Becoming A Bus Driver – Useful Tips And Help

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. You can browse our latest bus driving and PCV vacancies here.

Written By: DrivingExpert

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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