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Bus and coach drivers are responsible for safely transporting passengers on local, national, or overseas trips.

Bus drivers travel local routes, picking up and dropping off passengers at scheduled stops. A driver’s tasks include taking passenger fares, issuing tickets, checking transport passes, providing timetable and route information, and aiding individuals who are having difficulty getting on or off the vehicle. Bus drivers may also have the opportunity to work in community transport, which may involve driving specific groups of passengers, such as schoolchildren.

Coach drivers have similar duties to bus drivers, but also travel outside of local areas to other cities and countries. A coach driver’s duties extend to loading and unloading luggage and making sure all passengers are present after service station stops and for the return journey.

Coach drivers for overseas trips have further duties that include providing passengers with current travel information and interacting with foreign authorities, such as when passing through border controls. They are also responsible for cleaning and checking their vehicle, as well as reporting all relevant problems and incidents to inspectors at their depot.


Bus and coach drivers must hold valid EU driving licences and are generally required to be at least 21 years of age (minibus drivers must be at least 18). They must also have a Passenger Carrying Vehicle (PCV) licence. A recent EU Directive also mandates that PCV drivers obtain a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC). Drivers already PCV licensed may gain the CPC through training.

Many companies will offer training for PCV licences to fully licensed EU drivers. PCV licences may also be obtained independently through private driving schools and by submitting a PCV licence application, found at local Post Offices.

Training and Experience

PCV training typically lasts between one and six weeks. Passing a practical and theoretical driving test, as well as a medical test, is required.

New recruits receive induction training. This training covers operating ticket machines, learning routes, customer care, and matters of health and safety.

New drivers may begin their careers as volunteers for community transport for non-profit community organisations. Such organisations typically require drivers to be a minimum of 21 years of age and to have held an EU driving licence for at least two years.

For further development, Level 2 work-based NVQs in Road Passenger Transport and Passenger Carrying Vehicle Driving can be taken. The BTEC Certificate in Transporting Passengers by Bus and Coach, a short continuing professional development (CPD), may also be taken by new entrants and drivers, or anybody else desiring to update their qualifications.

Why not read our guide on becoming a Taxi Driver?

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