Your Charter Bus Rental Cost: What to Expect, What’s Included

June 11, 2019

No matter the charter bus rental cost, a rented is an excellent option for a variety of occasions as using a bus keeps everyone in your group together and safe while on the town. Having someone else drive you and your group around for a day or evening also means not having to worry about traffic or unfamiliar routes, having to concentrate on the road rather than your family or friends, or being concerned about whether or not someone has had too much to drink to get behind the wheel!

Average charter bus rental costs might run from $100 to $300 an hour or more, depending on the bus size and amenities included, such as food, drinks, music, Wi-Fi, phone chargers, speaker systems, TV monitor, and a bathroom with shower.

If you've never chartered a party bus or rented a limousine, note a few critical steps in the process as well as some surprises you might encounter along the way. Knowing everything involved in a charter bus rental cost can help ensure that you'll find the perfect bus for your group and that you don't overlook any detail in your rental agreement.

charter bus costs

What Is Better, a Party Bus or Charter Bus Rental Cost?

It’s vital to understand the differences in various charter bus rentals so you know which type of bus would suit your needs in particular. Typically the term “chartered bus” refers to a long coach with lots of seats, similar to a bus used for public transportation. This type of coach might also come with a few amenities such as a sound system with a microphone, Wi-Fi, and television.

A party bus, as the name implies, is meant specifically for a party! A party bus will usually have long bench seats rather than rows of seats, flashing lights, a place for cold drinks, speakers for music, and Wi-Fi for downloading your music playlist.

Why Choose a “Party Bus Near Me”?

Chartering a bus is an excellent choice for a variety of groups and occasions. Check out when you might rent a coach or choose a hired bus versus driving individual cars, no matter the charter bus rental cost:

  • Businesses might hire a bus when they need a group of employees to travel anywhere at one time, even from the airport to a nearby office. Keeping all employees on a bus allows a coordinator to take attendance and ensures that no one gets lost in an unfamiliar town.
  • Church groups going to an unfamiliar town or city might hire a bus and especially if there are youths or minors in their group. Not only does this ensure that no one gets lost but church volunteers especially might not have funds to rent a car or even use public transportation.
  • Universities might rent a bus to take students on specific trips and sightseeing excursions, as not all university students have a car! Public transportation might also be unreliable in certain areas and students from out of town might find it difficult to navigate trains and subways.
  • A sports team does well to rent a bus for “away games.” A chartered bus ensures that athletes don't need to rent a car, worry about heavy traffic, or risk missing a public bus when trying to get to a game.
party bus rental

Can Individuals Rent a Party Bus?

Companies, schools, and other institutions often rent hired coaches, but individuals might also search for “charter bus companies near me” and opt for chartered buses for a variety of occasions:

  • If you're having a large group of relatives visiting from out of town and want to show them around the city, a sightseeing bus is an excellent choice. Sightseeing buses have floor-to-ceiling windows that won't obscure anyone’s view from inside the bus. Having someone else drive also allows you to spend time with your relatives rather than worrying about dealing with traffic and finding your destination, a parking spot, and so on.
  • A chartered bus is an excellent choice for wedding parties that won't fit in standard limousines! Rather than renting several cars for your wedding, you might rent a luxury bus that will fit the entire bridal party and even all your visiting family members.
  • When planning a special birthday party, anniversary party, graduation party, or other such event, you might consider renting a bus for the honored guests and their close friends and immediate family. A rented party bus is also a fun choice for a young child's party, as he or she might love to ride in a bus with all their friends to your chosen venue, a local park, and so on.
  • A large group of friends attending a concert or other such show might want to rent a bus, to ensure no one is left behind and that no one has had too many drinks before getting behind the wheel! A coach can also allow your group to disembark at the front entrance of the concert hall, so no one needs to miss the opening act just because they were trying to find parking.

How Do You Rent a Cheap Party Bus?

The first thing you need to do before renting a cheap party bus is to note the number of passengers and all the stops you want to make along the way. Next, list all the amenities and features you'll want on your bus, including some “must haves” and the features you might do without to save some money. Consider a few features you might include:

  • Phone chargers are essential for long trips when passengers won't have an opportunity to plug their phones into a wall outlet.
  • Wi-Fi is also often needed for long trips, as passengers might want to check their email or update their social media statuses while en route to your destination. Wi-Fi also allows you to play music from an online playlist or to tune into an online radio station, to keep passengers entertained.
  • TV monitors and a DVD player or USB port you can use to plug a smart phone into the monitor can keep passengers entertained while on the bus, or you might use the TV monitor to show instructional videos, corporate videos, and the like.
  • Do you need storage on the bus? Lunch bags and briefcases fit in an overhead bin, but luggage, prototypes, musical instruments, and sporting goods might require exterior storage. Ask if there are storage or restraint requirements for the type of gear you’re bringing and ensure you have a complete list of what items so your bus rental agent can note the type of coach you might require.

After you list all these items, consider if you want and can afford some luxurious features, such as reclining or oversized seats, air conditioning, personal stereo or TV hookups, and so on. You also need to note any other special needs or requirements for your passengers and especially for long trips, such as handicap accessibility, a bathroom, bunk beds, and individual climate control.

charter bus rental near me

How Do You Choose Affordable Party Bus Rentals?

Once you've listed your requirements for a “charter bus rental near me,” you can call around for estimates and quotes on various buses. You'll want to ensure you check the photos of each bus itself rather than just browsing stock photos or photos of similar buses before you agree to a rental.

Charter bus companies should keep their coaches in tiptop shape and ensure that they're scrupulously clean, with repairs to upholstery and other features performed quickly and professionally. However, it's still good to ensure the bus you choose is clean and in good condition and especially if you're hosting out-of-town guests, business associations, and the like.

You might also want to check the width of seats, size of windows, and other such details when you tour various buses for rent. You might realize that specific seating sizes are cramped and crowded, or that standard windows are overly small and create a claustrophobic feeling inside the bus. Whatever the case, try to check out a coach in person before you sign a rental agreement.

What Is Included in a Charter Bus Rental Cost?

Your “charter bus rental near me” agent will usually note specific details included in your rental contract, such as surcharges for gasoline or excessive mileage. However, you should also indicate other information about your rental agreement, to ensure there are no surprises at the end of your trip:

  • Ask if your fee includes a gratuity for the driver. Even so, you might still want to give the driver a bit of extra cash and especially if he or she was exceptionally helpful and accommodating during your trip.
  • Note if you're allowed to eat and drink on the bus and if alcohol is allowed. In many cases, passengers can eat and drink and adults are allowed to drink alcoholic beverages, but you might need to pay an added deposit. Any extra cleanup required, including the disposal of food wrappers and beverage containers or messes left because someone drank too much, might mean losing that deposit!
  • Ask if you'll be charged by the mile or hour; sightseeing tours are often charged by the mile whereas a bus used to take a group to a business conference might be rented by the hour since the bus will usually sit idle during the conference itself. Whatever the case, consider if you might adjust those charges for your group by changing your plans; for instance, if you were to make a detailed schedule for your sightseeing tour and stick to that schedule, you might be charged by the hour rather than miles.

Be sure to read your agreement carefully, so you know everything included in your charter bus rental cost and aren't overlooking any details regarding your fees or potential charges.

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