Chartering a bus for your group's transportation needs can seem like a daunting task, especially when you're trying to determine the costs involved. With numerous factors, such as distance, duration, seasonality, and bus types, influencing the overall price, it's essential to understand all the elements that go into calculating the cost of renting a charter bus. Price4Limo is here to help you navigate the process of determining charter bus prices for your specific event or trip, whether that’s getting a quote through our online pricing tool or over the phone, or if you’re doing your research ahead of time to learn about what a trip may cost. With over 10 years in business, and thousands of partner bus companies throughout the USA, we’re here to help you get the right bus at the right price!

Charter Bus Price Estimates

Let's take a closer look at the different buses with some estimated prices. Below you’ll see some general information about what the rates may look like.

Bus Type Bus Capacity Hourly Rate*
Motorcoaches and Charter Buses
Full-sized Charter Bus 56 passengers $150 - $320 per hour
Executive Charter Bus 50 passengers $150 - $320 per hour
Coach Bus 50 passengers $150 - $320 per hour
Entertainer Bus 35-40 passengers $170 - $320 per hour
Shuttle Buses 30 passengers $139 - $279 per hour
25-Passenger Minibus 25 passengers $139 - $280 per hour
20-Passenger Minibus 20 passengers $139 - $270 per hour
18 Passenger Minibus 18 passengers $139 - $260 per hour
School Buses
Full-sized School Bus 60 passengers $139 - $285 per hour
Mini School Bus 32 passengers $139 - $270 per hour

*Prices may vary greatly in your city and state. Due to the impact of COVID-19 and inflation, all rental prices shown are past estimates. Actual pricing may be significantly higher depending on availability and location

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Factors Affecting Charter Bus Prices

  1. Distance of the trip: As you might expect, trips covering longer distances tend to have higher costs. Charter bus rentals can be priced by the mile, by the hour, or by the day. Generally, short trips lasting a few hours (such as weddings or field trips) are priced by the hour, while multi-day events (like sports tournaments or corporate retreats) may be priced per day or per mile.

  2. Time of year: Similar to the travel and hospitality industries, charter bus prices are also influenced by seasonal trends. During peak season, which generally falls between April and June, demand is high, resulting in higher rental costs. Conversely, in low-demand months such as January and February, prices tend to be more affordable. To get the best value for your transportation needs, it's recommended to book your rental well in advance, especially during peak season.

  3. Pick-up and drop-off location: Another factor that can impact charter bus prices is your starting location. If the bus rental company is located within the same city or region as your trip's starting point, costs will likely be lower compared to situations where the bus must travel a considerable distance to reach your group. In such cases, "deadhead" fees may be applied to cover the additional expenses incurred by the rental company to transport the bus from its base to your starting point. Providing exact pick-up and drop-off locations when requesting a quote will help us provide you with the most accurate price.

  4. Bus type: The type of bus you choose will also impact the price. Full-size charter buses (up to 56 passengers) generally cost more than their smaller minibus counterparts (15-35 passengers). However, when splitting the cost among passengers, a full-size bus may still be the most cost-effective choice.

  5. Amenities: Specialty amenities, such as onboard restrooms, televisions with DVD players, WiFi, and electrical outlets, may come at an additional cost. Communicate with our team about any specific requests, and we'll adjust your price accordingly.

  6. Additional costs: Don’t forget to factor in potential costs for tolls, parking, and driver accommodations (if your trip spans multiple days). Tipping your driver (generally 10-20% of the rental price) is also customary and should be incorporated into your budget.

Tips for Saving on Charter Bus Prices

  1. Book early: When you book early, you can secure the best rates on vehicles and get guaranteed availability on the vehicle of your choice. Plus, when you book early, there is more time for us to work with you to customize your experience based on your needs and find ways to offer you a discount. All options are on a first come first serve basis, so the longer you wait the less that will be available. We typically recommend that you reserve 3-4 months in advance.

  2. Finalize your itinerary: Having a clear plan for your trip, including pickup and drop-off locations, will help us provide the most accurate quote possible. As an example, if you tell a company that you are picking up in the city of “Miami” but do not have the exact pick-up point, they will charge a higher rate since one end of Miami could be an hour or more of drive time to the other side. To ensure you maximize your savings, tell our reservations team your complete itinerary.

  3. Consider the per-person cost: While the bus charter prices may seem expensive when you are looking at the total prices, these buses are designed to hold many passengers (up to 56) so when you take the total price and divide that by each person, the per-person rate you're paying is actually very affordable. As an example, if you're taking a school trip to a football game and rent out a 56 passenger bus for five hours at a $1,200 total price, that’s only $21 per person.

  4. Travel during off-peak months: Demand is a huge factor in how much a charter bus will cost. The busiest months are March, April, June and July. This is when many people have their weddings, proms and summer trips which take up many of the buses. Additionally, August, September and October see an uptick in demand as well since this is the season for sports including high school and professional football games. November and December will see a slowdown as well as January and February so if you have flexibility in when you're planning your trip, you should opt for these months. You might be able to save $400-600 dollars off of your charter bus rental by doing so.

End your search for the perfect charter bus rental and get started with Price4Limo today. Reach out to us for a quote by calling (866) 265-5479 and let us assist you in making your next event or trip a memorable one.

Frequently Asked Questions About Charter Bus Pricing

How does the booking process work?

Once you've received your quote, either online or over the phone, reserving your charter bus is quick. You’ll click the book now button on the vehicle you’d like to rent where you'll be prompted to make an initial deposit and electronically sign your reservation.

What about deposits and additional payments?

A deposit is typically required at the time of booking, with the exact amount influenced by factors such as trip specifics and total price. Expect an up-front payment of around 30%, followed by another payment soon after. If your trip is scheduled several months or even years in advance, your final payment will likely be due closer to your departure date to provide financial flexibility. It's important to note that all payments must be completed before your trip commences.

What are my payment options?

We accept debit and credit card payments, as well as monthly installments at low or zero interest rates through Affirm.

When is my final balance due?

The time frame for settling your final balance varies, but generally speaking, if your trip is more than two months away, anticipate paying the remaining amount one or two weeks before departure. For trips scheduled within 30 days, full payment is usually required at booking.

What are the minimum rental durations?

Although minimums can differ based on vehicle type, season, service date, and event type, charter buses and minibuses typically require a 3-hour minimum for most rentals. We try to be as flexible as possible, so if you have unique requirements, let us know, and we'll work together to find the perfect solution.

Do I pay for the bus during downtimes?

This depends on the specifics of your trip. For multiple day trips leaving town, you'll likely need to factor in downtime costs even if you only need the ride to and from. However, if your itinerary consists primarily of local, sporadic transfers throughout the day with large gaps of space in between (e.g., shuttling wedding guests), these idle periods can sometimes be excluded from your rate. It's always best to discuss this with our team at 866-265-5479 for clarification.

Am I responsible for driver accommodations?

It's typically the client's responsibility to secure lodging for the driver. Hotels may provide discounted or even complimentary rooms for bus drivers when group bookings are made, so be sure to check with the hotel you’re staying at..

Are parking and toll fees included?

No. Parking passes and tolls are not included in your quote and remain the client's responsibility. Ensure you factor these additional expenses into your travel budget to avoid any surprises.