Purchasing a church bus is a big decision for any congregation. Perhaps your church board has been putting off buying a new church bus, but the time has come. The problem is the board may not know where to begin their search. What should you consider before you buy? What particulars should you think about before purchase? This blog post was created to provide you with the information you and your board members need. There are plenty of questions that need answers and we want to be sure you're able to answer them.
Buying a bus for your church is different than buying a family minivan. They are larger than your standard minivan and have more features to consider. Our goal is to help you get the bus you need. Whether buying for a youth group or senior choir, there are criteria to check before you begin shopping.
Know Where You’ll Use Your Bus
Talk with your board about how the bus will be used most often. It's important to have a general idea about the activities your church will need it for the most. That will help you make an informed and wise choice. You may also want to think about how different departments will share the vehicle. For example, if the youth group and seniors planned their usage for the same day, how will you accommodate the requests? Once you understand what the bus will be used for, you'll be ready to move on to the second criteria.
Standard or Optional Equipment?
Talk with your board about the equipment you want your bus to have, or any special modifications you feel are necessary. Seatbelts will be standard in most buses, and steel cage construction will be common. There are many features that can make your bus safe and accessible for the entirety of your congregation. A wheelchair lift is another important consideration. It can be very beneficial when you need to transport anyone in need of wheelchair access. A few more features should also be considered:
- Low floor ramp accessibility
- Upgraded heating and/or air conditioning units
- Grab rails at entrance
- Reading lights and personal, overhead storage
- Custom graphics wrap
- Child seating modifications
When Should I Get My Bus?
Last, you will need to think about when the bus should be delivered to you. If future plans call for large transportation, then it is acceptable to wait a few months for a newer bus build. Waiting a few months will also give you time to process the necessary funds used to operate the bus with a skilled driver. However, if the need is immediate talk to a professional about what will be available in the near term. Of course, the delivery time for new and used will vary depending on the condition of this bus and where you are located. A knowledgeable salesperson will be more than willing to answer those questions.
Buying a church bus doesn't have to be a confusing process. Think clearly about the equipment you need, the delivery time you have, and you’ll be sure to find a suitable bus for your congregation.