Minibus driver training
We offer one day training courses in Maidstone for anyone
who wants to drive a minibus (a vehicle containing 9-16 passenger
seats). Alternatively, if an organisation wants 8 or more drivers
to have the training, we can provide a course at a specific
Who is the course for?
The courses we offer are for drivers who passed their car test
before 1 January 1997, with a category D1 on their licence.
Drivers passing their test after this date must now complete a
Passenger Carrying Vehicle (PCV) category test, through the
Driving Standards Agency (DSA).
What do you learn on the course?
- The difference between driving a minibus and driving a car
- The rules and regulations of minibus driving
- Practical minibus driving skills.
What happens on the day?
- Drivers have their eyesight and licences checked to ensure they
are able to drive a minibus
- The morning is spent in the classroom understanding the legal
and practical requirements of driving a minibus, and what is
expected of a driver
- After lunch, trained assessors take groups of no more than 4
drivers out to the minibuses. Checks are carried out before the
drivers take turns to drive the vehicles
- Drivers get help and encouragement to reach a safe standard of
driving, and are assessed at the same time. Any driver who has
difficulty reaching this standard is offered extra training at a
- Drivers who successfully complete the course receive an
Approved Minibus Driver's card and a written assessment of their
How long is the Approved Minibus Driver's card for?
The card received is valid for 3 years. After this, drivers
still needing to be an approved driver have a re-assessment. This
is simply an hour appointment in a minibus where the driver needs
- successfully answer minibus-related questions
- demonstrate that their driving has remained safe in the 3 years
since their last minibus assessment.
Successful candidates are then issued with a new card for a
further 3 years.
The KCC re-assessment currently costs £37 and can be booked by
Our policy on minibus driving
Kent County Council's health and safety policy requires any
employee driving a minibus, or anyone driving a minibus owned by
Kent County Council to be an approved driver.
Can anyone drive a minibus?
You must be 21-70 years of age. If you are over 70, you can
still drive a minibus, but only with a successful doctor's
Drivers who passed their driving test after 1 January 1997, must
wait 2 years before driving a minibus. They may only drive on a
voluntary basis, receiving no more than out of pocket expenses,
with or without a small bus permit.
What is a small bus permit?
A small bus permit allows certain organisations to charge
passengers for the running costs of the vehicle (but not to make a
profit). The permit also enables drivers who passed an ordinary
driving test before 1st January 1997 with D1 (minibus) entitlement
The permit belongs to the organisation and each of its minibuses
must display its own permit in the minibus windscreen.
The permit is obtained from the
Traffic Commissioner in Eastbourne.
Can I drive a minibus abroad?
Any driver needing to drive a minibus abroad will need a full
PCV D1 licence. EU countries do not recognise the small bus permit
If a driver needs a specific permit in this country, they would
not have the correct licence to drive minibuses in EU
Can I drive a minibus abroad with my family on a personal
Yes. The DVLA INF28 leaflet provides additional information
available to view online or by contacting
the DVLA on 0870 240 0010.