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Motorcoach vs School Bus: Whats The Difference?


There are so many different ways to travel and different methods for traveling. You can travel by air or by road. You can travel by train. You can travel between destinations in your everyday vehicle. But what do you do when you’re traveling with a large group of people? Large groups won’t fit into a normal vehicle. It can be expensive to travel by air. So what do you do?

BusRates offers many different types of buses and vehicles to accommodate you and your large parties, such as motorcoaches and school buses. Whether you’re traveling with a large group of family or friends, a wedding party or a church group, BusRates can get your party to and from your destination!

Though we offer many different vehicles for travel, we are going to break down the difference between a motorcoach and a school bus, as these are both excellent and common ways for larger parties to travel together. 

What is a School Bus?

I’m sure if you’re looking into renting a vehicle, you’re old enough to remember school buses! Nowadays, most school buses are yellow, so they are easy to spot. You may never have thought about a school bus when it comes to traveling with a large group of people, but renting or hiring a school bus is an option to consider!

Pros of Renting a School Bus

So why should you consider a school bus? Let’s take a look at the following benefits:

  1. Can fit up to about 60 people
  2. Most of them are wheelchair accessible 
  3. Budget-friendly  
  4. Great for traveling short distances
  5. Most have AC and heat

Cons of Renting a School Bus

Though a school bus is a great travel option, there can be the following disadvantages to traveling this way:

  1. It isn’t ideal for long distances and can become uncomfortable after a while
  2. Not much room for storing luggage 
  3. Not all school buses are equipped with seatbelts and other safety features to cause a problem in the event of an accident.

If you’re considering renting a school bus for a trip, or when you’re weighing any decisions, make a pros and cons list that can help you make the right decision.

School Bus Amenities

School bus rentals balance comfort with value. They’re designed with practical amenities that are ideal for short trips: 

  • Temperature control: Air conditioning and heating will keep the bus at a comfortable temperature for local excursions. 
  • Protective seats: School bus seatscan fit 2-3 passengers depending on their age. They’re impact-absorbing and closely-spaced for safe traveling. 
  • Wheelchair accessibility: School buses with specialty lifts are available for passengers with disabilities.

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What is a Motorcoach?

You may not be super familiar with motorcoach, but you may know the term charter bus. You may also have heard this type of bus referred to as a party bus, tour bus or Greyhound bus. These terms all refer to the same type of bus. 

A motorcoach is like a school bus, but it usually offers a few extra features and amenities, so motorcoach rentals are an option if you’re traveling with a large group. 

Pros of Renting a Motorcoach

Let’s take a look at the following benefits of a motorcoach:

  1. Can fit up to about 61 people 
  2. Usually have restrooms
  3. Lots of storage space for luggage
  4. Usually have WiFi, screens/DVD players and power outlets
  5. Comfortable seating

The motorcoach is about the same size as the school bus. As previously mentioned, there are just some extra features of a motorcoach. 

Cons of Renting a Motorcoach

So what could be a disadvantage of traveling in a motorcoach? Let’s take a look at the following disadvantages:

  1. Having restrooms on board could cause a stinky problem if you’re traveling a long distance. 
  2. Gas could become expensive (especially if the motorcoach needs Diesel fuel)
  3. Cleaning fees could be costly when you return the bus

As with the school bus, weigh out the pros and cons of a motorcoach. Does this bus fit your needs?

Motorcoach Amenities

One of the most exciting aspects of motorcoach rentals is the unique features that are included. Coach buses are equipped with upscale amenities for a luxurious travel experience:

  • Private seats: Individual cushioned seats are ideal for relaxing on long trips
  • Temperature control: The coach is air-conditioned for maximum comfort. 
  • Entertainment: You can unwind with an entertaining show from several digital screens or enjoy the scenery from the expansive windows. 
  • Internet and power: If you’d rather scroll on your phone, you can access the bus WiFi. Each row is complete with in-seat power outlets for charging your electronic devices. 
  • Storage: You can store your belongings safely in the large compartment area below the bus. 

Which Type of Bus Should I Use for My Trip? 

The type of bus you should use to accommodate your party on your trip depends on your needs. Either the school bus or the motorcoach will work for you, and both are great options. But think about your trip. Think about your group. Which one would accommodate everyone the best?

Asking yourself questions like the ones below can help you work through picking the best travel option for you. 

  1. How long will we be traveling: The distance of your trip may sway you one way or the other. For instance, if you’re traveling longer, you may be more interested in the motorcoach, so you aren’t making constant stops for passengers to use the bathroom. 
  2. Do we need room for luggage: If you are traveling to a wedding or other event, you won’t have to worry about having luggage for each passenger. In this case, you may be more interested in the school bus. 
  3. Is your trip going to involve lots of bus tours or sightseeing: If so, the motorcoach is more suited for this, hence why it is sometimes referred to as a tour bus. 
  4. Are you traveling for a school or summer camp trip: School buses are great for traveling with students. Most students are familiar with and comfortable traveling on school buses, so this may be a better option. 

As you can see, you have to think about your specific trip. Either bus is a good option, but objects perform better when used in their preferred environment. If you keep your party and travel needs in mind, you can easily make the correct choice in a travel vehicle. 

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Why Should I Use BusRates?

At BusRates, we want to help you find the perfect ride for your trip. By using our services, you are eliminating the middleman, in this case, a travel agent or a broker, that would charge you fees for going through them to find transportation. 

In addition to the school bus and motorcoach, we can also help you book a double-decker, van, limo and so much more! 

You can quickly request quotes on our website. Enter party size, the date you will be leaving and where you’re going from. The site will direct you to enter more details about your trip, as well as your contact information. Then you’ll click search, and the site will generate a list of companies you can rent from in the city you’ll be departing from. 

You can create an account via our website, which can track any quotes you are given. If you have any questions, concerns, comments or issues, you can give us a call at (833) 667-1035 or email us at info@busrates.com.

BusRates can help you find the perfect rise for your trip. Request a quote today!