Despite its name, the minibus, with its capacity of 21 passengers, is simply too big for some groups. Luckily, Bus.com now offers an even more cost-efficient transportation option: the passenger van. Also called a sprinter van, it’s the most versatile and affordable vehicle for small groups ranging from 8 to 15 people. It also offers a slightly higher comfort level than the minibus, with reclining seats, armrests, and cup holders.
There are a million and one uses for passenger vans. They make a handy shuttle service for events with venues scattered across town, and are perfect for airport runs. They’re also a great way for tourists to hit up various attractions while getting in some quality sightseeing along the way. And they’re a hit with bachelor and bachelorette parties as well as winery and brewery tour groups, allowing group members to let loose while staying together and staying safe. The best part? You can opt for a van with your own personal chauffeur for the ultimate hands-off experience, or you can opt to drive yourself for even bigger savings!
The sprinter van is the most flexible choice for many groups, but is it right for your groups’ budget? Let’s take a look at some of the cos factors to consider when selecting a passenger van.
Factors That Might Affect Your Passenger Van Rental Cost
What exactly goes into determining the price of a charter van rental? This next section will run through the factors that can have the biggest impact on your trip-planning budget.
The first thing you want to consider is group size. Sprinter vans come in a host of different sizes, with an average capacity ranging from 8 to 15 passengers. Given the smaller size of these vehicles, it’s important to know whether you will have a firm headcount, or if you’ll need some wiggle room. It’s always wise to err on the larger side if you’re unsure.
Time of Booking
The earlier you book, the better our chances are of sourcing a passenger van that meets your group’s needs at the best possible price. We’ll be able to find you a vehicle regardless of when you book, but we generally recommend booking six to nine months in advance to ensure you get the best deal.
Time of Year
Advance booking is particularly important if you’re traveling during peak season. Generally, April, May, and June are the costliest months for renting a charter van or bus. Low season includes January and February, due to winter weather conditions, as well as the laziest of summer months, July.
Travel Distance and Fuel Prices
Fuel is included in your passenger van rental cost, and it stands to reason that the further you travel, the pricier your rental will be. The good news is that it is still miles more affordable than group air travel. And, contrary to flying, with a charter van rental, you’re in total control – and comfort!
Driving and On-Duty Time
Driving time refers to the amount of time your driver spends at the wheel. Conversely, on-duty time is the time your driver is not driving but still being paid. These are affected by the length and distance of your trip, as well as number and length of stops. It’s also important to note that there are laws regulating how long a driver can legally be behind the wheel each day, which might affect your trip. Read on to see how you can save even more money by renting a non-chauffeured van!
Ways to Save Money on a Sprinter Van Rental
While we’re always working hard to get you the best deals in and around town, it really is a team effort, of which you’re an integral part. Let’s take a look at some things you can do to lower your passenger van rental cost.
Drive it Yourself
Great news! Bus.com offers a selection of driverless sprinter vans. By DIY-ing it, you’ll not only save a ton of money on driver wages, you can also split driving responsibilities between group members. This will allow you to cover more ground in a shorter amount of time. It’s easily the most impactful way to reduce your van rental cost.
It’s the advice so nice, we’ll say it twice! Many people use sprinter vans as a shuttle service for events such as weddings, corporate retreats, and conferences. Thousands of these types of events occur all across the country at any given time, resulting in quite a bit of overlap with regards to transportation rental. Take a weight off your shoulders – and your budget – by being the first to book.
Map Out an Itinerary
By now it’s obvious that we’re fans of advance planning. In fact, any unexpected bumps in the proverbial road could potentially hike your van rental cost. Such instances include adding stops, altering routes, and changing dates at the last minute. That’s not to say we won’t do everything in our power to accommodate changes or fix problems: we absolutely will. However, the closer your trip looms on the horizon, the costlier it can be to do so.
Which Size Sprinter Van Should You Get?
So, you’ve decided a passenger van is right for you. That’s great! We’re almost there! All that’s left to do is to determine which size and type of van is most suitable for your group. Remember that each model is available with or without a driver.
Mercedes Sprinter Van
This Mercedes sprinter van is great for the smallest groups for whom comfort is paramount. It’s available in two sizes, one seating up to eight people and the other 14. Given the main factors that influence charter rental fees, the 8 passenger van rental cost should not vary too much from the 14 passenger van rental cost.
The mama bear to our trio of sprinter vans, the Ford Transit can fit between 10 and 15 passengers. Like its counterparts, it’s designed for comfort and safety, and is equipped with A/C and space for luggage. Check out our online booking tool to see how your 10 or 15 passenger van rental cost compares to the rest.
With ample seating accommodating 12 to 15 passengers, the Chevrolet Express is perfect for groups that require a little bit extra in terms of amenities. Not only does it come with two aux outlets and a USB port, there’s also the option to add a WiFi hotspot. This makes it the go-to choice for conference and corporate groups who might need to put in a little work on the go, or let loose with a party playlist.
Bus.com is proud to be your #1 choice when it comes to charter van rentals, and —whether we’re behind the wheel or not — we’ll be with you at every turn.
For a clearer view of how much a sprinter van rental will cost, you can play around with our online booking tool. It allows you to adjust the parameters of your trip with zero commitment until you’re ready to book. Check it out today!