This is a slightly unusual post for my blog, but it impacts on both sports I take part it, especially for the student population and those that want to share minibus transport.
I was under the impression that you couldn’t drive a minibus without the D1 minibus licence. For those of us that passed before 1997, we probably have that on our licences. The problem with this is that you would have to be over 32 to drive now, without taking the minibus test.
However, it seems that the rules are more relaxed than I believed. The position is set out in the DVLA leaflet that you can find here. The gist is that the rules are much more relaxed when driving in “social” circumstances (or if the minibus has a type of permit).
The basic details are as follows:
If your car licence does not allow you to drive minibuses, there are certain circumstances where you may still be able to do so.
You may drive a minibus with up to 16 passenger seats provided you can meet all conditions below:
(i) you drive on behalf of a
non-commercial body for social purposes but not for hire or reward (unless operating under a permit) see section 4;
(ii) you are aged 21 or over;
(iii) you have held a car (category B) licence for at least 2 years;
(iv) you are providing your service on a voluntary basis;
(v) the minibus maximum weight is not more than 3.5 tonnes excluding
equipment for the carriage of disabled passengers. Minibuses
up to 4.25 tonnes will be permitted in certain circumstances
(vi) you do not tow a trailer.