The reason schools don’t lease minibuses is because leasing a minibus is so expensive.

If at any time in the past you have ventured into the novels of Evelyn Waugh (“Decline and Fall,” “Scoop,” “Brideshead,” that sort of thing) you might remember the wonderful newspaper magnate Lord Copper.

Lord Copper had the habit of saying the most ludicrous things, such as “Fine democrat that Adolph Hitler”, leaving his poor underling, who was quite unable to disagree with his master, replying, “Up to a point, Lord Copper.”

Now, as you may know, an advertiser is never allowed to disagree with a potential customer, so if anyone does say to me, “The reason schools don’t lease minibuses is because leasing is so expensive,” I have been known to reply, “Up to a point.”

But the fact is that the real reason some schools don’t lease is because leasing is perceived to be expensive. Leasing is, in fact, just about the most cost effective approach that there is.

One of the reasons for this is that we buy large numbers of minibuses from the manufacturers, and thus the cost of the minibus drops dramatically. So our starting prices are always very low.

If your traditional route has been the raising of money by the school PTA then you may have to wait for a new minibus – which is always a shame.

And there is the problem that you won’t be able to ask the PTA to raise the money again for the next minibus for a number of years, and by then your bus will be running up significant repair and maintenance bills.

Indeed, if you try the alternative approach of buying a second hand bus you could be looking at those repair bills very quickly indeed.

But with a leased minibus – which as I intimated above is certainly going to cost far less than is popularly imagined – you not only get a brand new vehicle, but you also get additional services.

For example, the vehicle can be kitted out from the off exactly to your specification.

Also, if you wish and add the option to your agreement, we can come to the school and undertake safety inspections and/or maintenance on your site – so you don’t lose the bus for a day (as some leasing firms require) when the vital checks are undertaken.

We are able supply vehicles with your school crest on the side and can also supply bespoke racking and storage. Additionally we work in partnership with leading driver training experts enabling you to make best use of your staff and assets.

Pulling all this together, a brand new Ford Transit 15 seat minibus is available from less than £360 + VAT per month on a 3 Year, 30,000 mile fully maintained basis – that’s equivalent to just £83 + VAT per Week to lease a brand new, fully maintained minibus valued at over £29,000 + VAT!

If you would like to know more, please give us a call on 01753 859944 or email us at

What makes a school team win one game but then lose another?

Of course, there are many reasons for winning or losing. The skill and ability of the players is a major factor, as are the coaching skills of you and your colleagues.

Luck comes into it too, at least in football, as the book “Why everything you know about football is wrong,” points out so graphically. But beyond this there could well be something else that is affecting the performance of your school teams.

Imagine your team travelling by minibus to a fixture and the minibus breaks down. Or maybe it makes the journey but it is extremely uncomfortable. Neither event is likely to make your team feel particularly well set for the match to come.

But you have a problem too. Minibuses are expensive, and 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 as an alternative to the buying of the bus.

Further, this arrangement whereby we, as the company that leases out the minibus, are also in charge of maintenance resolves the particular problem of keeping the vehicle fully operational at all times.

Through leasing a minibus is simply paid for month by month. Where some visits and trips are paid for through contributions from parents and the PTA, it is very possible that the minibus can be funded without taking anything from the school’s capital account.

In other cases the minibus can be funded through small monthly deductions from various departments’ income. If half a dozen departments agree to fund the bus and the PTA agrees to put in a monthly amount as well, the funding problem could be completely resolved.

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 is the most effective way of showing parents your commitment to investing in the school?

For many primary schools the minibus is used for the regular trips to the local swimming pool or to the various sports fixtures, but it can also be an extraordinarily powerful PR message.

When a new minibus arrives, this demonstrates to parents just how committed you are to investing in the school.

What’s more, the parents will also be impressed and appreciative when they realise that they no longer have to transport their children to sports fixtures or to trips in the local area, especially without the additional cost of hiring a coach.

Obviously you need a school minibus which is modern, safe and itself a positive advertisement for the school – which is why Benchmark focuses on leasing minibuses.

The great benefit of leasing is that the purchase of the bus doesn’t come in one lump from school funds. Rather the bus is paid for as it is used by the school.

A further benefit is the fact that a new minibus is far less likely to have problems – plus you have the option of having a professional undertake all the standard maintenance and servicing.

This effectively reduces the onus that is put on the person who is nominated in the school’s transport policy to look after the minibus. Indeed, it was to overcome issues and difficulties such as this that we introduced full maintenance as part of our minibus leasing.

Not only do the schools that use our service get a new minibus without having to use current capital to buy it, but they have the comfort of knowing that qualified engineers have kept it serviced and maintained.

You can find more information on our website or give us a call on 01753 859944.

Making the most of the school minibus

For a large number of schools the minibus is extensively used for regular trips to the local swimming pool or to various sport fixtures.

Recently we have found that many schools are now actively thinking of additional uses for their minibus rather than waiting for there to be situations which call for the necessity of a minibus.

It would seem that Learning Outside the Classroom is having a positive impact and trips to places such as Shakespeare’s birthplace, the Jorvik Centre or The Science Museum in London are on the increase.

Of course all this activity depends very much on the minibus being well maintained and ready to use at all times. And as minibuses get older so the need for repairs can rise.

Quite often it is impossible to buy a new bus just because the old one is starting to show its age – but a way around this can be found with the leasing of a new bus – with the lease including full maintenance and servicing.

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