.

Kind Regards
Olivia’

Olivia Kristine, The Matthew Arnold School

‘Just want to say thanks again for the training with Cliff. I learnt more in the two days with you than I did after months

of training when passing my regular driving test (I also managed to change a lot of bad habits too!) Thankfully all the advice and wisdom you passed on enabled me to pass the D1 test.

Since passing the test, I’ve driven the minibuses at school with children on board which was a totally different experience but one I enjoyed nonetheless!

Thanks again,
David Winter’

David Winter, Bernard Gilpin Primary School

‘Couldn’t fault the experience I have had with you as a company. Incredibly helpful communications at all times,

even if that has been to ‘gently encourage’ my studying for theory tests, speedy responses to any questions and providing handy help sheets. Liz, what can I say? She was simply brilliant. Beyond being a real pleasure to spend two days with, her professionalism, knowledge, handy hints and ever steady/calm demeanour was just what I needed. She had a fabulous ability to instill confidence in me, without being too positive (which would have no doubt made me too cocky!!) and always knew just what to say. So, all in all, with ‘D1’ ready to be stamped on my licence, the process was super easy and I can’t say thank you enough.

Wouldn’t hesitate to recommend you.’

Martin Gibb, Amesbury School

‘Everything seemed to go well with the training, Thanks again to you for finding another trainer when the original trainer was unavailable,

and to the trainer herself for stepping in to pick this up – it would have been extremely difficult for me to rearrange given the pressures on teaching staff time.’

Louise Simmonds, Langley Grammar School

‘From my side, I find you all extremely helpful. 

You were very patient with me answering numerous questions when I first contacted you and then dealt with the initial set up so swiftly. Anne is always following up and keeping me informed, which I need! If I ever ask for updates, Anne promptly lets me know what I need.

Karen’

From Linden:

‘They were excellent, instructor was an especially nice guy. 10/10 from me.

Linden’

Karen Rowell and Linden Lockhart, Ashford School