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Insurance and licence requirements to drive mini bus?

Discussion in 'School trips' started by bodyngirls, Apr 25, 2015.

  1. bodyngirls

    bodyngirls New commenter

    [*]I've been asked to drive the school mini bus to take children out on trips. I am more than happy to do this, but dvla state that my licence is post d1 category being attached to my licence. Apparently I am allowed to drive a mini bus in a voluntary basis without doing any sort of d1 test.

    Can you advise me on any concerns anybody has subject to in the same situation.
  2. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    You need to ask the minibus insurers. To allow non D1 drivers to drive a minibus the Government brought in MiDAS (Minibus Drivers Awareness Scheme) licences. In our LEA this consists of a 2 day training course. Day 1 being theory and day 2 practical. On passing the assessments you are given a MIDAS permit which will allow you to drive your employer's minibuses on a not for profit basis (You still won't be able to drive any other buses). The permits last 3 years after which you have to do a refresher which is 1 day followed by a 1 hour practical assessment.

    Also the bus must be below 3.5 tonnes in weight (4.25 tonnes if wheelchair adapted) if you are not D1 licenced.

    I am pretty certain that you cannot just jump into the school minibus and drive it without either a D1 or Midas permit. For some insurers even D1 requires you to have taken a specific minibus driving course. (Some LEAs insist upon it).

    Do not drive the bus until you have checked this out. This could be a career ending choice if you do!
  3. bodyngirls

    bodyngirls New commenter

    Thanks Blazer for the heads up. I will make the necessary enquiries.

    It is an independent school, so no LEA attached. Not sure if this effects the D1?
  4. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Still affects the D1. You need to check the insurers of the bus. If you do not have D1 then the biggest vehicle you can drive is a people carrier such as a Renault Espace. However I have just found this document which would seem to say that you can jump in and drive (insurance permitting) www.gov.uk/.../guidance-driving-school-minibuses.pdf

    If I were a parent at your school I would have reservations about allowing my child to be driven by someone who has had no training!
  5. bodyngirls

    bodyngirls New commenter

    To be honest, I am am concerned with the implications attached if something was to happen without me doing a test under D1.

    Thank you for the info, its a great help. I will request the test and go from there.
  6. biotechie

    biotechie New commenter

    Also note that even with MiDAS you are not able to hire a minibus but can drive one owned by your organisation.

    We have to use 'older' drivers for hire vehicles and tested non-D1 drivers for school buses.

    Our school has also changed from LA provision to outsourced testing which is just a one hour observed drive and questions
  7. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    We own a 17 seater Peugot bus. It is Midas allowed as it is wheelchair adapted and is within the 4.25 tonne limit. It is a special vehicle adapted into a bus by a specialist firm of body builders. If anyone is interested I will look up the name on Monday. Our younger drivers can drive it on a MIDAS licence (we are insured with Zurich). It is a very nice vehicle, with loads of bells and whistles including a CD player. It cost about &pound;25K. We also have a 2005 LDV 400. Also a 17 seater but too heavy for MIDAS drivers so only oldies like me can drive it.

    The new bus is limited to 62mph. OK for most trips but on a motorway you end up stuck in gaps between big lorries and you can't pass them. The LDV, whilst old and creaking will actually do 95mph as limiters were not mandatory when it was built. (Don't worry, I never did 95 with kids on board, only when it was empty)!
  8. RichardPThomas_

    RichardPThomas_ New commenter

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