It is entirely reasonable to be curious as to the exact meaning of PCV especially if you are learning to be a driver. PCV means Passenger Carrying Vehicle, and it is necessarily any form of motor conveyance that Is not exclusively for private usage. There are special licensing arrangements that allow you to drive buses and minibusses without holding the higher Passenger Carrying Vehicle (PCV) driving license entitlement. If you have a minibus having nine to 16 passenger seats, then you will need to hold a PCV license category D1 or a category D license to driver larger buses.
Now that we have established that PCV means Passenger Carrying Vehicle, in other words, a bus or minibus, what then are the requirements for driving a minibus in Dublin? The following conditions must be met to drive a minibus:
- The vehicle must be used for social purposes by a non-commercial body.
- The driver must be aged at least 21 years and above and must have held a full car license for at least a period not less than 2 years.
- The minibus maximum weight must not be more than 3.5 tonnes or 4.25 tonnes if fitted with a special kind of equipment for the purpose of carrying passengers.
When a minibus is being driven under these conditions, you may not be entitled to receive any payment or consideration for driving apart from out of pockets expense. In the same vein, you are not allowed to tow trailers or use the bus for other illegal purposes. Drivers that are 70 years and above will need to make a special application for licensing which requires meeting certain higher medical standards.
Holders of a full category D (PCV) driving license can also drive a passenger carrying recovery vehicle. The actual meaning of this is defined as a vehicle not being an articulated goods vehicle combinations which:
- Has an unladen weight not more than 10.2 tonnes
- Is being operated by the holder of a public service vehicle (PSV) operator’s license
- Is being used for the purpose of proceeding to, or returning from, a place where assistance is to be or has been, given to a damaged or disabled passenger-carrying vehicle; or is giving assistance to r moving a disabled passenger-carrying vehicle or moving a damaged vehicle.
Getting Started as a Minibus Driver.
Here is a good chance that the reason you want to know what a PCV stands for is that you have the aspirations to be a minibus driver. In this case, if you wish to drive a minibus, a local bus or a long distance coach, you’ll need to add to the skills you’ve already learned from your car driving license. Also, you will also need to learn not only about driving a bigger vehicle but also caring and looking after your passengers for whom you have assumed a paternalistic role bring responsible for their safe and comfortable journey.
Without any doubt, there are certainly a lot of things to learn about driving a passenger-carrying vehicle (PCV) and below is a drop list of some of the things you should know.
- You must hold a full car license for Northern Ireland.
- Apply for the correct provisional entitlements on your license
- Provide a medical report that shows that you are fit to drive a PCV.
- Make sure any vehicle you intend to drive is roadworthy, properly taxed and insured.
The period which your training may take depends on which category of license you are applying for. Some Instructors offer a driving assessment to determine how much training you are likely to need for your desired type of license. This brings us to the next point.
Categories of the PCV License.
As mentioned earlier, the PCV license is a Category D license that comes on 4 basic types.
- Category D1: This license if for minibusses with a seating capacity of between nine and 16 passengers. It allows for towing a trailer of up to 750kg simultaneously.
- Category D1+E: This type of license is also for minibusses with a seating capacity of up to 16 passengers but with trailers allowed in the excess of 750kg. The total weight of both tow vehicle and trailer cannot exceed 12 tonnes and the weight of the trailer cannot exceed the unladed weight of the minibus towing it.
- Category D: This license allows you to drive a bus with a seating capacity more than eight and a trailer of up to 750kg