Factors to consider when buying a used bus include maintenance records, transmission health, rust, leaks and body style. Take the bus for a test drive where possible to assess the condition of the transmission and pay special attention to how the transmission performs in higher gears. It may be a good idea to have a qualified mechanic inspect and test the transmission before committing to a purchase.
A maintenance record helps to determine how often the transmission and engine are serviced. This is especially important when planning to use the bus for long distances. The record also helps to estimate how much life is left in the bus.
Reconsider purchasing a used bus with excessive rust damage, especially on or underneath the frame and side panels. Rust compromises the structural integrity of a vehicle and gets worse over time when exposed to conditions such as ice, snow or water.
Inspect the bus for leaks, particularly the transmission, brake and hydraulic system. These can be expensive to repair and add significantly to the total cost of owning the bus.
Consider the body style, seating capacity and storage space. Think about features such as reclining seats, food trays, seat belts, wheelchair lifts and plush interiors, depending on the expected transportation needs.