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Becoming A Bus Driver

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 27 Aug 2020 | comments*Discuss
Bus Driver Driving Driving Licence

As a bus driver, you are responsible for picking up passengers at designated bus stops and dropping them off either at their end destination or at a designated bus stop en route. Bus driving usually involves shorter journeys than coach driving, and many of the trips are in the local area.

Driving Licence

Firstly, you need to apply for a provisional driving licence, known as a Passenger Carrying Vehicle (PCV) driving licence for a coach or bus driver. You need to have a full UK or EU driving licence before you can start training to be a bus driver.

To apply for a provisional PCV driving licence, you need to get a D2 application form and a D4 medical form from the DVLA or a Post Office branch. The medical form will have to be filled in by your GP. If you have an old-style driving licence, you need to also send confirmation of your identity, a passport photo and your driving licence. If you have a photocard driving licence, you only need to send your driving licence with your D2 and D4 forms. It will usually take around three weeks for your PCV provisional driving licence to be sent to you.


Training to become a bus driver often takes place at specialist driving schools for bus and coach drivers. Here, you will be supervised by an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) or an Approved Training Body (ABT) who will advise you when you are ready to book your practical driving test.

Driving Test

You need to pass two types of driving test: the theory test and the practical test. You can take your theory test as soon as you have your PCV provisional licence, but you need to have passed your theory test before you can book a practical test. The theory test works in the same as the car theory test, in that there is a multiple choice section and a hazard perception section.

You don't have to take both at the same time, but you need to pass them both within 2 years of each other. You can find your nearest test centre on the Transport Office website, and you can book your theory test online on the DSA website's online booking service. When you book your theory test, the DSA will send you a DVD to help you prepare for the hazard perception test. To prepare for the multiple choice test, you can buy relevant books or buy a CD ROM with sample questions and answers.

At the beginning of the practical test, you will be asked to answer several 'show me/tell me' questions related to vehicle safety. Sample questions and answers can be downloaded from the Transport Office website. You will then be required to take the practical driving test. Common manoeuvres that you will be asked to demonstrate include 'S' reversing manoeuvres, braking and general driving skills. If you successfully pass the practical driving test, you can then apply for your full PCV licence. This can be done through your instructor, or you can do so yourself by sending your driving licence to the DVLA.

The theory tests currently cost £50 (£35 for the multiple choice test, and £15 for the hazard perception test). The practical test currently costs between £105 (for a weekday test) and £125 (for a weekday evening or weekend test).

Driver CPC

From September 2008, anyone wanting to become a bus driver must also obtain a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC). It currently costs £30 for the theory side of the Driver CPC, and £63 for the practical side (including receiving your Driver Qualification Card). To retain this, you need to undertake 35 hours of Periodic Training every five years.

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[Add a Comment]
I recently passed module 1a, 1b, 2 and 4 with National Express west Midlands. Had 20 hours driving but sadly failed the test. I had 10 hours retraining but didn't make the second test. I would like to know what the cost is to get me to succeed in the driving test.
Tinsel - 29-Nov-19 @ 8:08 AM
Hi I lost my driving license 6 points2 1/2 years ago, I will get back my points 2021 , I have professional pcv license Can I do theory training test and practice driving test? Thanks
Ok - 31-Oct-19 @ 8:26 AM
Hi, I love buses, they are my favourite thing in the whole wide world. My favourite colour bus is green as it reminds me of my gran
Pauly - 13-Dec-17 @ 11:56 PM
Do I need to have a pvcand a cpc if I own a 52 seater and only use the bus to take my family on holiday ??
Bull - 8-Jul-17 @ 2:22 PM
Hi how much dose it cost to learn to be a bus driver. I have a photo driving licence and how long dose it normally take to become a bus driver.
squeech - 16-Oct-15 @ 7:52 AM
none - Your Question:
I hold a class d1 minibus licence and class d cpc what would be the estimated cost to up grade to class d licence

Our Response:
It would be easiest to simply ask DVLA Drivers Customer Services. You can write to them at Drivers Customer Services, Correspondence Team, D12, DVLA, Swansea, SA6 7JL
DrivingExpert - 25-Sep-15 @ 12:25 PM
i hold a class d1 minibus licence and class d cpc what would be the estimated cost to up grade to class d licence
none - 24-Sep-15 @ 5:31 PM
i live in wolverhampton wednesfield,I want to be a bus driver and i just want to ask thati just want to have 3/5 lessons then i can be a bus driver.I still have not got a point on my car and i had my car since 3 whole years.also can you send me a application form please.
kaur - 3-Sep-12 @ 12:53 PM
emman - 9-Aug-12 @ 10:07 AM
hi....i want to do a course for bus licence . and working a bus driver i have licence for cars .iwant to know what should i do .?can you give help .thanks
NONE - 7-Mar-12 @ 5:34 PM
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