D Automatic Bus


In London, Red buses and National Express coaches are automatic. Basically Automatic Bus license is introduced because driving a vehicle fitted with an automatic gear box is quicker and easier as compared to manual gear box. Even after PCV (Passenger Carrying Vehicle) training, it is recommended to set your hands first on an automatic gearbox, and then slowly and steadily on a manual one. With this training, you get entitled to a Category D license.

How to identify?

On the backside of Category D license if the codes 78 or 106 are printed then an individual is eligible for driving an automatic bus.

Who can get it and how?

  • Normally, all license applicants have to be 18 years of age. But for the provisional entitlement of category D one should be aged 21 years so as to tow the extra mass of the trailer up to 750kgs.
  • Drivers who obtained their car license before 1 January 1997 can retain their existing entitlement to drive buses until their license expires.
  • Individuals who passed after this date have to go through a longer process in order to gain entitlement to category D. They need to –
    • Pass the DSA driving test
    • Hold PCV license entitlement
    • Take practical training

However, an individual already holding a lorry license when he had passed the PCV Automatic Bus Test will be issued an unrestricted full manual coach license.

Features of an automatic bus:

  • Easy to drive
  • Includes all the features of modern passenger vehicles
  • Latest production models
  • Powerful engine with good acceleration
  • Fully Automatic gear box with built-in retarder
  • Internal door television monitor
  • Wheelchair facility for the differently-able people

Points to note:

  • To boost your career opportunities, you can choose to apply for Driver CPC (Certificate of Professional Competence) which will enhance your professional skills as a driver.
  • You can upgrade your automatic bus license category D to manual by passing Class 2 LGV/HGV.
The duration of automatic bus training course ranges from 12hours to 24hours, depending upon your previous experiences.

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