How to Buy an Old School Bus in 2024

Purchasing a vehicle is something that requires a lot of thinking. These things cost a lot of money, and before you make a decision, you should spend some time researching and learning more about models, characteristics and price ranges.

When you are in a need of a good school bus, there are a few different things that you need to pay a lot of attention to. If you are currently reading this article, chances are that you need a helping hand, and that’s exactly what we are here to offer you.

Today we’re talking about old School Buses and some of the ways that you can find the best one for purchase. You are probably as impatient as we are, so why keep this introduction any longer? Let’s jump straight into the content.

Observing the history

The first and most important step of purchasing a used vehicle, regardless if it’s a car or an old school-bus, should be a process of learning more about the history of the vehicle itself, whether that’s from the owner of the documents.

Ask about the year of manufacture, the maintenances, and services, any possible issues that have or haven’t been dealt with, and make sure that they are being honest with the answers. If you are purchasing from a trustworthy person, it might not be necessary to ask for evidence about regular maintenance, but it’s very fair for the owner to present this to you without even being asked for.

Vehicles that were serviced at their scheduled dates and maintained properly can still run as good as new, but the price might be a bit higher as well, compared to those that weren’t taken good care of.

The Engine


We all know that the engine is one of the most important parts of a vehicle, and it’s the hardest one to replace in case something goes completely wrong with it. Unfortunately, school buses are not meant to run for eternity, so sooner or later the engine will give up, usually earlier if the driver wasn’t very careful with it.

Make sure to check the state of the engine before anything else, and if you notice any red lights there, it’s not even worth looking at the rest of the vehicle. It doesn’t matter if it has shiny seats and a perfectly untouched exterior if the engine is about to fail soon.

Looks do matter

Now, although the most important thing might be the engine and the rest of the key components that keep the vehicle up and running, looks still matter quite a lot. It’s a school bus after all, so it should be clean, shiny and attractive.

It needs to provide a sense of safety because you are driving children at the end of the day. Not that older-looking busses mean less safety, but you know how things go with children, they can be pretty judgmental. You can do some cleaning and polishing on your own after you purchase it, so keep that in mind.

Compare Prices


Some statistics point out that a new bus will be somewhere between fifty thousand dollars, while a used one can be found for three thousand if you are lucky enough. Now, this will depend on the model, age and condition, but a hidden gem can be found now and then, so make sure to look hard enough, even in places where you least expect to found a used school bus.

Also, if you need an extra helping hand, feel free to visit Skoolie Livin.

Comparing prices is important because it allows you to get a clear picture in your head about the certain model that you want to purchase, and you’ll know if you are paying more or less than what you should be. Do this before purchasing.

Check Listings regularly

Although a used school bus sounds like something pretty easy to find for purchase, sometimes people buy them so quickly and you are left without any reliable options. To find these things more easily, make sure to check listings and commercials regularly, both on the internet and in the newspapers.

Visiting your nearest vehicle dealer is also a great idea, although you might be able to find a tad cheaper priced models on the internet.

Using the internet to your advantage


Almost anything can be done online these days, including buying and selling of used school buses. If you have no luck finding one locally, try searching online, or even better, by using a smartphone application for listings.

The area in which you live might be small, but the internet is not. You will be able to find all sorts of models and in many different prices ranges just by throwing a glance at a few websites, or by downloading a few reliable apps. Everyone has access to the internet these days, make sure to use it to your advantage.

Make sure that you understand your risks

The main reason why people buy used things is that they want to save some money, which is not quite possible if you buy something brand-new. Although you get to save a lot of funds by purchasing a used bus, you should still understand some of the risks that come with it.

First of all, you don’t get a warranty about any of the parts, and nobody ensures that the bus will keep running for even a week without something breaking. Of course, we are always supposed to be optimistic about things like these, but it’s worthy to understand that things can go wrong, and when they do, they cost money.

Even from the very moment when you purchase an older and used vehicle, there are some expenses that you have to cover instantaneously, so make sure that you have some extra finances laying on your side. Don’t cross your budget and always leave something extra because if something breaks, and you don’t have the funds to fix it, you are left with an unusable vehicle until you collect more money.

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