Minibus driver training
We offer one day training courses in Ashford 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 location.
The courses we offer are suitable if:
- you passed your car test before 1 January 1997, and have a category D1 on your licence.
- you passed your car test after 1 January 1997, and have a category B on your licence and also comply with the following exceptions as outlined by GOV.UK:
- you are 21 or older
- you have had your driving licence for at least 2 years
- you meet the ‘Group 2’ medical standards if you’re over 70 – we’ll need a doctor’s note to confirm this
- you’re driving on a voluntary basis and the minibus is used for social purposes by a non-commercial body
- the maximum weight of the minibus is not more than 3.5 tonnes - or 4.25 tonnes including specialist equipment for disabled passengers, for example a wheelchair ramp
- you’re not towing a trailer.
If you passed your car test after the 1 January 1997 and wish to drive minibuses exceeding 3.5 tonnes, or outside of the terms of the exemption above, you must complete a full Passenger Carrying Vehicle (PCV) category test, through the Driving Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).
During our course you learn:
- the difference between driving a minibus and driving a car
- the rules and regulations of minibus driving
- practical minibus driving skills.
Login if you already have a minibus driver training account.
Once you have passed, the card is valid for 3 years. If this expires, you will need to have a re-assessment. This is an hour in a minibus where the driver needs to:
- 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 and can be booked online to renew after this time.
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
- 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 later date
- drivers who successfully complete the course receive an Approved Minibus Driver's card and a written assessment of their drive.
Lunch is not provided.