Bus for Sale Guide
Seven Commandments for Success
Seven commandments governing the purchase of any make or model bus.
Break just one of these rules and you will probably be sorry for the rest
of your life, possibly ruining your bus ownership experience altogether.
I - Thou shalt NEVER buy a bus that has heavily rusted critical
areas such as the frame or engine mounts unless you have researched the
cost to repair this and can afford to do so.
II - Thou shalt NOT buy a particular bus for which you have not
determined your source for repair and replacement parts. If you can't
find a supplier in a month then you probably will never find that part.
Many are surprised when they see attractive $30,000+ buses sitting idle
and don't realize it is normally due to replacement parts problems.
III - Thou shalt NOT purchase a project bus, one in need of substantial
conversions or repairs, without a clear, accurate cost estimate, deadlines
and plan for completion. "Great bus buying deals" can quickly
become embarrassing "projects that never get done".
IV - Thou shalt NOT purchase a bus until you have identified exactly
what problems you are trying to solve or what needs you are trying to
meet with the vehicle. The needs of a church for an inexpensive shuttle
bus vary greatly from those of a wealthy musician traveling 90,000 miles
a year. You may have many choices in the market but only ONE will be your
best solution - and the path to happiness starts with identifying exactly
what you need...NOT which pretty bus the salesman can get you financed
for the quickest.
V - Thou shalt NOT buy a bus without a complete professional inspection
of major parts, engine, transmission, frame, electrical, and air conditioning.
Warranties, service records, and history of vehicles use can be very
valuable in helping determine value.
VI - Thou shalt NOT purchase a bus without an absolutely verifiable
title with year of original production in place. For instance, it is legal
in many states to "re-title" an older bus, say a 1980 model.
First the dealer will make repairs and renovations up to DOT standards.
Then they can legally re-title it. The new title will say, for instance,
year made, 2004. There is nothing wrong with this as long as it is disclosed
and the price reflects the value.
VII - Thou shalt NOT purchase a bus for charter use or church
transportation without having a complete business plan in place, including
insurance costs (which are routinely underestimated), license fees, maintenance
costs, repair estimates, and breakdown contingency plans. Financing is
typically the single most important issue to handle correctly.