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​​​How to become a 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) / Orange

  • 'Van' (2) / Purple

  • 'Minibus' (3) / Green

The vehicles you can drive with each are:

Licence Classes.gif


If you are interested in Applying for Union Insurance (see below), first check if you are eligible to drive and what vehicle you can drive: 

To become a union driver, you need to satisfy certain criteria: 

  1. Be at least 18 years of age

  2. Have a held a UK or EU license for at least 1 year

This will insure you to drive a car (Union 7 seater or Enterprise 5/7 seater). 

If you would like to drive our vans/minibuses, the following criteria apply: 

Vans (9 seaters)

  1. Be at least 18 years of age

  2. Have a held a UK or EU license for at least 1 year

Minibuses (14 seaters)

  1. Be at least 21 years of age

  2. Have a held a UK or EU license for at least 2 years

MOST IMPORTANTLY, to drive our vans or minibuses, you will need to complete a Minibus Check Run - see below for more information. 


International (Non-EU drivers)

We are able to insure international (non EU) drivers, under the following conditions: 

- You are at least 18 years of age

- Must be in the UK for less than a year from first entering (going home for Christmas doesn't reset it)

- Can only be insured on a car (up to a 7 seater) – however no Check Run is required. 

If international students have been in the UK for more than a year, they are legally not permitted to drive and will have to obtain a provisional license and then take a standard UK driving test. 

Applying to be on the Union Insurance

If you are eligible to drive our vehicles and be on our union insurance as outlined above, you will need to fill out the Driver Application Form

Driver Application Form

Once you have filled out the driver application form above, please be patient until you receive a confirmation from our Transport Team that you are insured or if we need any more information. 

Please note that if you have had any claims or accidents OR you answered "yes" to any of the questions in the standard driver application form (above)  you will need to fill out the following Non Standard Driver Form and then email it along with picture of your driving license (front and back) to our transport team at:

Equally if you have had two or more traffic fines in the last 3 years please also fill this out.

Vehicle 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 all of our drivers to read it PRIOR to their first use of our union vehicles.

You can download the Handbook here

Booking a Check Run

Now you are on our insurance,  you can book your practical Check Run to be able to drive our Vans and Minibuses. 

Please note, if you only wish to drive the car, you do not need to take a Check Run, and can drive from the point you have confirmation of union insurance. 

The Union minibus Check Run is aimed to see how you cope driving a long wheel based vehicle and is purely competence based - PLEASE NOTE it does not include teaching time. See the Minibus Check Run PDF for more information on what to expect on the day.

Check Runs are taken on various days in the week subject to our examiner's availability. They take around one and a half hours to complete.

The cost for the Check Run and a retest (if offered) is £25. University Staff will also be required to pay the mileage for the test.

You can check upcoming availability via this link.  

You can then book your test by contacting the Union Transport Team at

Once you have a confirmation your test has been booked, please PAY HERE

NB: As several Check Runs are run back-to-back, punctuality is essential. If you arrive more than 10 minutes after the scheduled start time, then you will not be able to undertake a Check Run and you will still be charged.

On the day of your Check Run

On the day of your test, please come to the Union Reception (Union House) 5 minutes ahead of your scheduled time. You will need to bring with you: 

- Your Driving License photocard; and 

- Proof of payment for the Check Run

For more information on the minibus test itself and what to expect, please download are helpful guide below:

The Minubus Check Run.pdf

After your Check Run

If you successfully passed your Check Run, you will receive an email with an Union Driver Number. You will also appear on the booking system's drivers list, enabling a vehicle to be booked out with you named. We no longer issue drivers cards.

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 eligible 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 will be charged.

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