Absolute Bus Sales 1173 Kenric Rd. Lumberton NC 28360  ~ 910-272-0177 ~ www.AbsoluteBus.com

Bus Sales Guide to Buses for Sale

by Absolute Bus Sales

You will find that this Bus Sales Information Guide will answer your most important questions and more about buying the right buses for sale to fit your needs at the right price. Don't throw your money away, take the time to understand before you buy a bus.

New bus sales or Used Bus Sales?

new bus for sale
New Bus Sales

used bus for sale
Used Bus Sales

Buying a new or used bus for sale is a very important question for someone in the market for bus sales. To find the answer to this question, first you need to figure out how many miles your bus will travel per year and second, how many years you will need the bus. This usually depends on how your bus will be driven.

For example, church buses normally travel less than 5,000 miles per year, while a commercial bus company with a daily route may put as many as 25,000 miles or more annually. Then a Charter bus companies mileage will vary greatly depending on the economy and their specific clientele.

The life of most late model (1998 and up) bus engines is up to 500,000 miles. Buses for sale with fewer than 200,000 miles are considered low mileage. As a matter of fact, Bluebook bus sales prices do not subtract from the value of buses for sale with diesel engines until they have over 200,000 miles.

If you will be driving your bus less than 10,000 miles per year, why spend full price for a new bus when it looses 1/3rd of its value in the first year regardless of the mileage? You can purchase Absolute refurbished used buses for half the cost of a new bus for sale? It will take 10 years or more to put only 100,000 miles on your used bus. For the normal church bus it will take at least 20 years to do the same!

Now if you are planning to drive your bus 20,000 miles or more annually and owning your bus for more than 5 years, then probably new bus sales is for you. Absolute Bus Sales is the authorized North Carolina NC and South Carolina SC area Krystal Koach Bus dealer and we will be glad to show you a new bus for sale. But, say for instance if you are a commercial bus company with a daily route with over 20,000 miles annually and your contract is for only one year, then used bus sales will be for you.

Okay!! I know that all the "Bus Sales" calculations may be a little bit confusing. If you don't thoroughly understand whether to buy a new bus for sale or a used bus for sale, contact our Bus Sales department or your accountant and we will gladly explain which bus sale would be best for you.

Gas or Diesel Bus for Sale?

Contrary to the truth, much of the general public believe that buying a gas bus for sale is the best decision, thinking that it is easier to work on and to find a mechanic. There are many reasons why 95% of bus sales to the professional transportation industry are diesel buses; less maintenance, power, longevity, and fuel mileage to name a few. When a diesel will cost an extra $8,000.00 as an option on a bus sale, the professionals still prefer the diesel bus for sale. And yes, there are plenty of diesel mechanics. Diesels have become so popular in light duty trucks now, that most all dealerships have diesel mechanics for the same engines used in most small to mid sized buses.

Don't Buy a Substandard Bus for Sale

When looking for the lowest price bus for sale you should beware of buses for sale that are not equipped to perform the way you need buses to be able to. To arrive at the lowest price, some bus dealers often package their buses for sale with the lowest weight rated chassis and a small engine, usually a small gasoline V-8. The gas V-8 will come with a light duty transmission and rear axle. This combination will result in a low priced bus for sale, but the bus will not be able to perform the way a bus should, at least not the way you would want. Even a V-10 gas engine will not perform as well as a diesel and both size gas engines are notorious for overheating and fuel consumption. Though you may be planning on just a few trips a year, every time you drive it you want it to be capable of carrying your people safely there and back. If the bus is underpowered with light weight suspension, a full bus will be overworked and unstable. Ride quality and handling will be diminished. The engine and drive train will wear rapidly leading to more repairs, overheating and breakdowns. Buses for sale without the proper equipment will result in a bus that you wouldn’t want to travel in and is not as safe or as comfortable as it should be. And last but not least, the National Transportation Safety Board declared that the 15 passenger van is unsafe due to it’s tendency to roll over during reflex traffic maneuvers or tire blow outs, so they are totally out of the question.

Searching for Online Bus Sales

 Many bus dealers advertise bus sales with an online bus inventory offering views of their buses for sale. Try to use only the bus sales websites with the following guidelines:

  1. Bus dealers online inventory should include;
    ~ Pictures of all sides and interiors of each of their buses for sale.
    ~ Detailed description with mileage of each bus for sale.
    ~ Pricing on all buses for sale (very important).
  2. Bus sales warranty, make sure that the bus dealer offers a warranty.
  3. Bus sales and service, the bus dealer should offer service after the bus sale. A bus dealer without a shop, really does not know his buses for sale.
  4. When buying a used bus for sale, consider only used buses for sale that have been refurbished. Without refurbishment you will be guessing about the condition of your used bus.

Why Refurbished Bus Sales with Warranty is Important

If you have decided to purchase a pre owned bus for sale, by all means, make sure that it has been refurbished. Confidence and reliability should be a key factor in finding your bus sale. They may be a little more expensive, but in the long run, the wiser choice. there are fewer worries of unexpected repairs. Confidence and reliability should be a key factor when looking for bus sales.

Beware that some bus dealers will label a bus for sale as refurbished after only painting the exterior or changing the seats. That is only a fraction of what should be done. At Absolute Bus sales all of our buses for sale that are refurbished go through a thorough inspection with over 250 parts that are inspected. We either repair or replace items that don’t pass our inspection. Some parts like alternators, starters, water pumps, power steering pumps, pulley bearings, brake calipers and pads, steering stabilizers, we replace automatically so that you know they will last. Other parts like ball joints, wheel covers, and tires we replace 95% of the time. Only if they are almost new do we leave them. We also paint them so that there will be no overlooked blemishes. When customers visit our location and see our refurbished pre owned buses for sale they ask, "where are the used buses?" thinking that our used buses for sale are new.

 

Refurbished Used Bus Sales
 

You think, why should I buy Refurbished Used Bus Sales when I can buy a regular cleaned up used bus for several thousand dollars less for the same year, make and mileage? 

Used Bus Cosmetics 

First of all, go and look at the used buses for sale in person. With digital cameras these days, you can make anything look good in a picture. You will notice right away that the regular used bus has a worn out look to it, obviously a used bus for sale. If the bus has not been painted you will see scratches and dents, faded paint and chips throughout the body. The bumpers are bent and dinged, wheel covers are scratched and dented. You will probably see the shadow of the last bus owners logo faded into the paint. These are the obvious things, now look at the passenger steps. Are they warped and popping up from rust under the treads? Is the rubber step nosing cracked and worn? Inside are the light lenses discolored and cracked? Are all the seats in good condition and function properly? Are the front floor mats worn and unappealing? Do the passenger doors operate like they should?

Several used bus dealers will take care of many of these cosmetic problems, but the real costly problems that can occur are not so obvious to the regular consumer.

Used Bus Driver Controls

Sit in the drivers seat and take notice of all the controls. Are all the knobs in place and clearly marked? Turn the key one position and pull the shifter to the drive position. Does the shifter have a lot of "play" in it, torn boot, missing parts or a non-functional down shift light? Does the shift position indicator operate correctly? Do all the lights in and on the dash, as well as the rear control panel operate? Does the dome light operate? Lift up and down on the steering wheel, does it wobble or make a clicking sound?  Do the dash and rear fans work in all speeds? Does the indicator light come on when the parking brake is engaged? This is only a taste of what the driver controls are tested for, then repaired or replaced in a refurbished used bus.

Used Bus Motor Components

 Without refurbishment you will only be guessing about the condition of your used bus.

inside of used bus for sale
Used Bus Interior

Used Bus for Sale
Used Ford E550 Bus

All used buses come with a larger and more expensive alternator, some have two. Some of the other engine components are the water pump, starter, power steering pump and pulley bearings. How much life is left in these parts, when will they fail and you need to replace them? It is hard to tell how long these particular parts will last, when you test them they either work or they don't. The only way to be sure of their condition is to replace them. In a true refurbished used bus they would be replaced every time.

Used Bus Brake Parts

The condition of the used bus braking system is very important for obvious reasons. The brake calipers are the most likely component to fail and highly undetectable unless they are leaking. What they usually will do when they fail is to seize up and overheat, which can in some cases catch fire. Again, the only way to be sure of the condition is to replace them. Also, very important is to replace or turn the rotors and replace the brake pads when doing so. The brake lines should be checked for rust or other signs of weakness. In a true Absolute refurbished used bus this will be done automatically.

Used Bus Air Conditioning Systems

One of the most essential warm weather components in your used bus. There is nothing like a bus full of hot passengers, something no one wants to be a part of! Though many mechanics work on auto air conditioning systems, most are not familiar with bus AC systems. Most all used shuttle buses now have two compressors and at least two condensers and evaporators. They will have as many or more than 14 condenser and evaporator fans. That's just to name a few principal parts. When replacing some of these parts it is essential to replace many of them at the same time. An inexperienced technician can miss diagnose a problem very easily and replace the wrong parts only to have the same problem arise on a hot day. A true Absolute refurbished used bus has had the air conditioning systems checked over and all parts replaced that need be by an experienced bus AC technician.

Used Bus Chassis Parts

Okay, here is where most used bus dealers will overlook worn out parts. Most parts that need to be replaced are not immediately noticeable to the average person, but can cause lots of problems and expense down the road, not to mention safety. Some of the part conditions are undetectable even to a well seasoned mechanic unless tested on a lift, for instance, ball joints and king pins. Bus chassis parts wear out more frequently than most vehicles because of their heavy loads and specific use. Mainly due to speed bumps in pedestrian areas. On a Ford E450 chassis with over 100,000 miles for example, 90% of the time the upper and lower ball joints, steering stabilizer, front springs, pivot arm bushings, anti sway bar bushings, and shocks will need to be replaced. Of course after replacing these parts a front wheel alignment is a must.



 


 Refurbished Used Bus
 Cost Comparison

Refurbished Used Bus Cost Comparison

You might ask yourself, okay now that I know what true Absolute refurbished buses are, what am I really saving? The refurbished buses seem to cost more than the regular used bus sales. How do I compare the costs of a used bus for sale with the costs of Absolute refurbished used bus sales?

For the following tables we used a Ford E450 chassis with a diesel. It is the most popular of all used shuttle bus chassis. Some parts may vary with other makes and models.

View the table below, first we have listed the parts and procedures that are automatically replaced and preformed on our Absolute refurbished used buses. Next to each item or procedure we have listed the typical costs that a service center would charge for each procedure. See the total of the costs, this is what it would cost you to have the same work done if you were to buy a regular used bus and have the same items repaired or replaced. More than likely, with a regular used bus, you will need to have this work done within the first year.

This work is done to every one of our Absolute refurbished used buses.

 

Always Replaced or Preformed on our Absolute Refurbished Used Buses
Part or Procedure Price
Replace Water Pump $505.24
Replace Power Steering Pump $770.00
Replace Starter $533.50
Replace Dual Alternators $519.90
Replace Steering Stabilizer $124.00
Replace all Pulley Bearings $172.00
Replace Brake Calipers, Pads and Turn Rotors $1363.53
Repaint Bus $5,500.00
Change Oil, Filter and Grease Job $95.00
Change ATF and Filter (s) $149.95
Replace Fuel Filter (s) $65.32
Flush Radiator and Change Coolant $159.95
Total Costs
$9,958.39









Used Bus Parts in Need of Replacement 95% of the Time

In the next table below we listed the parts that are replaced 95% of the time. This means that if you buy a refurbished used bus from us more than likely these parts have been replaced. If they have not been replaced it would be because they were almost new when we inspected them. These items are also most likely to be in need of repair or replacement on all used buses for sale.

 

Normally Replaced or Preformed on our Absolute Refurbished Used Buses

Part or Procedure Price
6 Tires Mounted and Balanced $840.00
4 Stainless Steel Wheel Covers $140.00
Front Bumper $375.00
Passenger Step structure, treads and step nose $420.00
Rebuild Shifter $267.00
Upper and Lower Ball Joints $647.50
Front Springs $577.00
Radius Arm Bushings $350.00
Anti Sway Bar Bushings $202.00
4 Shocks $446.00
Driver Running Board Step $536.00
Replace 2 Batteries $219.95
Replace Belt (s) $125.00
Marker Lights with guards $350.00
Total Costs $5,495.45

Now if you add the two totals together, the sum will be the costs of the normal refurbishment of one of our Absolute refurbished used buses.

Normal Cost of our Absolute Used Bus Refurbishment: $15,453.84
This is the cost of the work that will need to be done to a regular used bus in order to bring it to the same condition as our Absolute refurbished buses.


Add the cost of a regular used bus with the costs of our Absolute refurbishment and you will see that our buses are a real bargain!

There are about 200 more items that we check that would also be repaired or replaced if they don't pass our inspection, we did not even factor them in.

Take this list to another used bus dealer and ask if these items have been replaced. Then ask a bus service center if these items normally need to be replaced on used buses. We encourage you to do this, it only reinforces what we say.

Refurbished used buses for sale may be a little more expensive, but in the long run, the wiser choice. With Absolute refurbished used bus sales there are fewer worries of unexpected repairs. Confidence and reliability will be a key factor with you and your bus riders.

If you have any questions about Bus Sales Information  call us at 910-272-0197.