Minibuses are a popular mode of transport for a range of purposes; from schools and sports clubs to private hire for personal excursions, minibuses range from nine to 17-seater models to carry various members of the public to their required destinations. Therefore, they need to be thoroughly checked at routine intervals to ensure they are safe for the public to use. But do minibuses need to adhere to daily walkaround checks?
In this guide, we will explore the legal requirements regarding safety on minibuses as well as daily minibus checks that need to be carried out. We will also discuss what needs to be done if a defect is found, what can happen if a driver fails to carry out their daily vehicle checks, and how the AssetGo app can store minibus checklists and report relevant defects.
What are the legal requirements regarding safety on a minibus?
Minibuses are known as Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) if they carry passengers for ‘hire and reward,’ such as taxis. All minibuses must be driven by drivers who meet the standard driving licence requirements for minibuses, and they must be in good working condition and have a valid MOT certificate. Some minibuses may also be eligible for a Section 19 or Section 22 permit, granted under the Transport Act 1985. These permits must be displayed in the windscreen of the minibus.
Section 19 permits allow organisations such as schools to use a minibus without having to comply with certain PSV regulations, whereas Section 22 permits are issued to vehicles that are not for profit, such as charities. Daily walkaround checks are highly recommended for all PSVs and minibuses, whether the vehicle operates under a PSV licence or a permit.
Under Section 19, it is a legal requirement to ensure that the vehicle is safe to drive and to protect the driver from any liability of pre-existing damage. Therefore, daily walkaround checks must be carried out to keep the driver, passengers and public safe.
What daily walkaround checks do I need to perform when inspecting my minibus?
If your minibus is used for hire and reward, it is classed as a Public Service Vehicle (PSV) and daily walkaround checks will need to be carried out before the minibus is driven. Minibuses operating under Section 19 and 22 permits will also need to be checked. These vehicle checks include:
- From the driver’s seat:
- Mirrors and visibility; check for cracks in the glass and damaged mirrors
- Windscreen wipers
- Warning lamps
- Heating and ventilation systems
- Height marker
- The interior:
- Body interior; ensure all exits are easy to access and the interior lights are working correctly
- Seats and seatbelts
- The emergency exit hammer should be present and easy to access
- Fire extinguisher
- Communication aids with the driver, such as push bells
- First aid kit
- The exterior:
- Wheelchair access
- Lights and indicators
- Tyres and wheels
- Fuel, oil and other leaks
- AdBlue (if applicable)
- Engine exhaust smoke
- Lights and reflectors
- Number plate
- Body exterior
To find out more about the various daily minibus checks that need to be inspected and recorded, you can request a demo of our digital daily checklists on our website here.
What should I do if I find a defect with my minibus?
When carrying out daily vehicle checks, the driver should make a note of all areas that have passed and failed their checks. They should highlight exactly where the defect is and whether it classes as a dangerous safety hazard. Minibuses that pose significant safety defects should not be driven until the issue is resolved.
If minibus drivers become aware of a defect during their journey, they should find a safe place to stop and report the defect immediately via our in-service defect feature. Our checklists on the AssetGo app are easy to access, and the relevant person within your company can be made aware of any defect immediately once you have submitted your daily report. In-service defects can be reported at the roadside if needed. To improve efficiency within your fleet, contact a member of our team today.
What can happen if I don’t carry out my daily minibus checks?
It is a legal requirement for PSVs and minibuses operating under Section 19 or 22 permits to carry out regular checks of their vehicle. If you operate a PSV in a dangerous condition, you could face an unlimited fine or even a prison sentence, so regular safety inspections are paramount.
For minibuses operating under a Section 19 permit, third party inspections should be carried out every ten weeks, dropping to every six weeks if the minibus is over 12 years old. Your Section 19 permit could be confiscated if you fail to provide sufficient proof of regular safety checks. Therefore, carrying our daily minibus checks is the best way of ensuring that your vehicle is compliant and safe to drive.
How long should I keep evidence of my daily walkaround checks?
Minibus drivers and fleet managers should keep evidence of regular maintenance, including daily walkaround checks, for 15 months. This evidence must be easily accessible and can lead to consequences if you fail to provide it.
Our practical app and CMS system at AssetGo stores all data from previous minibus checks, so you no longer have to worry about misplacing or damaging your checklists. All information is stored safely and securely, with reported defects immediately flagged up to the relevant people within a company.
Want to find out more about daily walkaround checks for various vehicles? You can visit our advice centre here.
When should I check my minibus for defects?
You should carry out an inspection of your minibus daily in order to keep passengers and drivers safe. If the minibus has been left in an unsecured location, it is advised that the driver carry out another walkaround check, even if one has already been completed that day.
How AssetGo can help
Our daily walkaround checklists at AssetGo are suitable for a wide range of vehicle types, such as HGVs, LGVs, trailers, forklifts and minibuses. All digital checklists are customisable, allowing you to move more important checks to the top of the checklist for a more efficient start to any driver’s day.
To find out more, or to request a free demo, please get in touch with a member of our team today.
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