If this is the first time you're buying a used bus, you may be wondering where you can find used buses and whether you'll have many options once you locate a dealer. In fact, used buses are everywhere and you'll probably be surprised when you see how many are on the market. Granted you may need to travel a little further than you would for, say, a used car, but you should be able to find a used bus in your general area that you can pick up, or you may be able to have your used bus delivered to you for an additional fee.
Start looking for used buses at:
- Auctions. Auctions can be a great opportunity to find high quality used buses for a cheap price. Although this is not always the case, many times auctions will have strict rules about the quality of their used buses because of insurance requirements and will be auctioning off buses that have been well maintained. Oftentimes buses will be sold at auction because a project has run out of funding or shut down and its assets must be liquidated.
You can find local auctions by looking in the classified section of your local newspaper, asking your local police office when and where their auctions are held (police departments often auction off impounded and seized vehicles) and by going online. For a list of seized buses in your area you can visit Car Auction.
- Municipal governments or school districts. If you want to do some calling around, you might be able to get in touch with someone from your local school district or municipal government who can give you information about their bus fleets. Most school districts buy their own buses and hire their own drivers, but some contract with companies like Laidlaw, who provide the school districts with buses and driving services. You'll have to contact your local school district or municipal government (or sometimes the county transportation department) to determine the age of their fleet as well as if and when they'd be willing to sell their used buses.
- Private Dealers. If you're planning to spend more than $10,000 on your used bus, it will make sense to work with a professional used bus dealer or broker. Although they will obviously charge you more than what they paid for the bus, they are often able to purchase buses at wholesale prices because of their knowledge and experience in the industry. They find great deals and, although they mark the prices up slightly, they will still pass those deals on to you and you'll likely be paying less than you would if you were purchasing the used bus on your own.
If you're an inexperienced used bus buyer, then you might want to turn the responsibility of finding the bus you want over to a dealer or broker as well. You can find nationwide used bus dealers, like the one here, or you can find for professional used bus dealers in your area by looking through the phone book or searching online.
- Online. If you do an online search for "used bus" or "used buses in your region," you'll get a variety of results to sift through. If you are just browsing to see what's out there, or you know exactly what you want, searching online is a great option. You'll quickly determine which used buses are available in your area and for what price. Then you can either narrow down your search, or begin the purchasing process if you find something that suits your needs. You can find sites that give you information about used buses nationwide or used bus sales specific to you region (i.e. Northwest Bus Sales).
However you narrow down your used bus search, make sure that you're able to inspect your used bus thoroughly before you purchase it. Read How To Buy a Used Bus before you see your bus in person, so you'll know exactly what to look for when you're making your purchasing decision.