Legislation surrounding who is permitted to drive a minibus can be a minefield. The information below will be able to answer some of the questions that you may have.

Standard B licence

A minibus can be driven on a standard B licence (or a normal car licence) as long as the vehicle is not being driven for ‘hire or reward’. A minibus is classed as any vehicle with a seating capacity of between 9 – 17 seats, including the driver.

You must be aged between 21 and 70 to drive a minibus on a standard B licence. Once you reach the age of 70, you may retain your licence, but you must pass an annual medical examination. You must have held your licence for a period of at least two years to drive a minibus.

The maximum weight of the minibus must not exceed 3500kg. This can be increased to 4250kg if the minibus is fitted with an accessible lift. You must not be towing a trailer.

D1(101) licence

If you passed your driving test before 1997, your D1 licence would automatically include the code 101. This code means that you can drive a minibus, with between 9 – 17 seats, including the driver, on a ‘not for hire-or-reward’ basis.

This entitlement will stay on your licence until the age of 70 unless it is removed beforehand. With a D1(101) licence category, you are permitted to drive a minibus under a section 19 or section 22 permit. There are no weight restrictions on driving a minibus with this licence category.

D1 licence
If you passed your driving test after 1997, you would need to gain your D1 licence category by test. This will enable you to drive any minibus of 9 – 17 seats, including the driver, and be paid for doing so.

The above article is a brief free guide and does not constitute a detailed explanation of the law.