10 Steps to Buying a Church Bus
Is your church ready to buy a new vehicle for your transportation needs? Youfll want to read this before beginning the purchasing process.
STEP 1: WHAT KIND OF BUS DO WE NEED?
* How many people does your church need to transport?
In many cases, people choose a bus because it has an eye]catching style or it is a trendy favorite. If you go in this direction, you may either break your budget or have to go bus shopping again soon. Let your needs, not wants, drive your decision.
Here are a few other questions to keep in mind when you begin your church bus]buying process:
* Do you need a heavy duty transmission?
STEP 2: HOW MUCH CAN WE AFFORD?
Estimate what your monthly church bus payment will be based on purchase price, down payment, interest rate, and length of loan. Take the time to run the numbers now, before you go bus shopping.
Write out the result and put this information into your church bus]buying folder. It will not only show you what you can afford, it will also help you control the numbers when you negotiate with a salesman.
STEP 3: SHOULD WE BUY OR LEASE OR NEXT BUS?
Buying a bus is more expensive initially, and the monthly payments are higher. But, at the end of the loan, you will own a bus you can still drive or sell.
The Advantages of Leasing a Bus: You can drive a better bus for less money. You can drive a new bus every few years. No trade]in hassles at the end of the lease.
The Advantages of Buying a Bus: When interest rates are low, it makes more financial sense to own a bus rather than lease it. No mileage penalty. Increased flexibility means you can sell the bus whenever you want.
STEP 4: HAVE YOU CONSIDERED ALL THE BUSES IN THAT CLASS?
STEP 5: HAVE YOU CONSIDERED ALL THE COSTS OF BUS OWNERSHIP?
Before you commit to one bus, you should estimate the long]term ownership costs of the church bus your group is considering. These costs include but are not limited to: depreciation, insurance, maintenance, and fuel costs.
STEP 6: RESEARCH YOUR OPTIONS
STEP 7: SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT FOR A TEST DRIVE
Schedule a full day when your group can go look at church buses or set up a time for the sales person to come to your location for a demonstration.
STEP 8: HOW TO TEST DRIVE A BUS
Drive over bumps, take tight corners at aggressive (but not dangerous) speeds, and test the brakes in a safe location, such as a deserted parking lot. Get in and out of the bus several times and be sure to sit in the back seats, especially if you plan on carrying passengers.
In short, ask yourself what it will be like to live with the church bus you are test driving for a number of years.
Do not drive with the radio on; you can evaluate that later. A new church bus is a big investment; make sure you spend enough time really looking at it.
And, then, consider one last thing: your intuition. If you are uneasy about a bus, follow your instincts. A vehicle purchase decision is too important (and expensive) to undertake without total confidence.
STEP 9: AFTER THE TEST DRIVE
Driving several church bus vehicles back-to-back will help you uncover even more minor differences, which will lead to a more educated purchase decision.
STEP 10: GETTING READY FOR THE BUYING CYCLE
This article is courtesy of Alliance Bus Group, www.alliancebusgroup.com.