Minibus Safety Inspections are required whatever permit you are operating your minibuses under, including an Operator’s Licence and a Section 19 Permit. The frequency of inspections changes dependent on the types of vehicles you are driving and the licence or permit you’re operating under.

Minibus Safety inspections are not an advisory, they are a legal requirement, in addition to services and MOTs.

The government’s guide to roadworthiness states:

Operational needs must not override safety considerations. Safety inspections should, where it is practicable, be programmed to follow a time-based pattern. The frequency at which inspections are undertaken should be determined by assessing the level of mechanical degradation likely to be incurred over a period as a result of the vehicle’s usage. This will depend on such factors as:

  • the age and type of vehicle operated
  • the recommendations of the vehicle manufacturer
  • the nature of its load, the equipment and fittings it carries or supports
  • the type and range of operations on which it is likely to be engaged
  • the type of terrain and the nature of the environment in which it operates or is likely to operate
  • the distance and speeds at which it travels and the journey times.

Assessing the above factors for each vehicle will, in the majority of cases, enable a time-based programme of inspections to be formulated. Some operations, however, are subject to continuous change, or vehicles can frequently be reassigned to alternative tasks or routes, making the adoption of a strictly time-based inspection programme impracticable. Mileage-based inspection programmes may be more suitable for some operators but will need to be linked to time.

Safety Inspections under a Section 19 Permit

A Section 19 permit is for schools and organisations with charitable status that are operating vehicles (9-16 passengers) for the benefit of their organisation’s users, not the public, and do not intend to make a profit. The Section 19 Permit replaces a PSV or PHV Operator’s licence.

The DVSA recommends that holders of a Section 19 Permit complete minibus safety inspections every 10 weeks for vehicles under 12 years, and every 6 weeks for vehicles over 12 years.

Safety Inspections on the Section 19 Permit application

From May 2021 the application form for the Section 19 Permit requires you to evidence your minibus safety inspections and provide deals of who is carrying out the maintenance on your vehicles. You are required to submit supporting evidence that you are having this maintenance carried out.

Castle Minibus are the UK’s leading provider of minibus safety inspections for schools. We work with two national fleets of mobile engineers that will complete the inspections on your premises. For more information on Section 19 Permit and safety inspections visit the gov website or give our compliance team a call on 01869 253744 who will help you.