Minibus Hire Policy

(January 2022)

INTRODUCTION

This web site sets out the procedures, and terms and conditions for hiring the minibus operated by Scouts 5th Worcester & Scouts 8th Worcester (known as Scout Group).

Our minibus hire service is only available to non-profit making community and voluntary groups in Scouts Hereford & Worcester and the surrounding area who hold a valid Section 19 Permit.

The minibus is operated under the Small Bus Permit legislation.

It is important to realise we cannot guarantee that a member will be able to make all the bookings they would like.

MINIBUS

The saloon seats are fitted with inertia reel restraint systems. Passengers must use the available restraint systems at all times, unless they hold a medical exemption certificate.

The maximum seating capacity (including the driver) is 17.

The minibus is equipped with:

  • A first aid kit
  • A fire extinguisher

TERMS & CONDITIONS OF VEHICLE HIRE:

GENERAL

  1. Drivers and passengers are not allowed to smoke in the Scout Group Minibus vehicle.
  2. Vehicles must be returned in a clean and tidy condition: all rubbish must be removed from the vehicle before the end of the hire. Failure to do so may result in a £100.00 surcharge being added to the hirer’s invoice.
  3. Scout Group reserve the right to ban a driver from driving the minibus should that person allow another person who has not been through the relevant Scout Group Minibus driver registration process to drive the Scout Group Minibus. In such circumstances, the driver(s) may be liable to prosecution.
  4.  Scout Group reserve the right to ban a driver from driving the Scout Group Minibus if there are reasonable grounds for believing that person knowingly failed to report any damage to, or accident involving, the Scout Group Minibus whilst it was in their care (i.e. during a hire).
  5. Should a group fail to turn up for a booked hire, or give little or no notice of cancelling their hire, Scout Group reserve the right to levy a charge of £50.00 per day for each day cancelled.
  6. Should a group persistently cancel their bookings, Scout Group reserve the right to levy a charge of £50.00 per day for each day cancelled, regardless of the length of notice given for the cancellation.
  7.  Scout Group reserve the right to reject, cancel or vary any booking if the purpose for which the vehicle is to be used is inconsistent with the aims, objectives or rules of  Scout Group Minibus.
  8. In the event of cancellation or change to a booking by Scout Group, no liability can be accepted for any loss, financial or otherwise, arising from our failure to provide a vehicle, and  Scout Group cannot be held responsible for breach of contract in such circumstances.
  9. Drivers should ensure that ALL doors are unlocked before allowing passengers to board the minibus.
  10. You MUST be able to provide a contact telephone number that will be opertational during the time of the hire. This is especially important for hires outside normal office hours. If you do not provide such a telephone number, Scout Group cannot be held responsible for any failure to inform you about any emergency or other problem associated with the hire.
  11. Any fines during self-drive hires resulting from illegal parking will be passed onto, and are the responsibility of, the hirer.  Scout Group reserve the right to make payment and then recover the amount from the hirer. The hirer is responsible for any charges (tolls etc) arising through the use of the vehicle.
  12. Any prosecution of a driver arising from the use of  Scout Group Minibus will be the responsibility of the hirer and/or driver. This includes any charges against a driver arising from vehicle defects.
  13. Drivers must not drive whilst under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  14. Drivers must not indulge in dangerous driving, or abuse the vehicle.
  15. Drivers must inspect the vehicle before and after each hire, and note down any damage or fault on the log sheet.
  16. The hirer is responsible for maintaining correct oil and water levels, and correct tyre pressures, during the period of the hire.
  17. The hirer may be liable for the cost of replacing a tyre if it is damaged beyond repair due to kerbing, or being driven on whilst it is flat or punctured.
  18. The minibus must be returned no later than the previously booked time. Should an unauthorised late return of a vehicle result in another group being unable to hire the vehicle at the time they booked, any resultant financial liability may be passed on to the first group. Wilfully keeping a vehicle beyond the booked time can be construed as taking the vehicle without the owner’s consent. In such cases, Scout Group reserve the right to take any appropriate action to recover the vehicle.  Scout Group reserve the right to levy an additional surcharge of £10.00 per hour (or part thereof) in the event of an unauthorised late return of a vehicle.  Scout Group reserves the right to refuse hirer requests from groups who are persistently late in returning vehicles.
  19. A copy of receipts for minor repairs incurred during the hire must be returned to the Scout Group Minibus coordinator, together with the log sheet and vehicle keys.
  20. Any accident or damage to the vehicle must be notified to  Scout Group as soon as possible. The cost of any damage not covered by the insurance will be recoverable from the hirer.
  21. Engine damage resulting from the wrong type of fuel being used while on hire will be the responsibility of the hirer, who will have to pay the full repair costs.

SMALL BUS PERMIT OPERATION

The minibus can only be operated by authorised officials of organisations holding a valid Section 19 Permit.

REGISTER OF DRIVERS

Anyone driving the Scout Group Minibus must be on the Scout Group Minibus Register of Drivers.

Entitlement to drive the Scout Group Minibus is simply you must have entitlement to drive category D, or D1 vehicles.

All drivers must produce a copy of the driving license at the time of booking request.

Drivers must be able to answer “NO” to the following questions:

  1. Have you had any convictions within the last 5 years, or do you have any prosecutions pending?
  2. Have you had an accident whilst driving a motor vehicle in the last 3 years?
  3. Has any period of a ban from driving been operative within the last 5 years?
  4. Has any company or underwriter ever declined, cancelled or refused to renew any motor insurance, or increased the premium or policy excess, or imposed special conditions?

Scout Group reserve the right to refuse any driver that they believe may be unsuitable.

It is strongly recommended that drivers undertake MiDAS training or the Worcester County Council Scheme

MiDAS is the UK national standard for the assessment and training of minibus drivers. For more details, please see the Community Transport Association web site.

VEHICLE FAMILIARISATION

A driver who has been accepted by Scout Group will be able to request a free 60 minute vehicle familisation prior to the official booking.

INSURANCE

The Scout Group Minibus is driven under insurance arranged by Scout Group.

Insurance cover may be invalidated if any of the information contained on the Scout Group Minibus driver booking form is subsequently found to be false or inaccurate. Any material changes to the information on a driver’s licence must be notified to Scout Group Minibus before that person next drives the minibus. Similarly, should a driver have an accident whilst driving any motor vehicle after his/her name is entered on the Scout Group Minibus Register of Drivers that fact must be disclosed to  Scout Group before that person next drives the  Scout Group Minibus.

 Scout Group reserve the right to remove a person from the Register of Drivers if:

  • That person is involved in a serious own-fault accident.
  • That person has more than one minor own-fault accident in any 12 month period.

In all such cases, Scout Group shall be the sole arbiter when determining whether an accident is serious or of a minor nature.

 Scout Group may, at their discretion, accept a driver who has current endorsements on his/her licence. However, any additional excess that may be charged by the insurers will be payable by the hirer, should a claim arise.

In the event of an accident, the hirer will be liable for any insurance excess payable.

The minibus must not be used for the carriage of goods.

Should a driver provide false or inaccurate information at the time of registering with Scout Group, and insurance cover is consequently invalidated,  Scout Group reserve the right to take legal action against the relevant parties.

Drivers must notify  Scout Group of any changes in the circumstances relating to their driving licence (including changes in health) that occur after they have completed the insurance form.

PASSENGER SAFETY

We recommend that lifting & handling of passengers in our minibus should only be undertaken by individuals who have received training in the relevant techniques.

When a passenger requires to be lifted, a basic risk assessment should be undertaken. Some of the factors that should be considered include:

  • Is a lift necessary and appropriate?
  • The weight of the passenger and the nature of their disability.
  • The training undertaken by the relevant individuals, and the information that is available to them.
  • Are lifting aids available?
  • What practical steps are in place to minimise the risks involved?

It is the hirer’s responsibility to assess each passenger’s ability to use the steps when boarding or alighting from the minibus. Similarly, it is the hirer’s responsibility (where applicable) to assess each passenger’s ability to transfer safely from a wheelchair to a seat in the minibus, and from such a seat to a wheelchair.

CHILDREN

It is a requirement that all users wear seatbelts. Remember that young children are required to use appropriate seating. At present Scout Group do not provide baby carriers, child seats or booster cushions.

MAKING A BOOKING

  1. In general, and subject to availability, the minibus can be booked for any period up to seven days. Bookings for longer periods may be accepted at the discretion of the  Scout Group Minibus co-ordinator.
  2. Should you wish to renew a block of regular bookings, please do so in writing: we do not issue reminders when such bookings are about to expire. We try to maximise the opportunities for members to make their bookings: therefore, renewals of regular bookings cannot be guaranteed.
  3. Regular bookings for a vehicle can be made in blocks of up to three months, and can be booked up to four weeks in advance.
  4. Bookings for vehicle hires are only accepted from organisations that hold a valid Section 19 Permit. It is the responsibility of the organisation, not Scout Group, to ensure that bookings made in the name of the organisation are made by authorised personnel (e.g. by using an Order Form). The organisation is responsible for the payment of any hire, accepted in good faith by Scout Group, booked in its name.
  5. All accounts must be paid promptly. Invoices are sent out at the end of each calendar month (unless otherwise agreed), and must be paid within 30 days.  Scout Group reserve the right to refuse bookings to any group whose account is overdue.
  6. The invoice for any particular hire will be the responsibility of the hirer.
  7. Bookings are subject to vehicle availability. One-off bookings can be made over the telephone or, if you wish, in writing. Requests for regular bookings MUST be made in writing and should state dates, times, vehicle required, seating capacity, etc.
  8. It is important that careful consideration is given to the times for which you wish to hire the vehicle, especially the return time. This is to ensure that you have the vehicle long enough to complete your journey, but also that you do not keep it unnecessarily when other groups could be using it. If, for example, you have booked a vehicle until 5.00 p.m., then it must be returned by this time as another group may be waiting to start an evening hire. Furthermore, the vehicle may require to be fuelled, or seats may need to be removed/replaced. If you think you may be unavoidably delayed in returning the vehicle, please telephone the  Scout Group Minibus co-ordinator.
  9. Wilfully keeping a vehicle longer than the pre-booked return time will render the hirer liable to financial (or other) penalties. When there is an accident or breakdown, this does not apply.

USE OF TOWBAR

AT PRESENT THERE IS NO TOWBAR INSTALLED

If you wish to drive a minibus with a trailer attached you should first seek training in how to drive safely when towing. Towing a trailer requires training – particularly in the art of reversing.

A trailer should not cause the vehicle’s Gross Train Weight to be exceeded. This is the maximum weight allowed for the minibus and its load, together with the trailer and its load and it represents the effective limit of the minibus braking system.

Further restrictions exist depending on whether using a braked or unbraked trailer with one or more axles. In addition, the tow bar fixing point and the strength of the trailer coupling will have maximum capabilities. Your trailer supplier should be able to make this clear.

Luggage needs to be positioned around the centre of the trailer. On some trailers, there is a manual load-operating valve, which adjusts the brake setting.

With the trailer in position and loaded it must still be possible to open the rear doors and exit from the vehicle.

The tow bar should not be used without the prior consent of Scout Group Minibus.

VEHICLE BREAKDOWNS

A Breakdown Organisation covers the  Scout Group Minibus. This includes “Home Start” and “Recovery”.

OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED KINGDOM

Please contact us directly for use outside of the United Kingdom

OFF-ROAD USE

The Scout Group Minibus should not be driven “off-road”. If a driver causes loss or damage to the Scout Group Minibus by going “off-road”, the costs of any necessary repairs will become the hirer’s responsibility. We appreciate that in Scouting some areas are accessible by fields only, access to such areas is at your own risk.