This article was updated in June 2023 to include updated information on the online Minibus Compliance Course and include a video that illustrates the points made in this blog.

You can drive a minibus on a standard car licence as long as the GVW (also called MAM) is under 3500gk. Under a Section 19 Permit there are certain conditions to meet to drive a minibus under 3500kg, including being over 21 and not being paid to do so.

Can teachers drive minibuses under 3500kg on a car licence?

If a teacher obtained their standard B car licence (car, not automatic) before January 1997 they have an automatic D1 entitlement that allows them to drive any weight small bus and receive payment for doing so. If they obtained their car licence after January 1997, they can only drive a minibus under 3500kg if they are doing so without payment or other consideration. Castle Minibus along with several county councils have sought specialist legal advice on this issue and been advised that teachers are driving as part of their paid employment and as such are receiving payment regardless of whether they have ‘volunteered’ to drive the minibus.

If you are allowing teachers to drive minibuses under 3500kg on a standard B licence, you run the risk of driving on the wrong licence and we recommend you seek specialist legal advice to clarify your position.

You can read more on our blog Can I drive a 16-seat minibus on a car licence?

Ensuring you’re not overweight

It is dangerous to drive an overweight vehicle for many reasons but if you’re relying on the weight of your vehicle being under 3500kg to drive it with a standard car licence then it is especially important to understand the unladen weight and pay loads of your vehicle which combined make up the MAM, maximum authorised mass of 3500kg.

The 750kg additional allowance is for specialist lifting equipment only and can not be used for anything else i.e. luggage or a ramp.

Learn More on the Minibus Compliance Course

Weights and who can drive minibuses are explained in the Minibus Compliance Course that is now available online.

If you are concerned about your minibus and are looking for advice on minibuses, D1 driver training or minibus compliance please call Castle Minibus on 01869 253744 or email