A short bus for sale is a shuttle bus small in size. They can be configured to seat up to 25 passengers plus a driver and if it is equipped with a wheelchair lift then it may have double flip seats to accommodate up to six wheelchair positions. The cost of a short bus with basic features starts at approximately $50,000 and can exceed $75,000 plus tax fully equipped with a wheelchair lift and other accessories. Many individuals, businesses, and organizations do not have the money or credit for a new bus plus its additional operating costs and expenses including driver’s wages and benefits, insurance, registration, parking, fuel, regular maintenance just to name a few. Due to these factors, there is a huge and thriving market of short buses for sale that have been used by at least one previous owner. These short buses are also called mini buses, jitney buses, tiny buses, shuttle buses, or simply commercial buses. All these terms can be used to refer to the same bus that is short in size and seats up a maximum of up to 25 passengers. The cost of a used bus for sale is typically 50 – 70% less than a new one. Operating costs as described above for a used bus are similar although additional maintenance costs should be budgeted. As a result, these vehicles are more affordable to individuals, churches, senior centers, assisted living facilities, group living centers and transportation operators in the USA. Keep in mind that used vehicles have been on the road for several years and may have significant wear and tear and as a result they may need maintenance and repair before going back on the road.
A buyer can either purchase these buses from former owners, private sellers or from licensed short bus dealerships. A licensed dealership should be responsible to recondition the bus thoroughly and give it a fresh appearance so they are ready to use immediately. Alternatively, if the buyer decides to buy the bus from the original owner, private individuals or random sellers on the street then he or she needs to be prepared to fix the vehicle before using it. Rarely is a used bus for sale in excellent condition from a private seller. Why would they want to dispose of a serviceable vehicle otherwise? This could potentially involve many additional costs that can run into thousands of dollars and not be easily accomplished by local repair shops. Good advice is to hire an independent inspection company to thoroughly inspect the bus from the outside, inside, and underneath. The inspection should include a drive, photos, a complete checklist and a vehicle history report. Then, based on the detailed report provided by the inspector, resolve the issues that are problematic. Some of the parts that may need replacement are alternators, water pumps, starters, pulley bearings, power steering pumps, steering stabilizers, and brake calipers, ball joints, and other front end parts, air conditioning problems and wheelchair issues. It will be good to make these repairs before purchase so that the buyer knows that their bus will be safe and serviceable and last a long time. Other smaller parts such as, engine mounts, axles, motor mounts, and rotted floors or rusted side walls should be replaced as they are needed. Cutting corners is not an option when buying a preowned vehicle because it can risk the lives of passengers and drivers. The buyer shouldn’t need to do all the repairs and replacements as they are typically unqualified and inexperienced in bus maintenance. Ironically many buyers underestimate the time and expense required to make a used bus read for service. Bus repair is an expensive and time consuming hassle. Many buyers just don’t want to go through it. They are only interested in driving the short bus for sale and start transporting people right away. Therefore it’s better and safer to buy the vehicle from licensed bus dealerships as they should have already done all the difficult maintenance for you. They are obligated to make every used bus for sale fit to drive again and even get it certified from the Department of Transportation or Motor Vehicles in your state. What else could a buyer ask for? A used bus sold by a dealership is most likely to cost more, maybe up to 15% extra than a bus that is being sold by the owner as-is. It is well worth paying more and dealing with a dealership because it spares you the time, hassles, and headaches of repairing a bus. Most first time buyers simply do not have the knowledge nor the experience for reconditioning a bus and they can be financially abused by almost every person they encounter from the seller, repair shop, mechanic, parts retailer, and anyone else in between causing a lot of heartaches in their purchase. Why go through all this unless you want to be a bus maintenance expert in the near future? You need the bus to safely drive people around and that should be your primary concern.
Every buyer needs a bus for a specific use and period of use. Resale is a very tricky phase of the bus ownership process. Chances are high that the vehicle has been sitting idle in the parking lot for months or even years until the owner finds a good buyer. Until then, the bus will be deteriorating and draining money for insurance, parking costs, advertising/marketing fees, as well as maintenance. Dealerships can play a very important role in the bus disposal process because dealers are often ready to buy back their bus even after several years down the road for a reasonable price. This is one of the quickest and easiest ways to replace the bus right away. Simply pick up the phone and tell your dealer to trade the vehicle back and they will gladly oblige for a fair market price if the bus is operational or easily repaired.
When the buyer makes a purchase from an individual seller, the transaction, as well as the relationship, is over the moment money changes hands. But this is not the case with dealerships. They play a very important role in the bus ownership process and should always be available throughout the journey with the buyer. From reconditioning to financing, buying, regular maintenance, and finally disposal. Many dealerships will even offer maintenance advice on their buses which is rarely seen in the automotive industry. This can safeguard a buyer from unexpected catastrophic repair costs. Most used buses do not have any warranty available and even after going through the reconditioning process they do not have an all-encompassing warranty like a new passenger car or SUV where every part will be under warranty including the engine, the chassis, the body, entertainment system, air conditioning system, etc. However, the financial benefits of extended bus warranties should be carefully examined by the buyer before purchasing them. As a short bus for sale by a licensed dealer is normally reconditioned thoroughly and it should not require the additional expense of a warranty because many parts have already been inspected, checked, repaired, and replaced.
If a short bus for sale will be used for commercial purposes like offering a jitney service or a tour bus service, then it will need to look good to outsell the competition and attract the maximum number of passengers and clients. Almost every passenger chooses their bus depending on its external appearance. Once inside they will prefer to stay seated only if they are comfortable or else simply get up, walk out of the bus, and choose another that is more comfortable. Keeping these passenger behavioral facts in mind every dealership goes to the extent of fully reconditioning the interior as well as the exterior of the bus and not just its mechanical, electrical, and hydraulic composition. They repaint the bus to hide any blemishes and to safeguard it from oxidation i.e. rust. As a result, the vehicle has an excellent external appearance as well as comfortable interiors. A buyer will never be able to judge the difference between a fully reconditioned used bus and a new bus on its appearance alone and may wonder which is new and which is reconditioned? A dealership will not repaint a used bus if it is in good condition because why fix something that is not broken? As a result, their inventory will stock vehicles that are repainted as well as those that are not. Repainting is done only when there are blemishes or problems that are more than obvious to the common eye. The paint of a vehicle plays a very important role in preventing the metal surface from corrosion. Every vehicle including buses has several layers of paint on their bodies to prevent them from salt and moisture present in the atmosphere. A tiny scratch on the metal body will open a gap in the paint coating allowing moisture and salt to come in contact with the metal surface, this is called surface rust. If untreated it will soon spread and be called scale rust and if still not treated it will lead to penetration rust where holes will start appearing on the metal body, this is the most advanced stage of rust and equally time-consuming and expensive to fix. A fully reconditioned used bus for sale will neither have any blemishes nor rust on its metallic surface as it will be fully repainted from bumper to bumper giving it a like-new appearance, thus making it difficult to differentiate from a new bus for sale.
No matter who the seller is, always buy a popular late-model short bus for sale because its maintenance parts will be readily available in the local market either from Amazon, eBay, manufacturers, dealerships, bus supply houses, or through repair shops. It’s not unusual for owners to sell their vehicles just because they could not locate spare parts. If spares are not readily available then the owners are forced to let their buses sit idle for several weeks or months at the repair shop thus gathering dust rather than operating. Every buyer should avoid the old bus trap at all costs. They should avoid the lure of a good deal on a bus model that is too old, odd, or obscure. Parts for old and obscure brands of buses are hard to find in local markets or online sites and then they may no longer be available. On the other hand parts for out of business brands have to be retrofitted which requires a substantial extra time and labor which increases the total cost of replacing the parts. Ford, Chevrolet, GMC, International and Frieghtliner, Starcraft, Startrans, Eldorado, Diamond, Glaval, BlueBird, and Turtle Top, etc are some of the most popular brands of short buses for sale available in the American markets today. Buyers are advised to invest their money in these popular model buses rather than any other that can potentially put them in jeopardy several months down the road.
Remember, any legitimate used short bus seller will never have any problems in giving the history on the bus he is trying to sell. Ask for documents and title reports and check the history of the bus in detail before making a purchase. Ask for repair records, maintenance schedule, usage information whenever possible. View the title and registration stickers, and any other document that may seem fit in the buying process. Always ask the seller why he wants to sell his bus? Listen to him carefully and get detailed information on the vehicle because you never want to buy somebody else’s headache. A bus may look good at first glance but may have hidden problems under a nice new paint job. Just because a bus has a low mileage and is being sold at a low price does not mean its a good deal because chances are that the prior owner may not have performed required regular maintenance on schedule or let rust eat up the bus from the bottom up. Similarly, there is a big danger that the bus was in a flooded area and was submerged in a parking lot or nearby stream or bay for days or weeks in a hurricane-hit region and is now being resold to you as a partially repaired used bus. These flooded buses are fixed and repaired to the point where they may look good and be drivable but are a safety hazard for passengers as well as drivers. Their electrical and mechanical components have been exposed to a large quantity of water for a period of time thus triggering the electronic corrosion process which cannot be stopped or reversed. It’s only a matter of time when rust will take its toll on these vehicles and they will not be fit for operation and public transportation.