Coach Bus Rental Pricing Guide

Coach bus rentals offer passengers more amenities than other rental options, making them a comfortable and reliable method of group transportation. Coach buses are typically used for longer trips that last over three hours and come equipped with air conditioning, hi-speed WiFi, power outlets, and an onboard restroom. Whether you are looking to organize group travel for a tournament over state lines, or want to coordinate a sight-seeing tour around the city, the coach bus is a good vehicle option for you. 

This guide will take you through all the factors that go into your coach bus rental price, the different types of coach buses available, and how to book your coach bus.

Factors That Might Affect The Price of Your Coach Bus Rental 

Coach bus rentals are the go-to travel solution for long-distance trips, by offering travellers complete comfort on the road. Before confirming your rental, it is important to consider all the factors that may affect the price of your coach bus rental. From the time of year, to distance travelled, let’s look at some key considerations to make before hitting renting your bus rental. 

Group Size and Bus Type

The first step to planning any trip is to get an accurate headcount of your entire group. Once you have a better understanding of how many people you must account for, finding the right bus type will be easier. Different buses are better suited for different purposes. For example, the school bus and minibus are great options for trips under three hours, while the coach and mini-coach bus are ideal for travelling long distances. 

Once you’ve decided on which bus type to choose, you’ll need to consider amenities. Does your group need an onboard bathroom or can it do without one for three hours? Contrary to popular belief, adding amenities to your bus rental will not have a significant impact on the final price. 

Pro tip: Use our convenient online booking tool to get a quick estimate on your coach bus rental, both with and without amenities. 

Time of Booking

Waiting until weeks before your trip to confirm your coach bus rental is a risky approach and could result in price surging. Therefore, the earlier you rent your bus, the better it will be in terms of pricing. In addition, there are no guarantees the bus your group desires will be available, if you wait until the last minute to book. We recommend reserving your bus rental between six and nine months in advance of your departure date.

Time of Year 

One of the most effective ways to save money with bus rentals is to travel during the off-season. That time period for buses falls usually in the middle of Summer. With school being out until September, there are no field trips that need booking, which increases availability for buses. So, as the demand for buses drops in the Summer, so will the prices. 

Who’s Driving?

Do you have a professional driver? Do you need more than one driver? Do you have to spring for a hotel for your driver? Different countries have different laws by which to abide, but the gist of it is that professional chauffeurs can’t drive forever, and they need to rest. It’s for their safety and yours.

The middle of Winter is also a good time to rent a coach bus, typically between the months of December and March. Peak season, on the other hand, tends to be in the Spring season with a number of corporate events, weddings, field trips, and conferences taking place. If your trip is during peak season, book between six and nine months in advance to ensure you get the best rate. 

Travel Distance and Fuel Prices

Distance travelled and fuel prices will also have an impact on the final price of your coach bus rental. The further you intend on travelling, the more expensive it will be. Fuel prices regularly fluctuate on a daily basis, but this shouldn’t cause a significant change to your coach bus rental estimate. However, it would be wise to monitor if any major spikes or dips occur to gas prices close to your departure date. 

Pro tip: Input all your trip details in our booking tool or on Google Maps and get a quick snapshot of the distance your group will travel. This will help you streamline your itinerary as much as possible, in order to minimize costs. 

Driving and On-Duty Time

Driving and on-duty time has the most significant impact on the final price of your coach bus rental. But what do they mean? Driving time, as the name suggests, refers to the time the motorist is behind the wheel. On-duty time, by contrast, is the entire time the driver is working, including pit-stops, lunch and bathroom breaks, and more. The most effective way to save money on a coach bus rental is to reduce the on-duty time and keep your itinerary as straightforward as possible.

Ways to Save Money on a Coach Bus Rental 

Coach bus rentals offer large groups of people a cost-efficient and comfortable method of transportation that’s perfect for longer trips. There are ways to save money with your coach bus rental before even hitting the road. From booking it well ahead of time to limiting pit stops, let’s take a deeper look. 

Fill Up Your Bus

A good rule of thumb when renting a coach bus is to make sure it’s completely filled up before hitting the road. These vehicles can comfortably accommodate up to 55 people at a time, which is space that should not go to waste. While having a few extra seats is not a bad idea, your group should aim to fill its coach bus as much as possible. This reduces the cost per person on the coach bus rental and will result in significant savings. Rather than paying for empty seats, consider other vehicle types if your group ends up being smaller than you initially expected. 

Limit Stops

Driving and on-duty time are among the most important considerations to make when chartering a bus. Before confirming your coach bus, streamline your itinerary as much as possible and avoid any unnecessary stops. You are still paying for the driver’s services when you stop for a bathroom break, lunch, or anything else. 

Pro tip: Factor in an additional 15 minutes on every stop you intend to make since boarding a coach bus takes longer than you think. This will ensure there are no unwelcome surprises at the end of your trip by accounting for detours, traffic, and stragglers. 

Travel During Off-Season

The best time to travel is when others aren’t. By traveling during the off-season, which is typically in the middle of Summer and Winter, you guarantee local availability for various types of coach buses.

Pro tip: Check your destination’s social calendar and see if there are any major events planned for when you are headed there, such as festivals and conferences. If you are renting a coach bus to go to those events, that’s even better!

Finding the Right Coach Bus Rental for You 

There are four types of coach bus rentals, with each one coming with its own unique advantages and amenities. Let’s take a look at each of these bus types. 

Prevost H3-45

The Prevost H3-45 is one of the most rented coach buses on the market, which can accommodate up to 56 passengers. This vehicle is all about comfort when it comes to group transportation and includes air conditioning, reclining seats, an onboard bathroom, optional hi-speed WiFi, and power outlets.

The Prevost H3-45 is a great option for larger groups and has a spacious storage compartment for personal belongings, equipment, and anything else you might want to bring with you. This vehicle, like any coach bus rental, also comes with a fully-vetted and experienced driver, ensuring you get to your destination safely and reliably. 

Van Hool 

Much like the Prevost H3-45, the Van Hool coach bus is also a comfortable and convenient bus rental option. This vehicle seats up to 55 passengers at a time, making it a great choice for tour groups and student groups. 

The Van Hool coach bus comes equipped with hi-speed WiFi, reclining seats, ample storage space, an onboard bathroom, and an experienced driver.

MCI J4500

The MCI J4500 is a luxury coach bus that’s a popular coach bus option in the United States and Canada. In fact, it’s the best-selling MCI model. This vehicle accommodates up to 54 passengers at a time, which makes for another comfortable and convenient alternative for travelling longer distances.

The MCI J4500 boasts similar amenities to other coach bus rentals, including air conditioning, power outlets, an onboard restroom, spacious seats, and significant storage space. In addition, this rental comes with an experienced driver to navigate tricky roads, so you can simply rest easy and enjoy the ride.

Prevost H3-41

The Prevost H3-41 has been around the motor coach world for nearly three decades. This vehicle can comfortably seat up to 56 passengers at a time and, despite being noticeably shorter than the average coach bus at 41 feet long, has ample storage space. 

The Prevost H3-41 offers travellers a compact coach bus option, yet still has many of the same amenities, including an onboard bathroom, WiFi, air conditioning, and an experienced bus driver. 

Booking Your Coach Bus Rental

Now that you are aware of the different coach buses available and how to keep your rental costs low, you might be thinking to yourself, “How do I book a coach bus?” By inputting your trip details into our online booking tool, you will receive a quote for your coach bus rental in under two minutes. The quote is valid for three days, giving you the time to mull over your decision. If the estimate expires, simply request a new one with our widget or get in touch with one of our customer service agents. You can also take advantage of our Book Now, Pay Later policy and defer the final payment up until 21 days before your departure date. This gives you the flexibility to secure the financing you need for your bus rental.

Pro tip: Input different itineraries in our booking tool – some which include stops and some without. Doing so will give you a comprehensive view of your trip ahead and help your group plan its budget accordingly. 

Country-specific Regulations

If your group is planning a longer trip, it’s important to be aware of the different regulations surrounding bus travel that exist to protect drivers. After all, the latter need to be well-rested while driving. Here are the country-specific regulations in Canada and the United States: 

Canada

These regulations have been established and enforced by the Motor Coach Canada Association. 

  • A driver can drive a maximum of 13 hours per day. 
  • On-duty time must not exceed 14 hours per day. 
  • Off-duty time must reach a minimum of 10 hours in a 24-hour period.

United States  

These regulations have been established and enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. 

  • A driver can drive a maximum of 10 hours per day. 
  • On-duty time must not exceed 15 hours per day. 
  • Off-duty time must reach a minimum of eight consecutive hours.

Frequently Asked Questions

We hope we answered all of your questions, but in case we didn't, here are some frequently asked questions that will streamline your coach bus rental experience and ensure you get the best rate.

How much does it cost to rent a coach bus?

The average cost of a coach bus rental ranges between $600 and $1,200 per day. The final price will vary depending on distance travelled, the driver’s time, desired amenities, and local availability among other factors. Our online booking system generates an instant quote for you and offers you a quick snapshot of the final price for your coach bus rental.

 

Keep in mind that prices peak during longer trips and with any travelling that involves overnight driving, as drivers are paid a premium. The more time spent on the road, the more expensive your coach bus rental will end up being.

What is the driver's hotel fee for in my coach bus quote?

A driver’s hotel fee is automatically added to your estimate when the total number of driving hours exceeds the daily limits set by the Department of Transportation in the United States and Canada.

 

Drivers can be on the road a maximum of 10 hours per day in the U.S., while in Canada, a driver can legally drive for 12 hours in a day. Longer trips, especially over state lines, will often surpass this – hence the hotel charge. Hotel bookings are handled directly by our team and typically cost around $150. However, this is subject to change depending on location and seasonality.

What is your coach bus rental cancellation policy?

Bus.com offers a 100% reimbursement for coach buses, minibuses, sprinter vans, and mini coach buses on all cancellations done 21 days or more before the trip. Any cancellations made between 20 and 14 days before the trip, by contrast, would result in 50% money back. Unfortunately, no refunds are issued on service fees and cancellations for any of our vehicles if the cancellation occurs 13 days or less before the start of the trip. Contact a booking specialist as early as possible with any modifications and cancellations to ensure your group gets their money back.

What can I do to ensure I have access to the lowest charter bus prices?

There are a number of ways to ensure that you get the best possible price for your coach bus rental. For one, booking it in the off-season is recommended as you will not be competing with various groups and events. The off-season is generally between December and March, but if your trip is during peak season, fret not, simply book your coach bus well in advance. This guarantees local availability and avoids price surging, offering you the best price. In addition, Bus.com runs a price-matching program. If you’ve found a quote at a more competitive price, let us know and we will do our best to match it.