​​​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) / White

  • 'Van' (2) / Amber

  • 'Minibus' (3) / Green

The vehicles you can drive with each are:

Licence Classes.gif 

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.

  1. See if you are eligible to be on our insurance (and which of our vehicles you could drive)

  2. Complete

  3. Fill in the paperwork for the insurance company, and if you are a 'non-standard' driver (most people are) then wait for a response

  4. Read the 'Minibus Handbook' and complete the online assessment

  5. Book your practical drivers test (if you want to drive the 9 seats, vans, or minibuses) (Drivers test syllabus)

  6. Take the practical drivers test & pass

Not so complex as we made out then? Let's start...


Insurance and vehicle typesInsurance requirements.gif 

​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.


Insurance Documents

We require all drivers to complete the insurance companies 'Non-Standard driver form', and take a copy of both parts of your licence, even if you are a 'standard' driver. We have to get confirmation of insurance for each 'non-standard' driver, so a delay of around a week can be expected between submitting your documents and a response​. Standard drivers are covered by the insurance once we have their paperwork.

Please complete this application form

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

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.

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

You can book your test by contacting Union Reception on union.information@surrey.ac.uk or 01483 689223

After your test

If you successfully passed your test, you will be issued with a 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 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 will 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