Is It Safe To Buy a Used School Bus?

Buying a bus for any purpose isn’t something to take lightly—especially if you need it to last a long time. Safety is the top priority when you need a vehicle that holds so many people. A new school bus can sometimes be incredibly expensive, though, which means a used school bus could be the better option. As with anything used, you can’t always take the item at face value. Therefore, you’ll need to do a little more research as to whether or not you should get that particular item. A proper inspection of any used school bus goes a long way in determining if it’s right for you and if you will feel comfortable using it.

Is it safe to buy a used school bus? We’ll answer that question and give you some tips on how to be sure about the bus you plan on buying. Here at National Bus, we always properly inspect the buses we receive for refurbishing. We’d never sell a used school bus if we didn’t have full confidence in it. We realize other vendors may not keep themselves to the same high standards we do. So, we understand the concerns of our customers when they come in to check out one of our used school buses.

Are Used School Buses Safe?

The short answer to the question, “Is it safe to buy a used school bus?” is yes, for the most part. When you buy from a reputable dealer such as National Bus—a company with over 30 years of experience with buses—you can feel safe in your purchase. Any used school bus we sell has been thoroughly inspected to ensure its safety and quality. We also welcome any questions you might have about the status or condition of the buses we have to offer. We’d be glad to alleviate any worries you may have before you decide to finalize a purchase. However, if you want to be extra sure before you buy, here are a few things you can look for to determine the safety of a used school bus for yourself.

Chassis Inspection

The first and easiest thing to inspect to make sure a school bus is safe is the chassis itself. Obviously, the newer it looks, the better—but don’t let yourself be fooled by what you see at first glance. Look for any signs of oxidation on the metal, feel if the floor is sturdy, and ensure the steps and straps are safe enough for passengers.

The bus’s chassis is the most obvious indication of its age and history. While we’d never sell a bus that has a suboptimal chassis, you may find buses with chassis that have sustained a lot of damage with other vendors. No matter how impressive the price may be, you don’t want to end up with a bus you need to replace after only a few trips. Something as large as a school bus should be a long-term investment, not something you drop a lot of money on to only get a few uses out of it. If you see a used school bus with noticeable chassis damage, it’s critical that you find out whether or not the damage was entirely superficial before you buy it.

Part of your chassis inspection should also focus on understanding the bus’s accessibility features. Much older school buses may not have all the necessary accessibility options some require. If this is the case, you will want to stay away from these buses. Finding a bus that is accessible to everyone should be one of your top priorities.

Engine Inspection

Many school buses have engines built to last a very long time. Even so, it doesn’t hurt to check under the hood for anything that looks out of place or past its prime. Gaskets and wires should all be in good condition, and there shouldn’t be any rust or corrosion visible anywhere underneath the hood. Even the smallest hints of worn-out gaskets or tiniest bits of rust can indicate a problem that could become much worse if not fixed right away.

You should always try out your potential new bus with a test drive if you can. No matter how thorough your inspection might be, you’ll only truly understand the way the bus runs if you get behind the wheel and take it around yourself.

It’s possible to find older school buses with engines that don’t meet today’s standards of emissions or fuel usage. When you work with National Bus, you won’t need to worry that your used school bus’s engine isn’t up to snuff. We always ensure our engines are in the proper condition to work efficiently for a long time, and we never offer a school bus that won’t be able to handle regular use long term.


A used school bus should come with warranties that leave you feeling confident about your purchase. When you check out the pre-owned school buses we have here at National Bus, you’ll immediately see the warranties that come with them. Manufacturing warranties, drivetrain warranties, quality guarantee warranties—you can find them all when you get your used school bus from National Bus.

It’s also a good idea to look into the school bus’s history to see if warranties were ever used for anything. Just like you wouldn’t buy a used car without knowing its history, the same logic should be applied to buying a used school bus.

Beware of any used school bus you find that doesn’t have a proper warranty backing it up. Without these warranties, you run the risk of extremely costly breakdowns and repairs that will make buying your used school bus pointless. As with any vehicle, a quality warranty can give you the peace of mind you need to drive it off the lot with confidence.

From used school buses to ultra coach liners, National Bus has the vehicles you need—no matter how many people you need to transport or how far you plan to drive. Don’t hesitate to give us a call for assistance. We’re happy to help you find a vehicle that matches your needs.

Is It Safe To Buy a Used School Bus?
Ben Henshaw

Ben Henshaw

Ben Henshaw Sales Manager National Bus Sales

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