17 Dec 2020

When it comes to group travel, minibuses can be ideal. The ability to transport your entire family or a few groups of friends within the same vehicle adds an element of excitement to your trip and could also save you money on expensive train tickets. But can you drive a minibus on a standard category B driving license?

To get straight to the answer, it is possible – and legal – to drive a minibus with a standard category B driving license. However, there are limits and restrictions that you must follow depending on when your driving license was issued.

Driving licenses issued on or after 1st January 1997 do not withhold the full minibus license (otherwise known as the D1 entitlement). The category D1 driving license allows you to drive any vehicle that carries 16 or less passengers, is a maximum length of eight meters long and, if towing a trailer, it weighs a maximum weight of 750kg. Obtaining this entitlement requires a medical test with your GP, two theory tests and a practical examination within a category D vehicle.

Without this entitlement, you are only able to drive a minibus that can carry up to 16 passengers, so long as you meet the following restrictions:

  • You are at least 21 years of age
  • You have had your driver’s license for a minimum of two years
  • You are only driving the minibus for voluntary or social purposes
  • You are not towing a trailer
  • If you are over 70 years of age, you meet with Group 2 Medical Standards
  • The weight of your minibus does not exceed 3.5 tonnes, or 4.25 tonnes if carrying necessary equipment for any disabled passengers on board

If your driving license was obtained before 1st January 1997, it is likely to include the D1 entitlement, along with an NFHR restriction (otherwise known as the ‘not for hire or reward’ restriction.) This is a limitation that states that, whether driving a minibus with or without a D1 entitlement, you are unable to collect and transport passengers for profit. To charge for your journey, you will need to apply for additional permits.

Here at CVS Van Hire, our 9-17 seater minibuses are ready for hire, no matter the occasion. To find out about the service we can offer you, get in touch with a member of our team by calling us on 020 8003 1184.