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Thread: Minibus abroad

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    Minibus abroad

    Hi, I am looking to take 2 minibuses borrowed from a nearby scout troop to Holland for scout camp next summer. This could either be via Harwich and direct by ferry to Holland or via Dover - Calais and then driving up through France and Belgium. Has anyone done this before? Please can someone clarify the requirements for the vehicle and any licences required? Ive tried to google and not got a conclusive answer. Drivers all have D1. Thanks!

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    ASL Kev's Avatar
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    Is that full D1 or D1 not for hire or reward?

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    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kev View Post
    Is that full D1 or D1 not for hire or reward?
    You can tell by looking at the license. If you have D1 for Europe it says D1. If it is just for the UK, it says D1(101)

    You will also need tachos, tacho cards and to keep drivers hours from the moment you leave the UK base, not from landing in Calais. Plus meet all requirements for driving like alcohol testers, 17 hi viz jackets etc.

    Best idea is to hire 8 seaters as you don't have any of these issues and they are much nicer to drive and to be driven in. And can drive at 70.

    Then you need just to have the hi viz etc.

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    Last edited by big chris; 07-12-2018 at 07:21 AM.

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    SL - 44th Swansea
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    A good starting point, if you haven't already found this document, is this Community Transport Association advice.
    Richard Organ

    44th Swansea (St Pauls Church) Scout Leader



    Flying is simple - you just throw yourself at the ground and miss

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    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yeovil_walker View Post
    A good starting point, if you haven't already found this document, is this Community Transport Association advice.
    yup, that is excellent

    i reckon that if you have drivers with full d1 (so they have sat their PCV test) then they will know this already. If your drivers are just d1(101) then (to quote the guide) you may have to consider a number of alternatives: Using one or more vehicles with fewer than 9 passenger seats (excluding the
    driver)
    Finding existing PCV drivers to participate on the trip
    Using public transport in the country (-ies) concerned
    Cancelling the trip

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    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    My gosh but those minibus rules look complex!

    At the risk of being like that Harry Enfield character...You don't wanna do it like that!

    Haarlem Jamborette?

    Get them to arrange a coach for you from Hook of Holland (that's their suggestion on the website). Take a van for your kit.
    If you won't need your minibuses while you're there, they'll just be in the way.
    Ian Wilkins
    Farnham District Explorer Scout Commissioner

    Jambowlree - Worldwide Scout Ten Pin Bowling Competition
    All sections, all countries, runs December 2017 - May 2018
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    Senior Member Ker-stee's Avatar
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    Id wait a little bit longer before hiring one. From what Ive read, the Brexit deal could affect who can drive in Europe....


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    The best advice is "don't". As other have said, hire a coach with commercial driver, fly, use public transport, use cars[1] or whatever. It's a total minefield.

    Even the fact that you don't actually own the buses adds complexity.

    [1] a 9 seater including the driver is a car.

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    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Don't do it. The risk of falling foul of the law is too high. And on D1(101) you (the group) must own the vehicle, you can't borrow or hire or you do a "closed door trip"

    It can be done, but it is very complex.

    I have seen buses emptied at the roadside in France and the drivers removed by the police - it may be for any offence but it can and does happen. So, you might "get away" with it, but if you don't you may well find that your driver gets arrested (yes, they do that), you are left at the roadside with a bunch of kids and kit, and a minibus that can't be driven. I got stopped in Alsace, they checked my documents, smiled and waved me on. Had I been driving a minibus, I could well have had a lot of explaining to do to angry parents...

    I've done a "closed door trip" and it is very dificult to adhere to on a Scout trip - got some unexpected free time, or a visit is cancelled - you can't just go somewhere else as you will be off your stated route...

    Plus, post Brexit, Brits are going to be very unpopular in parts of Europe and we will not get away with breaking their laws "because we didn't understand".

    Use 9 seat MPVs, they are more expensive to hire, but they use less fuel than a minibus, they need no tacho, they are more comfortable and you can park them anywhere you can park a car - almost - I say almost because parking a LWB VW Transporter in some multi-storey car parks can be a tad tight.

    (for the record - this comes from the experience of having done seven such trips - I know which is the easiest and most stress free method of self transporting).

    BTW if you do go ahead - go direct from Harwich to The Netherlands - do not drive borrowed minibuses on D1(101) in France. That is not to say that the Dutch Police will be any more forgiving if you were to have a bump.*

    * On the "We will get away with it" approach, people forget that in most of Europe, if you have a minor accident, you must report it to the Police, at the place the accident took place, or else you may not be insured. So, through no error on your part, you may have your papers checked, and if you are breaking the law, you could have problems.
    Ewan Scott

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