How to make the most of the arrival of a new minibus (and all the things that might be worth avoiding)

Because of the ready availability of leasing arrangements, these days getting a beautiful new school minibus is less of a special event than it ever used to be.

But that doesn’t mean that the arrival of the new bus should be thought of as everyday.  It is always worth celebrating as something of a publicity event.

Of course, if there is a PR expert working in your school, you’ll have no difficulty in preparing the message announcing that the new minibus is now in use.  But, just in case that is not so, it might be worth noting the points below.

The key issue to remember is that the reason for having a bus is that it brings a benefit to the students in the school in terms of their education.

So with the new bus there will be more visits to historic sites, more away sports matches, more use of the local swimming pool, etc, etc.  It is always a good idea to mention some of the extra visits that the school has in mind.

Additional benefits worth noting are the fact that the bus has all the latest safety features – far beyond the minimum required by law – and is environmentally sound and (through engine efficiency) cheaper to run than its predecessor.

Thus more money goes on education, less on fuel.

However, what you might care to avoid is any reference to students “travelling in style”.  By and large parents want good things for their children, but they also like to see an emphasis on hard work. “Travelling in style” is not what most parents want or expect from school life!

You may also have had the new bus decorated with the school’s logo – and a publicity shot of the bus with the logo showing is always a good idea.

But once again logos and advertising are not really what parents are concerned about – any more than they are worried about the comfort of the ride.

All of which explains why it is normally not a good idea to agree to the leasing company putting out its own press release about your new minibus to the local media.  Benchmark Leasing will, of course, supply a press release for you to use if you would like us to, but you’ll have the final say on the way it is written.

Just as you will take great care when choosing the right minibus for your school, so it is always worthwhile ensuring that no one else is using your leasing arrangements as a chance for their own publicity.

Should you be looking for a new minibus for your school you can find more information about our leasing options by clicking here.

Alternatively please do call us on 01753 859 944 or email us at


When you prepare for a journey in the minibus you’ll think about the students you are carrying. But what else should you be taking?

A recent survey of what people carry with them in their minibuses provided an interesting result.  For although virtually all the items noted are ones that can be seen as obviously useful, virtually no two schools provided the same response.

The most common item that is carried – and one could say that almost 100% of school minibus drivers carry this – is a mobile phone.  Ideally a mobile phone loaded with the relevant numbers and contact details for handling an emergency.

Allied to this is the notion of having the details of what to do in an emergency printed out on laminated card or in some other hard-to-destroy form, and which is always kept in the bus.

Additionally some schools ensure that the phone also carries a relevant phone number which can be called should the bus be taking longer than expected to make the journey home at the end of the day.  A number which will reach the person in the school who can contact parents to tell them of the delay.

After that we saw noted the carrying of details on breakdown policy, along once again with contact numbers.  At this point insurance policy details were also noted – something that is helpful to have in the unlikely event of the minibus being involved in an accident. 

Next came the high visibility coat (BS EN 471) and the warning triangle which although not compulsory in the UK, is compulsory in some countries such as France.  Interestingly, in France the regulation is that one must be able to get the jacket and put it on without getting out of the vehicle.

A variation on the triangle was mentioned – the portable flashing beacon, and many stressed the need for a working torch – and a pen and paper.   Seemingly obvious but given that not everyone mentioned them, presumably they are not carried in every minibus.

With such responses – and particularly with items that could be removed or might no longer be working, there is the implication of the need to check the minibus before each journey to make sure it is still fully equipped and that everything is in working order.

One school reported to us that they actually used the issue of what the school minibus should carry as a topic in a discussion prior to a Duke of Edinburgh Award expedition.  

Seemingly some of the sixth formers did better than some of their teachers in drawing up a comprehensive list.  Which is perhaps because most of us get into cars each day without all this equipment.  Maybe we should all carry our own check list like this all the time.

Should you be looking to purchase or lease a new minibus please do call us on 01753 859944.

Alternatively you can find more information on our website.