What could be described as an invaluable resource for any school or college?

Of course there could be many answers to this question. I will offer just one. Opening a statement on school owned minibuses provided by Hampshire Local Authority the Authority said “A safe and reliable minibus can be an invaluable resource for a school or college”.

And I don’t think anyone is going to argue.

Now I mention this, not because there is anything to disagree with nor because the statement is remarkable in any way, but rather because the Authority has chosen to write “safe and reliable” at the very start of the document.

Such an assertion that the minibus must be safe and reliable in order to be an invaluable resource is hardly controversial. No one could possibly think the reverse.

But the fact that the Authority suggests it still needs saying shows that its members are as aware as the rest of us that there are a number of school minibuses in use which are anything but safe and reliable.

The reason for this is not hard to see. Indeed one only has to look at news stories in local papers which mention school minibuses to understand the problem.

The fact is that most school minibuses are purchased after various dedicated parents and supporters of the school have worked hard to raise the money to buy the bus.

And of course nothing can be wrong with such laudable activity! There isn’t anything wrong with fundraising to buy a minibus – until the bus starts showing signs of wear and tear.

But then the problems can really begin, as it would seem embarrassing to the point of heartlessness for the school immediately to start raising money all over again to pay for a major overhaul for the bus.

Indeed even a complete set of new tyres might have to be delayed if there is no money available in the budget.

Sadly, the fact is that many schools that do buy a minibus after a huge amount of hard work by supporters of the school tend to under-estimate the cost of maintaining the bus once it is over a few years old.

They then get to the stage where there is neither the money to pay for the repairs and maintenance needed, nor the funds to buy a new bus.

However there is a way around the issue and that is for the school to lease the bus. In this way the cost of the maintenance of the bus is known week by week, month by month and year by year. These costs can be built into the school’s budget, and so never come as a surprise.

Better still, everyone knows that when the lifespan of the bus comes to an end a new lease can be taken on meaning that as and when it wants to, the school can deal with the issue of the aging bus.

And meanwhile the school’s fundraising efforts can be centred elsewhere on other much needed equipment.

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