Key Information for Purchasing a New School Minibus

Are your minibus drivers volunteers? Why is this important?

A teacher can drive a school minibus on a voluntary basis, unless it is specified within their contract that they must drive the school minibus. If a teacher does not have a D1 entitlement on their driving licence, driving as a volunteer allows them to drive a vehicle with up to 16 passengers and a maximum gross vehicle weight (GVW) of 3500kgs. If the teacher is contractually obliged to drive and does not have a D1 licence, they can drive a minibus with 8 passengers and a maximum GVW of 3500kgs.

What is Type Approval?

Vehicle Type Approval is confirmation that the vehicle meets prescribed safety standards. These standards derive from European Whole Vehicle Type Approval regulations (ECWVTA). The legal requirement came into force on the 29/10/2011.

All Minibus Options minibuses achieve Type Approval certification.

What is Payload?

A vehicle’s payload is the amount of weight a vehicle can carry. The vehicle’s payload is determined by subtracting the vehicles Kerb Weight from the vehicle’s GVW. The amount remaining is the Payload. To meet Type Approval safety standards, a weight allowance of 71Kgs per passenger should be achieved.

What is a Lightweight minibus?

The aim of a Lightweight minibus is to maximize the number of passengers a vehicle can carry whilst being driven by a volunteer driver. To achieve the necessary 71Kgs per passenger weight allowance, a lightweight minibus will have fewer options and will use lightweight materials in its construction.

What are the alternatives?

If you have drivers who are driving as a volunteer and do not have a D1 entitlement, you have three potential options if you want to consider an alternative to a Lightweight minibus at 3500Kgs

· The same dispensation that allows a volunteer driver to carry 16 passengers rather than 8 also allows the same driver to drive a minibus with a gross weight of up to 4250kgs, where it is modified for the carriage of disabled persons. Such a vehicle, with 17 seats, has the potential of offering an extra 30kgs per passenger

· Start with a minibus at 3500kgs but reduce the seating capacity. Reducing from 16 to 15 seats will provide an extra 5kgs per passenger

· The gross weight of most 3500kgs minibuses can be increased to 3850kgs or 3950kgs, providing an extra 20+ kgs per passenger. However with this option all drivers would need to take a separate

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