After a few grueling discussions and some successful fundraising, your church is finally ready to purchase a bus for its travelling summer youth group. Now, you have been tasked with finding and purchasing that bus, but having never purchased a bus before, you are naturally a little bit nervous.
Hundreds of churches have come and gone before you, so there is a lot of information out there on purchasing church buses. There is no need to stress this purchase, not when you can get a sneak peek at what the experience might be like. Here are a few things that you can expect when you go looking for buses for sale.
Bus salespeople know what you mean by a “church bus.”
You will find church buses for sale, even though there is no such thing as an official “church bus,” because it is so common for congregations to purchase these vehicles. Just ask, and you shall receive.
Finding a good used bus will be as easy as finding a good new bus.
Most places that have buses for sale have both new and used models available. While it may be tempting to purchase a new bus, used are often much more affordable, and just as safe and reliable.
The same make and model of bus for sale may be very different from the same make and model of bus right next to it.
Buses are highly customizable, and when people purchase new buses, they have a variety of choices in floor plans and features. Some buses have foot rests, WiFi, luxurious seating, overhead storage, and wheelchair lifts. Don’t discount an entire make and model line if you don’t like the first one you see.
There will be buses for sale that you can afford without breaking the bank.
If you are able to find a bus deal that requires no money down, and no documentation fees, you might be able to purchase a bus with payments of as little as $590 per month. Of course, financing and leasing assistance vary by dealership, so depending on what vehicle you start with, your payments may be more, or less. On average, a church puts between 7,000 and 10,000 miles on their bus each year, so take existing mileage into consideration when you look for the perfect bus.
Some buses for sale will require a CDL license, and others will not.
Did you know that not all buses require CDL licensing? In general, any vehicle with 14 or fewer passengers does not need to be operated by a driver with a CDL license. Depending on the state you are in, and your local Department of Motor Vehicles, these requirements might be different.
Once you choose and purchase a bus, make sure to find out where you can find affordable bus parts should any serious maintenance need to be done in the future. If you are still concerned about going forth to purchase a bus without having any experience, look for other churches that have been through the process and see what wisdom they can offer. Hopefully, now that you know what to expect, you can approach the task with confidence, and find the perfect bus for your group.