WhichMinibus uses “Minibus” as a catch all term to describe commercial based passenger vehicles regardless of seating capacity. Strictly speaking a minibus is a passenger vehicle with provision for more than eight occupants in addition to the driver, anything below this is classed as a car. A minibus differs from a car in that it is derived from a commercial variant of the manufacturers vehicle. On this site if we are talking about a commercial passenger vehicle we will call it a minibus. Where possible we will clarify the legal standpoint but if this is a critical factor please email for clarification.
When it comes to minibuses, there is no single commercial vehicle manufacturer that can provide a solution that fits all possible application. Care and attention needs to be employed when considering acquisition of a minibus as this will make the difference between a vehicle that fits your needs, to one that you have to live with – and that ultimately could cost you more money in the long run.
Some applications can be catered for by “off the shelf” minibuses. These are vehicles built by the manufacturer in their factory which roll off the end of the production line as a finished minibus. Currently there are only 3 manufacturers who produce an off the shelf minibus: Ford, Renault, Vauxhall.
Off the shelf minibuses are relatively cheap to buy and are finished like a modern car. There are dozens of manufacturer options to add to these vehicles, but despite this they can be limited in their application. They are very popular with schools, youth groups, PSV operators and self drive companies.
Many applications demand a minibus with features that aren’t available on an off the shelf minibus. Where this is the case customers opt for a conversion. A minibus conversion can be based on any of 10 European van manufacturers commercial vehicles. By their nature, converted vehicles are more flexible and suit a wider variety of applications. In the UK there are only a handful of convertors who are able to produce a minibus to a high standard so it is important to do some research before going down this route.
WhichMinibus was created in order to provide information and advice on minibus purchase & operation and to act as a central source for all things minibus.