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How to rent a school bus

Affordable, classic charter bus rentals

A school bus charter bus rental provides convenient and affordable group transportation

School Bus Rentals

The school bus is the most affordable charter bus rental

out there, and it’s all about simplicity and nostalgia. They’re great for shuttle services, field trips, and they even make a great backdrop for wedding photos. Any time you’re planning something short and sweet, a school bus charter bus rental is a safe bet.

School bus pricing

Start planning your bus rental armed with all the information you need to charter a school bus. The school bus is one of the most budget-friendly ways of transporting groups, but you’ll still want to make sure you’ve made the right choice in terms of finding the best charter bus rentals for your group. Questions? We’ve got answers.

How much does a school bus rental cost?

The cost of a school bus starts at $81 per hour. Variables such as region and time of year will affect the hourly rate. Minimum drive times will also affect the final price of your bus. A bus company’s minimum drive time averages $400 or 4-5 hours. To find out what that means for your trip, use the Bus.com booking tool. It generates personalized quotes for trip planners. Your quote includes your driver’s on-duty time and drive time (including the time it takes to get from the bus depot to the departure point). It also includes the driver’s accommodations if you’re taking a multi-day trip, but that’s quite an unlikely scenario for school bus renters.

What impacts school bus pricing?

While school buses are the most affordable type of group transportation out there, prices can still vary depending on a few factors. Everything from which time of year you book your school bus to which time of day has a significant say in how your grand total will check out. School buses are generally more expensive during the early mornings (since you’re in direct competition with school bus fleets dedicated to actual schools), and late at night, when it’s harder to secure a driver. The best times of year to book a school bus are during July and August, when school’s out and bus availability becomes abundant.

School bus amenities

School buses are the perfect group transportation option for shorter trips or for groups with less luggage/equipment to bring along. Check out these FAQs to learn more about what amenities are available on a school bus.

How many people fit on a school bus?

The average school bus fits 47 people. When you decide how many school buses you need for your trip or shuttle service, remember to account for chaperones and other leaders. School buses do not have undercarriages like coach buses do. That means you’ll have to account for luggage space. Reserve a few rows of seats if you are transporting lots of equipment. This is an important consideration for sports teams and campers. If you’re planning a shuttle service for a wedding or an office party, you may want to book more than one school bus. Speak to a Bus.com booking specialist for shuttle bus details.

Which amenities are available with a school bus rental?

Consider the school bus as the bare bones of buses – you’ll have all the basic essentials for your trip: an easy, affordable, and reliable way to get from Point A to Point B. However, the lack of amenities like A/C, storage space, and onboard restrooms means you’ll need to be conscious of how you’re planning to use your charter bus rental.

Is there a lot of storage on a school bus?

School bus rentals typically come with limited or no storage, but with a little bit of creativity, you can make it work regardless. Set aside your own storage space by reserving a few seats in the front or back of the bus, and there you have it, extra room for baggage! Just make sure you rent a school bus with a number of seats that’s a little over your number of passengers.

Are school buses safe?

Yes, school bus rentals are safe. Every bus is equipped with security features like specialized brake systems, lighting, emergency exits, and escape hatches in the roof. The driver has also been strictly vetted to ensure quality and safe service. Many people wonder about the safety of school buses because they don’t typically have seat belts, but their lack of belts is actually a safety feature. The school bus was designed to transport children, and historically, passenger groups have been comprised of mostly kids and one or two adults. The belts were left off because it would be too unsafe for the adults to undo all 40 kids in the case of an emergency. To make up for the lack of belts, the seats are designed to absorb impact. Learn more about school bus safety here.

Are school buses comfortable?

Yes, the school bus is a comfortable form of charter bus. We wouldn’t call school buses luxury vehicles—they’re no coach bus—but the school bus has come along way since their first iteration. Early school buses took the form of a vehicle called “the kid hack.” They were designed by Wayne Works Company, and they were pretty much a big sled or wagon. Today, school buses are spacious and fitted with cushioned seats. But they don’t have onboard restrooms, so they’re not great for trips longer than 3 hours. But shuttle bus services, field trips, and other short rides are well-served by a school bus.

School bus rental FAQ

Ready to book a school bus rental? Check out these FAQs on how to rent a school bus to learn how to best plan your next school bus trip.

Why should I rent a school bus for my trip?

Pretty much any time you’re looking to save money on short trips, consider the school bus as your go-to vehicle. It’s a no-fuss bus that does its job. Field trips, camping weekends, bachelor parties, festival transportation, and more can all benefit from a school bus rental.

If you’re looking for a charter bus that’ll fit in with rustic design, charter a school bus. Renting a school bus for wedding shuttle services is very on trend, after all. Their gorgeous yellow colour and retro design is a perfect addition to any wedding photo.

Why do people typically rent a school bus?

School buses are super practical, as well as one of the most inexpensive group transportation options out there. Instead of having a stream of cabs lined up outside your venue (making navigation a bit harder to do!), set up a convenient school bus rental to guarantee a smooth ride for your guests, whether it’s for your wedding, conference, corporate retreat, or school outing.

Which details do I need to know before booking a school bus?

For starters, add up the amount of people who’ll be travelling in your group, determine the date of your trip, the venues you’ll visit, and an idea of the type of bus you’d like to ride. You’ll also need the contact information of the person responsible for booking transportation—which may be you. Simply enter this information into our online booking tool to receive a custom quote for your trip. You’re under no obligation to accept a quote, so feel free to play around with different group sizes, different dates, and different bus types.

How do I rent a school bus?

Start by inputting your trip date, destination, and preferred bus type into the booking tool. You are under no obligation to accept a bus rental quote, so feel free to play around with different travel scenarios. When you’re ready, accept a quote. You have three days before they expire. Once you’ve confirmed your booking with your booking specialist, begin planning the logistics of transportation. This phase includes collecting funds from your participants, communicating your transportation plan, and organizing any necessary permission slips (very important if you’re travelling with minors. If at any point you need help, talk to our booking specialists or consult our travel guides. For all school bus road trips, we recommend reading our “Carry-On Packing Guide.”

When should I choose a school bus rental?

Rent a school bus at least 6 months in advance. We recommend this time frame because it allows renters to benefit from early bird prices. The closer you get to your departure date, the fewer buses will be available. As bus availability dwindles, prices tend to increase. That’s why booking early is important. If you’re waiting for funding and don’t have the full amount up front, take advantage of our Book Now, Pay Later option. Accept your quote at the best price, but wait to pay until 21 days before departure.

What if I only need a mini school bus rental?

Rent a minibus! The minibus is a smaller version of the school bus. It isn’t always yellow, but it’s the same idea. Besides its size—big enough for 21 passengers—the minibus can be equipped with a few extras that the school bus cannot. Air conditioning and sometimes DVD/TV systems can be added to your minibus rental. The average minibus cost is $98/hour, so depending on your priorities you may want to stick with the school bus.

Any tips for transporting students?

Whenever you’re transporting minors, planning becomes a bit more complicated. There are a few extra items to add to your to-do list. At the top of that list should be collecting permission slips. It’s also important to account for chaperones on your school bus. We recommend having at least two chaperones on every charter bus. For more information about student transportation, read “The Ultimate Guide to Student Bus Rentals.”

School buses are great for
Bus.com
Weddings
A school bus makes a fun choice for wedding transportation, and it's quickly gaining in popularity. School buses are a quirky, nostalgic way to get you and your guests around and are perfect for creating a less formal, more lighthearted celebratory atmosphere.
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Bus.com
Corporate
A school bus rental is our most economic bus type for larger groups, with seating for up to 48 people, and are best employed in situations when overall travel time is less than 2.5 hours. A school bus rental is great for ensuring your guests or employees get to your event venues without having to grapple with securing their own transportation.
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Bus.com
K-12 field trips
School buses are the quintessential field trip bus types, and are great for large class sizes, even with chaperones and teachers, as the buses seat up to 48 people. School buses are also our most cost-effective bus type for large groups and offer a safe, comfortable ride, purpose-built for travel times of 2.5 hours or less.
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Bus.com
College groups
Not just for younger students, classic yellow school buses can be a great option for college and university events. They guarantee your groups won’t get lost, arrive staggered, or show up late. It also prevents them from having to grapple with expensive taxis or public transit systems they may not be familiar with.
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Bus.com
Church and spiritual groups
A school bus rental is an excellent choice to facilitate your spiritual event plans and is a great way to keep your group together and accounted for while in transit. They’re our most cost-effective bus type for large groups of up to 48 people and are purpose-built for travel times of 2.5-hours or less.
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Other charter bus rental options

Coach

Coach rental
Comfort and storage
55 seats

Mini coach bus

Mini coach bus rental
Comfort for small groups
32 seats

Minibus

Minibus rental
Small groups, big moments
21 seats