Find the Best Bus Type for Your Group

So you’ve decided that chartering a bus is a great way to provide transportation for your group or event, but you don’t know what kind of bus would best suite your needs.

Don’t worry—BusRates is here to help. Below is a quick guide to the most common bus types and what they typically offer, so you can decide what is right for your group’s needs.

Charter Bus / Deluxe Motor Coach

The motor coach is also referred to as a tour bus, charter bus, or deluxe motor coach. Motor coaches are the most popular option on BusRates. The vehicles are designed for comfort, charter buses are typically used for local group charters, large group shuttles, and/or longer distance travel. Other important considerations include specific bus amenities like WiFi, restrooms, power outlets, PA system, overhead and underfoot luggage storage, etc.

Most Common Seating: 47, 55, 56 and 57
Range of Seating: 36 to 61
Restroom: Almost Always
Air Conditioning: Almost Always
DVD/TV: Almost Always
Capable of Long Trips: Almost Always
Average Price Per Day: $960

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Mini Bus

Not everyone needs a motor coach or full-size charter bus, and mini buses are perfect for your smaller group. You may know them as mini coaches, shuttle buses, or cut aways, but they are all essentially the same thing—a smaller version of the charter bus.

Mini buses are more cost efficient than a deluxe motor coach, and can be used for shorter trips (~200 miles), local bus rentals, bar crawls, or sporting events.

Mini buses are also great for shuttling groups between hotels, airports, worksites, or weddings.

Most Common Seating: 21, 24, 25, and 29
Range of Seating: 10 to 41
Restroom: Rare
Air Conditioning: Almost Always
DVD/TV: Sometimes
Capable of Long Trips: Sometimes
Average Price Per Day: $820

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School Bus

School buses are ideal for short, local movements on a low budget. School bus companies are either contractors, or they are school district providers. The BusRates directory only lists school bus companies that charter to the public.

Most Common Seating: 44, 48
Range of Seating: 10 to 60
Restroom: Never
Air Conditioning: Sometimes
DVD/TV: Never
Capable of Long Trips: Rare
Average Price Per Day: $610

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Entertainer / Sleeper / Tour Bus

The companies listing entertainer coaches in our database are typically leased by musical groups & celebrities for extended touring, and include 9 or 12 bunks to accommodate sleeping. They are usually leased for 30 days or more. Entertainer coaches are the only
bus type where driver and fuel costs are itemized in the quote.

Most Common Seating: 9 and 12
Range of Seating: 9 to 18
Restroom: Almost Always
Air Conditioning: Always
DVD/TV: Always
Capable of Long Trips: Always
Average Price Per Day: $1500

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Executive Coach / Day Coach

The companies listing executive coaches in our database are typically booked for one- day or one-evening excursions and are also referred to as “day coaches”. These buses are characterized by being full size with office or lounge interiors.

Most Common Seating: 20, 24, and 30
Range of Seating: 10 to 41
Restroom: Sometimes
Air Conditioning: Always
DVD/TV: Almost Always
Capable of Long Trips: Sometimes
Average Price Per Day: $1340


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Limo Bus / Party Bus

The companies listing limo buses on BusRates are characterized by being the size of a minibus, but typically featuring leather perimeter seating inside and often have an on- board attendant serving drinks. They are ideal for weddings or a night out.

Most Common Seating: 14, 18, 22, 24 and 30
Range of Seating: 10 to 50
Restroom: Sometimes
Air Conditioning: Always
DVD/TV: Almost Always
Capable of Long Trips: Sometimes
Average Price Per Day: $1545

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Trolley

Designed in the likeness of a trolley car, trolley buses exciting alternative to chartering a standard bus for a local event.

The companies listing trolleys on BusRates are perfect for weddings, tours or other local outing.

Most Common Seating: 24, 30, 35, and 53
Range of Seating: 20 to 58
Restroom: Rare
Air Conditioning: Rare
DVD/TV: Rare
Capable of Long Trips: Rare
Average Price Per Day: $1020

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Double Decker Bus

Double decker buses are usually only found in large metro markets in the US and Canada. They are available as closed or open-topped. Open-topped are a little harder to find since insurance on these vehicles is higher. They are most commonly used for tours.

Most Common Seating: 75 and 81
Range of Seating: 50 to 84
Restroom: Rare
Air Conditioning: Rare
DVD/TV: Rare
Capable of Long Trips: Rare
Average Price Per Day: $1695

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Van

The companies listing vans on BusRates come chartered with a driver. They are mostly used locally, but a few companies will take them over the road.

Most Common Seating: 14 and 15
Range of Seating: 3 to 22
Restroom: Never
Air Conditioning: Almost Always
DVD/TV: Sometimes
Capable of Long Trips: Sometimes
Average Price Per Day: $662

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Current National Average Bus Rates, October, 2013 *

Bus Types Transfer 5 hours Day Rate
Deluxe Motor Coach: $433 $570 $943
Mini Bus: $306 $446 $797
Schoolbus: $245 $334 $553
Entertainer: N/A N/A $785
Executive: $390 $818 $1348
Trolley: $510 $671 $1022
Double Decker: $538 $1161 $1767
Van: $192 $347 $636
*Rates vary from city to city. National average rate for trips priced by mile is $3.12/mi.
**Entertainer Coach lease rates do not include driver and fuel costs.

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