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Sun, October 22, 2023

The Cost of Minibus Training and D1 Licences

The Cost of Minibus Training and D1 Licences

Acquiring a D1 mini bus license entails a substantial financial commitment, given the multiple requirements and challenges involved. When accounting for the Driver CPC qualification, the overall expenses for minibus training increase significantly. In this post, we will explore the various training costs associated with obtaining your D1 mini bus license, with the Minibus License Cost being a prominent component at £1,549.00.


Minibus Licence Cost



Factors affecting the cost of minibus training


The cost of obtaining a D1 driving licence encompasses various elements, including expenses for a medical examination, theory tuition, theory tests, practical driving courses and tests, as well as the Driver CPC qualification. The total expenses you will incur depend on which stages of the process you need to complete.


Additionally, the choice of a training company can significantly impact the overall cost. Prices can vary among providers, so it's advisable to obtain quotes from 2-3 local training companies in your area. Be cautious of brokers or middlemen who may overcharge for their services.

Location is another cost factor, as different regions may have varying price structures. Typically, training and testing in northern areas tend to be less expensive compared to more expensive locations, such as London.

The entire process usually takes around 8 weeks, starting with a medical examination and applying for the provisional Cat D1 entitlement through the DVLA. The clock begins from the date of the medical examination, and within this period, you'll need to complete theory and driving tests. The most challenging part of the process is the driver training and test, which can take 2-3 consecutive days to complete.

Your training company will arrange the driving test for you, and this portion, comprising both training and testing, is where you will spend a significant amount of time and money.

How much does it cost to learn to drive a mini bus?

 The costs associated with obtaining a D1 mini bus licence can vary, typically ranging between £800 and £1,800. The final price depends on whether you include the Driver CPC qualification in your training.


For a comprehensive package that covers medical examinations, theory tests, Driver CPC, practical driving, and the driving test, the cost is likely to fall within the range of £1,500 to £1,800.

If you only opt for the driving course and the test itself, which usually spans 2-3 days, the cost will typically be between £800 and £1,100. This amount should cover your driving tuition fees.


Finding affordable minibus training near you

The United Kingdom boasts numerous bus, mini bus, and coach training companies, so you shouldn't have to go to great lengths to find a suitable one in your vicinity. As previously suggested, reaching out to 2-3 training providers in your area for quotes is a wise approach. While cost is a crucial consideration, it's also important to remember that the cheapest option may not always be the best in terms of quality and service.

D1 Licence Cost

The costs associated with gaining this vocation licence will be

For obtaining a D1 minibus licence, you can expect the following costs:


1. Medical: Typically: this should range from £40 to £150 depending on the location.

2.Theory Tuition: For the multi-choice, hazard perception, and Driver CPC parts, you should budget around £20 to £60.

3. Theory Tests: The three theory tests combined will amount to £60. There's no VAT on theory tests.

4. Driving Course and Test: This is the priciest part of the process. It includes the driving course, test, and the Driver CPC Module 4, which can cost between £1,000 and £1,650.

These costs can vary depending on factors such as your location, the training provider you choose, and any additional services you may require. It's a good idea to obtain quotes from a few training companies in your area to get a more accurate estimate.

PCV D1 licence cost

This is an excellent point. When budgeting for your D1 mini bus licence, it's crucial to be aware of potential hidden costs or additional fees. Many individuals expect to pass all the required tests on their first attempt, but this isn't always the case. If you need to retake any of the theory or practical tests, there may be additional fees involved. It's essential to understand these financial implications in advance so that you're prepared for all possible outcomes and can budget accordingly.

Midas Minibus Training

Understanding MiDAS (Mini bus Driver Awareness Scheme

The MiDAS (Minibus Driver Awareness Scheme) is a program that permits individuals to drive minibuses with a standard car driving licence. This scheme is particularly popular among charities and schools that operate minibuses for non-profit purposes. It falls under specific legislation, such as Schedule 19 and 22, which is designed for organizations operating mini buses that are not used for hire and reward, emphasizing safety and awareness in driving these vehicles.

Duration of MiDAS minibus training

MIDAS training courses are generally not very long, and they may not be as rigorous as a full driving test. Some have reported that MIDAS training can involve basic observations of driving a mini bus, which has raised questions about its adequacy. During MIDAS training, an assessor is present to ensure that participants meet the necessary safety standards for driving mini buses. However, it's important to note that MIDAS is not held to the same high standard as a comprehensive driving test, and there are opinions suggesting that it may not be entirely fit for its intended purpose.



The benefits of completing MIDAS


The main advantage of MIDAS training is that it is considerably cheaper compared to obtaining a full D1 driving licence. MIDAS does not require a medical examination, theory tests, or a comprehensive driving test. Instead, it involves passing a relatively straightforward driving assessment. However, it's important to understand that if you intend to drive a minibus commercially and be paid for it, you will still need to go through the full process of obtaining a D1 licence and completing the required Driver CPC training.



The exception is for individuals or organizations operating under sections 19 and 22, where a MIDAS qualification may be sufficient for their specific purposes.



Minibus Grandfather Rights

If you passed your car driving test before 1st Jan 1997 then you will have D1, minbus via grandfather rights. This allows you to drive a passenger carrying vehicle (mini bus) with more than 8 but less than 16 passenger seats.



Minibus D1 101 Restriction code




If you obtained your D1 mini bus entitlement through grandfather rights, you will have a restriction code 101 or the letters NFHR (not for Hire and Reward) on your license. This means you can drive a mini bus but not for commercial purposes.


How to Remove My Minbus 101 Restriction Code


If you have a D1 minibus license obtained through grandfather rights and you intend to drive commercially, you will need to get the 101-restriction code removed and gain the Driver CPC qualification. The only way to do this is by treating it as if you never had the D1 license (via grandfather rights) entitlement in the first place. This process involves undergoing a medical examination, obtaining a provisional D1 license, passing three theory tests, taking a minibus driving test, and completing the practical tests for the Driver CPC (Modules 1, 2, 3, and 4). There is no other way to remove the NFHR restriction and gain the Driver CPC qualification.


D1 Licence Changes

Despite a recent call for evidence from government to ascertain if the requirement to do a D1 driving test was no longer necessary and should (like grandfather rights pre-1.1.1997) be granted at the point of passing a car test was roundly criticized as a bad idea. As a result, no charges have been announced and you still need to pass a mini bus driving test (and everything that goes with that) in order to gain D1 licence entitlement  



FAQs About The Cost of Minibus Training and D1 Licences



What Happens with My Minibus Licence at 70 via Grandfather rights?


If you passed your car test before January 1, 1997, you will have D1 entitlement via grandfather rights. You will retain this category until you reach the age of 70. At that stage, should you wish to retain your D1 entitlement, you will need to undergo a basic medical to confirm fitness. Should you wish to keep that D1 license, a medical is required every 12 months thereafter. DVLA will write to you approximately 6-8 weeks before your license expires, inviting you to undergo a medical and renew for another 12 months.


Can I Drive a Mini bus under grandfather rights and be paid

In most cases, the short answer is no. Driving a minibus and being paid means you need a full D1 license (without the 101-restriction code) and Driver CPC, which includes a medical examination, provisional license, and completion of Modules 1, 2, 3, and 4.



Driver CPC Exe mption for Minbus Drivers Via Grandfather Rights


If your intention is to drive a minibus, D1 for private use under Schedule 19 and 22, or when "no commerce" is involved, you are legally permitted to drive a PCV (Passenger Carrying Vehicle) via grandfather rights. You already have that license by virtue of passing your car test before January 1, 1997.

However, if you are reading this post, chances are you are looking to drive a minibus professionally, and it may be the case that you have D1 via grandfather rights. After reading this post, you may have realized that although you have D1, you may not be allowed to drive and be paid to drive it.

The fact that you have to start from the beginning in terms of removing the 101 restrictions so you can drive professionally may seem crazy and a bit of a shock.



Obtaining a minibus driver's licence, particularly if you plan to be paid to drive the vehicle, typically requires a D1 licence entitlement and the completion of the Driver CPC training. It's crucial to be aware of the cost implications before you begin this process. While quality minibus driver training can be relatively expensive, you also don't want to overpay. This post should provide you with an idea of the expenses you may incur to become qualified.


It's worth noting that there is a significant demand for minibus drivers due to a chronic shortage of qualified individuals in the field. As a result, minibus drivers can expect decent salaries ranging from £15 to £22 per hour, which is well above the national minimum wage and can provide a good income for many. We hope this post has given you a clearer understanding of the costs associated with obtaining your minibus licence.




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