How to find a short, medium or large school bus for sale.
-Written By: Brock Butterfield-
Locating a school bus for sale doesn't have to be as hard as you may think. Granted it started out hard for me and I scoured the internet for hours every night searching for a short school bus for sale. My search was a little harder with trying to find a 4x4 short school bus for sale but I did learn a few things that I'd like to share with those of you looking to find a school bus for sale whether short, grande or venti.
First place to check is our Classifieds section of our website. There are Skoolies for sale and blank buses for sale. If no luck there then onto the interwebs!
I also recommend hiring Jax Austin if any of the searching below gets to be overwhelming or you're not sure what buses have the good motors, bad motors, good transmission, bad tranmissions, etc. I have personally used Jax's bus finding services for finding two buses that we use now for The Bus Fair parking lot shuttle buses. He found us the buses we were looking for within two weeks.
He charges a very resonable fee that covers:
- Phone consultation with you to understand what your bus life goals are so he can recommend what length and motor/transmission type will handle it.
- Weekly searches for 1 month with all the dealers, bus resellers, auctioners and school districts that he has made connections with.
- He does not take a commission on the sale and is only paid by you.
Where to find school buses for sale online.
I found a nifty website that searches ALL Craigslist postings everywhere. This helped me find every possible bus that was for sale from a private owner. Craigslist comes with it's downside of scammers and such so be smart about it and as always go see the vehicle in person and inspect it yourself before handing over any cash. The website for searching all of Craigslist can be found by using this link.
Used Bus Dealer Websites
Depending on where you're located here are some websites that have used school buses for sale.
Don Brown Bus Sales - This is where I was able to locate my bus, flew out to NY from UT, inspected it and drove it home. One thing I'd like to mention is on the day of pickup we found a few other issues with the brake lines and heater fan so Don Brown put us up in a hotel for the night and gave us cash for dinner. I was very impressed by their efforts. However, they did fail to change the oil as I requested and didn't catch that the serpentine belt was cracked and ready to go which it did on the cross country journey leaving us crawling at 5mph until the next town. They have a large inventory of school buses for sale. Large buses for sale, shuttle buses for sale, short school buses for sale, etc.
Don Brown is one of the largest bus dealers on the east coast.
While I have no experience buying from Mid West Transit Equipment I have noted that there prices are right where they should be for used school buses. They seem to have a large inventory as well for those looking for a school bus for sale.
MidWest Transit has many locations across the midwest.
Western Bus is again another one that I don't have experience buying from but an option for those of you located out on the west coast. I do feel their prices are higher then they should be for what they are offering so bring your haggle pants and make sure you're not over paying. Again, a good inventory of school buses for sale.
Surplus / Auction Websites
Found this surplus / auction website for school buses for sale in my search and haven't used it yet. Never been much of an auction man but it can a way to score a bus for extremely cheap. Keep in mind you'll want to budget for any unexpected repairs that may pop up. Most of these auction vehicles are sold as is and don't allow you to inspect them to the bone before purchase.
Some auctions are online and others you have to be there in person. Most of the time it's a visual inspection only.
Local School Auctions
Support local. Start by calling your local school districts and let them know you're interested in buying a used school bus from them and ask to be connected with the best person to talk to about it. Some school districts will sell directly to you and others have contracts with auctions and can only sell them at local auction. If that's the case see if you can inquire to what buses will be up for auction and try to get a little info on them so you know which ones may need more work than others. I've met a few skoolies that have found a short school bus for sale this method.
The Important Thing To Remember
Don't give up on the search and don't buy something that isn't exactly what you're looking for. Be patient. You want a bus that is going to last you for as long as possible so make sure you spend your money right! Happy searching!