Leasing school minibuses is on the increase. But why don’t the media report this development?

I know it is a shocking thing to suggest but sometimes the media can be a little misleading.

It’s not that the writers and editors are deliberately malicious or have particular political agendas (although of course that is always a possibility) but rather that they are always on the lookout for stories that involve people doing stuff.

In terms of the world of the minibus, “doing stuff” means one of two things. It means years of endless fundraising to get the money to buy a minibus, or it means taking the bus somewhere exciting for a school trip.

The problem is that this approach to what is news and what isn’t, effectively excludes a key point: that is that fewer and fewer schools are going through the fundraising approach, as more and more discover the leasing route.

There are two good reasons for this. First, fundraising to get a minibus takes dedication and years of work, and the number of people willing to put in this much effort is limited.

But second, once the minibus is purchased there is still further expenditure. The bus needs servicing and repairs, and ultimately it needs replacing.

However one can hardly raise the funds for a minibus and hand these over to the school, and then start the fundraising again for the next bus immediately after!

Yet in effect that is what ought to happen – and it is because it doesn’t that sometimes schools end up with minibuses that are over five years old and not in the best of condition.

So leasing a school minibus may not be an exciting story, and it may not make the news, but it is what an increasing number of schools are doing.

There is no need for a major upfront payment, and the subsequent budgeting of the costs works from a pre-planned set of arrangements that incorporate not only the lease, but also all the servicing and repair costs.

Of course there are other benefits. A new minibus works wonders in impressing parents – including those who are thinking of sending their children to the school (don’t forget to put the new bus on display on open days!)

And then there is the safety issue – by definition a new vehicle is safer than an old one, as more and more safety features are built into vehicles all the time.

Of course you’ll have your own requirements for your bus, and we can work to these to ensure you can obtain the minibus that most suits your needs.

But however you want to proceed, whatever you need the bus for, whether it is the first, second or third in your fleet, leasing allows you to obtain the bus you want, now, and a clear knowledge of the funding that is involved.

To find out more call us on 01753 859944. Alternatively take a look at our website.


How can a small school obtain the use of a minibus in order to get students to a special event?

Many small schools have long felt that there’s no chance of them having a minibus. They are simply too small and couldn’t afford it.

It’s a reasonable point to make – for smaller schools purchasing such a vehicle is out of the question, and even leasing looks expensive, when the bus is not going to be used five days a week.

As a result the goodwill of parents and grandparents is drawn upon to shuttle children to special events, and to ensure that they can take up the opportunities that exist in the local area.

However there is an alternative approach: a minibus shared between schools.

By and large the system works in a very straightforward way. Two or more schools agree to lease the minibus. Since all the repairs and servicing are handled by Benchmark Leasing there is no extra workload placed on any school or any individual in terms of maintenance.

The schools then agree a rough division of the leasing costs based on their estimated use of the bus. In the most simple terms if school A has the bus two days a week, and school B three days a week (with no weekend use) then school A pays 40% of the lease.

Then as time goes by, if the log shows that school A is actually using the bus 50% of the time, perhaps taking up usage one afternoon a week when school B is not using it, the payments are adjusted between the schools.

If you would like to talk about how you could jointly lease a minibus please do call us on 01753 859 944.

Alternatively take a look at our website for more information.