Tour bus purchases are an investment that will last for years to come. For an established tour business, it’s important to provide the best experience. During the tour bus sales process, knowing the right questions to ask is half the battle. Here are the top five questions to ask before signing on the dotted line.
1. What kind of selection is offered?
It is important to know what options are available in stock when it comes to make and model. New is great if you’re looking to drive your bus until it can no longer be operated. For some budgets, it is completely feasible to buy a new bus.
Two popular new models are the El Dorado AeroElite and the Starcraft Starquest. The El Dorado is available in 25' to 32' lengths and can accommodate as many as 33 passengers. It also meets ADA requirements when equipped with a wheelchair lift. The Starcraft Starquest comes in lengths from 21' to 23' and can carry up to 19 passengers. Popular options for this model include ADA wheelchair lifts, passenger grab rails and luggage storage areas.
Some tour companies may find that a used model is better suited to their financial situation. Once cleaned and polished, a used bus can reflect a like new state that customers will be happy to tour with.
2. Is financing available?
In most cases, financing can be obtained through the dealership with a new bus purchase. Of course, company or personal credit history will have a major impact on eligibility. Additionally, the down payment amount or trade-in value will be taken into consideration. Carefully review the terms and conditions before making a decision.
3. What is the fuel efficiency?
One of the largest expenses for any bus operator is fuel and the better the fuel efficiency the lower the cost. As with any transaction, lowering expenses means increasing the profit. Compare fuel capacity on model selected to choose the bus with the rating that suits business needs.
When many people think of a tour bus, diesel or gasoline fuel is what comes to mind. Traditional fuels don’t always need to be the go to. Many buses are now able to use lower cost fuels such as CNG or propane. Many new bus models can be upfit with an alternative fuel source that will cut costs and improve efficiency.
4. How easy is it to maneuver?
Getting through tight turns at the airport, close to the hotel entrance, and curbside at popular tourist destinations can be extremely tricky. Many times there are overhangs, or signs that must be avoided. The driver has to be able to get close enough to the designated loading zone site to be convenient for passengers. Ask drivers to consider where the lowest hanging entrances are. If the 40-passenger bus is not able to fit underneath that popular parking structure, then a 20-passenger
bus may be the better option.
5. Can it be personalized?
The last thing that you want is for your riders to mistake a competitor’s bus for yours. Custom graphics help your bus to stand out amongst the other tour bus operators in the area. Ask your salesperson for pricing that will display the company name, telephone number, and logo. It may cost a little more, but it will help the business gain attention in the areas served.
The tour bus sales experiences doesn't have to be a difficult process. This list of questions will certainly help when it comes to determining the basics. Take time to investigate every angle before the paperwork is signed and it will be easier to make the right choice.