Renting a Shuttle vs Party Bus

You have an outing or a need group transportation. You have many options to consider from basic shuttle people movers to luxury style coaches and everything in between. Each Bus style offers a different look and feel and various amenities, all of which impact your experience and of course your wallet!
The transportation industry offers plenty of choices when it comes to group travel and the amenities that come with each style are vastly different. There are passenger vans that handle small groups in the 12 to 14 passenger range, Sprinter vans that offer a wonderful comfortable upgrade over passenger vans, Mini buses that can handle medium sized parties in the 24 to 35 passenger range and full-size buses that carry 55 passengers.  


Some of the main differences in the bus styles are the interior appointments.

Passenger vans offer a “no frills” low cost option for a small 10-12 passenger group.
Sprinters offer the same capacity in a much better well thought out comfortable interior.
Shuttle buses have come a long way since the early days and many are outfitted with incredibly comfortable interiors, sound systems and small video screens.

These units typically offer a more favorable price point over their very luxurious Limo Style Party Buses or Limousine Coaches. Each bus has a place in the market and is used for different events. For example, moving guests at a wedding is a perfect solution for a Shuttle Style Bus while the Bridal Party may wish to spend the extra money on a luxury experience and opt for the Limousine Bus.

Limousine Buses are outstanding choices for that Limousine experience while traveling with a medium sized group. Many offer wonderful lighting and effects packages as well as complimentary drink service such as ice and bottled water. These units are a nightclub on wheels and are perfect for that super special event or celebration.

So…. Which one do I choose?


Here are 5 Questions to ask yourself…

How Many are in My Group?
Most of the time the Shuttles Buses and Limo Buses are designed for larger groups of 15-24 and even as much as 32 passengers in some cases. Of course, you don’t have to have that many people to rent these units but it certainly helps spread out the cost of these units if everyone is splitting the bill. Smaller groups can certainly use passenger vans or even some of the cool new Mercedes Sprinter Vans that are awesome for small groups and BIG on comfort!

What is the difference between a Party Bus? A Limo Coach and a Limo Bus?
Nothing. They are all words that people use to describe the same thing. Many companies and clients call the luxury style buses the same names and it becomes a little confusing. But they all are talking about the same style bus. Limo Buses are different because they are set up like a Limousine inside. This means they have perimeter seating, ice compartments, video screens, sound systems and are designed to roll down the road like a nightclub on wheels. Plenty of clients mistakenly refer to Shuttle Buses as Limo or Party Buses.

A Shuttle Bus? Really? But I wanted to have fun?
Shuttle Buses have come a long way from the old days. Most people think of the awful units that you ride to and from your parked car at the airport that are dirty and belch noxious fumes when you hear the description Shuttle Bus. Modern Shuttle buses that we build and use are a very comfortable way to travel with coach style seating and big picture windows. You can still bring your favorite adult beverages if everyone in the party is above 21 and your favorite music to play thru blue-tooth systems. Shuttle buses can offer great experience and a significant cost savings so don’t rule them out for your party! 

Do I have a Budget? - Stick to it & Don’t Get Stuck with the bill!
We all have been chosen to plan a special occasion for a friend or family only to get stuck with the bill! If everyone is splitting the bill equally I encourage you to give your friends a range that they will be paying instead of an absolute amount. Often times you end up with fewer passengers than expected due to last minute cancellations from individuals in your party and end up footing the difference yourself. Avoid the blues my clearly communicating with your group how the amount will be split/paid. I always suggest overestimating the cost per person and or employing a sliding scale so that the cancellation costs are spread out equally amongst the remaining riders.  I know it may sound awkward and tacky but asking for a deposit from individuals in your party up front will quickly determine who is really serious about going with you and who is not! Chances are that if they are unwilling to assist you in proper planning by providing you with a good faith deposit they won’t be there when the bill arrives! Just saying.

Ask yourself How much Time am I going to spend in the Bus?
Party Buses are way cool and a blast. However, they do rent for significantly more than Shuttle Buses. I always recommend thinking about your event and how much time you will spend in the Party Coach. If you have a long drive or spending lots of time in the Vehicle spring for the Luxury style bus. If you are going to be at a venue or various venues more than in the Party Bus I would encourage you to consider some of our less expensive alternatives as the bus will often be empty and unused. Shuttle Buses can be a blast as they still typically have a sound system and TV Monitors in them, plus they always come with a fun, safe and reliable chauffeur. Just a thought to save money!

So, when planning a Bus Rental remember these 5 things

#1- Determine the number of guests in the Party
#2- Deciede if you want the luxury bus or the Shuttle style bus.
#3-Set a Budget- if sharing the cost collect money from those who are going
#4- Don’t get disappointed by a broker! Choose a real Bus or Limousine Company!
#5 Set up your itinerary, book with a reputable Limousine or Bus Company and have a BLAST!

Party Bus or Shuttle bus for my wedding? from Clay Estes Productions on Vimeo.

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