What nobody wants to reveal about school minibuses

This week I typed the phrase “School Minibus” into Google.co.uk and then read through the first six pages of listings that the search engine offered.

Leaving aside the inevitable advertising sites that always dominate any such search results, there were three types of informative article that Google offered links to.

The first and most common listing came from schools detailing how the school minibus is used to help parents do the school run, noting the daily pick up points and timings.   Obviously an important point for schools as a way of saying to parents that their child will be able to get to the school, even if there is no obvious bus route.

The second most common website that was found related to the technicalities of operating a minibus, with such matters as insurance, driver qualification and so forth.  In fact most of these were pretty much non-stories since although there are inevitably some regulations, just as there are for driving a car, there is nothing particularly onerous or unusual. 

Finally there are a couple of stories from newspapers in which schools talk about their fundraising activities across a number of years which have recently resulted in the purchase of a bus.

So what’s missing?

First, I didn’t find any stories talking about how, because of the minibus, the school was able to run certain trips and visits for students, which, without the bus, they could not have organised.  To me that is a rather sad omission. 

Yes, of course, knowing that the school bus will pick up students at the railway station at 7.45am and drive them to school, is very important and encouraging.   But then so is the fact that the students are able to have weekly swimming lessons, or go on field trips.  I felt it would have been good to hear of such activities.

Second, and as I have mentioned before, while some schools offer the stories of heroic multi-year fundraising activities, there is nothing about the fact that the years and years of waiting for the finances to fund a bus can be overcome by leasing the vehicle.

Perhaps the problem is that overall that is not much of a story – although to me it does show that the school knows what’s what in the world of finance.

If you would like to know more about our leasing options take a look at our website.

Alternatively call us on 01753 859944 or email us at minibus@benchmarkleasing.co.uk


Most schools that don’t have a minibus cite cost as a reason. But…

Minibuses are expensive, and perhaps you just don’t have the money in your fund, or indeed in any school fund, to buy a new minibus.

Which is why we have introduced the leasing of minibuses to schools.

Through this arrangement we, as the company that leases out the minibus, also take over the maintenance of the minibus and thereby undertake to keep the vehicle fully operational at all times.

A minibus which is leased is simply paid for on a monthly basis, and some schools find it is possible to fund this without taking anything from the school’s capital account.

In those cases where trips are paid for by contributions from parents and the PTA, it is possible to allocate a part of those payments towards the cost of the minibus.

In other cases the minibus can be funded through a small monthly deduction from the school’s income, and sometimes the PTA also agrees to make a monthly contribution.

Not only will a new minibus help the school arrange beyond the classroom activities but it will also be a statement to prospective parents about the breadth and scope of the school’s vision.

Benchmark Leasing specialises in the supply and maintenance of school minibuses. If you are interested in the benefits of a minibus do call us on 01753 859944 or click here to see what we can offer.

What would you do if your minibus was stolen?

A story in a local Northumberland newspaper recently told of a village school whose minibus was stolen. 

The minibus was a vital part of this particular rural school’s life, and its disappearance meant an immediate curtailment of several school activities.

Worse, as the Headteacher commented to the journalist covering the story, “We are insured but the insurance will not by any means cover the value of the bus to us.”

In other words the school was, as a result of the theft, unable to continue with many of its planned activities, and it saw no way of gaining enough money quickly to allow it to buy a new bus.

That bus was owned by the school, and not leased, but it does raise the question as to what would have happened if one of our leased buses had been stolen? 

In fact I have to say that I can’t recall any of our buses ever having been stolen. Indeed the fact that the school had insurance that would not cover the cost of a new bus suggests that the vehicle in question was quite old. 

This raises an important point, for security systems in minibuses have improved dramatically over recent years, which probably explains why that school’s bus was targeted.

So the theft of a recent model is much less likely than the theft of an old model, but if it were to happen to one of our leased minibuses, then we would deal directly with the school’s insurance company, taking quite a large administrative load away from the school.

What’s more we generally have some stock for urgent situations and would be able to supply a replacement within 7-10 days in most cases.  We also have a daily rental facility that could supply a stop-gap vehicle within 4 working hours.

The supply of a bus within a few hours however does come at an extra cost, but it is normally possible for schools to be able to get this cost covered within their vehicle insurance policy.

There’s more information on our website.  Alternatively call us on 01753 859944.