When looking for the best bus hire for your trip, cost is typically a major factor in the decision-making process. However, rates are never the same for every trip. Rates differ depending on the type of bus, your excursion’s distance, the time of the year, and so much more.


Luckily, our experts at GOGO Charters can help you with your bus hire budget. The chart below lines a rough estimate of typical bus hire rates in Australia:

Bus Type Per Hour Per Day Per Kilometre
Coach $153-$194 $810-$1090 $5.30-7.30
Minibus $139-$174 $752-$1079 $5.00-$7.00

Every group and trip is different, and so is every bus hire quote. Keep on reading to learn more about how our expert reservation specialists calculate your rate.

Factors that Determine Bus Hire Rates

Planning a hen party, organising a company event, or just planning a private excursion? Each rate received will differ from one another– but how? Below are six important factors to consider when planning your next group event:

1.   Your Excursion’s Distance and Duration

Before you begin researching and reaching out for a quote, you will need to know your pickup and dropoff location, your trip’s destinations, and times. Your reservation specialist will need this information before anything else.

Bus hires are quoted by the hour, day, or kilometre depending on the distance of your trip. With a 5 hour minimum required, travelling locally is often priced by the hour, while long distance excursions are calculated per day or kilometre.

Note: While we know that your excursion’s itinerary is subject to change at the last minute, changing details of your trip can result in additional fees if it requires any additional kilometres after your preliminary itinerary.

bus hire rates in australia

2. The Season

Did you know that bus hire rates are seasonal? Bus hires booked during busy season typically cost more due to high demand, while they are priced lower during slower seasons when demand isn’t as high.

May, June, and July are the most expensive months for bus hires due to the end of school terms, graduations, family reunions, holiday, and more. Rates also tend to increase during public holidays, such as Christmas, New Years, and more. January, February, and August are slower and the least expensive months to hire a bus due to less demand.

It’s always best to secure a bus hire 3-6 months in advance to secure availability and get the best value.

3. Your Pickup Location

Bigger cities such as Sydney don’t have as many bus hire companies to choose from due to the abundance of public transportation and narrow, busy streets that may not be fit for commercial vehicles. Groups travelling from cities with fewer bus hire companies will often end up paying more.

Keep in mind that if you’re planning on getting picked up in a different city than where the bus hire is originally based, you will be expected to pay for the extra cost for additional kilometres. Avoid any deadhead costs by renting a bus from a company that’s close to your desired starting location. Fortunately, we directly service many major cities in Australia, which reduces the deadhead our customers have to pay!

Note: Deadhead is the term used when you pay for a bus hire even when there are no passengers on the bus.

4. The Type of Bus

There is a wide variety of bus hires to choose from, so it’s important to choose the best one for your group to ensure you’re not paying for additional seats you don’t need. For example, smaller groups will benefit using a minibus, while full-sized coaches are better for larger groups because they can fill up every seat.

If your group has 35 passengers or less, a minibus will be the perfect fit for you. Instead of spending an additional $100-$300 on a full-sized coach with empty seats, a compact minibus is the best way to save some money.

5. Your Driver’s Shift, Hotel, and Gratuity

When you book with a company like GOGO Charters, you’re provided with a professional, licensed driver along with your bus hire. It’s important to understand NHVR’s regulation on required breaks to ensure your trip is safe the entire time. If your excursion exceeds the regulated time, you are required to pay for a second driver. While your rate will increase, you and your driver’s safety will be the priority.

If your trip spans overnight, you are expected to cover the cost of your driver’s hotel. We suggest booking a room in a hotel with a 3-star rating or more to ensure complete comfort and good rest for a safe trip. A well-rested driver is an alert and focused driver.

Just like many other services, gratuity is not included in your quote. While it’s not expected, it’s extremely appreciated. Show your driver your appreciation with a tip of 10-20% of the bus hire cost. You can tip them with cash directly, or speak to your reservation specialist about other tipping options.

6. Additional Travel Fees Along the Way

When planning your trip, be sure to research any additional costs on your intended route, such as toll roads, parking permits, and other transport fees. Most bus hire providers won’t cover additional costs outside the quote. Make sure to ask your reservation specialist about any specific policies, and always call any hotels or venues ahead of time to inquire about parking permits and specifications on coach parking.

Bus Hire Terms and Conditions

Before booking your trip, look over your contract thoroughly and be familiar with the provider’s deposit requirements, payment schedule, and cancellation policy. Be prepared to pay a flat rate deposit or percentage of your quote upfront in order to secure your bus. A majority of bus hire providers will require the final payment 30 days before your excursion.

While most providers permit bus hire cancellations a few months before your trip with a full refund, cancelling within 30 days of your desired transport date will result in only a partial refund, or none at all.

Examples of Bus Hire Quotes

Now that you’ve learned the factors that go into preparing a bus hire quote, we’ve put together some examples:

The Final Rugby Match

A minor rugby league team in Newcastle is preparing for their final face-off in Sydney in April. The coach, Steven, wants to hire a bus for their ride to spend extra time with the team. For a team of 15 players plus Steven and his assistant coach, their reservation specialist recommends an 18-passenger minibus.

sports team bus hire

The team plans to leave in the morning and stay the night in Sydney after the game. They are charged a daily rate for each day, and they are expected to cover the cost of their driver’s hotel room. They receive a quote of $1,520, book a hotel for $124, and decide to tip 12%, leaving their total at $1826.40.

The Big School Excursion

A group of Year 6 students in Sunshine Coast are excited for their year-end excursion to Sea Life. Their teacher wants to ensure her students and chaperones have a comfortable and safe ride, so she decides to hire a bus. For a class of 48 students, 2 teachers, and 3 chaperones, they are recommended a full-sized coach that can seat up to 56 passengers.

school excursion bus hire price

The group plans on spending the whole day at the attraction, so they will be charged a full daily rate. The teacher specifically requests their bus to have air con for the Australian heat, TVs for entertainment, and reclining seats for optimal comfort. Their total, including a 20% gratuity, comes to $1,140, a total of only $21.50 per passenger.

The Hen Party

Maddie is planning a fabulous hen party for her best friend, Lacey. They plan to spend the night out in Melbourne pub-hopping and clubbing, and a bus hire is the perfect option for them to all have fun without worrying about how they will get home safely. For the bridal party of 8 girls and the bride-to-be, they decide to hire an 18-passenger minibus.

hen party bus hire

Since they will only be needing the bus for the night, they are charged an hourly rate with a minimum of 5 hours. They plan to leave at 5pm for dinner and arrive home by around 1am. For a total of 8 hours and a tip of 10%, their total is $1,232, leaving each passenger to pay $123 each.

How to Save on Bus Hire

We understand that pricing is a major factor when trying to look for the perfect bus hire, so keep in mind the following tips to help you get the most value:

  1. Before calling, make sure your itinerary is complete and as detailed as possible so you won’t end up paying for additional distance or hours.
  2. Avoid busy seasons, between May, June, and July, and try to hire as early as possible to secure availability and get the best deal.
  3. Hire a bus in the same location as your pickup and dropoff area to avoid paying any deadhead costs.
  4. Call any hotels or venues ahead of time to to learn about any required bus permits.
  5. When booking a room for your driver, ask the hotel for any discounted or free rooms they may have for group reservations.
  6. Make sure your hire the right bus for your group to avoid paying for additional seats or features you may not need.

Your trip is coming up and we want to make sure it’s the best experience possible. Always work with a company with knowledgeable specialists to ensure you’re receiving the best options for your group. If you’re still unsure about the process, our reservations specialists are available 24/7 at +61 (02) 8015-5279 to help you anyway they can.

GOGO Charters is Australia’s leading expert for group excursions, whether it’s a wedding, corporate event, school excursion, church trip, sporting function, or more. Call us to see how we can help you with your bus hire!