The Guide to Renting a Charter Bus with Price4Limo

Planning a group trip can seem exciting at first, but then the logistics start piling up. Where should we go? How will we get there? Who's driving? Is there enough room for all our stuff? Before you know it, you're tearing your hair out trying to coordinate everything.

But what if transportation could be the easy part of planning your next event? With Price4Limo, it can be! With over a decade of experience providing group transportation in 1000+ cities nationwide, and thousands of satisfied riders, we’re here to help you through the process of chartering a bus. We'll walk through everything from choosing the right bus size to building a custom itinerary, so you can check group transportation off your trip planning list with confidence.

Let’s get started!


First Off, What Is a Charter Bus?

A charter bus is a passenger vehicle privately rented out by organizations, companies, families, sports teams, schools, churches, and more. Charter buses come in different sizes accommodating anywhere from 18 people up to 56. You’ll recognize these buses once you see one. They have large glass windows all across the top, luggage containers on the bottom, and more likely than not a wrap with a company name on the side.

charter bus

The inside looks similar to what a standard airplane is like. There are forward facing rows of seats, overhead compartments, and sometimes a bathroom at the back of the larger buses.

Unlike public buses that run on fixed routes and schedules, a charter bus takes your group directly to where you want to go based on the custom itinerary you provide. Your bus will pick everyone up from a single location (or from multiple pick-up stops!) at the beginning of your trip.

Then your bus will transport passengers to each destination along the way, making as many stops as you specify. A charter bus rental gives you maximum flexibility and convenience for group travel.

Example Uses for Charter Buses

All sorts of groups use charter buses because one bus keeps your group organized and on schedule. Here’s just a few of some trips we’ve handled before:

When a sorority booked transportation for their annual formal in Indianapolis, our agents worked closely with their event planner to ensure adequate seating capacity on board for all members. We selected 3 56 passenger coach buses with an onboard restroom to keep the group comfortable during the multi-hour trip.

Similarly, for a convention in Nashville shuttling all-day over the span of a week , our team arranged a fleet of full-size buses and 20 passenger minibuses to shuttle guests on & off-site.

convention center shuttle service

An event coordinator needed to get thousands of concert attendees from Cleveland the 1.5 hours drive over to INKcarceration. We were able to get them over 10 large motorcoaches even though they called us the night before!

Choosing Between a Charter Bus and Minibus Rental

The first step is deciding if you need a full-sized charter bus or a smaller minibus. This depends entirely on the size of your group.

Charter buses are designed for larger groups of 40-50+ people. They typically seat around 56 passengers. With more seats, charter buses give you the lowest price per person.

Minibuses accommodate anywhere from 15 to 35 passengers. If you’re traveling with less than 40 people and have minimal gear/luggage, a minibus is likely the best fit. Minibuses offer many of the same amenities as full-sized buses (with the exception of bathrooms and luggage space depending on the bus), just on a smaller scale. So if you’re a smaller group looking to save money, a minibus rental can get you a lower total cost.

Pro Tip: Not sure which size is best? When you call 866-265-5479, our rental agents will help you decide based on your group size, trip length, luggage needs, and more. You can also let us know if you need specialty features like wheelchair lifts. With our network of more than 10,000 available vehicles, we can usually accommodate most requests.

What Amenities Do Charter Bus Rentals Offer?

It depends. Beyond size differences, bus rentals come equipped with different amenities. Here are some common offered:
  • Bathroom
  • Reclining seats
  • Overhead storage bins
  • Luggage bays under the bus
  • Personal air conditioning
  • TV monitors
  • DVD player
  • PA system
  • WiFi
  • Power outlets
  • Tinted windows & window shades
  • Reading lights

Again, amenities will vary depending on the bus. So, it’s best to let our reservations team know what you’re looking for. And when you’re ready to book, we’ll work to find buses with the specific features you want.

charter bus rental pricing

How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Charter Bus?

Pricing a charter bus rental varies based on exact trip details, group size, vehicle type, and factors like:

  • Mileage or Duration - Trips over long distances are generally priced by mileage. Local trips are generally priced by the hour.
  • Pickup/Drop-off Location - If you pick up and drop off in different cities, cost will increase. This is known as deadhead— the mileage to/from the bus’s lot with no passenger on board.
  • Bus Size - Full-sized charter buses cost more than minibuses but hold more passengers to lower the per person rates.
  • Amenities - Buses with more amenities like WiFi and leather seats have higher rates.
  • Seasonality - Prices increase during peak travel times with higher demand (April, May, June, October, November).
  • Timeline - Booking further in advance secures the best deals when availability is higher.

To get a quote specific to your trip, call Price4Limo at 866-265-5479. We'll ask for details like the number of passengers, your route, rental dates, and amenity requests. Then we'll calculate a price for you instantly..

Additional Potential Costs

When budgeting for your trip, keep in mind your final bill may or may not include:

  • Driver Accommodations: For multi-day trips, it’s generally the responsibility of the customer to book and pay for your driver's hotel room at each overnight stop.
  • Tolls & Parking Fees: Your group is generally responsible for paying any required highway tolls, parking fees, metro fares, etc.

How Far in Advance Should I Book?

For the widest selection of bus sizes and amenities plus the lowest rental rates, we recommend booking your charter bus at least 3-6 months in advance when possible.

For busy seasons like April, May, June, October and November, try to reserve your charter bus 6-12 months out. The earlier you can finalize trip details and transportation plans, the better during peak travel times when availability is limited.

Of course, we also accommodate last-minute rentals if you have an unexpected or urgent group transportation need. Our reservation team is standing by to assist, and we can often get a charter bus to your group on short notice if required.

Just keep in mind that less notice means fewer bus options, higher rates, and no guarantee of your preferred amenities.

How to Get a Price Quote for Your Rental

Since each quote is personalized based on your trip details, the best way to get an accurate price is to call our rental team at 866-265-5479 or use our online pricing tool. Our reservation agents are available to take your call 24/7.

Before you call, have this information ready for the fastest quote:

  • Pick-up & drop-off locations with addresses
  • Pick-up and drop-off times/dates
  • Passenger count (and luggage/gear needs)
  • Preferred bus amenities

Our agents will use these trip specifics to search our network of 10,000+ vehicles nationwide and find the best match for your group. After reviewing available options, we’ll provide a quote right over the phone or by text/email.

Once you accept the quote, we need an initial payment to officially book your bus. The remaining balance is due before departure.

Pro Tip: For a price estimate before calling, check average rates on our charter bus pricing guide. Just keep in mind your total depends on trip details like distance, duration, bus type, and season.

Creating Your Charter Bus Itinerary

The key to a smooth charter bus rental is an organized itinerary. Before the run, we’d like to have your final itinerary, including: Pick-up time and location; Each destination's name, address, and arrival time; Return drop off time and location; Contact information for the trip organizer. Mapping out every stop will allow your bus to choose the most efficient route. Having to make unplanned detours or late changes can add fees, so provide an itinerary as accurately as possible.

If you need help building your itinerary, our team can make destination suggestions based on your rental location. Don't forget to account for meal stops and rest breaks, especially on long trips.

Here are some tips we’ve learned over our 10+ years of experience for crafting an enjoyable, organized trip:

  • Allow enough time at each stop for your group to comfortably experience planned activities. Don't overschedule!
  • When scheduling pick-up/drop-off times, pad an extra 10-15 minutes to account for traffic and cushion for any stragglers.
  • Plan food, restroom, and leg stretch breaks every 3-5 hours at a minimum if you’re traveling far away.
  • Provide passengers with an itinerary detailing pick-up time, bus number, lodging info, attractions, and driver contact info.
  • For long trips, have bottled water, pillows, blankets, entertainment, and motion sickness medicine on board.
  • Request a bus with ample luggage capacity and remind passengers to pack light if storage space is limited. If your group will have large suitcases or gear, inform us when booking so we provide adequate luggage space below and above the bus.

Expert Tips on Charter Bus Parking

One important thing to consider when renting a bus is where your bus will park at the various destinations along your itinerary. Here are some tips:

  • Contact venues ahead of time to ask about oversized vehicle parking options and availability. Many hotels, event centers, stadiums, etc. have special bus parking.
  • For popular tourist destinations like Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco or the Empire State Building in NYC, look into nearby parking garages that can accommodate large vehicles.
  • When visiting national parks, your bus will likely have to park in a designated oversized vehicle lot that may be a short walk from the main entrance.
  • In big cities, metered street parking is sometimes available for charter buses.
  • For overnight trips, secure parking at your hotel if possible. If not available, find a nearby public/private lot.
  • Research parking costs beforehand and account for them in your trip budget.

By planning ahead for charter bus parking, your group can avoid surprises.

Choose to Book Your Bus With Price 4 Limo

At this point, you should have a great idea of what to expect when renting a bus. And if you’re ready to get started, we’re always available to help you out. At Price4Limo, earning your business is our top priority. We know you have many choices when it comes to charter bus rentals. That's why we go the extra mile to provide exceptional service, unbeatable value, and bus rentals you can trust. So whatever you need, give us a chance to show you what sets Price4Limo apart.

Reach out anytime to get a complimentary quote or ask us questions.