Booking a minibus

Council minibuses can be booked for use by community groups, clubs or organisations, providing:

Council minibuses can be booked for use by community groups, clubs or organisations, providing:

When you have made a booking, the keys should be picked up at your local Customer Service Point. Service point staff will check that your section 19 permit and driving assessment are current, and that the driver's licence complies, so please bring your driving licence with you when you pick up the keys.

Applying for a standard section 19 permit

Organisations that provide transport on a ‘not-for-profit’ basis can apply for permits under Section 19 of the Transport Act 1985. These permits allow the holder to operate transport services for hire or reward without the need for a full public service vehicle (PSV) operator’s licence. A permit isn’t specific to one vehicle, so the holder of the permit can transfer it between different vehicles. But a permit can only be used on one vehicle at a time. An organisation can hold more than one permit. The permit must be displayed on the vehicle while it is being used, or it could be impounded by the police.

Who may be carried on the vehicle?

  • A vehicle being used under a section 19 permit must not be used to carry members of the general public. Each section 19 permit, and corresponding disc, will indicate the particular classes of persons who may be carried.

How many permits do I need?

  • This will depend on how many vehicles you will be using at any one time. Each vehicle in use, that is carrying passengers for hire or reward, must be used under a permit and the corresponding disc must be displayed in the windscreen.
  • For example, if you want to operate three vehicles at the same time, you must have three permits. You may apply for more than one permit on an application form.

Where can I apply for a permit?

  • To apply, you need to fill in the application form and send it to us:
  • Once completed the original should be posted to Integrated Transport, Roads and Infrastructure Services, 1a Manse Brae, Lochgilphead, PA31 8RD. No fees apply.

If you are granted a permit

  • If your application is granted you will receive a permit which will have a unique serial number and a corresponding disc with the same number. You should remove the disc and place it in the windscreen of the vehicle to be used alongside the vehicle tax disc. It must be fixed to the inside of the windscreen so that it can be easily seen from outside the vehicle but does not obstruct the driver's view.
  • You may be issued with more than one permit and each permit will have a corresponding disc. The permits and discs are not vehicle specific and you may therefore move a disc from one vehicle to another. Each vehicle must display a valid disc when it is being used under the section 19 permit system and you cannot use more than one vehicle at any time under the same permit.

Validity period

  • Permits and discs granted have an expiry date and will be valid for a maximum of five years.


  • Standard permits authorise the use of vehicles adapted to carry not more than 16 passengers (excluding the driver). Permits are not transferable to another organisation. These permits cannot be used ;to run any local bus services, for use by the general public, or for vehicles with 17 or more passenger seats.

Any other changes

  • Argyll and Bute Council must be informed if there any changes in your organisation's circumstances, such as: the name of your organisation, type of operation and passengers carried as this would mean that your permit would need to be updated.

Replacing lost or defaced permits and discs

  • Lost permits and discs - your permit and disc are important documents and should be kept safe. If they are lost or destroyed (or become defaced or faded) you should notify Argyll and Bute Council for a replacement. If the originals are subsequently found they must be returned immediately.
  • Any faded or defaced disc should be returned with the corresponding permit (and vice versa) in order that a new permit and disc may be issued. Replacement permits will be valid for a period not exceeding five years and the expiry date will be stated on the returned documents. Failure to return the corresponding permit or disc with the faded or defaced document may result in a charge being levied for replacements.

Please note:

  • It is an offence to operate outside of the conditions specified, or to operate without a valid permit. As a result your minibus could be impounded and you could be prosecuted for operating without an operator's licence. It is the responsibility of the permit holder to ensure that your permit is still in date before you book a minibus - keys to the minibus will be refused if your permit has lapsed.

Minibus driving assessments

To book a council minibus, the driver must have successfully completed our minibus driving assessment within the last 3 years

What is the purpose for the driving assessment?

To ensure drivers reach an appropriate level of safety and competence in driving a vehicle that can carry up to 16 passengers it is essential they undertake a minibus driving assessment prior to their first trip. Driving assessments are carried out by trained Argyll and Bute Council Assessors in various locations with each assessment lasting approximately 45 minutes.

How do you arrange an assessment?

Minibus driving assessments can be arranged by contacting one of the following :-

How much does it cost?

A fee of £35 is applicable which covers the cost of the assessor and minibus. The minibus driving assessment is valid for three years. 

What details do you need to provide?

You will be required to provide the following information – Name, Address, Confirmation of  D1 entitlement on driving licence, name and address for sending invoice. You must hold a current driving licence with no more than 3 penalty points on it. It is the responsibility of the permit holder to ensure that your assessment is still in date before you book a minibus - keys to the minibus will be refused if your assessment has lapsed.

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