A Brief Guide to Driving a Minibus in Europe

As flying is becoming more expensive an increasing number of holiday makers are choosing to drive to Europe. Minibuses are a popular choice of transport but there are a number of legal requirements that affect driving abroad.

When travelling within EU member states and ASOR signatory states (Norway, Switzerland, Turkey and some Eastern European Countries) a control document in the form of a ‘waybill’ or an ‘own account certificate’ must be carried. This applies to all vehicles with more than eight passenger seats.

The Waybill is required by all profit-making organisations and comes in two forms: the EU Journey Form and the ASOR waybill. The EU Journey Form is for travelling in EU member states and can also be used in Norway and Switzerland. The ASOR waybill is for use when travelling outside the European Union and requires a set of translations to accompany it.  Minibusclub.co.uk has a section with useful minibus advice on where to obtain waybills.

The Own Account Certificate (OAC) can be carried instead of a waybill if the minibus belongs to a non-profit making organisation and when travelling within EU member states. The OAC is free of charge and will remain valid for five years.

As well as a waybill or OAC, other documentation that needs to be carried on the vehicle at all times includes a minibus insurance certificate, European accident form, vehicle registration document and GB sticker. A Green Card is advisable when travelling abroad and the insurance company can help with this.

The driver of the minibus will require a Full Passport and a formal ‘Permission to Drive’ letter from the vehicle’s owner, unless they are the registered keeper of the minibus. The UK drivers licence is valid for journeys within the EU and EEA. Travelling outside these member states requires an International Driving Permit (IDP).

A tachograph needs to be used for international journeys starting from the UK. The minibus driver must comply with EU ‘drivers’ hours’ regulations for all international journeys.

This article is intended as a brief guide. It is recommended to check out all rules and regulations before driving to any international country. The International Road Freight Office, embassies and tourist information offices can provide all the necessary advice.