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Vehicle requirements intro

The set of general requirements a vehicle must meet in order to transport passengers. 

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Vehicle requirements

Licensing requirements 

The operation of non-taxi licensed vehicles with eight or less seats as a PSV licensed vehicle (even where accepted by the Traffic Commissioner under the '10% rule') is not permitted on any call-off contract. 

In the case of community transport operators, in addition to being appropriately licenced, they must be in receipt of or working towards the Community Transport Association 'Quality Mark'.    

Vehicle requirements 

Please click on the drop-down boxes below to reveal more information about each type of requirement listed.

Maintenance & Appearance

Whilst the council is not specifying that vehicles deployed on its contracts must comply with maximum vehicle age standards, it will want to satisfy itself that the exterior of the vehicle is of good appearance with no signs of damage or corrosion and that the interior of the vehicle is also in good condition with the upholstery, linings, seats and floor coverings clean with no excessive signs of wear. 

Vehicles will be serviced and maintained in a fit and roadworthy condition and be subject to a written vehicle and equipment maintenance and inspection regime that meets the standards set down in the latest edition of the “Guide to maintaining roadworthiness” published by the Vehicle & Driver Standards Agency (VDSA). 

Engine Emission Standards

Unless otherwise agreed for a particular call-off contract, vehicles are subject to a minimum vehicle emission standard of Euro V. This is mandatory on all contracts let from Easter 2020 onwards. 


  • Display the operator’s name prominently. Vehicle branding and livery will be in the name of the operator or (in the case of licenced taxis) not be misleading in any way. 
  • Clearly display the transport route number as detailed in the call off contract. 
  • Depending on the vehicle size, be provided with reflective school bus signs (Geneva sign) for display at the front and rear of the vehicle whilst operating school journeys. 

Seating Capacity

Meet the stated minimum seating capacity stated in the call-off contract. If an operator wishes to use a vehicle with a reduced seating capacity, this must be agreed first with the council.   


Be equipped with a heating system which can achieve a temperature of 10ºc within 15 minutes of starting up the vehicle and 15ºc after 30 minutes of starting up the vehicle, and with an air circulation system which can maintain the temperature at a comfortable level in warm conditions. 


Be kept in a clean and well-maintained condition free inside of fumes and excess of noise. Internally, the vehicle should be swept and tidied after every operating day and subjected to a comprehensive cleaning regime at least once every six weeks. 

Emergency Equipment

Be provided with an approved and fully serviced fire extinguisher appropriate to the vehicle type, and a fully equipped First Aid Kit. 

Winter Tyres

Be equipped with winter tyres when operating in winter conditions. Winter conditions are defined as: ice, slippery conditions in snow, slush and slippery conditions caused by ice or frost.  

Seat Belts

For the avoidance of doubt, seatbelts must be fitted to contracted school bus services including those which are also registered with the traffic commissioner to carry fare paying passengers.  


Be equipped with CCTV. This is applicable on all vehicles with 22 passenger seats upwards and is mandatory on all contracts let from Easter 2020 onwards. 

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