Posts Tagged ‘small buses’
Bus for sale are expensive and their price depends on several factors, one of them is its seating capacity and total size. Obviously, the larger buses are more expensive than smaller buses and are likely to be more durable. This cost differential should be obvious because the more equipment and parts there are, the more expensive the vehicle will be. Buses have a multi-wall cage construction and this alone with the frame will be reinforced in the larger ones because they carry more passengers. The additional seats along with the weight of the individual passengers and their luggage will add several tons of weight which have to be protected and kept under control during transit. When purchasing a bus for sale check out its weight both in gross vehicle weight and net weight. A midibus will always be more expensive than a minibus for sale and even more durable. Buses with a higher passenger capacity are more profitable as well because success in the commercial transportation industry depends on the number of people being carried in a single trip. The more people being moved equals more profits. The bigger motor coaches have powerful diesel engines as well, which permits the additional weight of the passengers during transit. Frankly speaking, there is no alternative to a powerful engine in commercial transportation. If you are purchasing a bus with the sole intention of moving people around, then you should consider a more powerful engine because the more power you have is directly proportional to the number of people that can be transported onboard as well as being able to safely handle mountainous terrain. If you have to choose between a small V-8 or a V-10 gasoline engine bus, then try your best to go for the V-10 even if it means extending the budget on fuel. In larger buses, diesel power is typically the only choice. If your budget is limited then check with the dealer to see if they can get you financing and make a customized payment plan that suits your cash flow plan. However, if purchasing the larger engine is still not possible then try to go for the next best that will often be a V-8. The idea here is to own a bus that has a powerful engine to transport the maximum number of people on a single trip and will outlast other smaller engines that have to work harder to cover the same mileage. Overloading is a big issue with transit buses and the more passengers they carry puts more stress on their body, frame, and their engines. Research has shown that a fully loaded bus will burn more fuel and emit more nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxides compared to a bus that is empty or partially loaded. The emissions can increase by up to 9% as a result and the engine is subjected to more wear and tear, the additional stress thus affects its performance and longevity. However, on the flip side, a startup transportation company should consider starting its operations with a short bus for sale that seats a maximum of 15 passengers. Though it is lighter in weight, has a smaller engine, and is less durable than its bigger counterparts, it is good to get started and off the ground in the first place. Most first-time buyers have no idea what it’s like to own a bus and a small bus for sale will go a long way in giving them hands-on experience of owning, managing, and maintaining a bus fleet rather than directly jumping into a large shuttle or coach bus. Moreover, one of the greatest advantages of smaller buses is that they do not always require a commercial license to be operated due to their lower passenger count. This is one of the primary reasons why people opt to purchase small shuttle buses. Other reasons include, they are more affordable, easy to manage and maintain, easy to park, maneuvering them through busy streets is easier because they have a shorter turning radius. If the number of people you transport is going to be limited to less than 15 at any given point of time in the year, then small shuttle buses are the way to go and there are obvious financial benefits to it. However, if you anticipate a growth in the size of your group in the next 3 or 6 months then you need a bigger bus, then perhaps a midsized shuttle bus that can seat anywhere from 16 to 29 passengers in a single trip is the best choice. Purchasing a bus requires a comprehensive plan that would provide solutions and solve problems during every step of the ownership process. This plan should include the growth factor, what would you do if the size of your group increases beyond 15? If it’s a one-time increase, then that can be adjusted or supplemented with a rental van, however, if the increase is permanent then your business or organization needs a better and more permanent solution.
All the facts that we have discussed till now, primarily refer to used shuttle buses because they are the only vehicles that fall within the most affordable price range of $10,000 to $50,000. When we talk about mini and midi buses, we are referring to used pre-owned vehicles because a basic 15 seat new bus for sale will start at $50,000 to $75,000 before tax which is not affordable to a majority of new businesses and organizations. A new bus will depreciate up to 40% in just the first year of being on the road even if it was not used frequently. Hence, it’s better and wiser to let the better-financed companies with deeper pockets endure the depreciation hit. After a bus has gone through the initial stage of “early depreciation”, its depreciation slows down in the following years and when the vehicle is put up for resale, the second owner will get a chance to own a bus that will not only be much less expensive but will also depreciate less when compared to its newer counterparts. The average life of a shuttle bus is 15 years and websites in the USA are full of used shuttle buses for sale that vary greatly in age and mileage. There are vehicles that may be just 2 years old from the date of manufacture while others may be 7 or even 10 years older. Depending upon their age and the extent to which the previous owner had maintained them, every bus will have varying degrees of rust or scale underneath it. While some scale is expected, rust spreads on a bus from the ground up and from the inside out. The undercarriage or the chassis is affected due to the high quantity of salt present on the roads during snow seasons and its interiors can be affected due to several reasons like condensation, rain water, leaking roofs, or just by the passengers walking in with wet feet. In any case, the buyer has to be very careful about rust because it only grows with time. Just because a vehicle is a late model and is being sold at a comparatively cheaper price does not mean it’s a good deal especially if the owner did not maintain it properly and allowed rust to eat up its chassis. Most rust issues are hidden from immediate sight. Buyers should ask owners if the bus for sale had undergone any rust work in the past and request the necessary paperwork. The braking system of a bus is made of several steel components, once rust has deeply penetrated the vehicle chances are high that both the brake lines and metal discs inside the brakes have been affected too. There is no way this will easily be visible to the eye so buyers should take a trusted and experienced technician along with them to thoroughly inspect the vehicle or hire third-party inspection companies to get a detailed report on the condition of the bus. Buyers should always make their purchasing decision based on the report provided by the inspectors and not let their immediate requirement or a “deal” cloud their decisions.
Sellers are often smart and know that their vehicles won’t sell if they are heavily rusted. As a result, they first try to conceal the problem by repainting and try to hide any rusted patches in the interior too. But when this gimmick fails they try to sell cheap just to get rid of their headache. Now, you as a buyer don’t want to buy someone else’s headache. If fact, you should not buy and avoid the headache altogether because buying a rusted vehicle will mean you will have to spend thousands of additional dollars to get it fixed. You should have your own repair shop or a trusted mechanic to get this done or be prepared to burn a bigger hole in your pocket. Some parts can be easily replaced like engine mounts. A bus normally has 3 engine mounts, one for the transmission and the other two for the engine. These mounts should be replaced every 5 to 7 years. If they are heavily rusted then it’s time to replace them. Just remove the old mounts and replace them with the newly purchased mounts. You can do this yourself or ask the seller to do it for you or get a discount on the price of the bus. That was easy enough. However, if rust has spread to mechanical and other critical parts of the vehicle like transmission, radiator and chassis then fixing or replacing these components can be a huge expense and can potentially wreak havoc with your budget. Hence it’s better to avoid such buses altogether, there are always better options. The amount of rust will deeply impact the serviceable life of the vehicle. Such vehicles are a safety hazard and should not be put into operations unless repaired because depending up on the stage of the rust the strength of their metal parts are affected and reduced which can lead to potential accidents, thus risking the lives of not only those on board but also those around the vehicle.
Make inspections an integral part of the buying process. The inspection company should be able to give you a detailed report on each and every major component of the vehicle. For example, transmission, chassis, radiators, engine, body, tires, brakes, dashboard, air conditioning, heating system, transmission oil, engine oil, lubricating oil, fuel analysis, fuel performance, and much more. Though it will be an additional cost to hire 3rd party professional companies to do the inspections that may not necessarily lead to a definite purchase but will go a long way in choosing the right vehicle that will not break down frequently or result in unexpected catastrophic repairs that will be financially difficult to fix, potentially making the vehicle unworthy. The primary objective is to buy a bus for sale that is good to transport groups of people safely. If the report shows that the vehicle has damaged parts but it can still be certified ready to hit the road and transport people efficiently then the buyer can ask for a dealer to make repairs or request a discount from the seller to fix the damaged parts. This is a legitimate negotiating factor and demands a substantial allowance. However, it will be best to cut the long journey short and buy the bus for sale from a licensed and bonded bus dealership because they tend to fully recondition their buses thoroughly before delivering them to the next buyer. Moreover, dealerships are in for the long run and want to maintain a long and healthy relationship with their customers rather than complete the transaction and disappear into thin air. They are interested in the bus till the last day it’s in your possession because they may want to buy or accept a trade-in vehicle when you don’t need it anymore. Of course they will purchase only if it was well maintained and at a reasonable price that is profitable to them. However, it should be kept in mind that this is the fastest way to get rid of a vehicle that is no longer needed. Owners can waste several months finding the perfect buyer and until then the bus will be gathering dust in their yard or by the side of the road, plus there will be additional marketing cost and effort that owners might be spending listing their bus for sale at various online market places across the internet. The distraction, time, and attention they will be spending with unqualified buyers just isn’t worth it in most cases. Avoid all the hassle, just pickup the phone and ask your dealership to pick up the vehicle. That’s how simple the bus disposal process is when you have a licensed dealership to work with.
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.
Every small bus for sale is subjected to “rust” which is the oxidation of metal when it comes in contact with moisture, air and salt. It’s an electrochemical process that every vehicle is susceptible to over time. It’s important to stop rust in its initial stages in order to prevent it from spreading all over the vehicle as it severely weakens the metal and can cause accidents leading to potential injuries of passengers as well as others on the road. When buying a bus, the buyer should thoroughly inspect it before making a final decision. The bus buying process is tedious, time consuming and every buyer including experienced operators have to go through this grinding process to get the best deal on the vehicle. There is no point in buying a low mileage bus if the previous owner did not perform regular undercarriage washing and roof seal checking and resealing on a regular schedule and let water penetrate the vehicle. It should be remembered that body rust only grows and does not stop unless treated. So a tiny small rust patch today can turn into a big hole penetrating through the metal body rapidly. There are no strict rules to follow. A bus that has been in use for 5, 7, or even 10 years and has acquired thousands of miles is bound to have some form of superficial rust on undercarriage but that is normal wear and tear until the body structure, frame, or sidewalls are compromised. Always expect a used vehicle to have some rust on the undercarriage, just like any other preowned vehicle.
A small bus for sale in snowy and mountainous region tends to have more rust than those from other regions because of the high amount of salt present on the roads during the winter season and in the atmosphere. When salt comes in contact with the metal on the short bus, it accelerates oxidation that causes rust. If untreated, it will spread, bubble the paint coating and ultimately weaken the strength of the metal causing an unsightly appearance. The electronic and hydraulic systems are also vulnerable to rust since they are made up of metallic components susceptible to oxidation. For example, the brake discs and brake lines, a part of the braking system can get rusted too, resulting in poor braking and potential brake failure.
On the other hand, it should not be assumed that a small bus for sale from dry or warm region will have little rust. This is untrue, most rust comes from under the bus and is caused by dampness rising from unpaved parking lots and damaged seals on the roof. Always ask the owner for previous maintenance records and that if any rust repair work was ever done on the vehicle. If the minibus has a history of rust problems, then it’s a sign of caution and demands close inspection.
If the bus is heavily rusted and obvious to the eye, then it’s better to ignore it at first sight and move on to the next bus. Many times this is not the case because the sellers are smart enough to repaint the damaged areas of the bus and even change the soft spots on the wood floor just to make it appear normal. They may even label the vehicle as mint or like new to make a quick sale. Since some sellers are sometimes disingenuous, buyers have to be aware, smart enough to get a qualified independent inspection. They have to understand that rust can be hiding inside or underneath the bus, not outside, the biggest rust issues are often not visible to the untrained eye. Buses are manufactured from the ground up, first the chassis then the body. So the inspection too has to be performed from the ground up. Since it’s the chassis that holds the critical parts of the vehicle like engine, transmission, floor, dashboard, wheels, radiator, brakes, etc., it’s important to thoroughly inspect the chassis as any damage here can endanger the lives of people riding it and others too. Moreover, fixing rust or changing parts in this area of the small bus for sale after purchase can be expensive and wreak havoc with your budget. Incidentally, the engine and transmission are bolted together and kept in position with the help of engine mounts, one for the transmission and 2 or 3 for the engine. So if there is too much rust or wear on the engine mounts then it’s time to replace them. Check with the owner if he is ready to replace the mounts or get an estimate as to how much it will cost you to get it replaced. The selling price of the bus should be discounted accordingly.
Most first time buyers are neither qualified nor experienced enough to inspect a bus “in-depth”. Therefore, a thorough inspection by professional inspectors is desirable to inspect the tiny bus from the outside, inside, and underneath and even into the exhaust system components. The inspector should focus on all major parts of the bus like engine, transmission, radiator, engine mounts, air conditioner, braking system, electronic system, hydraulic system, and floor system, etc. and give you a detailed report. Listen to his advice carefully and don’t let your immediate need for a bus or a good deal cloud your buying decision.
Buyers should have a qualified repair shop in sight beforehand should they decide to fix the small bus for sale by themselves. Bus repair shops are just not available everywhere. Repairing a rusty vehicle can be a time consuming process and can potentially cost $3,000 or even up to $4,000 to fix them depending upon the affected area. What’s expensive is the labor cost because it takes hours and hours to complete the restoration process. If this process includes replacing parts then the total cost will be even higher. It’s better to stay away from such a mess unless you have an in-house bus repair mechanic that can do the work. However, if the buyer is ready to spend extra and take on the responsibility of fixing the bus by themselves then they should create a detailed plan and make a step by step timeline to fix it. The plan should include:
1. How much has rust spread on the bus body, its exterior, and in undercarriage areas?
2. Can the problem(s) be fixed?
3. How much will it cost to repair the rust on the bus?
4. Will damaged parts have to be replaced or repaired?.
5. Are the parts available locally or will they have to be shipped from other states?
6. If the parts are available in local markets then what is their cost and where exactly to get them from? eBay, bus repair shops, manufacturers, dealerships, etc.
7. How much time will it take to complete the repairs including any replacements? 8. Finally, will the bus be fully functional through the end of its useful life or safety be compromised?
Rust builds up gradually in 3 main phases and some proper ways to fix it:
1. Surface Rust: This starts from cracks or scratches on the painted surface of the bus. There are several layers of coating on the body of the vehicle to prevent it from getting exposed to moisture and salt present in the air. On the body, first, there is a thick layer of Primer Coat, then Color Coat. All these layers of coating prevent the air from coming in direct contact with the metal body of the vehicle. But when there is a crack or scratch, these layers break and give an opening to the air to reach the metallic surface which causes oxidation leading to rust. This is the initial stage of rust on the body, it’s important to fix it immediately or else it will start spreading. Use a sandpaper or grinding wheel to buff out the layers of paint and corrosion until the bright metal appears, then apply a primer coat and finish coat properly. Buff it again to blend as needed. Buses with fiberglass bodies do not suffer from surface rust because they are made of nonmetallic substances like fiber and glass which are stronger and more durable than metal. While they do not rust, cracks can appear over time due to changes in temperature.
2. Scale Rust: Surface rust can quickly become scale rust if not treated in time. What was initially a scratch or a crack may spread to cover a larger area of the metal body. Because rust has a tendency to spread, it may also affect the floor and steps of the small bus for sale. The affected region will rust and corrode thus weakening the strength of the body. Use a wire brush and grinding wheel to remove the rust and then use sandpaper to smoothen the surface. You may have to weld in new metal or piece in new plywood to the steps or floor and then use paint, primer coat, and finally color coat to finish off the task.
3. Penetration Rust: When scale rust is left unattended for too long the metal body starts developing holes and becomes weak. A quick way to identify if scale rust has developed into penetration rust is to light a torch on the other side of the affected region in a dark room or a garage. If light penetrates the metal sheet and is seen on the other side then its penetration rust. The owner will have to take the bus to a repair shop, the mechanic will first remove the corroded region, then weld in a metal part of equal thickness, then apply paint, primer coat and clear coat. This is a time consuming process and can be expensive too.
The easiest way to avoid rust is to act as quickly as possible and get rid of it before it starts to spread. A shuttle bus in cold or wet areas should be washed frequently, it should be rinsed and left to dry off completely to remove any traces of salt that might have accumulated on the exterior and underneath the bus. The driver should avoid driving the vehicle through potholes. Any signs of cracks, scratches, and paint openings should be fixed immediately. Check for signs of rust under the vehicle and use rust converters and protective undercoating and primers. The purpose of stopping rust is to prevent the electrochemical oxidation on the bare metal, as long as there is a good solid coating it will not rust.
Buses are purchased with the sole intention of transporting people “right now” and most buyers don’t want to get into the nitty-gritty to buy a bus that is damaged and then spends thousands of additional dollars to fix it. It’s better to buy the second hand bus from a licensed bus dealer as they should be expected to recondition their used buses for sale from bumper to bumper before selling them to the next buyer. The reconditioning process requires the inspection of many components. Any part that fails the inspection by professionals is either repaired or replaced. This process gives a new life to the small bus for sale and they are even certified “Ready-to-hit-the-Road” in America by those technicians. Such fully reconditioned and DOT certified buses can cost more than those being sold by private individuals but it gives buyers the assurance and satisfaction that their vehicle will not break down on the way home or incur unexpected catastrophic failures and repair costs. Many private sellers indulge in deceptive practices like repainting the bus with house paint, mismatching its seats, or labeling it as a “money maker”. Most frequently they say that it rides like new but ignores the details. This is not a safe way to purchase a bus as a bus requires the inspection, repair, and replacement of many components. Private sellers neither have the budget nor the expertise to fully recondition their buses and often they indulge in misrepresentation to make a quick sale. It’s better to buy the bus from licensed bus dealers that are bonded by state automobile dealer regulations. Buses purchased from such dealerships don’t need to be repaired and can be driven home right away. They last for years and many dealers are even ready to buy back the bus at a reasonable price several years down the road when it’s no longer required by the owners. This is one of the quickest and easiest ways to update the vehicle.
A shuttle bus for sale is a vehicle that typically is used to transport people between two fixed points for short and medium distance trips usually spanning less than an hour. These buses are relatively small in size yet able to accommodate groups of people and they are used for picking up and dropping off passengers either from place to place or to destinations or terminals for other modes of transportation. Due to their less turning radius, they can easily maneuver through busy traffic, narrow streets, and locations not accessible by other larger vehicles. There are two types of shuttle buses namely mini and medium-sized. The minibus is usually defined as seating up to 15 passengers and does not require a commercial license in most instances, whereas the medium-sized shuttle is capable of accommodating 16 to 29 passengers or more and requires a commercial driver’s license with a passenger endorsement. Both can be either equipped with diesel or gas engines, but most buyers prefer gasoline since they are easier to maintain, emit fewer pollutants, and are the dominant engine type in North America. Shuttles are commonly used for passenger interconnections in both towns and cities as well as in suburban venues.
There are several ways a shuttle bus can be used:
1. Jitney Bus Service: The shuttle for sale can be used to transport a small or large number of people directly between urban areas to suburban regions for a fee. Such services are frequently referred to as a Jitney Bus or Dollar Ride service because the riders have to pay a fixed amount to reach their destination. They are also used to transport people directly from suburban areas to the large population and business centers in the city.
2. Park and Ride Service: These services are generally offered by transportation operators and businesses because they do not have sufficient parking space to accommodate the vehicles of every person or employee. The members or employees are picked up or drive to drive from their homes to the parking lots nearest to their office train, intercity bus, or church. A shuttle bus waiting at the parking lot picks and drops them off to their office location or church and vice versa by the end of the day. These shuttle services provide great relief to churches who have problems managing the number of cars parked outside their premises. In order to keep their membership growing many churches are forced to offer this type of transportation to their congregation.
3. Feeder Bus Service: These services are offered by private transportation operators to people residing in a particular neighborhood where the shuttle bus picks them up at a predetermined time and drops them off to the nearest railway stations, airport, sea transit or intercity bus station. This service is widely used by people living in suburban regions who have to travel daily to their respective places of employment (POE) in business and population centers across the city OR they are used in places that are far away from other modes of transportation. The same service is repeated in the evening to get people back to their homes from the airport, railway or bus station.
4. Airport Shuttle Service: This service is similar to Feeder Bus Service and is dedicated to pick up and drop off passengers to and from the airport. Most hotels and motels are located within a distance of 2 miles of the airport and many offer around the clock airport shuttle services to all terminals for their guests every 10 to 15 minutes from the airport terminal to the motel or hotel’s lobby and vice versa. The transportation is often complementary and does not require advance reservations. However, other hotels and venues situated at more distant locations may offer shuttle service less frequently and require advance reservations as well. Sometimes these airport shuttles are also used to transport people within the airport from one terminal to another. Since the distance is short, these buses often have less sitting space and more standing space to accommodate the maximum number of passengers along with their luggage positioned on luggage racks.
5. Shopping Mall Shuttle Service: This service is offered by shopping malls on a daily, weekly, or occasional basis where the bus picks up people at a certain location or locations and drops them at the mall at a predetermined schedule. During holidays and other sale periods, this service helps the mall make more sales and also offers added convenience for the needs of the customers. Similarly, this service is sometimes offered by movie theatres and casinos. Any business that is frequented by customers on a daily, weekly, or occasional basis can offer this service to their customers to make it easier for them to travel to the business, thus easing the burdens of customers and generating more revenue than average.
6. Rail Replacement Bus Service: This service is offered by railway companies to provide an alternate mode of transportation for railway passengers during pre-planned maintenance of tracks or other planned closures. They even cover unplanned closures such as derailments.
7. Church Bus Ministry Service: The Bible suggests every church to reach out to people especially those in need whenever possible. Churches do this by offering pickup and drop off services to their congregation with the help of a Church Bus. These are often small buses capable of seating up to 25 passengers and navigating the narrow streets in almost any neighborhood, usually within a distance of one hour from the Church. Their bus service is offered on Sundays but the vehicle is also used for other activities like religious school, retreats, special events, mission trips, youth camps, community kitchens, etc.
Buses v/s Cars: How safe is a shuttle bus?
Recent research and studies have found that traveling by bus is far safer than traveling by car not only for those occupying the vehicle but also for cyclists and pedestrians. This research conducted in Montreal, Canada found that car occupants were 15 times more likely to get injured than bus occupants, and several pedestrians and cyclists (up to 95%) were injured by cars rather than buses. The study also found that buses did not cause the death of any cyclists but were related to 4 pedestrian deaths. On the other hand, motor cars caused the deaths of 3 cyclists and 42 pedestrians in a single year. Considering these facts and figures, it will be safe to say that traveling by bus is safer than traveling by car.
Buses v/s Vans: Is a 15 seat shuttle bus safer than a 15 passenger van or vice versa?
Passenger vans came into widespread use during the late 1960’s when there was a sharp rise in the number of churches that began providing additional services across the United States. With the rise in the number of churches came the demand for transporting both small and large groups for people easily and efficiently. This demand was typically fulfilled by passenger vans and they have been used for transporting church congregations and by schools ever since. Passenger vans however come with known comfort and safety issues.
1. Their extended length and height make them an inherent safety issue.
2. Passengers do not have sufficient space to stand up inside a van.
3. The van usually has bench seats and a very narrow right side aisle.
4. Vans DO NOT have dual rear wheels, which makes them highly unstable during reflex traffic maneuvers.
5. NOT having dual rear wheels creates a higher center of gravity which causes rollover and tire blowouts making them highly unstable and unsafe for public transportation.
6. As a precautionary measure, a van should not seat more than 10 passengers. That means 3 vans will be required to transport 30 passengers.
7. Vans have a high entry point which is highly uncomfortable for senior passengers.
8. The Federal law prohibits the sale of large vans to schools.
In 2005, the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) had found that the rollover risk of a van increases by 35% when it is carrying 10 to 15 passengers, and this risk increases by up to 70% when it’s loaded with 16+ passengers. This was their 3rd advisory in the past 4 years and it also claimed that between 1990 and 2003 more than 400 people had lost their lives due to rollover accidents and hundreds of others have been seriously injured. Be sure to visit their website http://www.nhtsa.gov
After the 3rd advisory was released, several insurance companies stepped in and refused to carry insurance on van purchases for the future and simply raised premiums OR canceled them on existing vans. This led to the van owners selling their 15 passenger vans and replacing them with a 15 passenger shuttle bus for sale. The demand for shuttle buses has been on the rise ever since.
Benefits of buying a 15 passenger shuttle bus over 15 passenger vans:
1. A shuttle bus for sale is built on a cutaway van chassis.
2. Manufacturers like Ford, Chevrolet, and others take the van chassis and build the shuttle bus on top of it.
3. Different manufacturers have their own unique style of building the bus but they have to meet quality and safety standards to sell their vehicles to the public.
4. They have dual rear wheels which make it more stable with a wider base to keep the vehicle steadier and create a lower center of gravity making 15 passenger buses much safer than 15 passenger vans.
4. Steel cage construction on the sidewalls and lower center of gravity are two important facets of shuttle bus construction.
5. Riders are more comfortable with standard individual bucket seats, center aisle, and sufficient space to be able to stand up.
6. Because of their dual rear wheels and better load dynamics, there is less likelihood of rollover or tire blowouts which makes them far safer than vans.
7. They have wheelchair lifts or lower entry points making them easily accessible to senior and disabled passengers. This low entry is achieved by adding entry steps or lowering the floor of the bus which increases its height thus enabling passengers to stand when inside the bus. This additional height is complemented by the roof hatches, escape windows, rear doors, and the dual rear wheels keeping the vehicle and passengers safer.
Comfort and Fuel Economy in Buses, Cars, and Vans
A medium-sized shuttle bus for sale with 25 passengers will deliver up to 12 miles per gallon. It will typically consume just 10 gallons of fuel to transport the passengers from point A to point B on a 100-mile trip.
Passenger vans cannot offer the same economies or performance because for safety reasons they should not be loaded with more than 10 passengers, thus requiring multiple vehicles to make the trip. That means 3 vans will be required to ferry 25 passengers and even if the vans offer similar fuel economy to that of a mid-sized shuttle bus, the 3 vehicles may consume 30 gallons of fuel to travel the same distance of 100 miles. Moreover, maintaining and managing one vehicle is better than three considering the cost of driver fees, insurance, repairs, parking, fuel, etc.
The same is the story with cars. A car or SUV can carry up to 7 passengers. So, 4-6 cars will be required to transport 25 passengers. Each car will need a dedicated driver. Even if the car delivers 20 miles per gallon they will consume 5 gallons each to travel a distance of 100 miles, the 6 cars will consume 30 gallons of fuel.
Looking at the above numbers a shuttle bus for sale is obviously the best choice to transport 25 passengers at the lowest price. Furthermore, the passengers are able to stand up, move around the bus, spread their legs, or even recline back on their seats (with optional seating), and enjoy the journey by looking out of the large tinted windows. Such comfort is not offered by cars or vans.
Buses with diesel engines will offer better fuel economy than gasoline engines at 12-15 miles per gallon, so to transport 25 passengers over a distance of 100 miles, they may consume roughly about 8 gallons of fuel.
Shuttle Buses equipped with a Wheelchair Lift
When some of the passengers are seniors, physically disabled, or those requiring wheelchairs, then transporting them requires a specially equipped bus that can move them in and out safely. This equipment is very important for wheelchair-bound passengers for obvious reasons. To fulfill this demand, manufacturers have designed their buses with high capacity wheelchair lifts on their buses that typically can handle weights of up to 800 lbs. The senior or disabled passenger attendant has to position their passenger on the lift and get them lifted inside the bus with the press of a button. Once inside, the bus is equipped with automatic wheelchair tie-downs that will secure the wheelchairs in a fixed position and prevent them from rolling around the passenger cabin while taking their ride. A wheelchair lift-equipped shuttle bus for sale can normally accommodate up to 2 – 5 wheelchair positions. But what if there are 3+ wheelchair passengers? To overcome this problem manufacturers install double flip seats inside their buses so the number of wheelchairs and regular seats can be adjusted on-demand. Wheelchair buses can now accommodate up to 6 wheelchairs with the additional attendant or passenger seats depending on the overall size of the bus.
Wheelchair buses v/s Wheelchair vans
What if a family wants to buy a wheelchair vehicle for one of its disabled members? They can opt to buy a wheelchair van or wheelchair accessible car rather than an entire bus. These para-transit vans for sale are capable of accommodating up to three wheelchair positions and still have space for up to 4 attendants or passengers. The wheelchair lift is either situated at the side of the van or at the rear end. They have automatic tie-downs and flip seats too. Another person can help the disabled passenger get into the van or the handicapped person can wheel themselves in with the help of the control panels situated at the entry door. The side entry handicap vans are more common than rear entry vans because it lets the disabled passenger get to the front seat easily. Rollover safety is not a concern because as a design feature these disability vans always seat less than 10 people on the same chassis as a 15 seater van. They even have a high top roof and often a low floor to let passengers stand up inside the van.
For more information on the above shuttle bus for sale or to check out the large stock of fully reconditioned used shuttle buses and wheelchair vans in our inventory visit our website and call the CEO, Charles Kaufman at 516-333-7483 today!
A minibus for sale is one of the smallest buses that can be purchased on the market today. It can seat up to 15 passengers including the driver as a Non-CDL vehicle and can be configured for up to 28 passengers. A minibus can operate within a radius of 2 – 2000 miles. Their dimensions usually fall in the range of less than 25 feet in length, 8.0 feet in width, and 9.5 feet in height. Due to their small size, they require less parking space and can be easily maneuvered through both busy city streets and narrow lanes. They open up business opportunities to startup entrepreneurs that larger buses can’t due to their wide turning radius. These short buses are often used to transport the handicapped or simply to reduce walking time, for example from large parking lots to the town business center. First-time bus buyers often start their business with these small buses because it will give them the knowledge and first-hand experience of handling a bus, the operational requirements as well as how to maintain them. One of the key benefits of owning a minibus for sale is that it can often be operated with a regular license if less than 15 seats, they do not require a commercial license to operate them. This advantage is a boon for startup churches, businesses, and not for profit facilities. These users can operate their entire fleet of minibuses with a regular license. Drivers with commercial licenses often require a higher wage than those without and maintaining a resource of commercial drivers can become a financial burden for many startups and small businesses and organizations.
So what is the solution? On one hand, we have new minibuses for sale that cost $50,000 and up, and on the other hand, minibus rentals can cost up to $1,700 a day. Both these options are not good for startups and for those with limited budgets. So how do we solve the problem of regular group transportation? The answer is simple, buy them preowned and their cost will fall by more than half of their original price. Is buying a used minibus for sale a good option for the long term? The answer is yes because minibuses have a lifespan of up to 15 years or more and up to 300,000 miles. Most buyers with deep pockets do not need them that long and often resell them in less than 10 years and since these vehicles were used just a few times a week, often they don’t log more than 100,000 miles on their odometers during their first period of ownership. This simply means these used short buses for sale are typically good to use for another 5 years or more and up to another 200,000 miles. So even if they are being sold preowned, they have a lot of life left in them which can result in sizable savings for thousands of churches, businesses, and organizations with limited budgets across the United States. This is the stage when owning a bus becomes really easy and affordable to a much wider group of buyers in America. The price of a minibus for sale with one previous owner can range from $10,000 to $35,000 depending on several factors like age, mileage, seating capacity. engine size, engine type, comfort features, and much more.
People generally think that buying a bus is expensive which is true but when people think of buses, they often think about the large buses that are difficult to manage, park, drive and maintain. What they don’t realize is that buses can be of smaller size too and these smaller styles are called minibuses, short, small or even shuttle buses. They are much cheaper and affordable than a full-sized luxury coach bus. The average starting price of a basic 15 passenger bus for sale is roughly around $50,000 plus tax if applicable. Now that is a relatively small price to pay for a bus but its still more expensive than an extended van and many startup businesses and organizations with limited budgets can’t think of spending $50,000 for a bus. So what these companies and institutions do is hire a bus whenever they need to transport groups of several people. Bus rentals can be a good solution for group transportation if it’s a one-time event like a birthday party or a wedding ceremony. But when groups of people need to be transported regularly then bus rentals can become a financial burden because the average hourly cost of hiring a minibus is $125 to $160 and the daily cost is $1,300 to $1,700. For example, if a church wants to offer pickup and drop off services to its congregation every Sunday then it will have to hire a minibus for several hours every Sunday, this will be very expensive considering the fact that there are roughly 52 Sundays plus extra days for retreats, events and other activities in a calendar year and the Church will require the bus service year after year.
Evaluate the differences:
A new minibus for sale has a lifespan of 15 years and up to 300,000 miles and costs around $50,000 or more.
A used mini bus for sale has a lifespan of more than 5 years and up to 200,000 miles and has an average cost of around $25,000.
The financial advantage is more than obvious.
Owning a minibus is typically much more affordable.
Previously, a church may have to spend as much as $1,700 every week to transport 15 members of its group. The used bus requires a one-time investment of $25,000 to transport the same number of people for many years.
The long-term savings are obvious?
Bus rentals could have potentially cost the organization $88,400 a year for transporting 15 persons i.e. $1,700 (avg. cost of hiring a minibus) X 52 (number of Sundays in a year) = $88,400.
Buying a used minibus for sale will cost the group only $25,000 for many years of service for transporting the same number of people. It’s a one-time financial investment (plus maintenance and insurance of course).
The same story goes with every business and organization out there. The math remains the same irrespective if its a church or a construction company that frequently needs to transport its employees from company headquarters to the construction site OR it’s a party venue that needs to pick up and drop its customers every weekend OR it’s a corporate business that needs to pick up and drop its employee to the parking lot and attending corporate meetings OR its an Airport Shuttle that needs to transport passengers from the home to the airport.
The possibilities are limitless on how an affordable used small bus for sale can be employed to solve the problem of group transportation across all sectors and industries.
But did you know that apart from solving the problem of group transportation in businesses and organizations, a minibus for sale can also be used as a Recreational Vehicle by private individuals OR as a Mobile Shop or Office by a smart entrepreneur?
A recreational vehicle has a comfortable living space for the driver and their family or friends inside the vehicle and is well suited for long trips. Often called an RV, they are used by travel enthusiasts to fulfill their wanderlust and journey across the countryside and even the continent. Sometimes, a pickup truck and trailer combo are used to tow an RV trailer, where the truck was used to drive and the trailer was used for accommodation. Manufacturers through the years have replaced the truck + trailer combo with Custom RV’s sometimes costing $500,000 or more. The occasional traveler now has the option of outfitting buses for much the same purpose for a small fraction of the cost with one vehicle being used to drive as well as for accommodation, this innovation is far more convenient than the truck and trailer combo. However, a new RV for sale is expensive and costs are out of reach for most in today’s economy which makes it impossible to own by most travel enthusiasts.
But people got creative once again and started purchasing fully reconditioned used buses for sale in the range of $15,000 to $35,000 and converted them into Recreational Vehicles. When the passenger seats are removed from a minibus, one gets an empty space of roughly 210 sq feet that can be fitted with basic living requirements like a bed, couch, water tank, refrigerator, microwave, gas stove, storage necessities including, seats, tables, etc. Installing a power inverter will help power the fridge, microwave, and other electrical applications with standard AC wall outlets on the bus while on the road. Minor plumbing will allow the bus to be hooked up with water supplies available at campgrounds or rest stops available across the USA. The owner can do this conversion all by himself or outsource it to a professional carpenter or handyman. With the use of new or recycled materials, the conversion process should not cost more than $10,000, in either case. Travel enthusiasts can now be the proud owner of a converted RV bus for less than $35,000. Compare this amount to spending hundreds of thousands on buying a brand new RV. Their dream to travel across the North American Continent from New England or Florida to California is now a reality. Families can use this bus conversion to visit every attraction, zoo, and national park across the USA. When you own an RV bus, you can use it for any purpose you wish to use it
Considering the huge demand for affordable recreational vehicles across the United States, travel enthusiasts can spend $25,000 to $35,000 to buy a used minibus for sale, then spend another $10,000 to convert it into an RV bus, use it for years and resell it to another travel enthusiast for almost the same amount that they spent initially to buy and convert the bus. Many curious people will question “is it really possible to resell the RV bus conversion for the same amount it was purchased for initially even after 5 years in use?”, the answer is YES. As we discussed earlier, used buses for sale have up to 200,000 unutilized miles on the odometer. When the vehicle is used to travel from Florida to California, it has acquired just 6,000 -10,000 new miles including the return leg and it still has 190,000 miles left to be used for the next adventure or by the next owner. Even if the present owner uses the RV bus for 50,000 miles over the next 5 years, the vehicle still has 150,000 miles left on its odometer which can be used by the next owner to fulfill their wanderlust. The bottom line, the owner of a converted RV bus can resell his or her vehicle for the same amount even after 5 years.
Just like the passenger seats can be removed to fit bed and couches in the minibus. Similarly, office equipment can be fitted in the empty space to convert the bus into a mobile office. Equipment such as computers, laptops, printers, fax machines, telephone, wifi routers, mobile charging units, etc. will equip the bus with everything to make it a mobile office. The installation of a power inverter should be sufficient to power all these items while the engine is running and a generator or plug-in adapter will work well when the bus is not in motion. These mobile offices are extremely useful for business executives who are always on the move. For example, when the distance between the airport and office spreads across several hours, most executives work on laptops from their cars. But cars are too small, they can neither equip other applications required by a regular office nor do they have the space to let executives move around comfortably. In such situations, mobile offices can be used to save and optimize thousands of business hours as executives travel from one destination to another. Mobile offices can also be used at locations far away from the city centers like a construction site which lacks the basic facilities enjoyed by offices in modern cities. Used buses for sale converted into Mobile Office perfectly fit the corporate jargon “Work as you travel”. They make life easier for the executives as well as save thousands of hours that would have otherwise been wasted and recorded as “downtime” or “travel time”.
Traditionally shops are set up where customers can come and buy merchandise. But when the need arises to reach out to every customer individually, then there needs to be a better solution and no other vehicle fills this demand than a used bus for sale. For example; after removing the seats the passenger cabin can be fitted with mirrors and some furniture to convert the bus into a mobile barbershop, nail salon, or chiropractic office. Similarly, the passenger cabin can be outfitted with gym equipment to convert the bus into a mobile gym or physical therapy vehicle. Buses are often used as mobile medical clinics or first responder headquarters in disaster-struck regions. They can also be used as mobile classrooms, exam centers, blood testing centers, etc. A mirror and specialty seating can also convert the bus into a mobile beauty salon shop. The possibilities are limitless on which type of special use you want to set up if you own a minibus. They can also be used as a mobile food commissary, restaurant, ice cream, fast food truck, recruiting center, or a mobile showroom.
Many marketing executives have reported that a mobile shop gives them the advantage to communicate and focus on their customers by disconnecting them completely from the ambient environment which increased their overall sales.
These mobile shops can be used to sell merchandise or professional services. During the 2020 CoronaVirus pandemic in the United States, many cities were locked down with shops and businesses shut for several months. People were not allowed to gather in public and were advised to maintain a distance of 6 feet from each other. During this lockdown period, many Barbershops and Beauty Salons got creative and instead of asking their customers to visit their shop, they purchased a used bus and converted it into a mobile barbershop or beauty salon to proactively reach out to customers who needed their service and maintain their clientele. This was one of the ways many small business owners got creative and used a converted minibus to reach out to their clients in times of need.
Major Vehicle Exchange is a licensed and bonded used bus dealership that has been selling its 15 passenger fully reconditioned used mini buses to buyers across the United States for more than 35 years. All our vehicles have clear title, one previous owner, clean CarFax or AutoCheck report and are certified ready to hit the road by DOT technicians. For more information visit our website at www.GetAnyBus.com and call the owner Mr. Charles Kaufman at 516-333-7483 today!