Family cars today are getting larger. MPV’s and People Carriers can have 7 or 8 seats. But when does your family car become classed as a minibus? This is an important distinction as it can have insurance implications and your driving license may not be valid.
The classification for a minibus is a means that has between 9 to 16 passenger seats. With more than 16 passenger seats the means is classed as a coach.
If your means is classed as a minibus, do you have a valid driving license? If you are over 21, your license was obtained before 1 January 1997 and the minibus is not used for hire or reward, then the answer is ‘yes’. All licenses issued after this date need a category D1 classification, which can be obtained by applying to the DVLA and passing a Passenger Carrying means (PCV) test.
There are exemptions to this regulation that will allow you to excursion a minibus on a complete category B (car) license, but the following conditions need to be met:
1. The minibus is used for a social purpose but not for hire and reward.
2. You must be over 21 and have held your Category B license for more than 2 years. If you are over 70 then you are required to meet the health standards for driving a D1 means.
3. No payment can be accepted for driving the minibus.
4. The minibus cannot weigh more than 3.5 tonnes or 4.25 tonnes with special equipment for carrying disabled passengers.
5. Towing a trailer of any size is extremely.
6. The minibus can only be pushed in the UK. Driving in Europe will require a D1 license.
There are other regulations which apply to driving a minibus, not just a valid driving license. The Directgov website has more information about what is required.