What do I have to do? Three steps to becoming an SU driver
You have to undertake the Minibus Driver Awareness Scheme (MiDAS) course, which is made up of three parts. Follow these 3 steps:
- Complete a Moodle course, giving you the factual information, with short multiple choice exam, then…
- Attend a classroom-based theory session, lasting about an hour, for discussion about driving techniques, then...
- Take an on-road observed drive, which you can do after completing the first two parts. You can drive after passing the on-road observed drive
Bookings for MiDAS theory sessions are now made through Skills Training. After reading the rest of this page, you need to book your place on a theory session. You will then automatically be enrolled on the Moodle course as well. The Moodle test must be passed and the Theory session must be completed before you can go on the drive.
Semester 1, academic year 2021/22 classroom-based theory sesssion dates:
You can choose any one of these - if there is no space, it will tell you.
CLOSED - 18:30 - 19:45 on Wednesday 6th October
CLOSED - 18:30 - 19:45 on Monday 11th October.
To sign up for one of these courses, please email the Transport Office, stating which date you want to choose. Please use University emails/user names, not private ones - thanks!
The fee for all 3 parts of the MiDAS course will be about £30, subject to final confirmation, which is billed directly to your Club/Society/Area
...and by the way, "MiDAS" is pronounced "My-dass," the same as the Greek king. It's spelt with a small "i" because "Mi" are the first two letters of "Minibus" in "Minibus Driver Awareness Scheme."
What can I drive?
You can drive an MPV (i.e. a 9-seater Shuttle style of vehicle), provided that you hold a licence issued in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, or EU, subject to these restrictions:
- you are aged at least 18 and have held a full licence for at least 1 year, issued in the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man.
- If holding an EU licence, you must be over 21 and have held your EU licence for at least 2 years. You must also be a regular UK driver, having covered a suitable number of miles driving in the UK
- If you do not hold a UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, or EU licence, then I'm afraid that we cannot help you, due to extremely high insurance excesses for licences other than those
- Additionally, Isle of Man & Channel Islands licences sometimes expire for students after 12 months & have to be exchanged for a UK licence
You can also drive a hired-in car. Additional familiarisation is available if you need to drive a van or tow a trailer.
- Once you have checked you are eligible, simply book your place on a theory session. Individual assessed/observed drives are conducted at mutually convenient times; you will get information about how to book as assessed/observed drive when you pass the theory test.
- Please be aware that it can take some weeks to complete MiDAS, and plan accordingly. Obviously there is the wait until the next theory session, then you go on a waiting list, and then we have to fix up a mutually convenient time for the on-road drive.
Whatever your age:
- you need to have had sufficient driving experience, as tuition is not given.
- You need to be able to control a car satisfactorily, be responsive to what the vehicle is "telling" you (e.g. are you in the right gear? Do you need to brake more gently in this particular vehicle?) and generally be confident (but not over-confident) in a car.
- When people have problems with the on-road element of MiDAS, it's usually because they haven't gained enough previous experience of driving, to be able to build on that to deal with the demands of a much larger vehicle carrying many more passengers.
EU and other non-UK drivers:
- please check with the Transport Office before applying as there are certain restrictions and we want to be sure that you don't waste your time applying only to find that you're covered by one of the restrictions!
- Drivers with EU licences must be at least 21 in order to be accepted by our insurers.
- You also need to have had at least one year's regular driving experience in the UK. It isn't just about being able to drive on the left, it's about knowing and understanding the UK rules and conventions - for example, what signals do you give at a roundabout? Who has right of way in any given situation? What do the UK traffic lights mean (flashing amber, for example)? What do the motorway overhead gantry signals mean?
You will apply to be on the SU insurance policy, which is comprehensive. You will need to satisfy our insurers about your health, insurance record and driving licence record (i.e. points!), and will need to produce your licence and a licence check from the Government's online system, which will be scanned and saved in a secure part of the University network.
Will the insurance cost me anything?
Only if you crash! Or make a claim such as theft of property. You will then pay 50% of your "additional excess," the amount of which depends on what you've declared about your health, insurance and driving records. For an over-21 with a completely clear insurance declaration over 5 years, the "additional excess" is £100, so in the event of a crash you would be liable for £50, unless it is proved that the crash was not your fault in any way, in which case the SU would cover the full cost of the excess. You will be informed by email about your full insurance conditions - make sure you read the email!
I've got points on my licence. Can I still drive?
Yes, although there may be an additional insurance excess in the event of a claim. Generally (but not always), an over-21 year old driver with one SP30 which is over a year old will not attract anything. We are unable to insure anyone who has been given 6 points for a CU80 mobile phone offence, or who has been disqualified for any reason in the past 5 years, has more than 6 active penalty points, or who had their licence revoked under the Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act 1995 within the last 3 years.
What's in the MiDAS course?
MiDAS theory training comprises:
- information about how The SU Bath Transport operates,
- defensive driving (how to avoid collisions and points!),
- driving hours,
- personal driving improvement plan,
- new legislation,
- ethical and environmental considerations,
- emergency procedures & contingency plans.
Most of our drivers have been driving for a few years since passing the test and this is the first additional training which they will have received. The aim is to invite you to think more deeply about your driving and to prepare you for the assessment/observed drive, where you will be expected to put the theory into practice.
So what does "MiDAS" mean?
It stands for Minibus Driver Awareness Scheme (which is why it's always spelt with a small "i"). The scheme is run by the Community Transport Association and it is a nationally recognised scheme for volunteer drivers across the UK. Latterly, the scheme has been extended to include drivers of cars and MPVs, but it's still referred to as MiDAS, probably because they couldn't think up a suitable acronym for the cars & MPVs.