What Licence Do I Need to Drive a Minibus?

Holding the correct licence to drive a minibus is essential, and varies according to how you are using the vehicle. Read our guide to see if you need an additional licence to drive a minibus.

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Can I drive a minibus on a car licence?

Under certain conditions, as described below, you are able to drive a minibus with up to 16 passenger seats in the UK using a standard driving licence. If these conditions do not apply, you’ll need to apply for an additional minibus licence.

Either way, it is wise to have minibus insurance.

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When do I need a minibus permit?

If you need to charge passengers to ride in a minibus you are driving, but only for covering running cost and not for profit (i.e. you are driving it for a voluntary organisation such as an educational, religious or sports entity), you must apply for a minibus permit. 

You can only drive with a minibus permit if you are 21 or older, and the vehicle must not be able to carry more than 17 passengers.

You should apply for a minibus permit through the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

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When do I need a minibus licence?

If you are going to drive a minibus for profit, or if any of the other scenarios above do not apply to your situation (for example if you are under 21), you’ll need to apply for:

  1. A minibus provisional entitlement, otherwise known as a passenger carrying vehicle (PCV) licence
  2. public service vehicle (PSV) operator licence

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Can I drive a minibus?

You can drive a minibus within the UK if:

  • You’re aged 21 or older. If you are under 21 but hold a standard driving licence, you’ll need to apply for an additional, minibus licence.
  • You’ve held your driving licence for at least 24 months
  • If you are aged over 70, you meet the ‘Group 2’ medical standards. If you are unsure, check with your GP
  • You’re driving the minibus as a volunteer and the trip is for social purposes by a non-commercial body
  • The minibus does not weigh more than 3.5t - or 4.25t including specialist equipment for disabled passengers, for example a wheelchair ramp
  • You are not towing a trailer

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Can I drive a minibus abroad?

Whether you can drive a minibus abroad on a UK licence depends on the licensing authority of the country you’re visiting. See more information about driving abroad on the UK Government website.

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Can I drive a minibus if I am 70 or over?

You can still be entitled to drive a minibus if you are 70 or over, but if you are renewing your driving licence you must ensure you:

Forms can be ordered on the DVLA forms page of the UK Government website.

You should send both forms to the address in section F of the D2.

This is a marketing article by Towergate Insurance.

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Minibus insurance from Towergate

Designed for one or more vehicles with between 9 and 17 seats, our minibus insurance can cover all under one policy, with one set of paperwork. If you run a fleet and want to add or remove vehicles, simply give us a call and we can usually make the amendment the same day.

Call for a quote on 01603 753 880 or request a quote online

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About the author

Chris North FCII, commercial vehicles insurance articles author Chris North FCII is a respected industry leader with over 40 years' experience, who has worked in the insurance industry in a variety of roles, accumulating a wealth of knowledge.He is currently Technical Manager for Towergate's motor division, providing expertise on all matters relating to motor fleet insurance, in particular haulage and self-drive hire fleets.