Driving a minibus
- A full car licence obtained before 1997 entitles the holder to drive a minibus under 3.5 tonnes with up to 16 passenger seats like the Movano conversion
- Anyone who passed their car test after 1997 will need a D1 licence for Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) to drive a minibus, even if they’re not driving for hire or reward
- You must be 21 or older
- You’ve held your driving licence for at least 2 years
- D1 test entails two days for training and test and costs around £900 – 60% fail the D1 test at first attempt
For those using an older car licence
- There must be no payment from or on behalf of the passengers (it’s not for ‘hire or reward’).
- If over 70 you meet the ‘Group 2’ medical standards – check with your GP that you meet the standards which include a vision assessment
- You’re driving on a voluntary basis and the minibus is used for social purposes by a non-commercial body
- The maximum weight of the minibus is not more than 3.5 tonnes – or 4.25 tonnes including specialist equipment for disabled passengers, eg a wheelchair ramp
- You’re not towing a trailer
THE award winning Vauxhall Movano – Best Heavy Van in the 2016 Business Van Awards – shows why it’s justifiably popular for Business Van buyers. And it provides an excellent basis for a wide variety of specialist conversions via Vauxhall’s approved conversion network.
One such conversion is into a minibus by GM Coachwork Group. Nothing unusual there I hear you say, as these minibuses are the default transportation system for schools and private hire businesses.
However schools and private hire firms were then faced with the extra cost of training their drivers, which is estimated at approaching £1,000 per person, who don’t have the necessary D1 entitlement on their licences to drive these minibuses.
Not with the GM Conversions 12 or 15-seat minibuses, as GM’s extensive research into weight reduction means that their minibuses can just be driven on a car licence for those who passed their car test before 1997.
Although the build might say lightweight, there are no corners cut with this conversion, as it features the usual side and rear door access, an automatic step and low ride height, the same hard-wearing interior with headrests on all the seats, moulded window surrounds and there’s even an automatic option and a choice of colours!
So these GM Coachwork converted Movano minibuses are lightweight, but don’t go thinking they’re not safe because of this.
GM tell us that despite the weight-saving, safety has always been paramount and all they’ve done is to convert the inside of the Movano to a minibus, while keeping the weight of the components down.
Plus, it’s fully tested in the UK and complies with all current European requirements.
This minibus conversion is just one of a number of approved conversions available for the Movano. Other popular conversions include tippers, dropsides and even box vans.
For more details, check out the dedicated approved conversions page.