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Bus Rental Cost

How Much Does Bus Rental Cost?

low costSchool Buses: $350-$800 Per Dayaverage costDeluxe Charter Buses: $775-$1,300 Per Dayhigh costEntertainer/Sleeper Buses: $1,000-$3,000 Per Day
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For group transportation, charter buses (also called coaches or tour buses) come in a wide range of options. Bus Bank[1] has an easy-to-follow photo chart listing its most popular bus choices, ranging from a school bus to an entertainer's tour bus. For local trips, prices are typically figured by the hour, and longer trips are charged by the mile or standard day rate.

Typical costs:

  • School buses (seating 44 to 72 people) typically rent for $350 to $800 per day and are ideal for trips shorter than 150 miles. They do not have restrooms and may not have air conditioning or storage space for luggage.
  • Trolleys (seating 20-58 people) typically rent for $1,000 to $2,000 per day. Trolleys are ideal for trips shorter than 150 miles, such as weddings, tours or local events. Mini buses (seating 18-36 people) typically rent for $550 to $975 per day. Mini buses rarely have restrooms and are ideal for trips shorter than 150 miles. A Limobus[2] is the same size as a mini bus but typically has seating along the edges for a more social atmosphere and typically rents for $1,375 to $1,545 per day.
  • Deluxe[3] charter buses (seating 37-59 people) typically rent for $775 to $1,300 per day. These buses travel long distances and include restrooms, air-conditioning, luggage storage and comfortable seating. Options include DVD players, refreshments and tour guides. According to Bus Rates[4] , the average rate for a deluxe charter bus in March 2007 was $2.94 per mile, $90 per hour or $821 per day.
  • Executive[5] charter buses (seating 18-32 people) typically rent for $1,000 to $2,500 per day. These buses travel long distances and include restrooms, air-conditioning, luggage storage, comfortable seating and room to move about in the bus. Typical amenities include a social lounge in the front or rear of the bus, an entertainment center and a kitchenette.
  • Entertainer/sleeper buses (sleeping 9-12 people) typically rent for $1,000 to $3,000 per day. These buses travel long distances and include air conditioning, luggage storage, restrooms, a kitchen, shower and bunk beds for 9 to 12 guests. Typical amenities also include an entertainment center and lounge area. Pacific Excursions[6] shares photos of the interior of sleeper bus.
Related articles: RV Rental, Event Planner

What should be included:
  • Parking and tolls incurred on the road are typically included in the fee.
  • USA Bus Charter[7] displays photos of bus interiors and common amenities for different types of vehicles. Rows of seats typically face the front, but this layout may vary greatly on limo buses, executive buses and sleeper buses.
  • Insurance should be covered in full by the charter bus company.
Additional costs:
  • According to Bus Rates[8] , about 20% is a typical deposit to book a charter bus, with the balance due 10 to 30 days before the trip. Some companies require the entire fee up front.
  • Many charter bus companies charge a fuel surcharge to help offset changing fuel prices and keep their daily rates consistent. Companies often list these rates online at the U.S. Department of Energy[9] .
  • Bus Rates[10] says 10% gratuity is common across the U.S., but Limobus and executive bus companies often charge 15% to 20%.
  • It is customary to book a hotel for the bus driver on overnight trips, though Bus Rates[11] says that many hotels will provide a complimentary bus driver room with group bookings.
  • For every 10 hours of driving or 15 hours of stand-by time, a driver must be able to rest 10 hours. Companies can provide a change of driver for $200 to $900.
  • Though most charter bus companies do not advertise discounted rates, inquire about price matching or traveling on off-peak days such as Tuesday or Wednesday.
Shopping for bus rental:
  • Before booking a charter bus, verify the company's safety rating, inspections and insurance status with the U.S. Department of Transportation[12] .
  • Plan to book a charter bus 3 weeks to 3 months in advance, and always ask about the company's cancellation policy.
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