How to Buy the Right Mini Bus for Your Organization?

Traveling in groups is possible again with the world going back to the pre-pandemic lifestyle. But it can get tricky when deciding what vehicle would suit your needs best.

Vans and buses are the more common modes of group transportation, but the difference between passenger capacities can be too wide. A van can only host nine people, and a bus can seat over 35. What if you only needed seats for 9-25 people? Would you pay extra to buy more vans, or for a bus where most of the seats will remain unused? 

That’s where mini buses come in to bridge the gap.

What Is a Mini Bus?

There is no precise way to define a minibus. They are usually characterized by the number of passengers they can host. A mini bus seating capacity is more than regular cars but less than a full bus. 

Mini bus dimensions vary depending on the seating capacity and the brand. The length and mini bus seating capacity are the main factors for the size difference. 

You can use dimensions to determine what kind of mini bus suits your needs. The size could affect license requirements, parking space, the additional amenities you could opt for, and more.

Key Factors To Consider Before Buying a Minibus

1. Minibus Seating Capacity, Storage, and Licensing

The capacity of minibuses, both passengers and storage, is one of its key features. They have a seating capacity ranging from 9 to 25 passengers. A mini bus can also be equipped with ramps and entry assist handles for people with disabilities.

Analyze how many people you would like to accommodate regularly and what kind of material load you need space for. According to Federal Law, a Commercial Driver’s License is required to drive a vehicle that has a capacity of 15 passengers or more. The process of attaining the license includes various tests, as parking and manipulating a larger vehicle requires adequate training.

2. Engine

Choosing the right engine will save costs in the long run. Bigger engines burn more fuel. One way to evaluate this is by asking about the mileage of the minibus. Mini busses used for regular transit can rack up around 50,000 miles a year. 

Now, should you buy a gas or diesel engine?

While gasoline is cheaper in fuel efficiency, diesel wins the race. But due to the growing demand for gas engines, they have evolved to be more efficient and easier to maintain. The cost of maintenance is also relatively low.

Did you know diesel engines have a lifespan between 1,000,000 – 1,500,000 miles? That is especially impressive when compared to a gas engine’s 200,000 miles. Diesel engines are better to handle the strain of carrying a minibus full at capacity. They have a heavier build and have a much higher compression ratio than a gas engine.

3. Maintenance

Like any other vehicle, a mini bus would require regular maintenance. While buying a used mini bus, it is ideal to buy one with its service records on file as proof of maintenance. These records will also be useful to gauge warranty benefits. Gas engines are easier to maintain than diesel engines.

The annual maintenance cost for a mini bus under warranty ranges from $1300 to $1800. This cost is estimated for those mini busses that run up to 1500 miles per year. Post-warranty, you should be prepared for additional expenses as you will need to pay the full price for each service. This would include oil changes, tire rotations, filters, and brakes. 

4. Safety

Mini buses are safer to use by design. The dual rear wheels help in reducing the rollover risk significantly. Sidewalls of the minibus use steel cage construction to protect passengers from injuries during collisions.

Also, consider buying a minibus capable of storing fire extinguishers, first aid kits, and road flares or triangles. These can be incredibly useful in case an emergency arises.

5. Price

A used minibus price can range starts from $15,000. On average, they have a lifespan of over five years and about 200,000 miles. At the same time, new mini busses can start from $50,000 with a 15-year lifespan and 300,000 miles. You can weigh the long-term benefits for your needs and decide what kind of minibus would be suitable.

6. Customization

Mini buses offer several customization options. Plush seats, extra storage space, and other luxurious amenities can be implemented onto your mini bus. Entertainment options allow you to keep your passengers happy and productive. You can enjoy music by adding a radio, Bluetooth, or Apple Car Play. Upgrade the mini bus speakers to get the best stereo sounds.

You can even opt for automatic sliding doors and motorized steps with LED lights for your convenience. If you value your privacy, choosing a ceramic window tint will ensure that you are away from prying eyes. You can also add custom vinyl graphics to showcase your brand on the road. You can pick and choose what suits your needs. This way, you do not need to spend more than you need to on the vehicle while also ensuring you get the most out of your investment. 


Mini busses are a great option for organizations that need to move many people around. However, they are a big investment, so it is important to make sure you choose the right mini bus for your business. We hope you found the information you were looking for in this article.

If you want to buy a bus for your organization, you will likely want to talk to a bus expert. You can check out the mini bus FAQs for more information about mini busses.

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