advance search +
search box

Bus Articles Articles: Used Buses For Sale

Used Buses For Sale

Used Bus Guide

If you are considering the purchase of a used bus, there are many things to consider. First, buses are not inexpensive and it is important to have all the facts in order to make a well informed decision on your purchase. There are many things to consider- first, how many miles the bus will be traveling each year and how many years you will be using the bus. This will help you to decide which type of bus is the best for your needs. For example, church buses typically are much less traveled than commercial buses. Commercial buses can easily put 25,000 miles or more on the vehicle annually while a church bus typically travels less than 5,000 miles per year.

Used Bus Engines:

For most models 1998 and up the life of the bus engines are up to 500,000 miles. A low mileage used bus would be those that have 200,000 miles and less.

Also, before purchasing the used bus, make certain that replacement parts for the bus are easily available. This can be done by checking with your local repair shop. You also want to take into consideration that the bigger the engine, the more powerful it is. Before purchasing the bus, you will want to inspect the engine to ensure that it doesn’t need an overhaul or repair- which means additional expense to the cost of the bus. Ask the owner of the bus to disclose all information regarding any rebuilds to the engine. If the engine was rebuilt then ask how many miles ago, as rebuilt engines normally last from 75,000 to 125,000 miles. Check the engine for excessive smoke and unusual noises that may alert a mechanical problem.

Gas or Diesel:

While it is thought that gas buses are less maintenance, it is actually the opposite. In the professional transportation industry, 95% purchase diesel buses because they have less maintenance. While the diesel will cost $8,000 more than the gas, there will be less maintenance and repairs and there are plenty of highly trained diesel mechanics.

Bus Frame:

Before purchasing a used bus for sale, make certain that the frame of the bus and the supporting body are in good condition. Should the bus have rust on the body surface, don’t consider purchasing it, no matter what the cost. Rust will grow and soon you will have a corrosive bus. This includes a flaking frame, hood hinge mounts and rusting fenders.


Automatic transmissions are much easier to drive than the manual transmission and are easier to resell. Most people, especially those driving the bus many miles annually prefer an automatic transmission.


It is essential that you get all documentation on the used bus. This includes all repairs that have been made to the bus and receipt records. This will let you know how well the owner cared for the bus.

If you are debating new or used, it is important to remember that new buses lose 1/3 of their value in the first year.