Minibus is the name for a van with windows and with up to nine seats including the driver's seat. Its chassis is mostly derived from a commercial vehicle or is being developed in parallel with this.


The term minibus was in Germany in the 1950s with the introduction of the VW bus. Minibuses are designed for the carriage of up to 9 people. Due to the limitation of the passengers and the vehicle weight, the van is still considered a passenger car according to road traffic regulations ( Germany ), he must therefore be guided by a driver with car license and is usually taxed as passenger cars. The Federal Motor Vehicle Office assigns minibuses to the segment Utilities. Minibuses are now often referred to in the press as Van. Also, they often serve as the basis for the development of travel and camper vans.


The VW Type 2, the first minivan in Germany was introduced in 1950 based on the VW van. In addition to the standard "bus", which already had an over the simple transporter higher quality interior, with canopy and interior wall coverings, as well as standard " special editions " with upscale amenities have been brought to market first.

Ford also introduced in the 1960s, with the Ford Transit minibus with a high equipment out, but this did not make the breakthrough on the market. Since the early 1980s, by other manufacturers minibuses, like the Renault Espace produced the same level of equipment and driving behavior more like a car. This trend continued in the 1990s continued. With the Renault Espace also came the concept of MPV, later the term Van on for this new vehicle class that is enjoying increasing popularity as a leisure vehicle.

Known representatives of the class

  • Barkas B1000
  • Fiat Ducato, Peugeot Boxer, Citroen Jumper
  • Fiat Scudo, Peugeot Expert, Citroen Jumpy
  • Ford Transit
  • Mercedes -Benz MB 100
  • Mercedes -Benz Sprinter, VW LT / VW Crafter
  • Mercedes -Benz T 1
  • Mercedes -Benz Vito / Viano
  • Opel Vivaro, Renault Trafic, Nissan Primastar
  • VW bus