Yes, you can drive a minibus on a car licence, if you do not have D1 entitlement on your licence (because your licence was issued after 1 January 1997 and you have not taken the D1 test) you need to make sure the minibus you are driving has a weight of under 3.5 tonnes, that the vehicle has a Section 19 Permit and that you are not driving for hire or reward.

Under a Section 19 Permit you can drive a minibus with a MAM (Maximum Authorised Mass) or GVW (gross vehicle weight) of under 3.5 tonnes on a standard car licence. There is an additional allowance for specialist equipment for disabled passengers of 750kg but this allowance is ONLY for that equipment; it can not be attributed to anything else.

Under a Section 19 Permit there are some conditions drivers must meet when driving a minibus on a car licence.

  • 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.

For more information visit www.gov.uk/government/publications/section-19-and-22-permits-not-for-profit-passenger-transport/section-19-and-22-permits-not-for-profit-passenger-transport

Vehicles under this weight limit, that can be driven on a car licence, include the new Euro 6 Ford Transit factory-built 12 seat minibus and the Euro 5 Ford Transit 14 seat minibus, or some converted 15 seat minibuses, such as the Citroen Relay.

If drivers want to drive a minibus with a GVW of over 3.5 tonnes (or 4.25 tonnes with the allowance for specialist equipment) they must have D1 entitlement. If your driving licence was issued before January 1997 and has 101 in the D1 column on the back of your licence, then you can drive minibuses without the weight restriction. Otherwise, you will need to take the D1 driving test to get that entitlement.

For more information please email enquiries@castleminibus.co.uk or call 01869 253744

Where to find D1 101 entilement on drivers licence

Where to find D1 101 entitlement on a driver’s licence