10 Places To Buy A School Bus For Cheap


A detailed study has to be done when buying an old school bus to arrive at a wise decision.Traditionally buses were bought directly from previous users.

In this age of technology, the owners advertise the vehicle to be sold on internet sites making comparisons of the models of buses on sale easy. Bids for auctions can also be made online making the process simpler.

10 places to buy a school bus for cheap

1. Buses from schools

The best and the easiest place to find a used school bus are school districts or schools. These buses will be serviced and maintained regularly as the schools take safety of the children very seriously.

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First-hand information of the buses and assessment by mechanics who have been servicing the vehicle can be obtained. On the whole, the buses from schools tend to be well taken care of.It is advantageous to buy buses directly from school districts or schools.

2. Govdeals.com

This is a government auction site. They sell a varied range of products from building materials to musical instruments. The advantage of this site is that they show the contact information of the sellers of the product.

This helps in contacting them and assessing the product before placing the bid at the auction.

3. eBay.com

eBay is another place to search for a school bus. eBay provides a wider area of search and one can opt for local pick up. The biggest advantage of using eBay is that they have a money back policy.

If you don’t receive the item ordered, if the item is faulty or damaged, or if the features do not match the description all the money paid will be refunded.

4. Publicsurplus.com

Public Surplus is an auction site which is open to the general public. The businesses post their surplus items for sale and auction on this site.


They sell all sorts and types of surplus items in addition to buses. So their bids start very low. The auction items have detailed descriptions. They also mention who is auctioning the item. You can have a better idea of the condition of the bus before placing the bid.

5. Craiglist.com

This option enables one to find an affordable bus in the area closer to school. A thorough checking of the bus is recommended before actual purchase.

6. The Facebook marketplace

This is another version of Craigslist. This helps in finding a bus locally. It is beneficial to buyers who do not want to travel for purchases.

7. Nwbus.com

This site sells different types of buses. You can buy used buses or new. You can even build a bus to your requirement. The prices are slighter higher. But this place ensures that you are getting a bus that has been fully maintained and inspected for safety.

The site also offers finance options to pay for the bus. They have efficient customer service networks who respond promptly.

8. American Bus Sales

American Bus Sales has been a trusted supplier of used buses from 2004. They have a wide range of buses including Blue Bird, Thomas, Ford, Chevrolet, IC buses. Most of the buses they come with added benefits of a warranty.

9. National Bus Sales

National Bus Sales offers used school buses from a variety of brands including Blue Bird, Chevrolet, Collins, Ford, Starcraft, Thomas, Midbus, and Titan.

A search of their bus inventory for featured school buses will help in spotting the required vehicle. The benefit of buying from National Bus Sales is the extensive warranty support offered by them.

Most vehicles carry an existing manufacturer’s warranty, a two year drive train warranty and an additional warranty backed by National Bus Sales Quality Guarantee. They offer commercial warranties for school buses 10 years old.

10. Central States Bus

Central States Bus is a one-stop shop for school transportation needs. They deal in new and used buses. They have a stock of spare parts and accessories. They provide technical support. Their vehicles come with warranties.

Factors to be considered while buying an old school bus

The availability of used buses, suppliers of buses and technical and mechanical aspects have to be thoroughly checked before the actual purchase is made. A feasibility study is warranted to assess whether the overall cost is cheap and if the purchase is worth the money paid.

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In addition to seating capacity, comforts of the driver and condition of the vehicle, a look at the following factors in detail would be of immense help while buying an old school bus.

1. Look to suitable regions:

Buses being used in areas without snow and rain will be in better conditions. Rain and snow causes rust and faster deterioration of mechanical equipment. Buses plying in drier regions will have lesser chances of rusty parts.

2. Type of buses

There are front and rear engine buses. Front engine buses come at a lower cost and higher seating capacity. Rear engine buses are slightly more expensive and have a lower seating capacity.

3. Driver comfort

The conventional front engine buses have the engine in front of the driver. The drivers have to endure the heat which is uncomfortable. The drivers prefer rear engine buses.

The conventional front engine buses have the engine in front of the driver. The drivers have to endure the heat which is uncomfortable. The drivers prefer rear engine buses.

4. History of the bus

Knowledge of the number of years the bus has been in operation and the mileage covered gives a very basic idea about the condition of the bus.

Older buses in all probability would have had their engine or transmissions replaced. The date of replacement and details of equipment used has to be obtained.

5. Chassis and engine

The condition of the chassis determines the life of the bus. Ensuring the engine is in perfect condition is important. These two parts have the biggest cost factor.

6. Rust

In places where it snows heavily during winter the roads are heavily salted. This causes the vehicles to rust. Rains too cause rust on the metal parts partly due to ageing of the buses and partly due to the quality of the metal used. Rust spreads.

Most of the old school buses will have rust. The buyer needs to make sure that the rust is minimal and easy to remove.

7. Worn out tires

When school buses go on sale their tires would be worn out, it would be advisable to check the amount of tread left on them. Replacing four to six tires of a school bus would cost thousands and may not make the purchase viable.


On the contrary worn out tires can be used as pretext to lower the price of the bus given that everything else on the bus is in perfect working condition.

8. Fluid leaks

Check the underneath of the bus for leaks, cracked hoses, oils or other fluids. It would not be advisable to buy a bus that is found to be leaking.

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Fixing serious problems mechanical aspects in an old bus can become very expensive. It would be better to avoid buying buses with mechanical and engine problems however cheap they may be.

9. Battery condition

Bus batteries, per se, are very expensive to replace. An assessment of how old the battery is and when it was replaced is essential. It is better to check the battery for corrosion and leakage.

The battery compartment has to be corrosion free. The battery has to be in good working condition as the bus has to perform in varied weather conditions.

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