Keeping the school minibus on the road. Sharing the responsibility.

If you are not sure who has ultimate responsibility for ensuring the roadworthiness of the school minibus, it might be worth checking your school risk assessment and policies on the issue.

Of course someone has to take responsibility for the fact that the minibus is safe.  But that is quite an onerous thing to take on, and anything which can make that person’s duty easier is to be welcomed. 

First off, it is fairly obvious that the newer the minibus, the less likely there is to be a problem.  But as we all know, few schools have the money to buy a new minibus – hence the ageing fleet.

But where a minibus is leased, the huge upfront payment for a new bus disappears.  What’s more there is an additional second benefit.

Maintenance and servicing, (including tyres, clutch, battery etc) can be covered within a leasing agreement. 

So you get a double benefit.  A new minibus, which is less likely to have problems, and the option of having a professional undertaking all the standard maintenance and servicing.

This effectively reduces the onus that is put on the person nominated in the school’s transport policy,  and indeed it was to overcome issues and difficulties such as this that we introduced full maintenance as part of our minibus leasing. 

Not only do the schools that use our service get a new minibus, without having to use current capital to buy it, they also get our certification that the bus has been checked by qualified engineers.

Given that the majority of school minibuses on the road are over five years old, this approach can be particularly valuable.

If you would like to know more take a look at our website –

Alternatively email us at or call us on 01753 859 944.

What is the simplest way to pay for a new school minibus?

The fact that the majority of schools now have more than one minibus comes as little surprise.

But still, the fact that over three quarters of schools have two or more vehicles is interesting – especially when combined with the fact that the majority of these vehicles are over five years old.

Of course, if there are two minibuses on site and one breaks down, there is a chance that the other might be available. 

Unfortunately there is also the point that minibuses are, according to the survey, increasingly being used for regular journeys to other schools, colleges, swimming pools and the like, as well as occasional visits organised by departments. 

Which means that much of the time both buses are needed – and there is probably a demand for a third bus as well.

Furthermore, when these buses are ageing there is every chance that both could be off the road at the same time.  And there is also every chance that the cost of repair and maintenance is rising all the time.

All of which means that vehicles are not only on average older, but they are also being used more – and this adds to the problem.

The simple solution (buy a new minibus) is often an impossible option financially, which is why the older vehicles are being kept on the road.

However, there is an alternative, which is to lease a minibus.  At present around 20% of school minibuses are leased – but the School of Educational Administration and Management report, which revealed this data on minibus ownership, shows that well over half of schools are now considering financing their next minibus via a lease.

What’s more, leasing still allows the school to have the school name and logo on the side of the bus – with a full range of models available.

If you would like to see what models are available, do take a look at our website –

One final bonus: not only does leasing overcome the question of funding, it also offers the opportunity of putting the maintenance with the leasing company – thus ensuring that the bus is fully serviced throughout the year and running at the highest safety standards.

If you would like more information please email us at or call us on 01753 859 944.

Does the transport affect the result?

Imagine your team travelling by minibus to a fixture and the minibus breaks down. Or maybe it makes the journey but it is extremely uncomfortable.

Neither approach is likely to make your team feel particularly well set for the match to come.

But you have a problem too. Minibuses are expensive, and you just don’t have the money in your fund, or indeed in any school fund, to buy a new minibus.

Which is why we have introduced the leasing of minibuses to schools rather than the buying of the bus.   

Further, through this arrangement whereby we, as the company that leases out the minibus, are also in charge of maintenance resolves the particular problem of keeping the vehicle fully operational at all times.

Through leasing, a minibus is simply paid for month by month. Where some visits and trips are paid for through contributions from parents and the PTA, it is very possible that the minibus can be funded without taking anything from the school’s capital account. 

In other cases the minibus can be funded through small monthly deductions from various departments’ income. Combined, if half a dozen departments agree to fund the bus, and the PTA agrees to put in a monthly amount as well, the funding problem is completely resolved.

Benchmark Leasing specialises in the supply and maintenance of school minibuses. If you are interested in the benefits of a minibus do call us on 01753 859944 or click here to see what we can offer.

The Free Minibus Report: from licences to tachographs, from towing to safety inspections

Minibuses – like all vehicles on the road – are subject to licences, rules and regulations.

Some of these are fairly obvious – and you won’t be surprised to read that yes, you do need a licence before you can drive a minibus.

But there are often questions: such as “is a car licence ok?” And, of course, this being the world of regulation, the answer is, “that depends”.  Not everyone with a car licence can drive a school minibus.

Then there is the “operating licence” which is different from the driving licence, and the question of the law on seatbelts. Plus all the extra issues that arise if you take the bus abroad.

And more, and more…

In a recent informal survey we discovered that a substantial number of people who were responsible for the running of a school minibus were not fully au fait with all the regulations and could potentially be committing an offence.

So we thought we would try and be of help by producing, “Operating a Minibus – your responsibilities” which is available free of charge.

Of course. some of the regulations cover situations which are fairly obscure – but then in the course of school life, the obscure can occasionally happen – and it is never a bad idea to be fully aware of what the regulations say.

So if you would like a free copy, all you have to do is send an email to and we will forward you the report. There is no charge and no obligation.

And there’s a further bonus. On reading the report, if you find that the key question you need answered is not there, you can write in and we’ll do all that we can to find the answer for you. We’ll also put that answer in the next copy of the report – so you will be helping many other colleagues in schools across the country by drawing attention to the issue.

If you have any enquiries please do call 01753 859 944.

If you are interested in leasing or buying a minibus we have further information on our website at