Obviously a necessity for many schools and popular with sports teams, clubs and associations, if you’re looking to purchase a minibus, there are certain things that need to be considered, as with the purchase of any vehicle – often referred to as a Transport Audit.
Do you need a minibus?
Firstly you must consider whether you need your own vehicle.
It’s very common for groups to believe owning a minibus will solve all their problems and that the biggest hurdle will be raising the finance. But as a matter of fact, persuading people to donate money to buy a vehicle can be relatively easy in comparison to the long-term running costs such as paying for fuel, van insurance, servicing and repairs.
Another thing to consider is how much time purchasing a new minibus will take up. Someone will have to be responsible for all the regular tasks such as filling the vehicle up with fuel, arranging maintenance and safety inspections and keeping records. As such, some careful consideration must be made, in terms of designating someone with that responsibility.
How often will the vehicle be used?
One of the most important questions you will need to ask yourself is how often you will be using your minibus as this will determine whether it is better to rent as opposed to purchasing.
For instance, if you need the vehicle regularly, be sure to consider how much it will cost to hire in. A brand new minibus with wheelchair access could cost in excess of £40,000 in comparison to as little as £25 a time to hire out a vehicle, with the added benefit of not dealing with the inconvenience of looking after you own minibus.
Purchasing the vehicle
If you have settled on buying a minibus you must then decide exactly what you need the vehicle for as this will determine what brand, model and size you opt for.
Some of the more obvious questions you will need to ask yourself will include:
What is your budget?
How many passengers will you need to carry?
Do you have any wheelchair users?
What luggage or equipment will need to be carried?
What length of journeys will be undertaken?
What level of comfort do you require?
Once you have answered these questions you will have a much better idea of what minibus you should choose.
The final stage would be to find a dealer, preferably local, so you can carefully check over your chosen vehicle and discuss any additional options available.
So certainly don’t be put off purchasing your own minibus – it may very well be the best option available to you and your needs. However be sure to your homework first and consider hire as a possibility as it may turn out the far more economical option.