Mini Bus use

Mini Bus Quiz

  1. Do you – Drive a Mini Bus? Yes / No
  2. Do you – Transport Scouts for outings? Yes / No
  3. Do you – Do so as a volunteer in a hired; self-owned or borrowed vehicle? Yes / No
  4. Do you – Have a Section 19 Permit covering Scouts for any Mini Bus you use? Yes / No
  5. Do you – Believe you are complying with the law when using a Mini Bus? Yes / No

How to use a Mini Bus and stay legal

If you have answered ‘no’ to question 4 in the quizabove and you use a mini bus, you are almost certainly breaking the law. You could also be liable to prosecution, especially if you answered ‘yes’ to any of questions 1 to 3 or 5.
The rules on the use of a mini bus, which is not hired with a driver, were introduced by the Transport Act 1985. Since then any person using a Mini Bus for voluntary organisation transport must have a permit for the vehicle and the necessary driving licence for it.

Summary of the rules

Any Mini Bus used for transportation of people who contribute in any way towards the cost, directly or indirectly, must be displaying a permit covering the organisation using the Mini Bus. Permit allows the organisation named to transport members of that organisation and those directly supporting the registered organisation.
Permits are not driver or vehicle specific and can be used by any driver in any vehicle being used in support of the registered organisation.

  • A permit is required for each mini bus.
  • It must be the organisation that has registered.
  • If you use the “works” bus – the organisation still need to have a permit for it.

The driver of the Mini Bus must hold the appropriate driving licence – either category D or D1. There are a few wriggles but these get complicated and involve issues like driver’s age and use of the vehicle etc. The way to be sure is to have Category D or D1 listed on your licence.
The Mini Bus must be maintained in a fully roadworthy condition and it is the driver’s responsibility to make sure it is. This includes the condition of the interior of the vehicle; seat security; seatbelts; etc., as well as all the usual lighting; tyres; etc.
Whilst it is recommended that the driver should be MIDAS trained, and to hire most HCC operated (school) mini busses you will need to be, it is neither a legal requirement nor Scout Rule that you must. Some schools and clubs require it and that is often driven by their insurance. Scouting recommends that MIDAS standards are met and/or the driver is MIDAS qualified. has information and details of how to apply for a Mini Bus (Section 19) permit to cover mini buses used by the organisation named on the permit. Groups can apply for a permit that will cover all sections in the Group; Cubs;
Scouts: Beavers. Districts can apply for a permit that will cover all District sections i.e. Explorers, Network & SAS.
Individual sections can apply for permits; however be warned these permits only cover the named section. Remember: a permit is required for each Mini Bus – owned; hired or borrowed.
PLEASE NOTE: – BWDS do not have any vehicle insurances. You will therefore either need to arrange your own cover or use the insurance provided by the owner of the vehicle.

Useful links

Scouts –
DVLA – D or D1 licence Driving a minibus – (wriggles)
HCC –  – link to Factsheet that gives useful information.

Bob C
ADC Activities