Can I drive a double decker bus on a car license?

A bloke I know has offered me some work driving his fun bus. It's a part time job mainly at the weekends which just pays a bit of beer money. It's the time of year where my usual stuff has gone quite so I'm tempted to do it and take the beer coupons.

Thing is, can I drive it on my car license. It's an L reg double decker which has been completely gutted and redecked with play activity stuff for younger children. I won't be carrying any passengers except for one helper who is an employee and not paying a fare. I just drive the thing there, park it up, the kids play on it for an hour or two and then I return the bus to it's parking plot.

I passed my driving test in the mob back in 1976.

30 years ago, I worked for a local authority as a driver for about five years where I drove coaches up to 52 seats. All we needed for that was an ordinary license because all the passengers were not paying anything for the ride. It was not a hire and reward service.

I have looked at various sites to try and get an answer but there are so many variables, it's difficult to get an answer to these particular circumstances.

Anybody know anything about driving a vehicle like this under the same circumstances?

Thanks in advance for any advice.


Book Reviewer
You can (provided it's more than thirty years old and it's not for reward)

Edit to add source: Link
The minor detail that on a B licence you are limited to 8 passengers, sort of makes the rest of the seats on a 52 seater pointless though, and the bus would have to be under 3.5 tons.

If you've held your B for two years and you are over 21 I beleive you can still drive Minibuses, but again not over 16 seats or over 3.5 tonnes.

If you want to drive a bus you need a D (which will allow towing of a 750kg trailer) or a D+E which would let you tow a heavier trailer.

I can't remember if you need to do anything in particular to drive 'for hire or reward' with a D.
My bad.

I thought it was still seated.

You need to look at your licence, in 'new' terms you'll need C probably. You need to ask the bloke who owns it how much it weighs. According to the t'internet a normal double decker weights in about 7.5 tonnes (that will include the chairs), but you need to know the weight of this fit, as the play area etc will add to the weight.

On a B you can only drive up to 3.5 tonnes.

C1 will only take you to 7.5 tonnes (you will proably have that licence by the date of your licence)
I think you'd have to get an 'I'm not a kiddly fiddler' certificate too.
Not neccesarily.

If he drives the bus there, sets up and fcuks off he wouldn't need a CRB. It would be prudent to get one if he did have contact with the kids, but again if supervised by others for a temp job that doesn't actively require him to be in contact with kids, I don't think he needs one.

If you had a school/cadet det visiting your unit you wouldn't CRB everyone in unit, or even those they are likely to meet. They would be supervised by appropriately cleared adult sthough.
I think you'd have to get an 'I'm not a kiddly fiddler' certificate too.
And perhaps just to set the parents minds at rest, a sweatshirt with that motif emblazoned front and back.
Thanks everyone for the response.

My licence has B/BE/C1/C1E/D1/D1E

And also fklnp

I think I'm ok but not quite sure.
If the bus is plated under 7.5 t then yes, if it is over then no. It does not really matter how much it does weigh, but what the MAM is plated at.


Gallery Guru
Thanks everyone for the response.

My licence has B/BE/C1/C1E/D1/D1E

And also fklnp

I think I'm ok but not quite sure.
It doesn't matter that it looks like a bus it's no doubt registered as a LGV If it's maximum authorised mass is more than 7.5 tonnes you'd need a cat C licence to drive it. If it weighs less than its MAM it doesn't make a difference if it's still plated the same.
It looks like I'm ok. I think the relevant bit is in the last four paragraphs and this allows me to accept the job and do this work.

Exempted large goods vehicles

Holders of a full category B (car) driving licence may drive any of the large vehicles listed below:

goods vehicle propelled by steam eg large vehicles with coal or wood burning engines
road construction vehicles used or kept on the road solely for the conveyance of built-in road construction machinery (with/without articles or materials used for the purpose of that machinery)
engineering plant vehicles (designed/constructed for the purpose of engineering operations)
works trucks (primarily designed for use in private premises or in the immediate vicinity eg dumper trucks/forklift trucks)
industrial tractors (tractors used mainly for haulage work off the public road, the vehicle must not have an unladen weight exceeding 7370kgs and have a design speed not exceeding 20mph)
agricultural motor vehicles which are not agricultural or forestry tractors (primarily used off the public road eg crop sprayer/combine harvester)
digging machines (vehicles which are limited to travel on public roads only for the purpose of proceeding to/from sites - used for trench digging or any kind of excavating or shovelling work eg vehicles with digging buckets/shovels)
goods vehicle which is not used on public roads or, if it is so used during any calendar week:

i. is used only in passing from land in the occupation of a person keeping the vehicle to other land in the occupation of that person

ii. is not used on public roads for distances exceeding an aggregate of 9.7 kilometres in that calendar week

goods vehicle, other than an agricultural motor vehicle, which is used only for purposes relating to agriculture, horticulture or forestry:

i. is used on roads only in passing between different areas of land occupied by the same person

ii. in passing between any two such areas does not travel a distance exceeding 1.5 kilometres on roads

goods vehicles used for no purpose other than the haulage of lifeboats and the conveyance of the necessary gear of the lifeboats which are being hauled
goods vehicles manufactured before 1 January 1960, used unladen and not drawing a laden trailer
articulated goods vehicles not exceeding 3.05 tonnes unladen weight
goods vehicle in the service of a visiting force or headquarters as defined in the visiting forces and international headquarters (application of law order 1965 (a))
goods vehicle driven by a constable for the purpose of removing or avoiding obstruction to other road users or other members of the public, for the purpose of protecting life or property (including the vehicle and its load) or for other similar purposes
goods vehicle fitted with apparatus designed for raising a disabled vehicle partly from the ground and for drawing a disabled vehicle when so raised (whether by partial superimposition or otherwise) being a vehicle which

i. is used solely for dealing with disabled vehicles

ii. is not used for the conveyance of any goods or load other than a disabled vehicle when so raised and water, fuel, accumulators and articles required for the operation of, or in connection with, such apparatus or otherwise for dealing with disabled vehicles

iii. has an unladen weight not exceeding 3.05 tonnes

mobile project vehicles - having a maximum authorised mass exceeding 3.5 tonnes and constructed/adapted to carry not more than 8 persons in addition to the driver and carries principally goods or burden consisting of

i. play/educational equipment and articles required in connection with the use of such equipment

ii. articles required for the purposes of display or of an exhibition, and the primary purpose of which is used as a recreational, educational or instructional facility when stationary

Drivers must be aged 21 and have held a category B licence for at least 2 years. A mobile project vehicle may only be driven on behalf of a non-commercial body. However, drivers who passed their car test before 1 January 1997 are not subject to these conditions.

My thanks to everybody for their comments.


Gallery Guru
If the vehicle has a maximum authorised mass, which exceeds 3.5 tonnes, but not 7.5 tonnes then a category C1 licence is needed. If the maximum authorised mass exceeds 7.5 tonnes then a category C licence is needed.

From the link.

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