You may be able to drive a minibus if you hold a car driving licence and follow certain conditions - otherwise you’ll need to apply for a minibus licence.
If the minibus is not for ‘hire or reward’
You may be able to drive a minibus with up to 16 passenger seats using your current car driving licence as long as it’s not for ‘hire or reward’ - ie there’s no payment from or on behalf of the passengers.
You held a driving licence before 1 January 1997
You can drive a minibus in the UK and on temporary visits abroad.
When your car licence is next renewed at the age of 70, you’ll need to re-apply for your entitlement and meet higher medical standards.
You got your driving licence after 1 January 1997
You can drive a minibus within the UK as long as the following conditions apply:
- you’re 21 or older
- the minibus is used for social purposes by a non-commercial body
- you’ve had your driving licence for at least 2 years
- you meet the ‘Group 2’ medical standards if you’re over 70 - check with your GP if you’re not sure you meet the standards
- 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, eg a wheelchair ramp)
- you’re not towing a trailer
Minibus permit - if you need to charge running costs
You can apply for a minibus permit if you need to charge passengers, as long as:
- you’re 21 or older
- the vehicle can carry between 9 and 16 passengers
- you’re driving it for a voluntary organisation that benefits the community (eg an educational, religious or sports organisation)
- the minibus service is only available for members of that organisation - not to the general public
- any charges are to cover running costs and are made on a non-profit basis
Apply for a minibus permit from your local authority, or contact the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA).
Driving a minibus for profit
If you want to drive a minibus commercially, or if the above conditions don’t apply, you’ll need to apply for a minibus provisional entitlement, also known as a Passenger Carrying Vehicle (PCV) licence.