TOUR BUS AND COACH BUSES FOR SALE
A tour bus is used by tour operators, churches, and transportation and travel companies. If you are looking to purchase a bus to use for your coach or tour bus needs, you should be aware of some of the issues described below:
For major brands such as Ford, Chevrolet, Freightliner, and International, parts are available for up to fifteen-year-old from licensed dealers, bus parts specialists, or on Amazon and eBay. Obscure brands, those made in foreign countries such as Mercedes, and models only produced for a short while should be avoided.
Financing and Leasing
The availability of financing is as important to tour and shuttle operators as the selection of the bus. Most used bus dealerships offer brokered financing options rather than in-house financing. Buyers should beware of sellers that advertise that every customer and every vehicle can be financed through their sources. It is simply not true! The financing of any used bus for business or personal use should not be done without a thorough evaluation of the credit source, finance options, and terms of sale that are available to you. An established dealer should be happy to discuss these options with you. Churches and not-for-profit organizations should generally avoid financing their buses in favor of fund-raising and grants.
If you cannot insure your bus at a good rate, you may never be able to realize the anticipated revenue needed to properly budget fuel, depreciation, maintenance, and operational costs. Do NOT underestimate this part of the process. New ventures will often need to pay higher rates until they establish a track record with insurers. Also, realize you may have to pass regular DOT inspections. Speak to a knowledgeable insurance broker in your area before finalizing a purchase.
Most newcomers prefer the standard 96″ wide units based on “cutaway” bodies. They can make tight turns and are most suitable for city and suburban use. Make sure no height, weight, or special licenses are needed to run your routes. Tour operators have a special interest in “seating capacity” regarding profitability. Larger coach buses cost more to buy and maintain, particularly rear-engine models but can generate more revenue when running fully occupied.
Heavier coaches usually cost more to operate but stand up better. Any vehicle over 26,000 pounds or having air brakes require additional driver’s license endorsements.
Many tour buses are similar to shuttle buses. There are also buses equipped with ADA and handicapped equipment that can meet all the various requirements of those needing to transport senior citizens and those with other mobility issues. Depending upon your specific needs, you may need to look long and hard for a used bus for sale that suits your needs.
Coach and tour buses can be used for school trips (in many states), college trips, sporting events, runs to big cities, concerts, historic sites, shopping excursions, and other events. In addition, many large conventions can use tour buses to get attendees to and from the airport, hotel, and other points of interest.
Since many tour and coach buses for sale are equipped with many extra features, they make for a comfortable drive, almost like being in an airplane. The seats usually will recline, have electric or air doors, overhead lighting, one or several televisions with DVD capabilities for passengers, and occasionally a lavatory. The amenities will vary from bus to bus and may increase the costs substantially, so be sure to buy only the features you need when shopping for a bus. Some major companies manufacturing shuttle tour buses are Diamond, ElDorado and Startrans, Goshen, Turtle Top, Krystal, and Ameritrans.
Whether you are looking for a tour bus for charter tours, sightseeing excursions, day trips, or overnight stays, you will have many decisions to make when searching for your used tour bus. Now you just need the passengers!