How to become a london bus driver

If you are interested in becoming a London bus driver, then you certainly need to know how to get the process started. What should you know? What are the requirements to even apply with a bus company? This website will explore the topic of getting started, ensuring that you have all the information you need to get started as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Let us take a quick look at some of the more important qualities required to become a London Bus Driver. Take a note of them as you may get asked these during your interview.

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  • Customer focused
  • Caring
  • Considerate
  • Physically and mentally fit
  • Role model
  • Disciplined
  • Punctual
  • Flexible
  • Dedicated
  • Be capable of learning routes and procedures
  • Knowledge of London and the roads
  • Knowledge of the Highway Code
  • Knowledge of Health and Safety
  • First Aid procedures
  • Take a pride in your work and your appearance
  • Deal with customers effectively
  • Defuse potentially confrontational situations
  • An ability to focus and concentrate for long periods of time
  • Pleasant to all customers
  • Conversational
  • Have basic numerical and educational skills as you will be required to handle money


The first step on your path to becoming a fully fledged bus driver is to ensure that you have the basic training offered by a company in compliance with the DSA.

You should have an EU driving permit to get started. After graduating from the DSA course, you will have your PCV permit. However, there is more training on the horizon for you.

Basic training requirements ensure that you are familiar with buses and the various systems that are used to operate them. You will also learn more about handling your passengers, handling hazardous conditions and quite a bit more. New drivers will have to undergo a minimum of four hours of theory testing, as well as a full two-hour test in practical application.

The basic testing and study requirements will include the following:

  • A multiple choice theory test for bus and lorry drivers
    This test ensures that you are familiar with the theory behind driving a bus.
  • Hazard perception test for bus and lorry drivers
    This test ensures that you are able to accurately identify and react to a variety of hazards that might occur while driving a bus.
  • Practical test for bus and lorry drivers
    This is the practical test where you put all of your knowledge and training into practice in a real world setting. Some previous tests and training might be conducted on a simulator.

However, the practical test will be completed in a real bus in a real driving situation (usually on a training course). The ultimate goal of your training and qualifying is to earn a NVQ Level 2 permit, in addition to your PCV. The PCV will usually be earned before your NVQ Level 2.


This is the portion of the assessment that most applicants dread. However, it is also the most important part of the assessment where your future career is concerned. You must be able to pass the driving assessment examination successfully.

You should be able to perform adequately in these trials regardless of your experience with larger vehicles. In essence, the company wants to see how advanced your skills are and if you will be able to learn others, as well as assessing how well you handle a bus.

The driving assessment will be conducted in an actual bus, and you will be accompanied by an expert assessor/driver. Some companies may give you a brief oral quiz prior to starting the driving assessment, but not all companies do this.

The test actually begins as soon as you enter the bus. You must show that you know common safety procedures, such as putting on your safety belt before starting the bus. You must also listen to what the assessor tells you as you get seated. This is an important part – you will have to listen to the assessor throughout the driving assessment, so start paying attention immediately.

Your test will be conducted in a real bus, but you will be driving on a test course, rather than an actual roadway. Therefore, you should be able to relax somewhat. Test courses are designed to put you through a series of basic driving manoeuvres to ensure that you have at least basic skills behind the wheel. You will also encounter a variety of road conditions during the test. You will also encounter typical “traffic” conditions during your examination.

The instructor will give you directions once you are safely seated. Follow these directions precisely. The instructor will give you directions throughout the duration of the assessment and you will need to follow those directions as closely as possible.

As a note, the instructor will be looking at your overall performance, rather than critiquing you on every single thing that you do. Therefore, if you make a mistake, try not to worry about it. Most mistakes are very minor and can be overlooked. However, the instructor will keep a running tab of your errors. Generally, up to 15 minor mistakes will still yield a passing grade. However, if you make 16 mistakes, you will fail the examination.

Obviously, this gives you tremendous leeway in your driving. As most people will not commit anywhere close to 16 mistakes, you should be able to concentrate on performing the assessment to the best of your abilities, rather than feeling overwhelmed or under pressure that you will not do well. It should be noted that a single “serious or dangerous” mistake will cause you to fail the examination.

“An truly invaluable resource for any aspiring London bus driver…”

Current serving London bus driver examiner.

Within your How To Become A London Bus Driver guide we will provide you with a large number of powerful tips that are GUARANTEED to put you ahead of the competition when applying for this exciting job.

This comprehensive 100+ page guide will provide you with all of the remaining insider tips and advice on how to pass the London bus driver selection process.

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How to Become a London Bus Driver

Over 100 pages of INSIDER information on how to pass the selection process.

Created in conjunction with current serving London bus drivers.

Sample interview questions and sample responses.

Useful links and where to find a job as a London bus driver.


Essential information about the bus industry (crucial to your success).

The eligibility requirements for becoming a London bus driver.

How and where to apply for your licence.

Completing the London bus driver application form correctly with sample responses.

What the London bus driver selection process involves.

Sample interview questions.

Insider tips and advice on how to answer the interview questions.

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Within this “Interview Skills’ guide we have provided you with information pages to help you pass any job interview – including your interview with your bus driver assessor.