Most independent schools have charitable status and some are simply a businesses. In the case of a business, drivers who have category D1 licences must be used. A driver with a normal licence will not be allowed to operate the minibus. In reality, all school minibuses are used on a hire or reward basis, but how this is accounted for by the school will govern whether or not the minibus must be operated on a PVC basis For clarity on requirements, follow this link
Do you charge your pupils If you charge but operate the minibus on a non-profit basis, then you can operate under a section 19 permit, a link for which is here
This allows more flexibility on licence requirements.
Schools will normally have their own ideal set up for the minibus. Commonly, schools will ask for roof racks, lockable wheel nut, seat covers, heavy duty mat and some form of security. At Vanlease UK we can also arrange specialist additions such as ramps and wheelchair access. Size wise and we cover anything from 6 to 17 seats, should be decided on how you are going to operate the minibus as above. Also, don’t forget to make sure that if you are a registered charity, that you are claiming your VAT to your full entitlement.
Minibus Leasing and Contract Hire
Modern education makes demands on a school to provide transport for children for off-premises activity and education. Hiring is both complex and expensive. Schools, including state schools, may choose to lease their own minibus and Vanlease UK can supply a new Ford minibus for less than £9 a day plus VAT and service cost.
Why contract hire?
1.Your funding is off balance sheet as the minibus belongs to the funder.
2.The cost is fixed for the period of the agreement and can include servicing with tyres.
3.Lease terms can be agreed to suit your budget and business model.
4.Tax and VAT savings over the purchase option.
5.Low start up costs.
6.Brand new vehicle.
The Finance Lease Option
Finance lease is a tax efficient way of funding your minibus. Either the entire cost of the vehicle is paid during the term including interest or you may defer an element of the cost which is paid at the end. This is commonly referred to as a balloon payment, and will reflect the value of the minibus at that time.
Schools that have their own minibus can arrange trips, visits and outside education any time they want to. No waiting for a hire company, who at certain times of the year will simply not have any available.