If you’re planning a trip to a popular ski resort in Europe with friends or family, why not travel together in a minibus. It can be better value for money if everyone chips in to hire a minibus rather than paying individually for air fares or train tickets. Costs like insurance, fuel and ferry fares can be shared and it will add up to a lot less for each person than most other forms of travel. Not only this, it’s also great fun. Driving through Europe with friends and family becomes a real adventure. Unlike travelling by air or rail, you’ll be able to really experience the countries you pass through. And it will become a holiday in itself even before the skiing starts!
This article is a brief guide to things you need to know about minibus insurance if you’re planning to drive to Europe in a minibus.
Don’t get confused between minibuses and people carriers. A minibus is defined as a vehicle that can carry at least seven seated passengers, but not more than sixteen. If the vehicle has more than sixteen seats then you’re driving a bus!
If you’re travelling with friends and family there are obviously no fare paying passengers. Remember to tell your minibus insurance provider this as the journey will be classed as private and non-commercial. This makes a difference when your premium is calculated.
There are a number of essential documents, as well as the minibus insurance certificate, that the driver must carry when driving from the UK to a European destination. If you’re travelling only within the European Union member states and the ASOR European Union signatory states, which includes Turkey, Norway and Switzerland, you’ll need a “waybill” that acts as a “control document”.
A Green Card, while not necessarily essential for the trip, will serve in the EU as recognised proof of your valid minibus insurance. It will also make any claims that may arise much easier to deal with. Remember that every country has its own local driving laws that you should be aware of. Your minibus insurance will depend on all local laws being observed.
For international journeys originating in the UK, the minibus insurance will depend on the driver complying with EU drivers’ hours whether or not the driver is being paid. This means that a properly calibrated tachograph needs to be fitted to the minibus. Insurance claims are not likely to be honoured if the proper drivers’ hours are not closely observed.
It is important to carry all the documentation required for the journey. The “waybill” has already been mentioned. If the minibus is owned by a member of the group and not hired, then an Own Account Certificate (OAC) is required. The vehicle registration document should also be carried along with a European accident form. Remember that the minibus will need to have a prominent GB sticker displayed.
Using a minibus to drive to a European ski resort from the UK is simple, cost-effective and fun for all concerned. However, for minibus insurance purposes, it is essential that you comply with the local laws and carry the correct documentation at all times.