Yes – however you will need a letter of authorisation and VE103 before travelling to the Republic of Ireland or Europe. You will need the correct insurance and overseas rescue assistance. In addition, minibuses travelling abroad will need a working digital tachograph and each driver will need their own individual tachograph card. Each driver must also hold an unrestricted D1. The Castle Minibus customer service team can explain this further and will be pleased to help you make the necessary arrangements.
Unlike cars (which do not require an MOT until after 3 years from new), minibuses must have an annual MOT test from year 1. Castle Minibus arranges the MOT as part of your Premier Service package. Your minibus is collected from your school or college premises and returned to you after its MOT test.
If you’re leasing a minibus we can have it delivered to you from two weeks including adding your logo and livery. If you’re hiring a minibus we have 600 sites UK wide so it can usually be delivered in 24 hours.
In our experience, most schools have leases for 5,000 miles per year. However we will discuss your requirements with you so that your expected mileage is taken into account when calculating your rental.
Castle Minibus supplies tax discs (road fund licences) for the duration of your leasing contract. Any changes to the cost of road fund licences will be invoiced or credited to your account as required.
You must have held your driving licence for a minimum of 2 years and be over the age of 21. If you passed your test before January 1997 you will be able to drive a minibus on a not-for-profit basis anyway (because licences gained prior to January 1997 entitle the driver to drive a minibus, but not commercially). If driving for profit you will need to take your D1 driving test.
You can is the honest answer. However, at Castle Driver Training we pride ourselves with our 86% pass rate and believe this is due to our training process. We will help you pass your theory and hazard perception tests first, giving you a full understanding of what driving a minibus really means. Once you have passed these tests, your practical test will be arranged at a test centre near you. Your practical training will then be booked for the days prior to your test at a location of your choice.
You will need to sit a multiple-choice test of 100 questions within 75 minutes. A hazard perception test of 19 video clips within 45 minutes. Your final test will be your practical driving test, which takes approximately 1 hour. Castle will provide you with helpful links and full support with your training for all of these tests.
You need to complete a medical, send your driving licence to the DVLA to apply for your Provisional D1 category, pass your theory multiple choice and hazard perception tests and, finally, pass your practical training and practical test.
You will have your theory training and a small test in the morning, along with a ‘walk-around’. This will involve you walking around the minibus to understand the checks that should be completed before driving. The afternoon will consist of practical driving and any training for any improvements required.
Our highly qualified instructors will train you in a location of your choice. We also have a minibus that can be used, should you not have your own. Your practical test must be taken in a 17-seat minibus with a fitted tachograph facility.
We understand what pressures teachers, school business managers, school governors and bursars are under, and what is involved in operating a minibus for a school. All our services are tailored to make your life easier.
Covid-19 safe for collections and deliveries
Online and practical driver risks assessment
Eco-efficient minibuses with additional safety specifications
Low deposit and minimal cash outlay
Safety inspections completed onsite by independent qualified engineers
Flexible short-term hire solutions
Vehicle logo and livery completed before delivery
Hassle-free minibus leasing including maintenance
The UK’s only Minibus Compliance Course (MCC) recognised by RoSPA
Help to reduce insurance premiums with Minibus Compliance Course
Keeping you compliant
Talk to Castle Minibus today
We would be delighted to answer any questions you have and provide a no obligation quote and visit to your setting, with a demonstration minibus if required, at a time most convenient to you.