Becoming a bus, coach or minibus driver

Becoming a bus, coach or minibus driver

Whether you want to drive a long-distance coach, a local bus or a minibus, you’ll need to add to the skills you’ve already learned for your car driving licence. You’ll need to learn not only about driving a bigger vehicle but also about looking after your passengers, who are relying on you for a safe and comfortable journey.

There’s a lot to learn about driving a passenger-carrying vehicle (PCV): are you ready for the challenge?

Here’s a quick checklist to see if you can learn to drive a PCV.

You must

  • be 18 years old
  • hold a full car licence for Great Britain or Northern Ireland
  • apply for the correct provisional entitlements on your licence
  • provide a medical report showing you’re fit to drive a PCV: see GOV.UK for information about the eyesight and medical requirements for a PCV licence
  • make sure any vehicle you drive is roadworthy and properly taxed and insured
  • display L plates on the front and rear of the vehicle where they can be clearly seen when you’re driving (L or D plates in Wales)
  • be accompanied by a qualified driver who is over 21 and has held (and still holds) a full driving licence for the category of vehicle being driven for at least three years.

The time the training takes depends on which category of licence you’re applying for; some trainers offer a driving assessment to gauge how much training you’re likely to need for the licence you want.

Good driving isn’t just about learning the rules of the road: your skill and attitude as a driver are vital too, and you’ll keep learning and developing these over the years.

As a professional driver, you should set an example to other road users by showing the right attitude to your driving and a good knowledge of safe, modern driving techniques.

A good driver

  • is responsible for what they do while driving
  • concentrates on what they’re doing
  • anticipates what could happen around them
  • is patient with other road users
  • is confident about how to drive safely.

Use the guide to becoming a bus or lorry driver on GOV.UK or becoming a minibus driver.

You’ll need to