vehicle

Childcare providers and Nursery schools

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Do you work in the pre-school education sector or provide childcare services? As a childcare provider you are surely aware that carrying children can mean having to find space in your vehicle not only for the children in your care, but also for all of the possessions they bring with them such as toys, nappies or pushchairs. This is one of the reasons why many people have found that having a larger vehicle for their business is an essential part of the service they offer.

Here at the Minibus Club we have a range of insurance policies which are tailor made for your requirements. We can offer insurance for a number of types of vehicles including both minibuses and smaller MPV type vehicles. We have used our expertise, experience and technical knowledge to develop products that offer suitable cover for this important and specialised area. So if you need to buy minibus insurance give us a call so we can discuss your needs.

Whatever type of vehicle you have it is important that your minibus insurance covers all of your activities. As a specialist minibus insurance provider The Minibus Club can offer you a policy that is designed for the needs of nursery schools and childcare providers.

When considering your insurance the first thing to check is whether your vehicle may be considered a minibus. If your vehicle has nine or more passenger seats it will be considered a minibus. For this type of vehicle you may need a PSV Operators Licence. More information on this type of licence can be obtained from The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) who issue PSV licences. VOSA can be contacted online at http://www.vosa.gov.uk

Once you have identified whether you need additional licences to operate your minibus you should also consider who is likely to drive the vehicle. The Minibus Club can (depending on your circumstances) offer you cover for as few as one driver or an unlimited number of drivers with our any driver policies. The type of driving licence your drivers will need will again be dictated by the number of seats fitted in your vehicle.

• If your vehicle is an MPV with no more than eight passenger seats your driver will need a car (category B) driving licence.
• For those operating under a PSV Operators Licence your drivers will need a full, unrestricted minibus (D1) entitlement. This is obtained by taking a second driving test in a minibus.
• If you do have a minibus but do not need a PSV Operators Licence your driver will still usually need a minibus (D1) entitlement. However in some situations a driver may be able to legally drive your vehicle with only a car (category B) driving licence. If you think your drivers may be able to use this exemption they should seek advice from either the DVLA if you live in England, Scotland or Wales or from the DVA if you live in or if you live in Northern Ireland.

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This article was brought to you by The Minibus Club. For more information about Minibus insurance visit www.minibusclub.co.uk

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Hiriko, Spanish electric car which will conquer Europe.

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Hiriko, the Spanish 100% electric car, has great potential for conquering Europe.

The past 24th of January 2011 was the official presenting day of Hirico. José Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Commission, has given the approval to this Spanish project.

But, what is Hiriko?

The project was born beginning 2010 together with the MIT collaboration (Massachussets Institute of Technology), but is completely developed in Spain, Vitoria city, that in addition has been elected as the Green capital.

It´s about a car that is 100% electric and electronic.
Features:

  • It is a very small citycar 
  • It will be catalogued as a Cyclops, so it will not be necessary to have a driver´s license, except a valid autocycle license according to each country.
  • It will reach a maximum speed of 80km/hour on main roads and 50km/hour in the city.
  • A car that once it is parked it will reduce almost in half its size.
  • The car will cost 12.500 Euros.

What benefits will this vehicle have?

Primary it is an electric vehicle, which means that it does not emit any CO2. As we know, many big cities are prohibiting the entry to its centre to vehicles that emit CO2, problem that Hirico won´t have.

   
Given that the vehicle will know at all times exacly where it is, it will apply the limiting road speed according the road where is driving on. It will reach 50km/hour in just 3 seconds and it has a range of 120 km with only a 30 minutes charge.

Where and when will we see it?

It´s planned that Hiriko will come on the market by 2013, main customers will be the public administrations. Due that it won´t have limited access to certain areas and neither pay toll to enter certain areas, like London for example, it will wake up a great interest in companies who are operating in these cities. This will improve employees mobility in case they need it.

It is likely that soon car rental companies will also take advantage of this technology. VictoriaCars is considiring the possibility to add some of these models in their car fleet for car hire Alicante and this way study the viability of this technology in the car rental sector. We will notice it by it car fleet and probably it will be advertised as rental per hour, like the company Autolib does in Paris.

VictoriaCars

Hiriko, Spanish electric car which will conquer Europe.

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Hiriko, the Spanish 100% electric car, has great potential for conquering Europe.

The past 24th of January 2011 was the official presenting day of Hirico. José Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Commission, has given the approval to this Spanish project.

But, what is Hiriko?

The project was born beginning 2010 together with the MIT collaboration (Massachussets Institute of Technology), but is completely developed in Spain, Vitoria city, that in addition has been elected as the Green capital.

It´s about a car that is 100% electric and electronic.
Features:

  • It is a very small citycar 
  • It will be catalogued as a Cyclops, so it will not be necessary to have a driver´s license, except a valid autocycle license according to each country.
  • It will reach a maximum speed of 80km/hour on main roads and 50km/hour in the city.
  • A car that once it is parked it will reduce almost in half its size.
  • The car will cost 12.500 Euros.

What benefits will this vehicle have?

Primary it is an electric vehicle, which means that it does not emit any CO2. As we know, many big cities are prohibiting the entry to its centre to vehicles that emit CO2, problem that Hirico won´t have.

   
Given that the vehicle will know at all times exacly where it is, it will apply the limiting road speed according the road where is driving on. It will reach 50km/hour in just 3 seconds and it has a range of 120 km with only a 30 minutes charge.

Where and when will we see it?

It´s planned that Hiriko will come on the market by 2013, main customers will be the public administrations. Due that it won´t have limited access to certain areas and neither pay toll to enter certain areas, like London for example, it will wake up a great interest in companies who are operating in these cities. This will improve employees mobility in case they need it.

It is likely that soon car rental companies will also take advantage of this technology. VictoriaCars is considiring the possibility to add some of these models in their car fleet for car hire Alicante and this way study the viability of this technology in the car rental sector. We will notice it by it car fleet and probably it will be advertised as rental per hour, like the company Autolib does in Paris.

VictoriaCars

Breakdown Assistance

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Did you know that you can buy breakdown assistance cover for your vehicle as an add-on to your minibus insurance? The Minibus Club offers optional breakdown assistance cover from the AA which has been specially designed for owners of larger vehicles such as minibuses. We only offer this cover when bought in combination with one of our minibus insurance policies.

Why worry about your vehicle breaking down? With our optional breakdown cover you will have the peace of mind that comes from knowing your vehicle and passengers will receive assistance should the worst happen.

When you consider that motorway towing charges can be £150 if you don’t have your own breakdown cover and the average garage call out charge is £90, then breakdown cover could easily pay for itself the first time you have to use it. Having a breakdown can not only be expensive but also rather inconvenient. Imagine how frustrating it would be if you could not use your minibus, especially if you rely on it to run your business.

Some breakdown assistance policies cover you as the driver regardless of which vehicle you are driving, whereas some cover your vehicle. Our breakdown cover is specific to your vehicle and will cover anyone who is insured to drive it. This means should you breakdown in any vehicle other than the one covered on your minibus insurance policy you will not be covered.

The breakdown cover offered by the Minibus Club includes two main types of cover, Roadside and at Home. We’ll take a look at Roadside cover first.

If your minibus breaks down whilst away from home the AA will send a patrol or contractor to help you. If your vehicle cannot be repaired immediately it will be taken to a nearby authorised repairer where you can arrange for further repairs to be made. Should the AA not be able to repair your vehicle within a reasonable amount of time they will arrange to take your vehicle and any passengers in your vehicle to the destination of the driver’s choice, in one non-stop journey. This facility may also be provided if the driver of your minibus falls ill and there are no passengers who can drive the vehicle, so that the journey can be completed.

Whilst we hope you never need to use our breakdown cover your vehicle can just as easily break down whilst at home. In the event that this should happen the AA will arrange for someone to come out and help. If your vehicle cannot be repaired immediately then it will be taken to a nearby garage, where you can arrange for repairs to be carried out.

As with other breakdown recovery services you cannot claim in some situations. For a full list please click here to access the policy booklet. However the main exclusions are:

The costs of spare parts, fuel, oil, keys, or other materials and garage labour; Any vehicles that cannot be recovered by normal trailers or transport.

So if you’re thinking about buying breakdown cover for your minibus as part of your minibus insurance package don’t put it off; call us at the Minibus Club where our helpful staff will be pleased to assist you.

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This article was brought to you by The Minibus Club. For more information about Minibus insurance visit www.minibusclub.co.uk

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Care Homes. What you need to know about minibuses.

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Are you a care home that owns or operates a minibus? If you are then you will know that obtaining the right type of minibus insurance is an important part of this process. Selecting a minibus insurance policy that properly covers you can be more complex especially if you are to carry passengers in connection with your business. For this reason you may find it helpful to speak to a minibus insurance specialist such as the Minibus Club.

Did you know that in some situations you may need a Public Service Vehicle Operators Licence (commonly called an Operators licence) to legally carry passengers in your vehicle? In the majority of cases you will be operating for “hire or reward” even where your minibus users do not pay a direct fee to use your vehicle. Where your minibus has nine to sixteen passenger seats including the driver and you are a private, commercially run care home you are likely to need an Operators Licence to drive legally. More information on this subject can be obtained from VOSA either by visiting their website or by calling them on 0300 123 9000.

If you are a charity or a not for profit body you will be able to circumvent these requirements by obtaining a Section 19 Standard Permit (which was previously known as a small bus permit) or if you operate in Northern Ireland a Section 10B permit.

It is possible to avoid the need for either of these permits completely if you operate a smaller vehicle such as a multi purpose vehicle (“MPV”) which has no more than eight passenger seats. These smaller vehicles fall outside the licensing remit of VOSA and as such can be operated without their involvement.

Once you have identified whether you need additional licences to operate your minibus you should also consider who is likely to drive you vehicle. The Minibus Club can (depending on your circumstances) offer you cover for as few as one driver or an unlimited number of drivers with our any driver policies. The type of driving licence your drivers will need will again be dictated by the number of seats fitted in your vehicle.

• If your vehicle is an MPV with no more than eight passenger seats your drivers will need a car (category B) driving licence.
• For care homes operating under a PSV Operators Licence your drivers will need a full, unrestricted minibus (D1) entitlement. This is obtained by taking a second driving test in a minibus.
• For care homes operating under a Section 19 or Section 10B permit your drivers will normally need a minibus (D1) entitlement. However in some situations a driver may be able to legally drive your vehicle with only a car (category B) driving licence. If you think your drivers may be able to use this exemption they should seek advice from either the DVLA or (in Northern Ireland) the DVA.

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This article was brought to you by The Minibus Club. For more information about Minibus insurance visit www.minibusclub.co.uk

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Minibus Insurance: Hire and reward licensing

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Buying the right type of minibus insurance for your vehicle can be a challenge, especially if you use your minibus for hire and reward. At the Minibus Club we are specialists in offering hire and reward minibus insurance.

A minibus driven for hire and reward is licensed by one of a number of organisations depending on where your business is located and how many seats your vehicle has. If your minibus has eight or less passenger seats then the vehicle is in effect a minicab and will be licensed by your local authority or if you operate in the Greater London area by Transport for London (“TfL”). Where this is the case you will also need to obtain a private hire driver’s licence or a hackney carriage licence to drive your minibus, these can be obtained either from TfL or your local authority.

If however your minibus is designed or adapted to carry nine or more passengers and does so for hire and reward it is a public service vehicle. This type of minibus requires a different licence which is called a Public Service Vehicle Operators licence and is sometimes abbreviated to PSV-O or PSV. These licences are issued by VOSA the national government agency responsible for licensing larger commercial vehicles.

VOSA define hire or reward as “When an operator or owner driver takes payment which gives a passenger a right to be carried on the vehicle regardless of whether a profit is made or not. The payment may be made by the passenger, or on the passenger’s behalf. It may be (a) a direct payment (e.g. a fare) or (b) an indirect payment (this could be an exchange for services such as a membership subscription to a club, payment for a bed in a hotel, school fees or payment for concert tickets where travel is included; the payment does not have to be money and the right to travel does not need to be taken up).”

The above definition takes in a wide range of minibus operators who may not think that they operate vehicle for hire and reward when in fact they do. Even if you do not take cash from passengers in your minibus you could still be operating a public service vehicle and if you don’t have hire and reward minibus insurance you could be driving illegally. This means that it is important to check whether your vehicle needs to be licensed by speaking to the appropriate agency. You should also explain exactly how your vehicle will be used when getting quotes for your minibus insurance.

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This article was brought to you by The Minibus Club. For more information about Minibus insurance visit www.minibusclub.co.uk

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Continuous Insurance Enforcement

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Driving your vehicle on a road or in a public place without minibus insurance is an offence, so it is important to ensure your vehicle is insured. In this article we would like to explain why this is important and how you can stay on the right side of the law.

It is estimated that there are two million motorists on our roads driving without insurance. These uninsured drivers cause £380 million damage each year which results in large numbers of claims to the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB). Uninsured driving increases the cost of everybody’s insurance adding approximately £30 to each policy, including your minibus insurance.

To try and cut the number of uninsured drivers on UK roads the government recently introduced a package of measures which will crack down on those driving without insurance which means it is more important than ever that you make sure you have a valid minibus insurance policy.

This is called Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) and it means that it is now a legal requirement for you to insure your minibus at all times.

It is now a legal offence to keep a minibus without insurance unless you have notified the DVLA that your vehicle is being kept off the road and have a valid Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN). You don’t have to be driving to be caught, simply owning the minibus and not having insurance can lead to you being prosecuted.

If you fail to keep your vehicle insured the DVLA will write and tell you that you must either buy a minibus insurance policy or declare your minibus off road.

If you should ever receive one of these letters it is important that you deal with it immediately. You will not receive another warning before more formal action is taken.

Some of the punishments introduced for failing to have minibus insurance include:
• Being issued a fixed penalty of £100
• Your minibus could be clamped, or even seized and disposed of.
• You can receive a court prosecution with a maximum fine of £1,000.

When you buy a minibus insurance policy your insurer will automatically send details of insurance to the proper database automatically so if your vehicle is already taxed you will not need to do anything else.

However if your vehicle is not already insured you must:
• buy a minibus insurance policy immediately;
• make a SORN, if the vehicle is not used on the road; or
• notify DVLA if you are no longer the registered keeper.

If you own a minibus it’s easy to ensure that these new rules don’t catch you out. If you still need to buy your minibus insurance don’t put it off call us at the Minibus Club where our helpful staff will be pleased to assist you.

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If you’d like to save money on your minibus insurance look no further than The Minibus Club. Why not visit their website to receive a free online quote for minibus insurance.

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Minibus Insurance and the London Low Emission Zone (LEZ)

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

As a minibus driver you already know that having a larger vehicle is more complex than owning other types of vehicle. Even after you have bought a minibus insurance policy there are other legal issues to consider.

Did you know that from 3rd January 2012 anyone driving a diesel minibus with more than 9 seats in the borders of the Greater London Authority will have to pay a daily charge or risk being fined? This area is called the Low Emission Zone (LEZ); it operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year and was introduced to encourage diesel vehicles driving within Greater London to become cleaner.

The aim of the LEZ is to improve the health and quality of life of everyone in London by limiting the amount of particulate matter (pollution) that comes from the exhausts of diesel vehicles. Particulate matter is a type of pollution which can contribute to asthma, heart and lung disease, other respiratory illnesses and even early death.

If your minibus has more than 9 seats, was first registered before 1 January 2002 and is powered by a diesel engine it will be affected by the Low Emission Zone (LEZ). It doesn’t matter whether your minibus is used for commercial or private purposes – it will still need to meet the new standards. So if you own or drive this type of minibus, and do not want to pay the daily charge you will need to take action now to ensure you can continue to use your minibus.

The quickest way to check if your vehicle meets the current or new standards is to enter your registration plate into the Transport for London vehicle checker

If after checking with Transport for London you find that your minibus does not meet the new standards you will have to pay £100 for each day your vehicle is in the LEZ or risk being fined £500.

It is possible to avoid paying the daily charge if you take action now to modify your minibus. There are a number of options available that include fitting a particulate filter to your vehicle or having your minibus converted to run on pure gas. Transport for London offer a lot of useful information on their website on how you can modify your vehicle to meet the new requirements of the LEZ.

Don’t forget though that any modification to your vehicle can affect your minibus insurance, so please remember to notify your minibus insurance company of any changes you make to your vehicle.

The Minibus Club are working in partnership with Transport for London to bring you this information. Transport for London is the local government body responsible for most aspects of the transport system in Greater London. Its role is to implement the transport strategy and to manage transport services across London. For advice the Low Emission Zone visit http://www.tfl.gov.uk/lezlondon or call 0845 607 0009.

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If you’d like to save money on your minibus insurance look no further than The Minibus Club. Why not visit their website to receive a free online quote for minibus insurance.

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