Checks before you start a journey

Before you start driving your vehicle each day, you’ll need to do a walkaround check including

  • brakes
  • lights and indicators
  • bodywork
  • tyres and nuts securing the wheels
  • windscreen wipers and washers
  • horn
  • fuel tanks and caps
  • mirrors
  • speedometer
  • tachograph
  • number plates
  • reflectors and reflective plates
  • exhaust system
  • any coupling gear
  • speed limiter
  • seat belts (if fitted).

If you spot any defects, you must report them using the correct procedure so they can be fixed before you start driving.

All passenger-carrying vehicles must carry a fire extinguisher.


Make sure you know what sort of fuel your vehicle uses. Most buses use diesel fuel. Be very careful not to put the wrong type of fuel in your vehicle because this will cause serious damage to the engine.

Some large vehicles need a fuel additive to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions. Check whether your vehicle needs a fuel additive, what sort it uses and how to use the additive before refuelling your vehicle.

While you’re driving, keep an eye on how much fuel you have left. Some vehicles have a warning light that shows when fuel is getting low; others may have a gauge that tells you how many miles you’ll be able to drive on the remaining fuel (called a range indicator). Do not rely on this too closely: the distance you can drive will depend on the load on the vehicle, how you’re driving and in what traffic conditions. Only use the range indicator to give you an idea of how far you’ll be able to drive, and refuel in good time.

Route number and destination

If you’re driving a service bus or a scheduled coach service, make sure you’re displaying the correct route number and destination on the vehicle. This sign must be lit between sunset and sunrise. On a temporary bus service, a temporary sign should be displayed.

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