Buying a Bus – Part 1 of 3

Unfortunately, you can’t just drive around town visiting several bus dealerships to find the right bus like you can when buying a car. Buses and bus dealerships are scattered throughout the country, and visiting many of them when searching for your next bus would be far too expensive and take far too much time.

Fortunately, today, you have the internet: a useful tool that allows you to search the world for buses. Now you can compare prices, options and alike directly from your office, home or even your cell phone! Once you have narrowed your search, you can then contact the owner or dealer to ask more detailed questions and make possible arrangements to view the vehicles.

This makes shopping much easier, faster and far less expensive. But you still need to do your homework and make sure you are buying the right bus to fit your specific needs.

Ask yourself these 10 basic but important questions:

1) What is your price range? This seems obvious, but be sure to factor in insurance/registration/taxes/fuel/routine and unexpected maintenance – consider the age of the vehicle when factoring maintenance costs the older the bus, the more maintenance it will need.

2) Will you need financing? It’s helpful to have your financing in place (pre-approval) before your vehicle search and know what your finance company’s requirements are ahead of time.

3) Will you be trading in a vehicle? Whether you plan to trade-in or sell out-right, make sure you know what your current vehicle is worth. You can research this on your own, or contact a professional appraiser.

4) How many passengers will you typically be carrying? The number of passengers you will be carrying will determine the size of vehicle you will need. Be sure to think ahead to future plans and development.

5) Where are the nearest factory-authorized facilities? For warranty work or a support facility for example: if a Cummins dealer is 10 miles from you and a Detroit Diesel dealer is 100 miles from you, you might consider a Cummins engine a better option.

6) How far will you be traveling with this bus? Day trips and casino runs have much different requirements than overnight trips and long tours. Don’t under-buy or over-buy buy what you need.

7) What options are most important to you and your customers? Whether it’s an entertainment system, Wi-Fi and auxiliary power sources and automatic climate control for your passenger’s comfort, or fire suppression systems and tire pressure monitors for safety make sure you get the options that are important to you and your customers. After all, it’s your customers who you are buying the bus for.

8) Will you need a restroom? Restrooms are beneficial and more comfortable for passengers on longer trips, but unnecessary for shorter day trips. Be sure you know the needs of your passengers.

9) Will you need under-floor storage? Consider the type of trips you will be providing and what is needed for luggage room by your passengers.

10) How far are you willing to travel for your purchase? It’s never too far if it’s the right bus for you!


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