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5 Things Schools Should Consider When Searching for a Minibus

Buying a minibus is a serious investment for any school. You will have to deal with the consequences of your choice for years, and the vehicle you pick could influence your budget. It will also influence the quality of service you offer your students and their parents. This is why taking your time and knowing what to look for in a vehicle is extremely important. Let’s look at a few questions schools should ask themselves when searching for a minibus. 

New or Used?

One of the first questions you’ll need to ask is whether you will buy the minibus new or used. 

Buying a brand new minibus will give you the peace of mind of knowing the vehicle’s true history and having a full warranty. It will also have all the latest security features and will usually be more fuel efficient than most used models.

Buying a used minibus could be a good option if you’re strapped for cash and need something serviceable in the short run. But you should know that the depreciation on these kinds of vehicles is not as steep as with other kinds since the demand for used minibusses is way higher. This means that you could end up with a less reliable vehicle that will cost you more to maintain over its lifespan in exchange for a modest saving. So think about that before assuming that a used minibus is automatically a better deal budget-wise.

What About a Lease?

It would also be wise for you to look at what’s happening on the lease side. A lease would allow you to spend a lot less out of pocket for the vehicle and have a brand-new or almost brand-new vehicle. You won’t have to worry about selling the vehicle at the end of the lease either, and most of the service and maintenance will be taken care of for you. 

School minibus
Photo by Lars Mulder:

What are Your Needs?

Some schools will have different needs and need to look for things from a minibus. Someone who needs a vehicle strictly for transporting a few students to and from school will have different needs than a school with an extensive sports program or many events and extracurricular activities. 

If you need a vehicle for special events specifically, then you should pick a school minibus that will be perfect for the likes of sporting events and field trips. You’ll need to pay special attention to things like capacity, for example, and going for a vehicle that doesn’t require a special license will give you more flexibility. Safety and fuel costs will become a bit more important if you need a vehicle for transport specifically. 

What About Cargo Space?

Cargo space will be important for any type of minibus, especially if the vehicle is used to transport students to special activities or sports events. You need to ensure that the minibus has enough space for all the equipment needed. You also have to look at the type of cargo you’ll be bringing. For instance, a school band will have very different needs compared to a football team, so you’ll need to pay attention to this.

How Economical Is it?

Running costs are a priority for most schools, and you have to look at the running costs of the vehicle you have in mind before deciding to buy it. Try to go for a vehicle with modest fuel consumption and look at what kind of recurrent issues it is known for. This will give you a better idea of how much you can expect to spend on fuel and maintenance.

Another thing you have to pay special attention to is insurance costs. Some minibusses cost much more than others to insure, and things like the type of license required, size, make, model, and year can all make a difference. So you should research insurance costs for any vehicle you’re considering, as it could allow you to re-evaluate some of your decisions.

Last but not least, you need to research the vehicle’s resale value in case you decide to buy it. While some vehicles will retain their value well, others will depreciate much quicker, leaving you with less at the end of the deal and higher replacement costs. So think about that before you pick any minibus.

Answering these questions should help you determine whether any minibus you’re considering would be a good option for your school. Make sure you know exactly what your needs and budget are before your search, and thoroughly research any model or brand before making your final decision.

Featured Photo by Mary Taylor: