Section 42 of the Public Passenger Vehicles Act 1981 provides for special treatment for vehicles used for hire or reward by bodies concerned with education, religion, social welfare or other activities for the benefit of the community. The Act enables such groups as charities, youth clubs, church groups, schools and the like to recoup the cost of running busses by asking those who use them for fares or contributions. Certain conditions do have to be met. The main ones are:
Each vehicle must have a permit and must be used in accordance with the conditions of the permit.
The vehicle must not be used to carry the public at large but only used to carry the class of passengers which will be specified on the permit.
The vehicle must not be used to make a profit nor incidentally to an activity which is itself carried on for a profit.
The vehicle must be used in accordance with the Regulations made under the Act.
There are two types of Minibus Permits: 'Small Vehicles' for carrying from 9 to 16 passengers and 'Larger Vehicles' for carrying more than 16 passengers. The two classes are treated differently as follows: 'Small Vehicle' - are not classed as public service vehicles (PSV's) and a PSV Operators licence or a PSV drivers licence are not required. 'Larger Vehicles' - remain PSV's and will require either a certificate of fitness or of initial fitness and will be subject to inspection and prohibition by certifying officers and PSV examiners. However, the vehicle will not require a PSV licence or a PSV Operators licence. Any person driving a vehicle when being used under a permit must either be over 21 and the holder of a Full Category B and D1 driving licence or be over 18 and the holder of a full PCV driving licence.
Your questions answered
Do I need any special driving licence to drive a vehicle being used under a permit?
Any person driving a vehicle when being used under a permit must either be over 21 and the holder of a Full Category B and D1 driving licence or be over 18 and the holder of a full PCV driving licence.
If I change the vehicle or need a temporary replacement do I need to apply for a new permit?
No. The permit is issued to a body or group authorising the use of one vehicle under the Act and not to a specified vehicle. The details of a vehicle do not appear on the permit or on the corresponding disc which is issued along with the permit for display on a vehicle being used under the permit.
Can I use my vehicle like a taxi to take groups of people to the airport for personal gain?
No. The permit does not authorise the carriage of persons for hire or reward with a view to profit.
If I don't adhere to the conditions of the permit can it be taken away?
A permit is granted to a specified person or body and relates to the vehicle and can be varied. There may be conditions attached regarding the category of persons which may be carried. None compliance with the conditions may result in the permit being revoked. Permits usually remain in force for as long as the holder continues to meet with aforementioned requirements.
Is there a cost for a permit and where do I get a permit from?
Permits are issued by the Local Authority at a cost of £21.
How to apply
The mini bus permit application form is provided in the 'Downloads' section at the right-hand side of this web page.
Please note when applying on-line: We are required by law to have your signature on this form. Please print and sign the completed on-line form in the relevant place and return to the address shown below. Your submission of this form electronically enables us to process your information more effectively. Your application will be dated as received on the date of submission not when we receive your paper copy.