Top 10 Questions to Ask a Charter Bus Service

Ask These Questions before Hiring a Charter Bus Rental Company

In today’s marketplace there are a lot of different charter bus rental companies available to consumers and it is tough to know which one to choose.  With a large group of people in the vehicle it is important to ask the right questions so that you can make sure you get a safe and reliable company.  Don’t take a chance on transportation for you next group event by selecting the cheapest company.  Make sure you know as much as you can about the company you are looking to hire by asking the right questions.

Charter Bus Interior Executive Seating

1.  What is the charter bus rental company’s safety record?

Has the charter bus rental company had an accidents or injury’s since being in business?  How does the U.S. department of transportation rate the company? Visit their site for more information on each companies rating.

2.  Does your company have the proper current licenses?

Does the charter bus rental company have the proper licenses to operate in the locations your are going?  Also is the driver properly licensed to operate the vehicle you are requesting?  In Michigan bus and motor coach operators are required to have a minimum $5 million insurance policy.  All of the chauffeurs or drivers are required to have a commercial drivers license.

3.  What type of training/monitoring do you have in place for your drivers?

Not only is it important to know if the drivers or chauffeurs are properly licensed but you should go a step further and ask about the training and monitoring programs in place.  A good company should do ongoing training, extra safety training, and do random drug testing.  Other good questions to ask is what is the drivers or chauffeurs uniform and what type of experience do they have.  If the itinerary is demanding experience can play an important role in things going smoothly. Keep in mind motor coach and charter bus chauffeurs have government mandated time limits on the amount of driving they can do.  This is important for your safety and a good charter bus rental company will make sure to stand by those rules.

4. What type of charter buses do you have?

Ask the charter bus company about the condition, size and age of the bus or buses they have.  Buses typically range is size from 20 to 56 passengers so quotes can be changed to fit the size of your group.  The amenities in Motor Coaches can also vary drastically so look into the amenities that are important to your group.  Things such as WiFi, onboard restroom, wood floors, PA system, leather seating, TV’s and satellite radio are all options.  Also ask the company if the vehicle is available to be seen in person or if you can request a particular vehicle.

5.  What separates the company from other Charter Bus rental companies?

A company should be able to tell you why they are different from the competition.   Ask how long the company has been in business and what their service level is?  Do they have someone answering the phones 24 hours a day?  Do they guarantee on time arrival of their vehicles?  You would be surprised by how many motor coach companies close at 5pm and do not answer their phones. Make sure you understand this incase being able to contact the company for last minute changes or questions is important to your group.

6.  Do you have any references?

Ask the company for a list of references.  A good company will have credible references from other businesses or individuals who have used their service.

7.  Are there any additional amenities available or included?

Not all charter bus rental companies provided the same type of amenities so it is important to be clear on what they offer.   Most companies should include bottled water and ice in the vehicle. Also ask about on board TV’s and Wifi?

8.  Do you have a back up plan in place?

While no one expects a vehicle to break down it is important that the company have a back up plan in place something was to happen.  A company should have some type of plan in place for sending a replacement vehicle or multiple vehicles to get the group moving in a timely manner again.

9.  How are the vehicle maintained?

Ask if the vehicles are cleaned after each run and how they are services.   It is important to make sure that you are getting a clean vehicle as their will be a lot of people in one space.  Also is maintenance done by a licensed mechanic onsite or off site?

10. What is the cost of the trip?

Ask about the cost associated with the trip you are looking for.  Make sure they explain all of the charges and possible charges that may be incurred during the trip. Do they have extra fees if you are paying by credit card? What is the deposit and cancellation policy to get a refund?  If you are requesting a specific time frame what are the costs for going over? Most charter bus rental companies should be able to give you a total cost with the exception of tolls, parking, and other variable fees.  If you are still undecided when getting a quote ask the company to email one to you so you have it for future reference.

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By |2018-08-29T13:47:54+00:00August 26th, 2018|Charter Bus, Group Travel, Tips|9 Comments

About the Author:

Affiliate Director for ALLSTAR Chauffeured Services. Over 15 years experience in the chauffeured transportation industry.


  1. Kody Loveless June 21, 2016 at 3:58 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the great tips. I have been looking at a charter bus for my sisters band class. They are doing their band trip at the end of the summer. I have been trying to figure what makes a good charter company and what to ask them. I really like the idea of asking them if they have a back up plan. Nothing would ruin the trip faster than the bus breaking down. I am going to look into this.

  2. Theodore Winston June 24, 2016 at 4:56 pm - Reply

    I agree that it is very important to ask about the safety record when looking for a good charter bus company. When planning any trip, safety should be the number one priority, so researching the safety record of a charter bus company should be one of the first things you do. I know that I will definitely be looking into the safety of a charter bus company before I hire one. Thanks for the good advice!

  3. Faylinn July 1, 2016 at 3:36 pm - Reply

    I’m thinking about getting a charter bus for my family reunion and so I really like your question about having a back up plan in place. I once went on a trip where the bus broke down and we were stuck there overnight and so I definitely think that it would be wise to ask about about Plan B. However, what do you think a typical back up plan would be?

  4. Kendall Everett August 15, 2016 at 9:52 pm - Reply

    The type of buses that are offered will influence the company that you will end up going with. If you have a specific size that you need, making sure that the company has one available and that is clean is important. Taking pictures of the bus as you tour it will help you remember what it will look like for your trip.

  5. Brooke McAvoy August 22, 2016 at 10:27 pm - Reply

    It would definitely be helpful if you looked into the references that a bus company might have. This would help you to know what it would be like to work with them specifically along with figuring out their level of professionalism. Maintenance is also really important, especially if there is something that you might have to contribute after using the bus. Thank you for all of your helpful information!

  6. April Cook August 23, 2016 at 4:21 pm - Reply

    I really like your tip to ask about the amenities that area available. We are thinking of hiring a mini bus for a work trip, and I think it would be good to see if there is Wifi on the bus. That way we could get some work done while we are traveling. Is this something that you usually get charged more for?

    • Jason Fritz August 29, 2016 at 12:07 pm - Reply

      The Wifi is complimentary.

  7. Braden Bills August 30, 2016 at 12:20 pm - Reply

    I’m trying to come up with a good way to transport a large number of people. It makes sense that a bus service like this would be helpful! I’ll make sure that they are safe and properly licensed, though.

  8. Ellen Hughes August 14, 2018 at 4:29 am - Reply

    I found it helpful when you suggested asking the charter bus rental company for the list of their references to make sure that they are willing to share the details of the people who have used their services. My sister and I are organizing a big family party and reunion, and we’ll be needing to rent a charter bus. We want to only deal with a charter bus rental company that’s highly recommended by their past clients because of how excellent their services are, so I’ll be sure to consider all your tips.

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