Key Factors that Affect the Charter Bus Rental Cost

May 13, 2022
Liz Arnold

Whether you are a high school football coach or a wedding planner, you probably know that charter buses are some of the most convenient ways to to transport large groups of people from point A to point B. But what about the budget? Want to know how much your group bus transportation will cost? At Infinity Transportation, our friendly team is always happy to give you a free estimate or a detailed quote – and there are some key things we need to know before giving you the best bus charter cost.

You may find pricing examples online, but keep in mind that these estimates may be different than the final cost for your charter bus trip.

Our bus for rent price is determined by the size of the vehicle and the charter bus type, the distance you need to travel, and so much more. If you want to organize a family reunion trip or looking to travel with your sports team or colleagues, take a look at this guide to help you understand what you'll pay.

Charter Buses Types and Group Size

The size of your group will determine the size of the bus you need, and larger buses often incur additional costs. Given that larger buses typically require more fuel and endure higher maintenance costs, you're always going to pay more the bigger the bus you rent.

That's why our team at Infinity Transportation always works closely with you to ensure that you get the best bus based on your needs and budget. We offer a wide range of vehicles to choose from, including school buses, minibus rental, and charter buses of different sizes. It means taking into consideration the size of your group, and how much luggage you need to bring - you will need considerably more storage space for a multi-day camping trip than a one-day educational tour of the surrounding college campuses!

Special Amenities Required

Charter bus rental prices vary widely based on the amenities. Without surprise, more luxurious vehicles with all the bells and whistles are more expensive than a standard school bus with as many seats. Depending on the purpose of your trip and passengers' expectations, you may need to find the best bus that fits your purpose and your budget. For example, you will have different accommodations for party buses than you would for field trips with school children. Examples of special amenities include air conditioning, onboard restrooms, luggage space, and so on. Therefore, most of the bus prices you will find online are only examples. The final cost depends on the type of bus that best fit your trip's purpose. If you need something specific, such as electrical outlets or DVD players, mention it to your reservation specialist and leave room for it in your trip budget.

The Starting City

Like any market, supply and demand drive charter bus prices. Average prices will be lower in cities where charter bus companies are more common than in a small town or in a city difficult to navigate large commercial vehicles. When looking at charter bus rentals, keep in mind that you may be able to rent a bus for a lower price in major cities, even if they are further from your departure point. However, beware that you will need to include additional expenses, such as parking permits and additional mileage to your final cost. It can be helpful to request costs from several companies to get the best price for your trip.

Travel Distance and Fuel Expenses for the Entire Trip

The first thing that we take into consideration when determining the budget for charter bus rentals is the travel distance and fuel expenses. The further you need to travel, the more fuel will be required for traveling there, and traveling back. Because fuel prices are fluctuating all the time, your price may vary depending on the time that you book.

Bus rental cost

Is It One-Way Trip or a Round Trip?

Renting a charter bus one way is typically more expensive than a round trip since you will need to pay a deadhead fee. You may only need to rent a bus to use for part of your trip, but the rental company will still need to bring the vehicle back to the same location, even if the bus is empty. Moving a charter bus is expensive: bus companies need to pay for fuel, the driver's hotel (if applicable) and hourly rate, and so on. Therefore, especially in the case of shorter trips such as one-day trips, it is best to plan for a round trip to keep the trip cost as low as possible.

Current Time of the Year

The time of the year affects charter bus rates, too!

In this industry, people tend to book more charter buses when children are in school, meaning that demand is high, supply is lower, and prices may go up. In a busy season, whether that means children are in school or there are many local sports games and events attracting people to Chicago, prices may increase.

One time of year you may wish to avoid is the spring. April, May, and June are some of the most expensive months of the year to book buses, while January, February, and July could offer you the best savings. However, beware that bad winter weather could also affect the trip details.

Is Additional Driver Required?

When you travel further, you need more than just more fuel. Often a second driver is retired to ensure that you arrive on time.

The law requires that one driver stays behind the wheel for any longer than ten hours at a time. Drivers must then take eight-hour rests before driving again. If you need to travel long-distance, multiple drivers increase the cost and also ensure that everybody on the bus can stay safe.

Is It a Busy Season?

As well as thinking about the time of year you’re booking, you should also consider whether the place you’re traveling to is in its busy season. If you’re traveling to a destination popular with summer vacationers, then expect more traffic and a longer travel time. The same is true if you’re traveling to a destination in the winter where more people may be traveling.

The time of the week is important, too! Weekends tend to be the time that coaches are in the most demand.

The price of travel bus services depends on the time of year, the time of the week, and by how much extra travel time there may be during traffic.

How much to charter a bus

On-Duty and Driving Time

On-duty time refers to the time spent by the driver not driving, but taking breaks, stopping at service stations, and so on. The best way for you to keep your driving and on-duty time down, and therefore save on cost, is to keep your itinerary simple and your travel time as low as you can.

Consider how many pits stops you may need to make and whether your team can all meet at one place rather than driving around the city before setting off on a journey.

Tips to Save on a Charter Bus Rental Costs

Now you know the factors that determine the price of a travel bus, we have a few tips to help you save money with your next booking.

  • Limit your Stops: While stops are important and required by the law, limiting the number of stops you make during your trip reduces the amount of time that drivers spend on duty. Over two journeys – there and back – that can reduce your cost somewhat substantially.
  • Choose the Right Bus: Why pay for a bigger bus when you don’t need it? We have a large fleet of buses and coaches available. Our smaller buses come with plenty of overhead storage, meaning you may be able to travel in a smaller bus if you don’t have the numbers to justify a coach…you don’t need to rent a whole coach!
  • Book Ahead: The longer ahead you book, the bigger the savings! Waiting too long to book may make it harder to get the exact coach you need, and you may even need to pay more for a larger bus. When you plan and book months ahead of time, expect to make great savings!
  • Choose the Off-Season: As we have already discussed in this piece, choosing the off-season is always a smart idea if you’re looking to save money.

Chicago’s Trusted Charter Bus Rental Service

At Infinity Transportation, we’ve spent years providing the Chicago area with the most reliable charter bus rental service around. We always work with our clients to ensure they get the best deal, and to give you and your group a comfortable ride that gets you where you need to be on time!

For a quote for charter bus rental in Chicago, don’t hesitate to get in touch! Infinity Transportation is here to help.

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Check out a few of our ideas on where you can spend the day with your group, and then give us a call anytime at 847-297-1110 to rent your vehicle.
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Book Your Group Bus Rental Today!
No matter what type of group you’re traveling with, Infinity Transportation is here to pair you with the perfect group transportation solution
Get Your Quote

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