Can I Drive an 8 Seater Minibus on a Car License?

You can drive an 8-seater minibus on a car licence with no other considerations if you are not doing so for a commercial company. A vehicle that size is not considered to be a small bus, or minibus, it is classed as a 'small vehicle' adapted to carry 8 passengers or fewer.

There are conditions and restrictions on driving these types of vehicles if it is not your private vehicle. If you are driving for an organisation or as part of your employment there may be some operating restrictions, but you still only need a standard car licence.

An organisation that accepts any sort of payment for providing transport to passengers must hold either a PSV 'O' licence or a private hire vehicle (PHV) licence and driver must hold the full D1 licence and complete annual CPC training.

Section 19 Permits are issued by the DVSA to organisations that operate vehicles without a view to profit to transport their members, or people whom the organisation exists to help, such as school pupils. Section 19 permit vehicles can't be used to carry members of the general public. A Section 19 Permit replaces the need for a PSV Operators and/or PHV licence. However, vehicles under 9 seats do not require Section 19 Permits.

You are likely to need a private hire vehicle licence if you do hire the vehicle as a whole. Vehicles adapted to carry 8 or fewer passengers are only considered to be Public Service Vehicles if passengers are being charged separate fares in the course of the business of carrying passengers. This means that if you use a small vehicle you must charge separate fares. The vehicle must not be available for hire as a whole. You're likely to need a private hire vehicle licence if you do hire the vehicle as a whole. In these cases you should contact your local council, which is responsible for licensing private hire vehicle operations, for advice.

For more information on the lease, hire or purchase of a 8-9 seater vehicle please give our friendly team a call on 01896 253744 or email

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