If you’re like me, you’ve searched for information on how to rent a bus you can drive yourself, and only been able to find a bunch of rental companies that claim you can rent a bus from them, but then offer you a smaller vehicle. Or you only come up with charter companies that want you to use their driver.
How to rent a bus to drive yourself? You can rent a bus for yourself from private individuals. Some of the buses you find will be converted into custom layouts and others will be traditional seating. Visiting some of the online RV rental sites listed below will help you find what you are looking for.
This resource will help you find a bus that you can rent and drive yourself. The reason you can’t find a bus to rent and drive is because there aren’t any companies that offer this type of rental. At least no companies that I could find. I am going to show you how you can locate them.
There are two main places I have been able to find buses to self drive. They are outdoorsy.com and rvshare.
If you’ve ever visited Outdoorsy, or if you go there now, you will probable think you can’t find a bus for rent on the site. And I will admit, it is difficult to find a bus on their site when you go directly to the site. Outdoorsy has very limited search capabilities. You basically can only enter the city you want to search in and the dates you are looking to book your rental. But there is another way you can search.
To find a bus on Outdoorsy, you have to do a search on Google that limits itself to results on Outdoorsy. The search you execute on google looks like the following:
This search yielded some good results. Here are a few.
2016 Tiffin Motorhomes Allegro Bus
This bus comes loaded with features. It has air conditioning, toilet, kitchen, generator, beds, and so much more. And the best part is you get to drive it yourself. This size bus does require a special license to drive. It is also pretty pricey at $300 per day.
If you slightly change the first Google search, you can find some smaller buses/vans. Here is the search:
And here is a result from that search.
10 Seater Custom Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
This is an amazing looking bus. It has custom captains chairs that swivel. There are two bench seats in the back that accommodate two people each. The benches can each fold down to create a bed for all for people that are seated on them. There is a toilet in the very back of the van. There is also a small refrigerator, sink, and microwave oven. I would like to take this on everyone of my trips. How about you?
Another website you can find some good buses to rent and drive yourself is rvshare.com. Rvshare has very good search funtionality. You can search by location, date, number it sleeps, price, type of drivable RV, type of Towable RV, type of booking, your own keywords, and additonal filters.
The screen shot above was done with ‘bus’ entered in to the keyword field. All of the results are for you to drive the bus yourself.
Here is one of the listing.
As you can see, you can rent this beauty for ony $295 a night. And you get to drive it. This definitely beats renting a hotel room.
The bus also comes with a plethora of amenities. You get an stove, sofa, microwave, refrigerator, kitchen sink, toilet, shower…the list goes on and on.
Here is a result from searching with the keyword ‘sprinter’.
As you can see, both sites have owner’s listing their buses and vans for you to rent. You may not be able to find exactly what you are looking for in your immediate area. But if you are willing to travel a little bit, you should be able to get the right vehicle
What type of license do you need to drive a bus?
Licensing varies from state to state, so be sure to check with your state and any state you will be driving in. To drive a vehicle that weighs less than 10,000 pounds, your regular license should be fine. Anything over 10,000 pounds requires a special license.
As an example, in Louisiana, to operate a vehicle over 10,000 pounds and less than 26,000 pounds and for hire, you would need a Class D license . To operate a vehicle less than 26,000 pounds not for hire, you would need a Class C license. To operate a straight vehicle that is over 26,000 pounds, you would need a Class B license. And to operate a vehicle with a trailer that is over 26,000 pounds you would need a Class A license.
For a bus, like the Tiffin Allegro Bus shown above, you would need a Class B license. For a bus, like the Mercedes Benz Sprinter, you could use your regular license.
What kind of fuel does a bus use?
Buses come in both gasoline and diesel. Diesel is more common because diesel engines tend to have more power, especially when towing.
The smaller vans, like the Mercedes Sprinter, come in both diesel and gas powered. Mercedes only offers the Sprinter in a 4-cylinder for gas and in a 6-cylinder for diesel.
How much will gas or diesel cost for a bus?
The cost you pay will be however much the fuel is at the pump per gallon. Large buses get between 4 – 10 miles per gallon. A smaller vehicle, like the Sprinter will get between 16 – 24 miles per gallon.
According to fueleconomy.gov, diesel fuel contains 10% to 15% more energy. They say this means vehicles with diesel engines will go 20% to 35% further than gas powered vehicles. Gas, at least at this time, is cheaper than diesel when priced per gallon. If you are given a choice between a gas or a diesel engine in your rental, you should consider the price per gallon and what kind of load you will be carrying.
Are winds and other road conditions a concern?
The larger the vehicle the more the wind will affect how it drives. You will need to slow down when the wind in high to keep from being blown around and possibly losing control.
Rain and snow can be extremely dangerous when operating a bus. Be sure to get the right kind of training for these conditions. It’s a good idea to go out and do some real world simulated driving on a closed course.
A bus rental is waiting for you
Whether you’re taking a large group on a day trip or you want to head out on the road for a long hiatus, you can get a bus and drive it yourself.