Traveling through the outback

Important Questions to Ask When Considering a Bus Charter or Rental

A bus charter or rental can be a great way to keep a group together when traveling to a work seminar or even for a night on the town, or for when you want to tour a local area and don't want to bother with driving. Before you decide on a bus charter or rental, note a few important questions to ask about the service and the bus itself, so you know everything will proceed according to plan and you get the bus you need for your occasion.

1. Always ask how the bus is laid out on the inside

It's good to remember that there is a difference between a party bus, an executive style bus, and a passenger bus. A party bus may have an open space in the middle of the floor for everyone to talk and laugh and socialize, and it may also have full bar, stereo system, and even a disco ball for dancing! An executive style bus is often preferred when you want luxury and comfort; the seats may be wider so they're more comfortable for each passenger, but note that this means the bus may carry fewer passengers overall.

A passenger bus may have as many seats inside as possible so each seat is a bit more narrow, and may be made with durable fabric that is meant to hold up to constant wear but which might not be as comfortable as leather. You may not realize these differences in the bus styles that are available for hire, so be sure you ask about its footprint or layout inside before making your choice.

2. Ask about handicap accessibility and child restraints if needed

Many city buses are required to have handicap accessibility including a powered ramp, an open area for a wheelchair, and the like. However, a privately rented bus may not be required to have handicap accessibility, child seats, and the like. Never assume that a bus you hire is just like a bus you take when in the city, but ask if you need any type of special accessibility or accommodations inside before you charter the bus.

3. Ask if they recommend a certain type of bus for your trip

Don't assume that a mini bus or the cheapest option is the best choice for you, as smaller buses or passenger buses may mean less comfort and a rougher ride overall. Larger buses may have better cushioning with their oversized shocks. Parents can also walk their fussy children up and down the aisles of larger buses more readily than with smaller buses. For longer trips, this can be preferred for the sake of your passengers even if it means a more expensive bus hire, so ask the rental agency their recommendations for your comfort.