What to Expect When Renting a Bus
Whether you’re renting daily, weekly, month-to-month periods, or seasonally, understanding what to expect is key to finding the right vehicle for your needs.
Do not expect a driver to be provided. One of the first things you should understand is the difference between a coach service versus bus rentals. These two are commonly mistaken to be the same thing. Renting a bus requires you to provide a driver to operate the vehicle. A coach or charter service rental provides a driver in addition to the bus. This is significant since the prices between the two are not typically comparable.
Is a special license expected?
This leads to the next common question many customers find themselves asking…Is a special license needed to drive this bus? The answer depends on what size vehicle you are looking for and, surprisingly, which state you plan to operate this vehicle, since each state has different laws regarding the need for a Commercial Driver License (CDL). In the state of Colorado, for instance, if you plan on operating a bus with 15 passengers or less (including the driver) you do not need a CDL. In California, this is restricted to 12 passengers or less.
What type of insurance is should I be expected to carry?
In general, for long-term and seasonal leases, the bus rental company needs to be listed as the additional insured and loss payee on a certificate issued by your insurance company that includes the VIN for the vehicle or the designation any auto.
For short term rentals, however, all vehicles include basic minimum state mandated limits of liability insurance. Simply stated, if you do not have access to a commercial auto policy, you are legally permitted to operate a bus rental without any additional insurance provisions. However, a discount is offered if you are able to provide a certificate of liability insurance listing the bus rental company as the Loss Payee with regards to physical damage of the Equipment and Additional insured with regards to liability. Cornerstone is one of the few bus rental companies that provide all necessary vehicle-specific information, and can deal directly with your insurer, if necessary.
One last thing to expect when renting a bus – it is bigger than your car, so drive carefully. This may seem obvious, but even just refilling the gas on a bus can become an interesting task. Be aware of the height of the vehicle when pulling into covered structures, specifically when parking the vehicle.