What does it cost to rent a school bus?

school bus rental

Are you planning an event and need a cost estimate for hiring a school bus? Chartering a school bus is a great option. With many basic amenities and perks, they can provide a great experience at an even greater price. They are great for short distance travel for field trips, group day outings, transporting your wedding guests and more. You can book for a one-time event or multiple trips. School bus rentals can be 40% cheaper than a charter bus, making them a great cost-effective alternative.

School Bus Rental Price Estimates

While prices can vary by day, season and city, they generally cost between $500 - $600 for a four-hour minimum with each additional hour costing between $81-$115. Also, you may book a school bus only for one-way trip, the price for which is around $375. Get a fixed quote by speaking to one of our specialists on (646) 801 6280 or use the form below.

Price Estimates 4-Hours Minimum Additional Hours 8-Hours Full Day
Rent Yellow School Bus $500-$600 $81-$115 $968-$1,200
  • There is a 4-hour minimum on renting buses.

  • There is a cost for additional hours.

  • Rental over 12 hours include a discount. NB Drivers have a strict max 10 hours driving from garage to garage and a maximum 15 hours on duty each day by law.

  • Usually drivers are tipped $2 per day per person, but it is 100% at your discretion.

  • NB! Weather, presidential visits, concerts, demonstrations highly affect availability and prices - just like a flight.



Main Factors that Influence School Bus Rental Prices



Setting up your statement, we attempt to initially get all the most important data, for example, which reason you are travelling for. Clearly, a 4-hour journey will be less expensive than booking a school bus for a whole day. You should always think about how many stops you are going to make, for how long the transport vehicle will wait for you etc. Time is one the most fundamental factors that will impact the final cost.

How can I save money on the off chance that I need a bus to wait for me? You don't need to rent the bus for a round trip, you can take one transport to get to your final location and another to drive you back. This way, the school bus won't wait for you and you won't need to pay additionally for those hours.



Prices also rely on the mileage, so the length of your journey truly matters, not only on account of the actual booking prices, but also because of the fact that you may need to book one more driver for you trip (legal requirements). In the end, the school bus will drive more miles altogether (expenses of gas, toll roads, drivers' working hours, and so on) to pick you up, drop you off and return to the garage. We check an estimated measure of miles you will drive during your journey. School buses are ideal for shorter, local trips.

Bus Type


There are different school buses, the biggest difference between all of them is the seating capacity. The bigger the bus is, the higher the end price will be. That is why it is very important to choose the right size of the bus. Ask our booking specialist what type of bus will suit you perfectly, to get the best deal you have to fill in every one of the seats. Pick the correct size of your minibus.  Likewise, you may consider renting a mini bus or a charter bus.

Trip Date


Bus prices rise and fall, depending on the season, and it is different throughout the US, so it is difficult to predict 100% of the price changes, if you never booked a bus before. In general, when school vacations start, there are more bus bookings than usual, it causes rise in demand and leads to expensive prices. Weekends usually get pricey all year round.

Different Examples of School Bus Rental Prices

All the prices presented bellow are estimated and may vary, since there are many different factors that change final bus rental prices.

Trip Example Type Days Hours Miles Bus Type Price
Ex. #1 Sport Team 2 12 >100 School Bus $2,380
Ex. #2 Wedding 1 8 90 School Bus $890
Ex. #3 Big Group 3 5 25 School Bus $1,800

Example #1 - Sport Team Trip

A baseball team from one of the high schools in Brooklyn, NY is going to New Jersey on a two days trip to have a game. They need a school bus that will fit up to 45 people, including players, some of the parents, coaches, and all the equipment along with them. The driver will also need to transport the team for other activities, such as gatherings, dinner, etc.


The school recieved a quote for $2,380 for their two-days trip to New Jersey.

Final price: $2,380 + tips.

Example #2 - School Bus for Weddings

Last summer, a couple from Queens was planning their wedding, as they had a fixed budget for the transportation, we offered them a school bus to bring their guests from the hotel to the reception and back (38 people in total). School buses generally cheaper than charter buses, but they are often rented for weddings.


The couple received a quote for $890, for in total of eight hours use.

Final price: $890 + tips.

Example #3 - Big Group

A big group of tourists coming to New York to visit for 3 days, the group’s supervisor called Bookbuses with a request to rent a bus for 3 days to cover the transportation need for the group, such as move around the city freely and comfortably. The bus wouldn’t drive that many miles, but the quote will include the driver’s hotel for 2 nights. The cheapest and the most convenient option, in this case, is a school bus.

School bus on blacktop with clean sunny background

The group recieved quote for $1,800 everything included.

Final price: $1,800.

How to get the best price for chartering a school bus?

There are several tricks that you can use to get the best price for your trip. For the most part it comes down to your actual trip. When and how you plan your trip can be the key to a better price.
Plan Smart - and save 10-30%


Talk to our team of travel consultants and optimize your trip. Often we can make small adjustments to your trip that will create significant savings, or we can organize the shuttle in a more efficient way. If you talk to us early, together, we can create the best solution for you and your event. Make sure to have your details worked out as much as possible. The more detailed you can be about your itinerary, the more we can optimize and remove slack and make any needed small adjustments to give you the best offer.

Plan your event well in advance

Firstly, make sure to book your bus earlier rather than later. If there are no buses available, we can be forced to drive a bus in from another city which will incur additional cost. We recommend to book your bus a 8 weeks in advance and if you are booking for the high season or a national holiday, then consider to book it 4-6 months in advance.  You can always cancel your reservation at no cost if you cancel within 30 days. Last minute bookings are possible but always more costly.

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Pick the right Size School Bus Sizes

School buses come in a few sizes. On average, a large school bus can seat around 48 adult riders at 2 per seat or 72 children at 3 per seat. Many rentals have other options that can work really well for smaller groups. Also, when making your reservation with a school bus rental group make sure to inquire about any restrictions they may have.

If the Price is too good to be true, double check fees and quality

It is very important to hire the right bus rental company to insure a good experience. If a price seems to be too good to be true, it most likely is. It may not include everything you need it to include like gratuity, taxes, tolls, payment fees or it might be from a non-reputable source. Some might force your group to pay tips in advance or require cash to continue driving on the day. Always double check to avoid any of these complaints or get a quote from BookBuses. We work with a large network trusted operators across North America and we always got your back.

Consider to plan your event outside of Peak Season

Try to avoid popular times such as the weekends. Monday - Thursday are less busy and have less demand, so a rental company is more likely to give you a better price. The same goes for national holidays which tend to be high demand times. Summer months are also very popular for group events which cause a spike in school bus rentals. If possible plan events outside of  May through July to receive a better prices.

Booking 6+ trips a year? Join BookBusesPro©


If you are booking over 6 trips a year, join BookBusesPro© - a solution for professional organizers that gives special pricing for the year, a personal booking specialist, an improved service level agreement and a kickback bonus for you. Reach out and ask for BookBusesPro to talk to one of our specialists.  

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BookBuses can provide you with accurate and affordable quotes according to your specific travel needs.  Use our easy search or call (646) 801 6280 for your best price.