Bridle Blog

When is a minibus not a minibus? …when it’s a nine seater.

School Minibus Company have seen huge growth in the take up of nine seat vehicles over the last couple of years or so.



There are a number of sound reasons for this, and particular scenarios where they work well:


  • As it has space for 8 passengers, any driver with an ordinary car licence can drive one without relying on the interpretation of the allowance for NON d1 driving in NON profit making organisations.


  • As its classed as a car. There are not so many rules and regulations that affect minibus compliance (Although of course we offer full advice about the safe use and running of all vehicles).


  • The design of the nine seat vehicle allows for a decent luggage area behind the rear row of seats . Meaning this is a flexible vehicle for taking a small number of students and luggage / kit with you.


  • There are “green” fuel versions available mild and plug in hybrids, even full electric options.


  • Their size makes them easier to drive and park.


The scenarios where we have seen particular growth in these vehicles are:


  • Private independent schools , complimenting their 17 seat buses with a nine seater enables them to try new home to school routes . Smaller sports teams or specific study groups can make better use of a smaller 9 seat vehicle rather than only part filling a large minibus.


  • Boarding Schools – many boarding schools use 9 seaters to pick up boarders from stations or airports . They can take puplis into town for doctor , dentist appointments . Pizza nights for a handful of pupils etc.


  • Non charity Independent schools ( Ltd companies) . One of the massive benefits is that nine seaters can be used without having to put a PSV operators licence in place. Therefore much more flexible.


  • Pupil referral units. In our experience smaller pupil numbers travel together and therefore a nine seater makes so much sense.


  • Nurseries and afterschool Clubs – The nature of these organisations means that operating a vehicle without need to have a PSV operators licence is attractive . Also many of these organisations don’t carry lots of passengers at the same time and will have limited parking.



We have many years experience in helping the education sector run the most appropriate vehicles, safely and within the law. Our leasing packages can include maintenance and full logo and artwork too. Please do get in touch for more details.

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