minibus white van on green grass field during daytime

Buying, Leasing, or Hiring a Minibus – Which one is the Best Option?

A lot of people are torn between buying, leasing, or hiring a minibus when acquiring one, and some don’t really understand what differentiates the three options. Some people assume that a rental would be for a very short period, for instance, when they can extend to up to a year. This is why you need to look at all of these choices in detail, and know the pros and cons of each. Let’s take a look at the difference between buying, leasing, and hiring a minibus, and which option would be the best for your situation.

Buying, Leasing, and Hiring – The Differences

When you buy a minibus, you become its sole owner and can do whatever you want with it once you’re done with it. You can choose to either buy a vehicle new and get a full warranty or a used one depending on your budget. Being the owner means, however, that you’ll have to take care of maintenance and servicing on the vehicle unless you have a special deal with the seller. 

When you lease a vehicle, you will get to use a vehicle for about two to five years on average, depending on the provider. Some providers will provide bespoke agreements if a shorter, longer, or irregular term would be better for you. If you’re looking for a minibus provider that offers flexible lease agreements for schools, care homes, and other organizations, try a company like The Minibus Centre.

With a hire, you get to keep the vehicle for a shorter period than with a lease. This leaves you more space and can be a good option if you only have short-term needs. Things like servicing and certain repairs, MOTs, roadside assistance, and safety inspection will usually be part of the deal. One of the things you should know with minibus hires, however, is that you’ll usually be given a used vehicle. 

What are the Pros and Cons of Buying the Vehicle?

Buying the vehicle upfront will allow you to get some residual value from it. And a quality bus from a good company can run for way beyond its warranty and still retain a lot of its value, so that’s something you have to consider.

You also won’t have as many restrictions and penalties with a minibus when you own it. You will be able to make the modifications you want to it with no issues too. This means that you won’t run into problems if you want to go from one type of transportation to another, like going from school transport to transporting disabled people, for instance.

The biggest issue with buying a minibus is that you’ll have to pay more out of pocket and will have to handle much of the servicing and maintenance which comes with extra costs. You may also have more trouble than you expected when the time comes to sell the vehicle and get less value than you thought out of the sale.

What are the Pros and Cons of Leasing the Vehicle?

The biggest benefit of leasing the vehicle is that you will get to have a brand-new or almost brand-new vehicle and never have to worry about making major repairs. Servicing and maintenance will get taken care of by the leasing company, which will help you manage your transportation budget better.

Leasing is also less expensive per month than financing. So, if you’re more worried about cash flow than getting residual value and ownership for the moment, then going for a lease may be the best option.

What are the Pros and Cons of Hiring the Vehicle?

Hiring is a better option if you only need the vehicle for a short period. A school may decide to hire one or more minibuses if they have very busy summer terms with all sorts of events, for instance. You can also hire a vehicle for a short period for a one-off event, or if you’re not certain that your current needs will be permanent.

Things like serving and maintenance will all be included in the lease price, which will make managing costs very easy and take some of the headaches out of owning a minibus. 

The main issue with hiring a vehicle, however, is that it will cost significantly more than leasing one, so you won’t get some cash savings as you would with them. Your choice of vehicle will also be limited, and you may have to settle for an older vehicle than what you wished.

Now that you know a bit more about the differences between buying, leasing, and hiring a minibus, you can start looking at different options and choose the one that will fit your needs. Try to find a reputable provider in your area, and don’t be afraid to ask them as many questions as possible about their packages until you find something that works for you.