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Driving a Coach as a Career

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 8 Sep 2016 | comments*Discuss
Driving Driving Licence Coach Coach

As a coach driver, you are responsible for getting your passengers from pick-up points to their destinations and back again, either in the UK or abroad. Coach driving usually involves longer journeys than bus driving. Coach driving can range from transporting children on school trips, taking passengers on day trips, or holiday coaches that travel over several days. Unlike with bus driving, you are often responsible for making sure that all passengers get back on the coach safely after breaks and at the end of the trip.

To qualify as a coach driver, you need to be aged 21 or over. You also need to get the relevant driving licence, and pass medical tests, including an eyesight test.

Driving Licence

Firstly, you need to have a valid UK or EU car driving licence before you can apply for your provisional Passenger Carrying Vehicle (PCV) driving licence. You need to have passed a medical before you can apply for your provisional PCV licence, and this will cost around £100. When you apply, send your orange medical form, current driving licence and payment along with your application form to the DVLA in Swansea. You will usually receive your provisional PCV driving licence within two weeks. You can then book your theory test. Alternatively, you can book by phone, post (get a DLV26 application form) or through an API / ATB.

Training for Coach Driving

Training usually lasts up to six weeks. Many coach drivers do their training through bus and coach driving schools. These teach you the necessary skills to help your pass your coach practical test(s), as well as the theory needed to pass the coach theory test. Once you have completed the training, you must take the practical and theory tests.

Driving Test

The theory test involves multiple choice questions and a hazard perception test. Sample theory test questions are available to download on the 2pass website. The theory test costs £50 for both parts, but you can take them separately. In line with the introduction of the Driver CPC (see the following paragraph), the theory test has recently been extended with more questions.

You also need to pass a PCV practical test. The Approved Driving Instructor (API) or Approved Training Body (ATB) that is overseeing your training will advise you when you are ready to take the test. You can book online on the DSA website. You will usually need to bring confirmation of having passed the theory test and your driving licence.

The Driver CPC

From September 2008, you need to have a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC) to go with your PCV driving licence. This is intended to improve road safety for new bus, coach and lorry drivers. To retain your Driver CPC, you need to take 35hours of Periodic Training every five years to ensure that your skills are fresh.

Further Training

When you have successfully passed the practical and theory tests, you will usually receive induction training during your first job. This guides you through things such as health and safety issues and customer care. You can then train for an NVQ Level 2 in Road Passenger Transport, which allows you to specialise in bus or coach driving. Alternatively, there is also an NVQ Level 2 in Passenger Carrying Vehicle Driving.

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San - Your Question:
Hi there.I am holding a full driving UK Licence since 2014 and I would like to be a bus driver now so how long it takes time to get bus driving licence like six months ?

Our Response:
The government provides some good information here . It doesn't specify exactly how long it will take but it may be feasible to do it in 6months depending on the availability of the tests.
DrivingExpert - 9-Sep-16 @ 2:21 PM
hi there.I am holding a full driving UK Licencesince 2014 and I would like to be a bus driver now so how long it takes time to get bus driving licence like six months ?
San - 8-Sep-16 @ 11:40 PM
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