Driving minibuses and working in the great outdoors
Right then! How complicated is the world of driving a minibus for an outdoor company? NOT as complicated as you think!
The fact is, lots of ‘what people have heard down the pub’, ‘ill-founded opinions’ and, perhaps most worryingly, incredibly foolish ‘ways of getting round the law’ have muddied the water.
Two years ago I took it upon myself to become an international Transport Manager. ‘EXCITING!’ I hear you say. I have a fair number of outdoor tickets but it wasn’t until I gained my International Transport Manager that I felt truly fulfilled!
Passed test BEFORE the 1st January 1997
If you passed your car test before the 1st January 1997 you’re likely to have the D1 entitlement on your license through grandfather rights and CAN drive minibuses on a not-for-profit basis – I.E. Council outdoor centres, colleges under a section 19 permit.
If you passed your car test before the 1st January 1997 and have a D1 entitlement you CANNOT drive a minibus for hire and reward. This means when the organisation that you are working for has a primary function of making profit such as Limited Companies, Partnerships, Sole Traders etc.
Passed test AFTER the 1st January 1997 and are looking to drive on a not for profit basis
If you passed your car test after the 1st January 1997 and are looking to drive on a not for profit basis you will only need to complete CERTAIN parts of the D1 Test. These are;
- Theory and Hazard Perception Tests (often referred to as part 1)
- D1 Practical Driving Test (often referred to as part 3)
You DO NOT need to complete your Driver CPC if you are driving on a not-for-profit basis, often referred to as parts 2 & 4 of the D1 Entitlement.
Passed your car test after the 1st January 1997 and are looking to drive for hire and reward
Passed your car test after the 1st January 1997 and are looking to drive for hire and reward you must complete all 4 parts of the D1 Test. That is;
- Theory and Hazard Perception Tests (Part 1)
- CPC Case Studies (Part 2)
- D1 Practical Driving Test (Part 3)
- CPC Practical (Part 4)
It tends to cost around £1100 to complete the entitlement including professional training, minibus hire and assessment fees. To stay current you will need to stay up-to-date yourself with 35 hours of periodic training every 5 years. Keep it simple though and do one 7 hour course every year.
To put things simply (so far as it is possible)…
If you are driving for a profit making organisation (no Section 19 permit) then you need a FULL D1 mini bus license.
Anyone that tells you; ‘we don’t charge for the transport only the guiding/ paddling/ coasteering so you don’t need a D1’ is lying/ stupid/ breaking the law.
Remember that legislation does change and whilst this article has been written in good faith, you should not take it as legal document.
The best people to contact are the DVLA; hopefully you will find them helpful.
About the Author
David Mutton helps to run Land & Wave Ltd and is a qualified International Transport Manager as well as holding a variety of outdoor education qualifications.