Driving licence categories can be pretty complex, and one of the most common questions we get asked is: do I need a PCV to drive a minibus?
The short answer to this is - it really depends! But, let’s walk you through it in detail…
What is a PCV license?
In short, PCV stands for Passenger Carrying Vehicle, and holding a PCV licence means you’re legally entitled to drive a minibus with 9 - 16 passenger seats, commercially (for ‘hire or reward’).
Do I need a PCV to drive a minibus?
To drive a minibus, you don’t always have to have a PCV licence. Some Passenger Carrying Vehicles are exempt, and holders of category B licences may drive any of the following vehicles (although it’s important to note that this might be subject to change following an announcement by the Department for Infrastructure):
- PCV’s manufactured more than 30 years before a date driven
- PCV’s not used for hire or reward (i.e. payment or commercial use)
- A minibus with up to 16 passengers
NB: you don’t need a PCV licence if you are driving a minibus voluntarily or for social activities.
Passenger Carrying Recovery Vehicles
It’s important to note that individuals who hold a PCV licence are also permitted to drive Passenger Carrying Recovery Vehicles.
These are defined as vehicles that:
- Have an unladen weight not exceeding 10.2 tonnes
- Are operated by the holder of a PSV Operator’s licence
- Are being used to reach a place where assistance is to be given to a damaged or disabled passenger carrying vehicle
Yes, driving licences and their varying categories are complex, and can often feel confusing, but it’s vital to always check any permissions, permits or special licences you and/or your employees need to hold before driving a larger vehicle like a minibus, particularly when transporting children. You can never be too careful!
Alongside this, of course, is the sometimes overlooked importance of also ensuring - once any licenses or permits are in place - any vehicle you drive is of a high quality!