What is the difference between Minibus Safety Inspections and Minibus Checks?
Minibus safety inspections are legally required inspections that need to be completed by qualified engineers every 10 weeks (6 weeks for vehicles of 12 years and over)
Minibus checks are those completed by school staff or drivers before the vehicle is used – this might be every day.
Both are legally required under a Section 19 Permit. Section 19 Permits allow charitable and not-for-profit organisations to run minibuses without a full PSV Operator’s Licence.
Records of safety inspections and minibus checks need to be kept for 15 months.
Minibus safety inspections and minibus checks are required on top of regular services and MOTs.
More about Minibus Safety Inspections
A qualified and independent engineer will come to your school to complete the inspection. It takes approximately 45 minutes – 1 hour and involves them checking all parts of the vehicle including removing the wheels and checking under the bonnet and vehicle. Watch our safety inspections video to find out more.
When you apply for a Section 19 Permit, needed to run minibuses not-for-profit, the application form will ask you for details of your minibus safety inspections and evidence of the agreement you have with the engineer providing them.
You should not use the engineers/garage that completes your MOTs and services as the safety inspection is designed to be an additional check. That is why Castle Minibus’ independent mobile engineers are the perfect answer. They come to you and can warn you of any potential problems before they become a bigger issue.
Castle Minibus provides Minibus Safety inspections to schools across the UK. We completed over 10,000 inspections in 2021 for organisations that are both existing customers and new. You don’t have to have a minibus with Castle to have us complete your safety inspections.
Minibus checks are completed by staff or drivers before a minibus is taken on the road. This is to ensure there are no immediate issues that could cause a problem on the road – such as no screen wash, no fuel or a bald tyre.
These checks are not in-depth and don’t need to be completed by an engineer but they do need to be recorded and any defects or problems need to be fixed before the vehicle is taken on the road.
Castle Minibus has a free app to help organisations complete and manage their minibus checks. School Transport Managers – or those responsible for managing the minibuses – can download the app and then invite their drivers to join. There is a choice of either a 12-point or 40-point check on the app, and the results can be seen by the transport manager on a dashboard. The app also includes videos that walk you through the minibus check.
Watch our video on the 12-point daily check – this and a 40-check video are available on the free STRIDA app
Why do minibuses need all these checks and inspections?
A Section 19 Permit allows schools and organisations to run minibuses without the expense of an Operator’s Licence, but the safety concerns for these vehicles are the same.
Daily minibus checks will ensure that journeys run smoothly and that drivers are protected from problems on the road, from the inconvenience of no fuel to the expense of a £2000 fine for a bald minibus tyre. Daily or pre-journey checks will also provide a system of accountability if an organisation has multiple drivers.
The frequency of minibus safety inspections, and the fact they are completed by a qualified engineer, ensure that the minibus is safe to drive and that there has not been any significant wear or damage since the vehicle’s last service or MOT. Safety Inspections can identify problems early on, saving organisations money in the long run.
Contact Castle Minibus on 01869 253744 if you have any questions about the above, whether you are a Castle customer or not – we’ll be happy to help you.