Lightweight Minibus – your questions answered2022-05-10T08:27:27+00:00

Our Mini Series comprises of related articles to specific questions we receive from UK schools

Lightweight Minibuses – your questions answered

We are launching an online communication campaign, including emails and social media, to encourage schools to be sure the vehicles they are buying meet the criteria – under a Section 19 Permit – for a standard car licence.

We have tried to provide clear answers to all your frequently asked questions in this series about “lightweight minibuses’.

If you cannot find the answer to your question then please email us on enquiries@castleminibus.co.uk or call 01869 253744 and our friendly team will be happy to help.

Common FAQs

Can I drive a converted minibus bus on a car licence?2022-05-09T10:42:04+00:00

The same rules apply to converted minibuses as to factory-built minibuses. If you are not driving for hire or reward, under a Section 19 Permit, you can drive a converted minibus (9-16 seats) on a car licence if the GVW is 3500kg or under. There is an additional allowance of 750kg that must be used exclusively for specialist equipment for disabled passengers

3.5-tonne van and minibus weight limits2022-05-09T10:40:37+00:00

You can drive a van with a GVW (gross vehicle weight) of up to 3.5 tonnes on a standard car licence with no D1 entitlement. If you have D1 (101) on your licence (issued before Jan 1st 1997) or have passed the full D1 test, you can drive a van or small truck up to 7.5 tonnes and tow a vehicle and trailer combination of up to 8250kg. The same weight limit applies to panel and window vans converted to minibuses under a Section 19 Permit – other conditions apply.

What are the DVLA weight limits for minibuses?2022-05-09T10:39:25+00:00

The weight limit for driving minibuses on a car licence is 3500kg, with an additional 750kg allowance for specialist equipment for disabled passengers. If the GVW exceeds 3500kg (or 4250kg with specialist equipment) you will require D1 entitlement on your driving licence – either inherited or obtained by taking the D1 test.

Who to ask about minibus weights and licences2022-05-09T10:36:40+00:00

The DVSA is the best authority to consult for an answer on minibus weight and licences. You can contact the technical officers directly via phone: 0300 123 9000 or email technicalofficers@dvsa.gov.uk

How to find the GVW of a minibus?2022-05-09T10:32:19+00:00

The GVW is stated on the VIN plate of your vehicle that can be found on a metal plate inside the driver’s door or in the passenger footwell. The GVW is the second largest number on that plate.

finding the gross vehicle weight of your minibus

Finding the gross vehicle weight of your minibus

What is the GVW of a minibus?2022-05-09T10:31:03+00:00

GVW stands for Gross Vehicle Weight, it is also called the MAM) Maximum Authorised Mass) and is the maximum weight a fully laden minibus (passengers, luggage and fuel) can reach. To avoid overloading your minibus be aware of the kerbside or unladen weight and then the payload, the amount of additional weight you’re adding. These combined weights should not exceed the GVW.

What is a Minibus Light?2022-05-09T10:30:04+00:00

Minibus lights is the name given to some minibuses weighing under 3.5 tonnes that can be driven on a car licence. These are converted panel or window vans specifically designed for schools to avoid the full D1 driver test. Although legal they are usually missing heavier safety features such as side-impact bars.

17 seat minibuses you can drive on a car licence?2022-05-09T10:27:29+00:00

There are no vehicle manufacturers that make a 17 minibus you can drive on a car licence as the GVW needs to be 3500kg or under. Converted panel vans, known as lightweight minibuses, offer more options for vehicles under the 3500kg GVW limit.

Can I drive a Peugeot L4 H2 minibus on a standard car licence?2022-05-09T10:25:02+00:00

Because the Peugeot L4 H2 minibus has a GVW of 4005kg you will need D1 entitlement to drive it. The GVW is 505kg over the 3500kg allowance for standard B licence under a Section 19 Permit.

Can I drive a Citroen L4 H2 minibus on a standard car licence?2022-05-09T10:24:20+00:00

No, you need D1 entitlement to drive a Citroen L4 H2 minibus because the GVW or plated weight is 4005kg – which is 505kg over the 3500kg allowance for standard B licence under a Section 19 Permit.

Do I need a special licence to drive a minibus?2022-05-09T10:23:27+00:00

Under a Section 19 Permit you don’t need a special licence to drive a minibus provided you are not driving for hire and reward and the minibus’ GVW is 3500kg or under (other conditions apply). Minibuses over 3.5 tonnes require D1 entitlement to drive them – this can be inherited (on licences issued before Jan 1st 1997) or you can take the full D1 test.

What Ford Minibus can I drive without a D12022-05-09T10:22:23+00:00

The largest new Ford minibus you can drive without D1 entitlement is a Euro 6 12 seat Ford transit that weighs 3500kg. The Euro 5 Ford Transit 14 seat minibus (pre-2014) also weighs 3500kg but the newer Euro 6 14 seat minibus has a GVW of over 3500kg and needs D1 entitlement.

How big a minibus can I drive?2022-05-09T09:49:24+00:00

If you don’t have D1 entitlement, because your licence was issued after Jan 1st 1997, you can drive a minibus with 9-16 seats up to a GVW of 3500kg (4250kg with specialist equipment), as long as you’re not driving for hire or reward. If you have D1 entitlement or a full D1 licence you can drive heavier vehicles, and be paid to do so. Conditions apply, see the .gov website for more details.

Is a lightweight minibus a converted van?2022-05-09T09:47:53+00:00

Lightweight minibuses are converted panel or window vans so that the converters can keep the weights below 3500kg to allow the vehicles to be driven without D1 entitlement. An additional allowance of 750kg is allowed for permanent specialist equipment for disabled passengers. This allowance can not be attributed to anything else.

What 17 seat minibus can be driven on a car licence?2022-05-09T09:50:30+00:00

No manufacturer makes a 17 seat minibus with a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of under 3500kg. Converted vans such as the Citroen or Peugeot L4 H2 have a pre-conversion GVW of 4005kg meaning they require D1 entitlement to drive as a minibus.

 

What is a lightweight minibus?2022-05-09T09:51:22+00:00

Lightweight minibuses, sometimes called minibus lights, are minibuses weighing under 3.5 tonnes that can be driven on a standard car licence. Currently, there is not a 17 seat minibus on the market with a GVW of 3500kg or under. Before you commit to a minibus you intend to drive without D1 entitlement check that the GVW is 3500kg or under – NOT including any specialist equipment.

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