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Celebrating our 140th Anniversary

There are occasions where volunteers (leaders) use their private vehicles to transport children and young people members to BB events and activities.

There are a number of things to be aware of to ensure this is done safely, in line with legislation, Boys’ Brigade policies, and the Leaders Code of Conduct. All volunteer drivers MUST comply with relevant UK Law and the Highway Code.

Last updated 21/06/2023 – This guidance replaces sections 8.51 and 8.52 from the Safety Handbook.

Driver and Insurance Information

It may seem obvious, but the driver should have a full licence and be a competent and experienced driver. A volunteer who has very recently passed their test might not be suitable to drive young people on behalf of the Company. In compliance with UK law the driver must have suitable insurance cover. It is important that volunteers ensure their insurance policy covers them for volunteer driving. Most do, but some require drivers to inform them if they are volunteer drivers, and some charge a premium or impose a higher excess. Insurers who do not charge extra have signed up to the “The Association of British Insurers (ABI) volunteer driving motor insurance commitment”. To find out more click here.

If the vehicle is a “Company Car” or provided in any way as part of employment there may be restrictions regarding use of the vehicle, and carrying passengers outside of work. It is therefore essential to check with the employer that volunteer driving is covered in the insurance.

The following volunteers CANNOT drive children and young people on behalf of the Company:

  • A volunteer who has previously been banned from driving, unless their licence has been reinstated for at least three years.
  • A volunteer who is awaiting any proceedings for driving offences where they are likely to lose their licence.

In addition, a young person member who has passed their driving test must NEVER be responsible for transporting children and young people on behalf of the Company.

Volunteer drivers are allowed to receive payment for fuel costs as long as they do not make a profit or breach the “Hire or reward” exclusion clause in their insurance policy. Guidance from providers vary so it is important to seek clarity so that a policy is not inadvertently invalidated.

Note: If parents/carers transport each other’s children to and from BB activities and events that is a private arrangement amongst themselves.


It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure that when they use their private vehicle to transport BB young people members, it is in a roadworthy condition, and suitable for the purpose.

  • The volunteer must ensure they do not exceed the normal seating capacity.
  • All seatbelts must be in good working condition and used as required by law. See gov.uk/seat-belts-law
  • Appropriate child car or booster seats are required for children under 12, or less than 135cm tall, whichever comes first. For further information see gov.uk/child-car-seats-the-rules

Ideally, if the journeys are not local, there should be suitable breakdown cover for the vehicle or driver. You can phone a breakdown provider and get emergency cover but this is likely to include an additional fee.

When planning to use a private vehicle abroad on behalf of the Company, it is essential that the driver researches the relevant local rules and legislation – much of which is significantly different to UK Law.

Volunteers, Children and Young People

The volunteer driver is responsible for ensuring the children and young people are transported in a safe way. Fortunately, the volunteer will know the children and young people from their Company. This is particularly helpful when considering who travels with who, and who sits where. There may be dynamics or behaviour amongst the young people that need to be factored in, and also any additional support needs or travel sickness.

One of the most frequently asked questions is whether a leader transporting children and young people in their private car can do so without an additional adult. This query is linked to our minimum ratios in the Leaders Code of Conduct – “Ensure there are always at least two registered leaders present during ALL activities with children & young people (one of these leaders must have completed Youth Leader Training).”

There should always be two registered leaders in a private car when transporting children and young people on behalf of the Company. However there are two circumstances, and linked conditions where it is acceptable to have only one leader in the private vehicle.

  1. Travelling in convoy to an organised BB event such as a residential. Leaders should not plan for one adult in a vehicle to be the norm. However, there may be circumstances where some of the vehicles in a convoy have two leaders, and others don’t. The following must occur for this to be acceptable.
    • A written risk assessment has been completed BEFORE the travel takes place. It is especially important that thought is given to any action in an emergency, behaviour/dynamics of young people, likely travel sickness sufferers, any additional support needs of young people.
    • All vehicles in the convoy should travel on the same route and have the same pre-arranged stops. Ideally vehicles should be within sight of each other.
    • There should be a suitable means for the lone drivers to remain in contact with other leaders in the convoy in an emergency, for unexpected delays, diversions or breakdowns. This may be managed by a suitably responsible young person, having use of a mobile phone with leaders contact numbers, just for the journey.
  2. Travelling with Company and Senior age groups to an organised BB event, such as a National Competition, or Queen’s Badge Course, as long as the following applies.
    • A written risk assessment has been completed BEFORE the travel takes place.
    • Parents/carers are fully aware of the circumstances and have given consent.
    • The Seniors are sufficiently competent to respond/cope with a sudden and unexpected situation such as a breakdown, accident, illness, lengthy traffic delay or other emergency.
    • There are sufficient leaders at the event/setting to comply with minimum ratios.
    • Unless it is their own child, the leader should not be travelling alone with a Company or Senior member in these circumstances.

Always Remember:

It is not acceptable for a leader to transport a child on behalf of their Company, alone, unless it is their own child or family member.

The rules for use of minibuses are different. There must always be at least two leaders in a mini bus, when transporting children and young people.

If you have any questions about this guidance please get in touch with BB Headquarters – email support@boys-brigade.org.uk or phone 0300 303 4454.