If you are in the market for a new vehicle for your church, you may want to consider purchasing a minibus. Minibuses are designed to hold more people than regular passenger vans, but less than a full-sized bus. They are also much safer than 15 passenger vans, and can provide reliable transport to an from all church-related events.
Depending on the function of your minibus, you will be able to determine if a brand new vehicle is necessary, or if finding a good used bus will suffice. Older models often lack important features, such as seat belts and air conditioning, but they can be much cheaper. A used minibus for sale that is less than 5 years old will probably be your best bet, as it will likely have more modern amenities, such as music capabilities, and advanced comfort, such as luxury seating.
But if you are looking for a new minibus, you will need to open your wallet wider than you might expect, especially if you prefer luxury. The 2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is upwards of $37,000, and boasts revised exterior style, a diesel engine, and is a seven-speed automatic. Even though you might think that it is obvious that Mercedes will sell a more expensive vehicle, other manufacturers have built minibuses that can be even more expensive. The Chevrolet G-4500 Chassis holds 21 passengers, and offers several options such as AM/FM/CD radio, tinted windows, and reclining seats. A brand new one of these vehicles will set you back about $72,500. A Ford Nosso-2 also offers a luxury experience with a DVD player, LED lights, and a superior audio system, and costs around $50,000.
Other manufacturers are also following suit. Turtle Top, known for manufacturing large and small buses, released a 2014 Odyssey XL that seats 14 passengers and includes wheelchair accessibility in its design. This model’s pricing is unavailable at the moment, but the 2013 model is going for $74,950, which should give you an idea of how much the current XL will cost.
While you may be able to save money by finding a good used bus, you may be sacrificing on amenities that your congregation would appreciate. You might also want to consider the longevity of a new vehicle versus an used one, which could equate to long-term savings. Even if it does cost you a little more, the convenience, comfort, and durability of a new bus could be worth it.