We don’t have a minibus, because some of our students have very specific special needs, while some of our teachers like to take bulky equipment for field trips.

While it is true that there is such a thing as a standard minibus available through the different ranges of vehicles, it is also a fact that almost all minibuses are available to accommodate the specific special needs and/or the requirements of the staff and students in terms of equipment and facilities.

What’s more additional costs for these requirements is often far less than might be anticipated.

Whether you want space for a wheelchair, a ramp, a roof rack or additional storage for sporting equipment, this can all be taken into account.

In order to explore such possibilities the best way forward is to call us on 01753 859 944 and we’ll be able to talk you through the options.

If, on the other hand you already know the type of minibus you would be interested in, and are very clear on the additional facility you require, you can email the details to minibus@benchmarkleasing.co.uk

I look forward to hearing from you.

Obtaining a new minibus in two weeks probably seems impossible. What about the planning, the fund raising…

There is a myth perpetrated via local newspapers and the like that most school minibuses are purchased as a result of years of fundraising by PTAs.

As the final amount is reached a huge ceremony is arranged, a giant cheque is handed over, the local newspaper photographer is there to capture the scene, and the story appears a week later.

In fact, very few minibuses are funded in this way these days as there is a much more straightforward way of funding a minibus: leasing.

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 indeed even at this point 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 – which, of course, takes the strain off the school’s mainstream finances.

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 – especially where you put details of the way in which the minibus has been used each week on the school website.

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, email us at Minibus@benchmarkleasing.co.uk or click here to see what we can offer.


Primary schools are being ever more resourceful in finding funding for minibuses

Following our survey of school minibus ownership which discovered a worryingly high percentage of schools using buses which were over five years old, focus has moved to the issue of how the leasing or purchase of minibuses can be funded.

Traditionally the PTA has been a source of funding, although that comes with the disadvantage of the fact that it can take several years for the average PTA to raise sufficient funds to purchase the bus (although they can of course make donations to help with the monthly lease payments if they wish).

But recently another source of funding has emerged, and it seems a lot of primary schools are rapidly taking up this new option.

The thinking behind this new approach is that the department that often has the strongest desire for use of the minibus is PE and sport, with its need to take teams to away games, and the desire to make use of off-site facilities such as swimming pools.

As such it makes a lot of sense for some of this department’s recently acquired additional funding to be used on the bus.  

This money can be further topped up with part of its pupil premium money, not least in recognition of the fact that the learning outside the classroom that an extra minibus encourages, can be especially beneficial for such pupils.

Indeed in a report from the school that pioneered this approach the head of the school noted that the inspectorate were particularly impressed with the way the money had been used to enhance the learning experience of the children.

There are two points that come out of this.  First, and perhaps most obviously, one or more minibuses can make a major difference to a school in terms of giving children access to local facilities. 

Second, while the PE department might want first call on an extra bus, because its extra funding has helped pay for it, there will still be time for other departments to use the bus to visit historic monuments, art galleries, theatres and other sites. 

If you would like to talk about leasing or purchasing a minibus – or even more than one minibus – please do call us on 01753 859 944. 

Alternatively you can find more information on our website.