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Driving a Minibus <17 seats


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#1 SPD

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 12:51 PM

I am due to drive (volunteer) to drive a minibus with 17 seats Incl the driver (me) for a 3 Peaks Challenge next weekend, they have suddenly changed the 9 seater to a 17 seater out of shear kindness, but this has left we with a problem.

I have a full B (car) licence and held it for over 2 years, it was issued in 2002. Ok to drive a minibus you need a pass at D1 category on your licence...BUT according to the DVLA i can drive a minibus of no more than 17 seats (incl driver) on the following criteria...

*****
Exempted passenger carrying vehicles
Holders of a full category B (car) driving licence may drive any of the vehicles listed below:

a passenger carrying vehicle manufactured more than 30 years before the date when it is driven and not used for hire or reward or for the carriage of more than 8 passengers
a minibus with up to 16 passenger seats provided the following conditions are met:
i. the vehicle is used for social purposes by a non-commercial body but not for hire or reward
ii. the driver is aged 21 iii. the driver has held a car (category B) licence for at least 2 years
iv. the driver is providing the service on a voluntary basis
v. the minibus maximum weight is not more than 3.5 tonnes or 4.25 tonnes including any specialist equipment for the carriage of disabled passengers
vi. if the driver is aged 70 or over, is able to meet the health standards for driving a D1 vehicle

When driving a minibus under these conditions you may not receive any payment or consideration for doing so other than out of pocket expenses or tow any size trailer; you may only drive minibuses in this country. Drivers aged 70 or over will need to make a special application, which involves meeting higher medical standards.

Holders of a full category D (PCV) driving licence can also drive a passenger carrying recovery vehicle. This is defined as a vehicle (not being an articulated goods vehicle combination) which:

has an unladen weight not exceeding 10.2 tonnes
is being operated by the holder of a public service vehicle (PSV) operator's licence and, is being used for the purpose of:
i. proceeding to, or returning from, a place where assistance is to be, or has been, given to a damaged or disabled passenger-carrying vehicle
ii. giving assistance to or moving a disabled passenger-carrying vehicle or moving a damaged vehicle
********

Now i meet all the criteria...so does this mean i can drive the damn thing or not? DVLA said if I THOUGHT i met the criteria then yes...talk about open questions.

This is also an issue for the Met driving the L2 Carriers (PO Carriers) if i volunteer to work in the Police then i can drive it right? All i need is a PSU carriers drive on my basic+ right? Where a regular officer who is paid to drive it cannot on a standard B category licence.

So Black Rats show me what youve got!

Thanks in advance!!

#2 HOT FUZZ

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 03:44 PM

I am due to drive (volunteer) to drive a minibus with 17 seats Incl the driver (me) for a 3 Peaks Challenge next weekend, they have suddenly changed the 9 seater to a 17 seater out of shear kindness, but this has left we with a problem.

I have a full B (car) licence and held it for over 2 years, it was issued in 2002. Ok to drive a minibus you need a pass at D1 category on your licence...BUT according to the DVLA i can drive a minibus of no more than 17 seats (incl driver) on the following criteria...

*****
Exempted passenger carrying vehicles
Holders of a full category B (car) driving licence may drive any of the vehicles listed below:

a passenger carrying vehicle manufactured more than 30 years before the date when it is driven and not used for hire or reward or for the carriage of more than 8 passengers
a minibus with up to 16 passenger seats provided the following conditions are met:
i. the vehicle is used for social purposes by a non-commercial body but not for hire or reward
ii. the driver is aged 21 iii. the driver has held a car (category B) licence for at least 2 years
iv. the driver is providing the service on a voluntary basis
v. the minibus maximum weight is not more than 3.5 tonnes or 4.25 tonnes including any specialist equipment for the carriage of disabled passengers
vi. if the driver is aged 70 or over, is able to meet the health standards for driving a D1 vehicle

When driving a minibus under these conditions you may not receive any payment or consideration for doing so other than out of pocket expenses or tow any size trailer; you may only drive minibuses in this country. Drivers aged 70 or over will need to make a special application, which involves meeting higher medical standards.

Holders of a full category D (PCV) driving licence can also drive a passenger carrying recovery vehicle. This is defined as a vehicle (not being an articulated goods vehicle combination) which:

has an unladen weight not exceeding 10.2 tonnes
is being operated by the holder of a public service vehicle (PSV) operator's licence and, is being used for the purpose of:
i. proceeding to, or returning from, a place where assistance is to be, or has been, given to a damaged or disabled passenger-carrying vehicle
ii. giving assistance to or moving a disabled passenger-carrying vehicle or moving a damaged vehicle
********

Now i meet all the criteria...so does this mean i can drive the damn thing or not? DVLA said if I THOUGHT i met the criteria then yes...talk about open questions.

This is also an issue for the Met driving the L2 Carriers (PO Carriers) if i volunteer to work in the Police then i can drive it right? All i need is a PSU carriers drive on my basic+ right? Where a regular officer who is paid to drive it cannot on a standard B category licence.

So Black Rats show me what youve got!

Thanks in advance!!



I am not a black rat, but I feel that you would be unable to drive it. It is likely to be well over 3.5Tonnes for a start and also more than 16 seats. Sorry

#3 bensonby

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 04:09 PM

is the loss of D1 off the majority of DLs one of the reasons for the popularity of the Tourneo in the Met?

(random question I know)

#4 JS

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 04:35 PM

If the insurance company are in agreement with you driving it and the organisation is non commercial (i.e. a charity or similar) then you should be fine to drive the vehicle. The reason for this exception to the rules is that when the legislation was changed, it was thought a whole load of charities (scouts etc) would have a huge cost to get people D1 qualified to be able to continue with their good work. I'm not sure that you would be allowed to drive a minibus if it wasn't on behalf of an organisation - i.e. a group of mates, so that would be worth checking if you are not driving on behalf of an organisation. You will need to check the weight as 17 seaters are the largest minibuses out there - for example the Ford Transit 17 seater is 4.1 tonnes.

You can't drive MPS carriers as a level 4 as it is against policy. The most you can drive is a Tourneo, Transporter or similar (upto 9 seats including driver), you need to have your OCU COmmanders permission, be assessed and have "MV" added to your permit. Even if it wasn't prohibited by policy, it wouldn't be legal for you to drive as a volunteer as the purpose of the journey is not social.

James

#5 pompeylad999

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 07:05 PM

From a Black rat - based on the information you have provided, it ALL comes down to the weight of that minibus mate. Check the unladen weight and allow yourself around a tonne for passengers and luggage. The seating etc is all fine assuming everything you have posted there is correct, will all come down to that magic weight! Check that out then you will have your answer! :prone:

#6 JS

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 11:01 PM

From a Black rat - based on the information you have provided, it ALL comes down to the weight of that minibus mate. Check the unladen weight and allow yourself around a tonne for passengers and luggage. The seating etc is all fine assuming everything you have posted there is correct, will all come down to that magic weight! Check that out then you will have your answer! :prone:

I thought that the important figure was the plated weight - MAM - (assuming it's not overloaded) rather than the actual weight when it comes to licencing.

James

#7 brand b

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 07:37 AM

I thought that the important figure was the plated weight - MAM - (assuming it's not overloaded) rather than the actual weight when it comes to licencing.


Yes I'd agree. As the OP extract comments the MAX weight (MAM or GVW) must not exceed 3.5 tonnes - as you are getting a larger vehicle than you had planned we asume that no trailer is required to that option doesn't apply.

#8 PaJama Police

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 07:59 AM

I am due to drive (volunteer) to drive a minibus with 17 seats Incl the driver (me) for a 3 Peaks Challenge next weekend, they have suddenly changed the 9 seater to a 17 seater out of shear kindness, but this has left we with a problem.

I have a full B (car) licence and held it for over 2 years, it was issued in 2002. Ok to drive a minibus you need a pass at D1 category on your licence...BUT according to the DVLA i can drive a minibus of no more than 17 seats (incl driver) on the following criteria...


I first came across this strange concession when I was doing the MIDAS (Minibus Drivers Awareness Scheme) Training, so I could drive Minibuses for a Community Transport Association. I could not believe it, as it seems such a strange concession. I would suspect that you would be able to drive the minibus that you suggest, as long as you are staying in the UK (this concession is not valid in mainland Europe) and you are genuinely driving as a volunteer and not as any part of your paid employment (teachers who are driving as part of a school trip out of school time are considered to be paid employees and not volunteers). The weight of these vehicles is usually 3.5tonnes.

The interesting question is if you are borrowing the minibus from a charity or local authority you will probably find it is a condition of the insurance company that you have a MIDAS certificate. If you are hiring it from an ordinary hire company you will probably be OK.

BTW I have a "grandad driving licence" so I have a D1 & C1. I do feel sorry for younger drivers as this is going to become a serious issue in the future.

Best Wishes

Peter

#9 BigCopSmallTown

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 09:09 AM

I find it amazing that if you passed your test on 31 December 1996 you are competent to drive minibuses and vans however if you passed your test on 1st January 1997 then you can only drive a car - typical government knee jerk reaction!

The lack of D1 on peoples licence is becoming a real issue now - the amount of carrier drivers we have is dropping monthly, very few of the new cops coming in have it.

Schools, business's etc are having to spend a fortune on training and certifying drivers.

Another stealth tax!

#10 pompeylad999

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 09:42 AM

I thought that the important figure was the plated weight - MAM - (assuming it's not overloaded) rather than the actual weight when it comes to licencing.

James



Yes you are correct. Sorry I was assuming the use of a trailer for all the baggage etc!

#11 SPD

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 12:49 PM

Hi all thanks for the input.

The max vehicle weight is not over 3.5t. This exception does not use the word 'laden' i.e. Max vehicle laden weight must not exceed 3.5t so as i would read it, its about the max weight of the vehicle not the vehicle +contents!?!

The rental company that is 'loaning' us the vehicle for the charity event said i was not covered under thier insurance so we have been given 'free' insurance cover by our sponsor company. So all is now kosher...i will be taking a copy of the exemption with me, just incase we get stopped.

Cheers!
SPD

#12 PaJama Police

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 02:10 PM

I find it amazing that if you passed your test on 31 December 1996 you are competent to drive minibuses and vans however if you passed your test on 1st January 1997 then you can only drive a car - typical government knee jerk reaction!

The lack of D1 on peoples licence is becoming a real issue now - the amount of carrier drivers we have is dropping monthly, very few of the new cops coming in have it.

Schools, business's etc are having to spend a fortune on training and certifying drivers.

Another stealth tax!


From memory, but I may be wrong, the change was made following a serious accident where a young school teacher who had very little driving experience was driving a school minibus in Europe somewhere full of school children. As a result of the accident where there were a number of deaths, the local council involved (I think it was either Northampton or Nottingham) petitioned the government to change the rules.

I would respectfully argue that this is a safety issue, not a stealth tax. Unfortunately, it was not possible to remove D1 and C1 from all those who had already been given them. So, even today we have people who can only just drive a car wanting to drive minibuses. I understand that this is the reasoning behind the MIDAS scheme. Quite often it is the insurance industry that dictate driving conditions, not the government!

What I object to is the charge for doing a course which leads to C1 and D1. A friend of mine did a three day course so he could apply to be an Ambulance Technician and the course cost £1,000 including test. Surely it should just be a driving assessment, costing £50 at most.

Best Wishes

Peter

#13 brand b

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 02:56 PM

The max vehicle weight is not over 3.5t. This exception does not use the word 'laden' i.e. Max vehicle laden weight must not exceed 3.5t so as i would read it, its about the max weight of the vehicle not the vehicle +contents!?!


The above extract doesn't look like ts the original act. The wording of max weight DEOS mean the maximum permissible, maximum authorised or maximum gross weight of the vehicle which means what it could potentially weigh. It is immaterial what the weight is when you are driving it. When talking about a vehicles max weight it is always based on the GVW/MAM/MPW.

#14 AnthonyB

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 03:06 PM

The Ford Tourneo (or equivalent) is indeed becoming more popular due to licence issues which is why SYP has quite a number, also known as 'Johnny Cabs' (a la Total Recall).

The shortage of D1 drivers is indeed starting to bite the Regs as well as the SC & ultimately forces will have to bite the bullet of doing the training like the other emergency services. One day it could become a pre requisite for recruiting (to shift the cost burden) as with some ambulance trusts.

If you ever pull a 'taxi' minibus, check the driver's licence to make sure it hasn't got code 101 as most D1 entitlements have this code that means 'except for hire & reward' - having passed the DSA test to get a local authority taxi drivers badge doesn't cancel this restriction out. (info from our traffic training)

#15 GMA79

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 10:08 PM

From memory, but I may be wrong, the change was made following a serious accident where a young school teacher who had very little driving experience was driving a school minibus in Europe somewhere full of school children. As a result of the accident where there were a number of deaths, the local council involved (I think it was either Northampton or Nottingham) petitioned the government to change the rules.


There was a spate of serious minibus crashes in the 90's, it was more than a single incident.

Edited by g_attrill, 14 May 2009 - 10:09 PM.





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