How to Drive a Minibus Without a D1 Licence

A theory and practical exam, along with medical and vision exams, are necessary for obtaining a full D1 licence. Should your driver's licence have been issued before January 1997, you can be eligible for D1 benefits. A D1 licence is a must in terms of operating a minibus, but some people still get confused and ask if can i drive a minibus without a D1 licence.

This gives you the freedom to operate a minibus without having to meet the requirements of a regular driver's licence. A minibus is categorised as a type of vehicle that may accommodate eight to sixteen passengers.

It's not always clear who is legally allowed to operate a minibus and what kind of licence is required. To help you be more knowledgeable and ready for minibus driving, we at GS Driver Training go over the legislation surrounding it.

The Necessary Requirements to Drive a Minibus

  • 21 years or above is a suitable age to drive a minibus.
  • They have had a valid category B driver's licence for a minimum of two years.
  • Other than what they spend out of pocket, they are neither compensated nor given any other benefits for driving.
  • The automobile can carry a maximum gross weight of 3.5 tonnes (4.25 tonnes with additional equipment for carrying individuals with disabilities).
  • Drivers who are 70 years of age or older are not ineligible for a D1 licence due to any medical issues.
  • There's no trailer being towed.
  • When a driver's licence is the sole document that permits the usage of an automatic gearbox, only that kind of car is being driven.
  • Drivers who do not match the higher medical standards and are 70 years of age or older are not permitted to operate small buses. If their driver's licence has been renewed, they are permitted to operate small cars.

Is It Possible to Drive 12 Seater Minibus

In the United Kingdom, driving a 12-seater minibus with a driving licence under certain circumstances is subject to regulations set forth by the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA). These regulations state that if you complete the following requirements, you may use your present driver's licence to operate a minibus with up to 16 seats:

  • Must be at least 21 years old and possess a driver's licence that has been valid for at least two years.
  • The minibus must be operated by a non-profit organisation for social reasons.
  • Additionally, it's critical that the vehicle weighs no more than 3.5 tonnes, or 4.25 tonnes when additional equipment for passengers with disabilities (such as a wheelchair ramp) is included.
  • Should not be receiving cash or compensation for driving the car.
  • You can use a regular UK driver's licence to operate a 12-seater minibus provided the aforementioned requirements are satisfied. If not, your licence might need to include an extra entitlement (D1 or D) in order for you to drive a larger minibus in the UK legally.

Why PCV (Passenger Carrying Vehicle) Licence

In the UK, you need a PCV licence to drive a minibus with more than 16 seats professionally. A PCV licence can be obtained in four steps:

Theory Test

There are two elements to this test: a hazard perception section and a multiple choice section with 100 questions.

Case Studies

After working through a few case studies, respond to six to eight multiple-choice questions.

Driving Skills

It is required of drivers to show that they can manoeuvre a minibus on public roads safely.

Practical Demonstration

The examiner will demand both verbal explanations and physical demonstrations in order to evaluate the candidate's working knowledge of at least five areas from the Driver CPC syllabus.


We at GS Driver Training are always ready to help you so that you will become a professional HGV driver. Note that rules are subject to change, so if you have any questions, we advise you to speak with the DVLA or your local authority transport office. You can contact us through our email address and our team will reach out to you.

Also Read: How to get a D1 licence

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