Minibus-Driver

Legally Drive A Minibus

Driving the Minibus in the republic of Ireland considerably differs from the rules present at Northern Ireland. According to section 10B, permits are not applicable in the republic of Ireland and hence any individual planning to take a minibus across the border either on a hire or reward basis is required to clear the driving test for D or D1. To drive a minibus which carries 9 to 16 passengers, the driver usually needs Passenger Carrying Vehicle entitlement called D1. If the individual is driving the minibus for any organization under bus permit scheme, Passenger Carrying Vehicle permit is not required.

This article tries to provide an insight of the requirements for driving a minibus by clearing the procedures smoothly.

The driver of the minibus should make sure below mentioned documents are always available to prove perfect documentation of vehicle during inspection.

  1. Waybill (ASOR and/or EU) or Own Account Certificate.
  2. Document proving registration of vehicle.
  3. Green Card which is certificate of International Motor Insurance.
  4. Certificate of Insurance.
  5. European form of accident which can be collected from Insurance Broker
  6. GB plate

Driver’s Documentation

To prove the driver is eligible to drive Minibus, he should carry the below mentioned documents all the time.

  1. Current driving license with correct entitlement.
  2. International driving permit or translation of license.
  3. Passport with complete details.
  4. Letter to prove authority to drive the vehicle.
  5. Experience certificate and it is for old style driving license only.

The driver should carry his driving license all the time while driving a minibus. The individual should be at least twenty one years of age and below seventy years. On 1/1/ 1997, new driving rules came into existence. Those drivers who have cleared their 1st test from that date can no longer automatically get Minibus Category D1 on their driving license. The exemptions which exists in the country does not allow the new drivers to drive Minibus in limited conditions, are not applied outside UK. To drive a Minibus abroad, new drivers should clear PCV test for category D or D1. Category D is for vehicles carrying more than 16 passengers excluding driver and D1 is for vehicles carrying more than 16 passenger seats excluding driver.

Reducing the Paperwork

The best method of avoiding paperwork of waybills is to get Own Account Certificate. These certificates are valid for five years and they are available free of cost from the International Road Freight office.

For a community group to qualify for this certificate they should either be an owner or a full time operator of the minibus or they should be a fully paid up member of voting of a non profit organization which do not own the minibus.

Like all vehicles it is essential to ensure that the minibus is completely road worthy and that all parts including tyres are functional.

ford-tourneo

Top 5 Minibuses  

Vans are much liked in transport sector owing to their empty-easy-to- customize space. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, people are accustomed to owning vans which are more economical and easier to maintain. Conveniently, van manufacturers have also ventured into minibuses industry producing minibuses with seats ranging from six (shuttles) to 17+ in larger minibuses. However, not all minibuses are liked; there are a few with distinguishing features that have dominated the UK and Ireland transport industry. In this article, we will be reviewing the Top 5 minibuses used vans in NI and the United Kingdom and Ireland.

1. Ford Transit/Tourneo People Mover

Ford Transit has been for more than 40 years, the best selling van in Britain. It is more suited for light transport services such as airport taxi. Its key features include; superb in-cab refinement, impressive handling, tight turning circle, and comes in a number of choices/designs. It is powered by a 2.2 litres turbo diesel engine which is also available in number options. This minibus unlike other minibuses is rather silent credit to its superb gear shift facilitated by its standard 6-speed manual gearbox. Its only constraint is that part of the interior plastics feels fragile. Currently, it retails at about £12,245- £36,595.

2. Fiat Ducato

Fiat Ducato holds the second position in our top 5 minibuses used in UK and Ireland list. It is available with 14 or 17 seats based on one’s requirements. In addition, Ducato Minibus provides various seating arrangements. This van is easy to customize and has a conversion option for wheelchair lifts and other dedicated bits and bob. It relies on a 2.3 litre diesel engine, which is available in various power outputs and a somewhat swift 3.0 litre diesel with 180PS. Its generous storage space makes it convenient and suitable in all working environments. It also comes with a tight turning turning circle but unfortunately, unlike Ford transit, Fiat Ducato makes a lot of noise and is fitted with a sluggish semi auto box.

3. Mercedes-Benz Vario

This minibus is mostly operated by coach companies as a light alternative to bigger and long distances coaches. It is versatile and comes ready to be customized to fit individual buyer needs. Like most minibuses, Mercedes-Benz Vario can accommodate wheel chair users. It is stylish and most importantly durable. So far, many users are satisfied with services only a few complaining about its hefty price.

4. Mercedes-Benz Vito

Mercedes-Benz Vito though compact in size makes a good minibus for airport taxi and similar tasks. It has a space that can accommodate up to 8 passengers leaving plenty of room enough to keep everybody comfortable. In addition, just like all Mercedes vehicle, Vito has state of the art car touches that make it more luxurious than other minibuses available in the market. It relies on a 2.1 litre engine, and for speed fanatics, you can choose the 3.0 litre V6 turbo diesel. In addition, it’s also integrated with Bluetooth, steering wheel controls for the stereo, and cruise control. Currently, it retails at between £17,855 and £35,595.

5. Volkswagen Caravelle

This minibus has a lot in common with Vito. It offers everything found in Vito ranging from plain cloth seats to posh leather. Its refined features make it suitable for business executives’ transportation. In addition, it’s spacious and well ventilated providing one with a peaceful environment. Finally, it comes with safety features that make its handling an enjoying experience. You can find a good selection of used vans and used trucks for sale here.