How much does it cost to rent or buy a tour bus? Find out.
Tour buses have become a popular means of transport for sightseeing as well as also conveying visitors around tourist attractions. This type of transport is widely used among transport operators as it significantly increases profit margins by transporting clients to short and long destinations.
We are interested in the cost implications of this service.
However, to find out the cost of a tour bus, we have to distinguish between purchasing one and hiring one.
In other words, between owning or approaching a bus charter service for use of its tour bus service. These have different cost implications and this article will reveal what these cost implications are.
Versatile Nature of Tour Buses
While tour buses are used for sightseeing with many having an open top for maximum exposure, its uses do not end here.
Tour buses are also customized for personal use particularly as a home on wheels. These types are usually more luxurious and have all the necessary fittings that make it an all-in-one mobile home. These are normally called motor homes. It means you can set up a location anywhere your bus can go.
In addition to these, tour buses are widely used by entertainers such as bands, musicians, dancing crews, and more for concert purposes. These allow for all their equipment and other bulky equipment to be easily moved around.
Although the artists themselves may not travel on these buses for long distances (they make use of planes for faster movement), these buses convey their crews.
What Features Do Tour Buses Have
Because these are used for multiple functions, they are fitted with necessary gadgets and facilities to ensure the basic needs of occupants are fully met.
First, they are fitted with facilities for basic comfort such as reclining seats with arm and footrests, a refrigerator, hot and cool water dispensers, entertainment facilities such as monitors/screens. These are likely to hang from the roof as well as fit on the seats. These screens are likely to be connected to a DVD system.
There may also be a provision for local channels where occupants can easily connect to local news by tuning for available stations. These also come with tinted glasses in addition to blinds for privacy.
A holding place for luggage normally comes in two locations. The heavy ones go to the luggage compartment at the base of the floor, while the others line up both sides of the bus within. Of course, these cannot do without a bed as there are provisions for foldable beds. A ramp or lift helps easy access for wheelchairs.
These and several configurations may have a few variations for different tour bus manufacturers. A custom made tour bus may have significant changes depending on the choice of the client.
Ownership and Charter Tour Bus Service
When we talk about the cost implications of actually owning a tour bus or hiring one, the two have major price differences.
There are entertainment or sports teams who prefer to own their fleet of tour buses as compared to those which would only rent the same from a tour bus charter service. Owning a tour bus is much more expensive.
After purchasing one, you do not pay for rental services again. However, you would be responsible for maintaining the bus. This is what differentiates a tour bus charter service from an owning one.
For a charter service, you only pay for the time duration the bus will spend in your use. Therefore you are spared maintenance cost as all you need to pay for is the service provided by the tour bus.
Average Tour Bus Rental and Purchase Costs
Tour bus operators normally charge per mileage.
Therefore this comes as the addition of both daily as well as mileage covered charges. The lesser the distance traveled, the cheaper the services would be. Hence there are no standard rates, but only a price range is given.
The exact amount is only known after you must have covered a certain mileage by the end of the day. In light of the above, a day of travel may range from $1,000.00 to $1,299.00 for approximately 300 to 499 miles/day.
Again, 500 to 600 miles per day could go from $1,300.00 to $1,500.00.
Buying a Tour Bus
Hiring a tour bus is much more expensive than having to pay for a charter service.
A used tour bus can start from $20,000.00 to $50,000.00. However, the cost of a new tour bus starts from $90,000.00 to $900,000.00 depending on the brand. This price difference is very clear and the choice totally up to you.
For the sake of convenience, some organizations or individuals may want to have their bus, while others may prefer to charter one. None of the two can be said to be the best option as each meets a particular need.
Additional Sources of Revenue
There are other ways owners and operators of tour buses can make money apart from operating a charter service (for charter service providers). Bus advertisement has recently become popular across the world.
Here, companies and businesses pay for buses to be designed with their logo and services. Because they are always on the move, these buses act as mobile billboards. Bus owners are paid for this service, therefore increasing the value of tour buses to their owners.
We have seen the cost implications of owning a tour bus and also hiring or paying for a charter service. These buses provide a variety of functions to different people. We have also said that none can be said to be better than the other as people see ownership or hire as need-based.