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​​​​​​How to become a Union Driver

The Union vehicles are provided to be used by the Union clubs and societies, driven by the students and alumni of those clubs.

Types of driver

There are three types of driver:
  • 'Car' (1)
  • 'Van' (2)
  • 'Minibus' (3)
The vehicles you can drive with each are:
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Becoming a driver

Due to legal and insurance factors actually becoming a Union driver is not amazingly simple, but hopefully this page will explain how to go about it as straightforwardly as possible.

It can be done in five steps:
  1. See if you are eligible to be on our insurance (and which of our vehicles you could drive)
  2. Fill in the paperwork for the insurance company, and if you are a 'non-standard' driver (most people are) then wait for a response
  3. Read the 'Minibus Handbook' and complete the online assessment
  4. Book your practical drivers test (if you want to drive the 9 seats, vans, or minibuses) (Drivers test syllabus​)
  5. Take the practical drivers test & pass
Not so complex as we made out then? Let's start...

1. Insurance and vehicle types

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​As you can see, the minibuses require a minimum age of 21, and two years driving experience. All other vehicles require an age of 19, and one years experience. We regret that our insurance does not cover international drivers, nor EU drivers in minibuses (EU drivers can drive the rest though). You can see vehicles we have: The vehicles.

2. Insurance Documents
         Driver Application Form 
Since June 8th 2015 the UK counterpart driving license is invalid, however we are still required to check if you have any endorsements. You are required to 'share' your license with us by going here and clicking View Now. Once you have retrieved your details click the Share button, you can download a PDF of your driving license information which you need to provide to us with the forms below, you can email the PDF or print it and bring it in. Please note that the code generated only lasts 72 hours so we may need you to generate a new code if we cannot check the informaton in time.
3. Minibus Handbook
The Handbook covers everything you need to know about driving our vehicles, what we expect, and what to do if you have any issues. We require you to read it, and complete a short online assessment.

You can download the Handbook here

And find the assessment here:

4. Booking a practical drivers test:

Now you are on our insurance, and have completed the assessment, you can book your practical drivers test, which is the last step before you can drive our vehicles.

Please note, if you only wish to drive the car (and get a 'Car' (1) licence), you do not need to take a practical test, and can drive from this point.
The test is aimed to see how you cope driving a long wheel based vehicle, and incorperates some training time. The full syllabus can be found at Drivers test syllabus​​.
If you are aiming for a 'Van' (2) licence, you will take the test in the 9 seat Van, and if you are aiming for a 'Minibus' (3) licence, you will take the test in either the 9 seat van or one of the 14 seat minibuses.
Tests are taken on various days in the week subject to our tester's shift patterns. They take about 2 hours to complete, and include 30mins of practice time.
There is a financial cost to the Union per test of £25 (plus fuel), but you will be asked to pay the amount shown in the table below:
​PersonTest Fee​Retest Fee (if offered)​
​University Student or Associate member of a Club/Society​£20​£10
​University Staff​£20 + fuel​£20 + fuel
​​Students' Union Staff​£0​£0
You can book your test by contacting Union Reception on or 01483 689223

5. After your test

If you successfully passed your test, you will be issued with a Union drivers card. You will also appear on the booking system's drivers list, enabling a vehicle to be booked out with you named.

If you were unsuccessful, we may offer you a retest. Usually the extra practice in the vehicle will enable you to pass the second time.

As the only difference between a 'Van' (2) and a 'Minibus' (3) licence is the age and experience required, if you pass our tests for a 'Van' (2) licence, and then become eligable for a 'Minibus' (3) licence, there will be no test to take - we will just update our records.

We may, at our discression, ask you to take a retest. This could be following an accident, or otherwise, and may be charged.

You may be interested in Who can hire a vehicle, and you may wish to know about Towing.

Visit Us

Union House
University of Surrey
Stag Hill, Guildford

Contact Us
01483 689 223

The University of Surrey Students’ Union is a private limited company, registered in England & Wales with registered number 07470232, registered at Union House, Guildford, GU2 7XH. The Union is also a registered charity, registered with charity number 1142479

Copyright University of Surrey Student's Union 2018