Church buses can come in handy for a number of reasons, such as transporting vacation Bible school students on field trips or taking parishioners to locations for missionary work. If you are considering the purchase of a bus for your church, here are a few things to consider.
How Many People Do You Need To Transport?
When you begin looking for a bus, consider the maximum number of people you will need to transport. If the bus will be primarily used for Bible study field trips, take into account the number of children in your church, and allow for a few extra seats to accommodate chaperones. For transporting elderly parishioners to and from services, you might need a smaller bus, but for large mission trips, you may want to consider a larger option. Think about all the ways the bus will be used to determine the proper size for your church.
How Much Can You Afford?
If your church doesn't have a lot of extra money available for a bus purchase, you may want to consider purchasing a used bus. You can talk to charter bus companies in your area to see if they are selling off older buses from their fleets, or you can go to specialty dealers who sell new and used buses. As you consider how much you can afford to spend, be sure to take the cost of insuring the bus into consideration. Talk to an insurance agent to determine if the premiums for the bus will be within your budget before you invest in this type of purchase.
Is The Bus Safe And Accessible?
Not all buses come with the same safety and accessibility features. Look for buses that come equipped with seat belts, as this will help to keep both adult and child passengers safe while on the road. If you have elderly or disabled parishioners, you'll also want to look for a bus that features a wheelchair lift or ramp. It's a good ideal to invest in a handicap-accessible vehicle even if you don't currently have a need, as it can ensure you are able to tend to the needs of future members of your flock.
Do You Have A Licensed Driver?
The rules regarding licensing for bus drivers varies from state to state, but typically, you will need to ensure you have someone who is specifically licensed to drive this type of vehicle. In some states, such as Illinois, anyone driving a religious institution's bus needs to have a school bus permit. Make sure you have someone in your church who is legally able to drive your parishioners in the bus.
Shop around to find a used bus with the right size and safety features you need, such as from Sawyers Bus Sales, and get ready to use your bus to take your flock on inspiring new adventures.