The UK is faced with an unprecedented vehicle supply shortage.
For Local Authorities with urgent requirements the answer can only be to utilise a direct award option through a trusted Framework.
Occasionally there will be suitable vehicles ready for immediate delivery, but at worse it would be securing a base vehicle that will mean delivery of the finished minibus in say 3 months, with an improved element of certainty.
The majority of minibuses are based on light commercial vans and are converted into minibuses by professional converters in the UK. The proper process is to start with a new unregistered van, carry out the conversion in accordance with the van manufacturers recommendations and then arrange Type Approval certification, prior to first registration.
Noting the shortage of new vans, and even if one is prepared to wait for the new vehicle through a tender process, recent experience has shown that the expected delivery date will be missed by many months, and with uncertainty throughout. The van manufacturer’s prices have skyrocketed, and there have been many where they have increased prices after the contract has been initiated.
Where time is of the essence (to achieve the shortest possible delivery date) it can be appropriate to tweak the usual process, by registration of the van before the minibus conversion is carried out. The finished minibus can still be issued with DVSA certification, which is then used to update the DVLA vehicle record.
There are two scenarios:
1) (less readily available) is to start with an unregistered van where the manufacturer has stated the price will increase (usually by removal of discount), if not registered within a short specified period (45 or 60 days). Not all vans are eligible, as some are classed as “incomplete” and cannot be registered until issued with a conversion Type Approval
2) start with a pre-registered (unused) van in UK dealer stock. They tend to be dearer than ordering new, as the same discount structure will not have been available to the dealer
Either of the above will usually dictate a stage payment, for the van element.
Where a suitable van has been identified, it cannot be secured until paid for, so will remain available to other parties through any process of consideration.
Downsides: restricted choice of base vehicle options; reduced length of van warranty in service
Availability at February 2023
- 17 seats/ 5 wheelchairs, 4600kgs
- 12 seats / 2 wheelchairs plug-in electric, 4250kgs
- 9 seats / 1, 2 or 3 wheelchairs, 3500kgs
- 12 to 15 seats, 3500kgs
- 14 to 17 seats, 3900kgs
- 8 seats plug-in electric, 3500kgs
- 9 seats / 2 wheelchairs plug-in electric, 4250kgs
- 9 seats
- L4 <17 seats 4250kgs (vans currently in build)
- L4 <17 seats/ <4 wheelchairs 4250kgs (vans currently in build)
Minibus Options Ltd, a family Company, have been trading over 36 years. We are certified to ISO 9001 and are approved by all of the major van manufacturers.
We are experts with regards to legislation surrounding minibus construction and specialists in wheelchair accessible vehicles.
We have been supplying conversions based on plug-in electric models since 2019 and have acquired significant experience in this new market