What is a PCV license?
If you didn’t already know a PCV license is what’s known as a category D license that has four categories that include:
This is the license required for those wanting to drive a minibus that seats between 9 and 16 people. You can also tow a trailer of up to 750kg.
Category D1 and E
This is the license required for those wanting to drive a minibus that has the capacity to seat up to 16 people and you can also tow a trailer in excess of 750kg. However the maximum weight of both combined must not exceed 12 tonnes and the weight of the trailer itself must not be more than the weight of the minibus towing it.
This license will allow you to drive a bus that has a capacity to seat in excess of eight and you can tow a trailer up to 750kg.
Category D and E
This license will allow you to drive any coach or bus you like really and you can tow a trailer in excess of 750kg simultaneously.
You must choose your category carefully to make sure the category you want to drive in matches the requirements if you want to drive professionally.
To earn your PCV license you must pass all the tests that are required both theory tests and practical tests before you can drive professionally. The new CPC requirements have changed now and they have transformed the old two part testing system into four tests. These new tests include:
- The theory test
- The case study test
- The driving skills test
- The practical demonstration test
What’s the difference between the PSV and the PCV driving license?
Well basically the PCV license is for those who want to DRIVE professionally and the PSV license is for the OPERATORS. The operator is the company or non profit organisation that lawfully owns the Category D vehicles they are the legal owners of the vehicles. If you want to be both the operator and the driver then you will have to gain both the operator license and also the driving license.
Volunteer PCV Drivers
If you are planning on driving professionally then there is no question about it, you will need a PCV driving license. If however you want to drive a minibus there are some conditions where you won’t need to have a PCV license.
If you have gained your car driving license before 1st January 1997 then you can drive a minibus for non commercial purposes and you won’t have to have a PCV license to do so. If you have gained your driver’s license after 1st of January 1997 you can drive a minibus on your current car driver’s license providing:
- You are at least 21 years of age
- You must have had your driver’s license for at least two years
- You are operating the vehicle on a volunteer basis
- The minibus is being used for social purposes
- The minibus you are planning on driving does not exceed weight limits
- You are not towing a trailer
- The minibus isn’t being driven abroad
If you are over the age of 70 you can still drive a minibus with your existing driver’s license but you will need additional medical checks. You will need to submit a specific medical application on a yearly basis.
If you want to drive a minibus abroad then you will need a Category D1 license at a minimum. This also applies if you are planning on driving a minibus professionally for even just a few journeys a year.
To sum up
Ok so in order to become a professional bus driver you must have the right license to match your requirements. You will need the right training to help you succeed and then one of the most important things, your determination to succeed in your goals to become a professional bus driver. There are 5 main things that are required of you, and these include:
- Get your medical exam
- Apply for your provisional license as a bus driver
- Successfully pass your theory test
- Practical training to develop your skills
- Pass the last two tests
Well that’s it from me for now I hope I’ve helped you gain more info on the different types of licenses that are required to drive different types of buses/minibuses and the weight of the trailer you can tow, so good luck in achieving your PCV license or the PSV license and hopefully you will be driving professionally as soon as possible. Good Luck.