Think back a moment to the car you had almost twenty years ago, back in 1995. Are you still driving that car today? Chances are you’ve moved on and upgraded to a newer, nicer model. However, model years for cars aren’t a fair comparison to model years for motorcoaches. You may have put mileage for one or two cross-country trips on your car, but motorcoaches do long haul weekly.
It takes something special to keep even new equipment running flawlessly, and a lot of it rests upon a company’s motorcoach technician or mechanic. For instance, a charter bus from 1995 may have gone through multiple engines, more tires than you can count, a full interior renovation with new leather seats, replacement of CRT television screens with flat panel fold-out displays, and even more improvements all undergoing impeccable vehicle maintenance.
So, can you judge a motorcoach by its year? No way! In fact, refurbished motorcoaches are an appealing option for companies looking to expand their fleet. With the cost of new motorcoaches nearing half a million dollars, refurbished coaches are more economical at a third of the price of buying new. In a Metro Magazine interview with Rob Pek, VP, Business Development at Big Rig Collision Group, he says that after a bus is refurbished “from the ridership standpoint, they wouldn’t know any different if it’s a brand new bus or a 12-year-old bus.”
In a 2014 United Motorcoach Association member survey, 18.69% of motorcoach operators confirmed they have refurbished coaches in the past year. The average number of coaches refurbished per company was 3.2.
Although company profiles on BusRates.com do list a model year for the motorcoach, there is no indication (aside from a company’s description) in which they can indicate which coaches have been refurbished and which haven’t. In addition, the scope of refurbishing work varies greatly; from simple panel replacement to entire reconstruction of the structure. Therefore, it’s always best practice to speak with the bus-owning company and ask them about the conditions of the equipment. Ask for photos of the interior if needed, particularly if you’re looking for something in particular aboard your bus rental.
Most importantly, refurbished coaches are held to sound safety standards. Whether you opt to ride in a new coach or a refurbished coach, safety should always be the primary concern, and you can be sure to find safe operators listed in the BusRates.com directory for your next charter trip.