Driving passenger carrying vehicles (PCV) on a car driving licence
There are special licensing arrangements allowing you to drive minibuses and buses without having to hold the higher passenger carrying vehicle (PCV) driving licence entitlement. Drivers of minibuses having nine to 16 passenger seats will normally need to hold a PCV licence category D1 or a category D licence to drive larger buses.
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 eight passengers
- a minibus with up to 16 passenger seats
When driving a minibus the following conditions must be met:
- the vehicle is used for social purposes by a non-commercial body but not for hire or reward
- the driver is aged at least 21
- the driver has held a car (category B) licence for at least two years
- the driver is providing the service on a voluntary basis
- the minibus maximum weight is not more than 3.5 tonnes (excluding any specialist equipment for the carriage of passengers with disabilities) and 4.25 tonnes otherwise
When driving a minibus under these conditions you may not receive any payment or consideration for doing so other than out-of-pocket expenses. You can't 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 proceeding to, or returning from, a place where assistance is to be, or has been, given to a damaged or disabled passenger-carrying vehicle; or is giving assistance to or moving a disabled passenger-carrying vehicle or moving a damaged vehicle
How are vehicles classified for driver licensing purposes?
Categories of vehicles and their descriptions can be found on the link below. DVA can't give legal advice on how vehicles are classified but, generally speaking it depends on the weight of the vehicle or the number of passengers it can carry. Any queries should be directed to the DVA:
- Telephone 0845 4024 000 (lines are open Monday to Friday from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm).
- The vehicles you can drive or ride and minimum ages