Being a coach driver
East Yorkshire Coaches is a division of East Yorkshire, and has a modern coach fleet running holidays, days away, contracts and private hire work throughout the UK. East Yorkshire also runs National Express coaches throughout the UK.
What’s it like being a coach driver?
Find out with Mark, who joined East Yorkshire Coaches in 2016 and has been driving buses and coaches since 1998.
How did you get into coach driving?
I had been a bus driver for many years and was looking at applying to be a driver for East Yorkshire. At the time there were no jobs available, but there was a National Express coach driver vacancy. I decided to go for it, had an interview and assessments shortly after and got the job!
After around 3 years of driving coaches for National Express, with lots of time working away from home, I decided to look for something with more opportunity to spend time at home with the family. I spoke to my manager and asked about the possibility of transferring over to East Yorkshire Coaches. He was able to make arrangements as there were driving spaces available, and I've been there ever since.
As a coach driver with East Yorkshire Coaches, can you describe the work you do?
It's varied – every day is different!
Coach drivers do all kinds of work, private hires, school contracts, holidays and day trips, and everything in between. A couple of weeks ago I went to the Isle of Wight with an East Yorkshire Coaches holiday and had a wonderful time.
I love the fact we get to explore interesting places all across the UK. I've been places I didn't even know existed before needing to drive there!
Describe a typical day in the life of a coach driver?
It totally depends on the job. If I'm going somewhere I haven't been before, then I'll check in advance the best way to get there and where I can drop off and park. I'll check if there are any particular road closures which might affect the journey, too. However, if I'm working on a school contract then I'll already know the route and less preparation is needed.
We'll tend to know our jobs a week or two before, unless there are any last minute requirements, which helps us plan ahead and make our time at work go smoothly. If I know I'm going away on a longer holiday, I'll receive the itinerary in advance and go through it to make sure I know what I'm doing and when.
On the day itself, I like to get to the depot early to avoid any hold-ups, then start my vehicle checks to ensure the coach is safe and ready to drive. I'll programme my Sat Nav and head off to pick up my passengers.
After returning from the trip I'll park the coach up at the depot, knowing the engineering team will have it fuelled up and ready for the next day.
What sort of coaches do you drive?
We have quite a varied fleet, with modern coaches of different sizes, as well as service buses and vintage vehicles. The newer vehicles are nicer to drive and have all the latest technology plus added comfort, so our Mercedes Tourismo is my favourite. However, I do like driving the vintage buses too and have a lot of respect for the drivers who would drive them all day every day!
Do you regularly go to places you have never been to before?
All the time! I'd say around once a fortnight I'd go somewhere I hadn't been to before, and that's a big reason why I love the job. There's always somewhere new to go - no coach driver has ever been everywhere - and it's just so varied between attractions, towns and cities, everywhere imaginable.
What are the good parts about the job?
I think I've named lots already, but I think the other main perk of the job is the people you work with. I have a good relationship with everyone at work, from my supervisor to fellow coach and bus drivers, we all get on really well. There is plenty of support when it's needed.
I also particularly enjoy driving, getting on the road to take a group of passengers to somewhere for them to have a great day, couple of days or week away. I have a fantastic rapport with passengers and it gives you a sense of pride at the end of the day knowing you have helped make someone's day.
Every job has a downside – what do you dislike about coach driving?
This is the hardest question of the lot! I guess on occasion work can result in long days, but I've generally got used to that and don't mind it. The jobs we do are so varied so I'm not away every night or every weekend.
The good thing is that after a long day, I can leave the coach at the depot and head straight back home, and know that it’ll be ready and waiting for me to pick up again next time I need it. I don’t have to worry about work once I’m at home.
See our latest vacancies to see what driving jobs we have available.