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Minibus FAQs

We know when you are looking for a minibus or are already running one there are many questions you may have, particularly around legislation, permits and driving licences. Plus understanding the types of minibus available, how best to finance one and also how often you must maintain a minibus are all common questions that minibus customers have.

We have put together a comprehensive minibus frequently asked questions and answers guide that we have compiled over our extensive history in the minibus sector which we hope you will find useful. If you require further clarification or information, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly dedicated minibus team who are here to help you.

MiDAS and D1 Driver Training

What is MiDAS training?

Let us start by explaining who MiDAS is. MiDAS is the Minibus Driver Awareness Scheme, organised by the Community Transport Association U.K. (CTA) which promotes a nationally recognised standard for the assessment and training of minibus drivers. It is a membership based scheme that is designed to enhance minibus driving standards and promote the safer operation of minibuses, currently there are over 5,000 member organisations throughout the UK. (CTAUK)

The MiDAS training is a combination of classroom based theory training plus on road assessment of driving skills.

In a nutshell the theory training will look at topics such as:

  • Drivers’ legal responsibilities
  • Passenger safety
  • Driving for safety and economy
  • Personal safety for drivers
  • Collison and breakdown procedures

At the end of the theory training a written, multiple-choice theory assessment will take place before being awarded the certificate.

If you are running an accessible minibus, further training will need to be undertaken in the skills and knowledge required to safely use this type of vehicle plus the successful completion of practical skills assessment will need to be completed before receiving the certification.

Who needs MIDAS training?

MiDAS is applicable to any organisation that transports passengers by road, and member organisations range from small voluntary organisations operating one vehicle to local authorities operating large vehicle fleets. Many schools and other educational establishments are members and in its guidance to schools using minibuses, the Department for Education and Skills cites MiDAS training as good practice for all schools. Don’t worry if you haven’t got a vehicle, you can still join MiDAS and have anyone who will be driving for your organisation trained. (CTAUK)

Do CVM provide MIDAS training?

CVM Minibuses work with a trusted qualified partner who can provide professional and compliant MiDAS training for you and your drivers. Simply get in contact with us and we will refer you to our partner to start discussing your MiDAS training needs.


What is minibus leasing?

Minibus leasing is when you choose Contract Hire to finance your vehicle. Vehicle leasing is a little bit like a mobile phone contract; you pay a deposit and make monthly payments. Instead of minutes, texts and a data allowance, you get a mileage allowance on your minibus.

At the end of the leasing agreement, you can upgrade to the latest model available and adjust the term and mileage to suit you better or even extend the current agreement.

There is a little more to it than that and there are lots of options, but all in all, it’s pretty simple.

You can choose to lease with or without maintenance on your minibus.

Does my minibus lease include maintenance

We offer two options when it comes to leasing your minibus – with or without maintenance.

If you choose to lease with maintenance, your monthly payment will include your annual MOT, scheduled services (based on mileage), roadside assistance, road fund licence and tyres. This is a great option if you are carefully budgeting your minibus costs or want total peace of mind.

We also offer the option of leasing your minibus without maintenance, so your monthly payment would just cover the cost of the actual minibus but no maintenance.

We are here to talk you through both options and find the best solution for you.

Does my minibus lease have mileage limitations?

Yes. When you agree to leasing a minibus with us, we will discuss your annual mileage needs and ensure that your agreement will cover that mileage. Going over the annual contract mileage will incur an excess mileage charge per mile and will be billed at the end of the agreement. We will work with you to help choose the right annual mileage allowance for you to avoid such extra charges.


Does a minibus need an MOT every year?

Yes, the DVSA stipulates that minibuses must have an annual MOT check and the first one should be 12 months after the vehicle was first registered. For more information about the annual MOT we recommend looking at this website www.gov.uk/annual-test-for-lorries-buses-and-trailers but please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss further.

Do we need to do safety checks on our minibus?

For most organisations safety checks are not a legal requirement. However, we do recommend that for duty of care for your organisation that safety checks are carried out to ensure the minibus is working at its optimum capacity and to highlight any problems early on before they develop to a bigger problem.

We can work with you to organise regular minibus safety checks with a trusted partner of ours so you know you can expect the high level of service that you would receive from CVM Minibuses.

Is maintenance included as part of my lease?

You can choose to lease with maintenance, your monthly payment will include your annual MOT, scheduled services (based on mileage), roadside assistance, road fund licence and tyres. This is a great option if you are carefully budgeting your minibus costs or want total peace of mind.

We can also arrange for the cost of minibus safety checks to be included as part of your regular monthly payment on your lease. Talk to us about including maintenance in your minibus lease.

Conversions & Accessibility

Can vehicles be adapted for accessibility?

Creating a minibus conversion to ensure accessibility for wheelchair users is one of our most popular conversions on our customer’s minibuses. Please visit our dedicated Minibus Conversion page for more information.

What types of minibus conversion do CVM do?

We believe in creating a minibus that is unique to your needs and offer fully bespoke minibus conversions. However, our most popular requests for conversions are Seating, Accessibility, Steps, Storage and we also offer additional equipment including tow bars, tachographs, sign writing and many others. Please visit our dedicated Minibus Conversion page for more information.

Are conversion costs part of our lease?

We are unique in the market to offer the following service to our customers:

  1. Source your minibus
  2. Organise the conversions
  3. Add any special additional equipment you require
  4. Organise finance on the minibus, conversion(s) and equipment into one regular monthly payment. Plus any maintenance you require.

For more information please visit our dedicated Minibus Conversion page.

Types of Minibus

What is the biggest minibus you do?

The biggest minibus we offer is a 17 seater – you can choose between Ford, Peugeot and Mercedes-Benz.

What is the smallest minibus you do?

The smallest minibus we offer is a 9 seater and you can choose from Ford, Citroen, Volkswagen and Renault if this is your requirement.

Which minibus manufacturers do you sell?

We are not tied to one particular manufacturer so we are in a unique position to offer minibuses from many vehicle manufacturers including Ford, Peugeot, Mercedes-Benz, Citroen, Volkswagen and Renault.

There is a large range of minibuses to choose from including:

  • Ford Tourneo Custom (9 seat minibus)
  • Ford Transit (12 to 17 seat minibus)
  • Peugeot Expert (9 seat minibus)
  • Peugeot Boxer (12 and 17 seat minibus)
  • Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 9 and 17 seat minibus)
  • Citroen (9, 15 and 17 seat minibus)
  • Renault Trafic (9 seat minibus)
  • Volkswagen Transporter Shuttle (9 seat minibus)

If the minibus you are looking for is not on the list, don’t hesitate to contact us as we can source many different vehicles to meet your minibus requirements.

Are you a school minibus specialist?

Yes, we are proud to be a school minibus specialist and to look after the needs of:

  • Primary Schools
  • Secondary Schools
  • Independent Schools
  • Academies and Free Schools

At CVM our focus is the school and their needs to ensure the minibus they choose opens up new opportunities for the children and young adults. We offer unrivalled pricing and servicing on a wide range of minibuses from 9 seater to 17 seat vehicles. We also offer a wide range of accessible vehicles to suit your specific requirements.

Driving Licences

Who can drive a minibus?

This is the most commonly asked question that we have from prospective minibus customers and the team are here to guide you through what can seem a complicated and confusing topic.

You may be able to drive a minibus for your organisation if you hold a car driving licence and meet certain conditions; otherwise you will need to apply for a minibus licence.

Please visit our dedicated ‘Who can drive a minibus’ page for a full breakdown on who can and can’t drive a minibus.

  • I have a D1 entitlement on my driving licence, can I drive a minibus?
  • If you or a driver holds a category D1 driving licence you are legally allowed to drive vehicles with:
  • No more than 16 passengers
  • A maximum length of 8 metres
  • There are no weight restrictions

However, you may still need a section 19 permit so please do check this information as well.

I don’t have a D1 entitlement on my driving licence, can I drive a minibus?

In a nutshell yes you can in certain circumstances. This is our summary of the circumstances when you can:

Driver is under 21 years old, NOT held a car driving licence (B1 licence) for at least two years and the organisation DOES NOT run a section 19 permit:

If the person is not over 21 and not held the B category licence for two years they will only be able to drive a minibus with up to eight passenger seats and up to 3.5 tonnes in weight. CVM minibuses are able to supply a range of 9 seater minibuses that will fit this requirement, the most popular choices being the Ford Tourneo Custom, Volkswagen Shuttle and Renault Trafic.

Driver is over 21 years old, held a car driving licence (B1 licence) for at least two years and the organisation DOES NOT run a section 19 permit:

If the organisation does not run a section 19 permit then the person wanting to drive the minibus will still only be able to drive a minibus with up to eight passenger seats and up to 3.5 tonnes in weight. Visit our 9 seater minibus section for more information.

Driver is over 21 years old, held a car driving licence (B1 licence) for at least two years and the organisation does run a section 19 permit:

If the minibus will not have wheelchair access then the driver will be able to drive a minibus with up to 16 passenger seats and up to 3.5 tonnes in weight. CVM minibuses are able to supply a range of minibuses to fit this requirement including the very popular Ford Transit (15 seater only)

If the minibus will have wheelchair access then the driver will be able to drive a minibus with up to 16 passenger seats and up to 4.25 tonnes in weight. CVM minibuses are able to supply the Peugeot Boxer Featherlight, Citroen Relay and Ford Transit (15 seater only).

For any other enquiries please Contact us


Peter H

very welcoming and happy to help.....it was a pleasure to deal with happy professional people that don't do the hard sale but make it an easy ,quick and informative experience ...... i fully recommend using them

CVM Group Used Car

Andrew Johnston Franchise Owner Metro Rod Glasgow

We at Metro Rod in Glasgow have been using CVM and Jason in particular to purchase our vehicles for a number of years.  CVM make the process simple and straight forward, organising  everything from finance to delivery and everything in between.  I couldn't recommend them highly enough.

CVM Group Used Car

Mike Yates - Managing Director Metrorod Mid-Lancs

I originally approached Jason at CVM to quote for the supply of vans for our business. I also approached other companies at the time. Jason was by far quicker responding with quotations always the same day usually within an hour or so. We decided to use CVM based on response time and also their willingness to find the deal that's right for the customer.

Originally we used CVM to supply the vans only, but over time we have now developed a relationship where they will fit the van out to your exact specification including shelving, lighting and jetter plus any other requirements and as a bonus it comes liveried which we find difficult to source locally at a competitive price.

The main advantage to us is the van turns up ready for work, put the tools on and throw in an engineer and its out earning on day 1, add to this that its 1 finance deal for the van fully kitted out which saves time back in the office.

I would not hesitate to recommend CVM to anybody looking to purchase a vehicle only or fully kitted van pack.

CVM Group Used Car

P Ellwood - Eggar's School

"Huge thanks to all at CVM for their professionalism, dedication, attention to detail and total patience whilst we altered the artwork on infinite number of times. The minibus looks fabulous and, once we had made our minds up, the turnaround time was swift. Value for money with an efficient and friendly helpful team. Totally recommended."

CVM Group Used Car

P Isaacs - Thornden School

"I came across CVM at the Hampshire Minibus event in July and was impressed with their product and the service they offered. Having carried out a detailed comparison survey including costs, CVM represented the best value for money. This was the first time that Thornden School has leased a minibus and I have to say that the process was uncomplicated and hassle free for me. On top of that, the minibus arrived 2 days ahead of schedule."

CVM Group Used Car

S Watts - Beeston Hall School

"I’m pleased to say that my dealings with the CVM Group from start to finish have been impeccable. They have been so helpful along the way and assisted me promptly with each and every one of my queries. From supplying and resupplying budget figures, to advising and facilitating how to obtain a section 19 permit, they couldn’t have been more helpful. And our 2 brand new and branded minibuses look amazing. A big thank you to all the team at CVM!"

CVM Group Used Car

P Kirkbride - King's School Grantham

"Dear All, From time to time colleagues ask for recommendations on new minibuses. We have just had fantastic service from CVM Minibuses in Fareham and I strongly recommend them to you. Their graphics team did a fantastic job for us. This recommendation is written totally off my own bat and not at the request of the company."

CVM Group Used Car

D Tomkins - Holy Family Catholic Primary School

"Many thanks to all at CVM Group. You were so helpful organising our Partnership mini bus for us, and ironed out quiet a major obstacle at the last minute, efficiently and professionally. At each step the communication between CVM and the schools was open and free flowing, ensuring that the schools felt confident and reassured.The finished artwork and look of the bus was just as we imagined, no small feat considering the amount of artwork that the pupils of three primary schools can produce. It must have been quite a challenge.Once again thank you for all your assistance we truly appreciate it."

CVM Group Used Car

T Sutherland - Blackheath High School

"Leasing vehicles is not just about vehicles – it’s about the people who provide you with those vehicles, and the service they can offer. Every leasing company can provide the same vehicle, but not everyone can provide the same level service and care. The service provided by CVM felt personal.; they listened and, It’s all about that ‘plus 1 factor’ that made me make the right decision and lease my 4 new Ford Transit Minibuses from CVM. Thanks for making it easy."

CVM Group Used Car

L Ward - Brighton & Hove High School

“Excellent service and great value for money – CVM are consistently the best supplier in our competitive tendering process.” 

CVM Group Used Car

U Clark - St Swithun Catholic Primary School

"St Swithun Wells Catholic Primary School are delighted to work with CVM. It is vital that schools broaden children's experiences and the service CVM provides enables us to access museums, the theatre and art galleries, sporting events. Without them we would not be able to take the children out of school. I have always been impressed by CVM's professionalism, prompt service and knowledgeable staff."

CVM Group Used Car

V Davies - The Gregg & St. Winifred’s School

"During our dealings with Caroline at CVM Minibuses we have been delighted with the professionalism, service and expert knowledge she has provided. The three Ford Transit 17 seater minibuses we took delivery of last year have been an absolute asset to our minibus fleet.

We were thrilled to receive a call from Caroline recently donating us the use of a 9 seater VW minibus free of charge for a year. This kind donation is so useful to the school and will be used for the many activities we take part in across Hampshire.

We can’t thank the good people at CVM enough for their help in sourcing our Transit Minibuses last year and also this very generous donation. We look forward to continuing our relationship in the future.”


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