Due to various factors involved in calculating charter bus costs, costs vary. A good analogy is asking how much it costs to buy a house. It depends on the size, the number of rooms, the state, the neighborhood, building materials used, special features, etc.

One thing you can count though is that US Coachways is competitive in its pricing, and we have years of experience providing many different types of groups with bus charters to meet their needs — universities, corporations, schools, social clubs, churches and so on. The US Coachways home page contains a calculator where you can enter your information and get a quote estimate based on the a few details of your trip. It is also to your advantage to speak with a representative, who can help you get the lowest prices based on a number of travel factors. Our representatives are well aware of all the cost factors involved with bus rental.

Here are some factors that go into pricing.

Bus Rental Cost & Pricing Factors

Travel Times

Summer is the busiest travel season, and July is the busiest travel month of the year. Due to supply and demand, travel prices are typically the highest during the busiest travel times.

According to USA Today2, there are about five to 10 days in the summer that are even busier travel times than Thanksgiving, and these are weekend days. In fact, a speaker n the CBS Evening News from the U.S. Travel Association said that the busiest summer travel times are Fridays, and the months of July and August.

Other busy times are holidays, such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, July 4th, New Years Eve, Labor Day, Easter, Mardi Gras and spring break.

If you want to get the best deals in travel prices, you should avoid traveling during the busiest times of the year and choose other dates. But if a busy travel day or month is a must for your plans, have no worries. US Coachways offers very competitive rates.

Plan Ahead of Time

Planning ahead of time enables you to consider all the cost saving factors and ways to make your trip economical – from savings on hotels to savings on bus fares. It gives you time to think about  the details and plan every aspect of your trip.

Some statistics quoted at trekksoft.com3 indicate that many travelers plan ahead unless they change or add to their plans mid traveling:

59% of travelers begin researching their next trip between one and three months before departure (TripAdvisor, 2016).

38% of bookings are happening same day or up to two days before the activity. Many of these bookings take place “in-destination,” while consumers are already travelling. That number grows to 53% when looking at bookings within a week, while only 19% of these activities were booked more than a month in advance. (Phocuswright, 2017).

By booking far in advance, you can often get the best deals as well. In particular, if you’re booking buses for proms, end-of-the-year school field trips, spring amusement park excursions or similar outings, booking as many as six months in advance can be to your advantage. Spring is a very busy time of the year for group travel.

Costs by Day, Distance or Hour

Depending on whether you’re going on a long or short trip, cost calculations differ. For short day trips, rates are typically determined at an hourly rate. If you’ll be gone for several days, but the distance isn’t too great, the rate may be based per day. If you’re traveling a considerable distance, then the rates are likely to be calculated based on distance, rates per mile.

Costs by Bus Size

A large bus can hold up to 57 – 60 passengers, and due to gas expenses, the rate for a large bus typically costs more than for a mini-bus. However, the individual costs per passenger are based how full the bus is. Individual rates go down when all 60 seats are filled because more passengers share the expense. If only 30 seats are filled on a 60-seat bus, individual costs would be higher.

The storage space and restroom facilities make large buses ideal for long trips. Amenities like these make traveling more comfortable and convenient.

However, if you know your group won’t fill a large bus, consider renting a mini bus. Mini buses hold up to 35 passengers and you can still travel very economically because mini buses typically cost less than motorcoaches. While best suited for day trips, you can also use them for small groups that are taking longer trips.

On the Road Expenses

On the road expenses, such as toll roads, toll bridges and parking fees are generally included as part the bus rental quote. Find out whether these charges are included in the upfront price or are paid as you travel. When planning ahead for a long trip, you can inquire at hotels and other points of interest to find out what the accommodations are for motor coach parking, which may also be part of bus charter fees.

Saving Expense on Pick Up and Drop Off Locations

If you can have your group meet near the bus charter’s headquartered location, it can save on distance expenses. The bus driver will not have to drive far for pick up and drop off passengers. Even though the bus is empty while en route to the designated pickup location, the company is spending gas and time to arrive there and this will generally be reflected in the fee.

Bus Driver Gratuities

In the transportation industry, it is traditional to tip the driver and is sometimes included in the bus rate quote, but others times it is not included. You should check with a company representative. USA Today4 has an informative article that can provide you with guidance about tipping bus drivers.

Ball Park Figures When Using the Cost Calculator

Some things to expect when using the cost calculator for a quote on the US Coachways site are that you will get average estimated costs for different vehicle sizes. You’ll notice that the distance and duration of the trip are also factors in pricing. An estimate means exactly that – it isn’t an accurate figure.  You’ll see this message at the end of your estimate:

“These prices are not 100% correct. The prices could be lower or higher based on availability & demand.

One-way transfers over a certain amount of miles may be a greater difference then 40%

This tool is for research purposes only.”

There is no substitute for working with a service representative, who can give you accurate and specific pricing based on the nuances of your trip. Quotes from the cost calculator do not take into account the season of the year or current specials. But a representative can tell you about the special deals available, the more economical days to travel, the more affordable seasons, and how much booking a trip in advance can save you.

Hypothetical Trip Examples

Keeping in mind the value of using a customer services representative, here are some hypothetical trips and estimated pricing from the calculator:

Los Angeles (Valencia, CA) to San Francisco Zoo for a 3 day trip on July 15-17 | Friday, Saturday and Sunday return

BUS TYPE                                                      TRIP TYPE     TOTAL PRICE

56 Passenger Motor Coach                           Overnight        $3600 /per vehicle

49 Passenger Motor Coach                           Overnight        $3450 /per vehicle

School Bus (44 passengers )                         Overnight        $2100 /per vehicle

28 Passenger Mini Coach                              Overnight        $3000 /per vehicle

24 Passenger Mini Coach                              Overnight        $2700 /per vehicle

 

Los Angeles (Valencia, CA) to San Diego Zoo Day 1-day trip July 15, Friday

BUS TYPE                                                      TRIP TYPE     TOTAL PRICE

56 Passenger Motor Coach                           Day Trip         $1350 /per vehicle

49 Passenger Motor Coach                           Day Trip         $1350 /per vehicle

School Bus  (44 passengers)                         Day Trip         $1060 /per vehicle

28 Passenger Mini Coach                              Day Trip         $1090 /per vehicle

24 Passenger Mini Coach                              Day Trip         $1060 /per vehicle

 

Los Angeles (Valencia, CA) to San Diego Bus trip Day Trip March 20

BUS TYPE                                                      TRIP TYPE     TOTAL PRICE

56 Passenger Motor Coach                           Day Trip          $1350 /per vehicle

49 Passenger Motor Coach                           Day Trip          $1350 /per vehicle

School Bus  (44 passengers)                         Day Trip          $1060 /per vehicle

28 Passenger Mini Coach                              Day Trip         $1090 /per vehicle

24 Passenger Mini Coach                              Day Trip         $1060 /per vehicle

 

New York City (Central Terminal) to Philadelphia (Independence Hall) Day trip 6-15-18

BUS TYPE                                                      TRIP TYPE     TOTAL PRICE

56 Passenger Motor Coach                           Day Trip          $1190 /per vehicle

49 Passenger Motor Coach                           Day Trip          $1190 /per vehicle

School Bus  (44 passengers )                        Day Trip          $950 /per vehicle

28 Passenger Mini Coach                              Day Trip         $990 /per vehicle

24 Passenger Mini Coach                              Day Trip         $950 /per vehicle

 

New York City (Central Terminal) to Philadelphia (Independence Hall) 2 Day trip 6-15-18

BUS TYPE                                                       TRIP TYPE     TOTAL PRICE

56 Passenger Motor Coach                            Day Trip          $2400 /per vehicle

49 Passenger Motor Coach                            Day Trip          $2300 /per vehicle

School Bus  (44 passengers )                         Day Trip          $1400 /per vehicle

28 Passenger Mini Coach                               Day Trip          $2000 /per vehicle

24 Passenger Mini Coach                               Day Trip          $1800 /per vehicle

The Best Thing of All

Now here is the most important thing to understand when you’re comparing various motorcoach companies for travel. At US Coachways you get a:

Price Match Guarantee

Or Your Bus Is FREE!

You just can’t beat that guarantee! We match the travel offers of all other motorcoach carriers.

At US Coachways, we’re exciting about helping you plan the details of your trip. Call our toll-free number at 1-888-340-9122
Sources:

  1. USA Today
  2. trekksoft.com
  3. USA Today

 

 

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