Vehicle Type
Size, weight and licences

Minibus Vehicle Types

You have lots of options when it comes to minibuses; size, specification and manufacturer.

Size is dependent on seats, but weight is also a factor as it determines what licence and conditions are needed to drive the vehicle.

Vehicles with a GVW of 3.5 tonnes and over require a D1 entitlement. There is a weight allowance of 750kg for specialist equipment only – it cannot be apportioned to anything else.

As a guide:

With D1 entitlement:

Drivers can drive any weight minibus. However they will still need regular refresher training and assessments.

Without D1 entitlement:

Drivers can drive a minibus with a GVW under 3.5 tonnes but conditions apply under a Section 19 Permit.

  • We recommend that you consider who is going to be driving your vehicles and what training your school is willing to provide for them. We recommend all potential drivers should be assessed and training should be provided where necessary
D1 Entitlement

This is a category on your driving licence that permits you to legally drive vehicles of between 9 & 16 seats. If you passed your test BEFORE 1st January 1997, you’ll automatically have category D1 on your licence. For weight, this allows you to drive a minibus with a maximum weight of 3.5 tonnes or 4.25 with a passenger lift.

With or without a D1 entitlement, drivers will need regular refresher training and assessments.

GVW

The gross vehicle weight rating, also known as the gross vehicle mass (GVM), is the MAXIMUM operating weight of a vehicle as specified by the manufacturer.  This includes not just the vehicle’s chassis, body, engine, engine fluids, fuel and accessories but also the driver, passengers and cargo.

Section 19 Permit

If you are a school that has charitable status or is not-for-profit you can run your minibuses under a Section 19 Permit, avoiding the need for a professional Operator’s Licence. Section 19 Permits are £11 from the DVSA and are displayed like a tax disk on the front windscreen – you need one per vehicle.

Drivers must meet these conditions under a Section 19 Permit if they don’t have a D1 entitlement.

  • Must be over 21
  • they have held a full category B car licence for at least 2 years
  • they receive no payment or other consideration for driving other than out-of-pocket expenses
  • the vehicle has a maximum gross weight not exceeding 3.5 tonnes (4.25 tonnes including specialised equipment for the carriage of disabled passengers)
  • for drivers aged 70 or over, that they don’t have any medical conditions which would disqualify them from eligibility for a D1 licence
  • no trailer is being towed
  • where the driver’s licence only authorises the driving of vehicles with automatic transmission, that only a vehicle with automatic transmission is used
  • Drivers aged 70 or over who don’t meet the higher medical standards are not authorised to drive small buses. They can drive small vehicles being used under a permit, provided they have renewed their car licence.

Source: Gov.uk

Driver Minibus FAQs

Vehicle Option Types

Take a look at the vehicle options below to give you an idea of sizes, prices and options.

1. PERFECT FOR TEACHERS WHO PREFER TO DRIVE A CAR

Tourneo new 9 seat

The Ford Tourneo has seating for 8 passengers and a driver and as such is considered a car, so it can be driven on a standard car licence. It is available in a range of engine types and is a versatile and comfortable people mover.

Many of our schools choose to run several Ford Tourneos instead of 17 seat minibuses because of its size, comfort and ease of driving and parking.

Lease option from £359 (+VAT) pcm. 

  • Full maintenance contract
  • Roadside Assistance
  • 10 week inspections
  • Logo and livery
  • Free delivery and collection
  • Discounted safety services

Request a brochure

12 month rental options from £570 (+VAT) pcm. Payment profile 3+11

Full maintenance contract

Roadside Assistance

10-week safety inspections

Logo and livery

Free delivery and collection

Discounted safety services

View available vehicles

Purchase used from  £13,999 (+VAT) part-x available

Includes 12 months –

RAC warranty & Roadside Assistance

10-week safety inspections

Free delivery

Discounted safety services

View available vehicles

2. FOR DRIVERS WITHOUT D1 ENTITLEMENT

12 Seats

Ford’s 12 seat Transit minibuses are under 3.5 tonnes GVW and can be driven on a car licence (conditions apply under a Section 19 Permit – please see panel above)

Lease option from £369 (+VAT) pcm. 

Full maintenance contract

Roadside Assistance

10-week safety inspections

Logo and livery

Free delivery and collection

Discounted safety services

Request a brochure

12 month rental option from £570 (+VAT) pcm. Payment profile 3+11

Full maintenance contract

Roadside Assistance

10-week safety inspections

Logo and livery

Free delivery and collection

Discounted safety services

Logo and livery available

View available vehicles

Purchase used from £13,999 (+VAT) part-x available

Includes 12 months –

RAC warranty & Roadside Assistance

10-week safety inspections

Free delivery

Discounted safety services

Logo and livery available

View available vehicles

Ford Minibus 14seat

14 Seats

Ford Transit Euro 5 Minibuses (pre-2014) has a GWV of 3.5 tonnes. We have a selection of used 14 seat Fords for sale or 12-month rental.

12 month rental option from £570 (+VAT) pcm. Payment profile 3+11

Full maintenance contract

Roadside Assistance

10-week safety inspections

Logo and livery

Free delivery and collection

Discounted safety services

Logo and livery available

View available vehicles

Purchase used from 13,999 (part-x available)

Includes 12 months  –

RAC warranty & Roadside Assistance

10-week safety inspections

Free delivery

Discounted safety services

Logo and livery available

View available vehicles

citroen relay 15 seats

15 Seats

The Citroen Relay Minibus is a converted vehicle and at 3.5 tonne GVW can be driven on a car licence (conditions apply under a Section 19 Permit see panel above).

Lease option from £369 (+VAT) pcm

Full maintenance contract

Roadside Assistance

10 week inspections

Logo and livery

Free delivery and collection

Discounted safety services

View available vehicles

12 month rental option from £570 (+VAT) pcm. Payment profile 3+11

Full maintenance contract

Roadside Assistance

10 week inspections

Logo and livery

Free delivery and collection

Discounted safety services

Logo and livery available

View available vehicles

Purchase used from £13,999 (+VAT) part-x available

Included 12 months –

RAC warranty & Roadside Assistance

10 week inspections (12 months)

Free delivery

Discounted safety services

Logo and livery available

View available vehicles

3. FOR DRIVERS WITH D1 ENTITLEMENT

All of the above are suitable with or without a D1 Entitlement.

14, 15 & 17 Seat Ford Minibuses

All Ford factory-built minibuses have a GVW over 3.5 tonnes and so require D1 entitlement, either inherited on licences obtained before 1 Jan 1997 or by taking the full D1 licence.

We have a range of larger minibuses available to suit, depending on your needs

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