The Complete Guide to Bus Hire

The Complete Guide to Bus and Coach hire

Are you going on a group trip? If so, then you need to give yourself some time to plan accordingly. Transportation is going to be one of the biggest considerations you have to make. You need to ensure that members of your group will make it safely to their destination on time.

Don’t rely on Uber or other ridesharing apps because that’ll force your group members to be separated from each other by having to ride in several cars. If it is important that you have excellent teamwork, then take a bus or a coach.  Not only that but keeping your team on task and focused will is so much better when you can be all together in a coach.

Therefore, do yourself a favour and hire a coach for your group trip. A coach has enough room to carry all of your group members in a single-vehicle. Also, everyone’s luggage can be safely tucked away underneath the bus, so your team doesn’t have to bring the luggage in and out.

The guide provides you with everything you need to know about hiring a coach.  Follow this link if you want to book a bus or a coach in New Zealand.

Overview of a Coach


Coaches are a type of bus. Buses are typically part of the public transport system whereas coaches are mostly used for carrying passengers long distances. Coaches are designed for comfort and have more space for luggage than buses.  As you are renting an entire coach you get to choose the time, destination, who is on the coach and the type of coach you want to travel in.

Coaches are distinguishable from regular buses because they have large tinted windows. This allows sunlight to shine through them, while at the same time keeping your cool and allowing you to enjoy the New Zealand scenery.

The rows of seating on a coach are very comfortable because they’re plush and cushioned for your pleasure. If your group has any smaller personal items, they can be stored in the overhead compartments.  At rentabus we work hard to provide you with the perfect coach for your needs. There are so many types available and our speciality is matching your needs with the perfect coach.

Who Typically Hires a Coach?

All types of groups will find it convenient to rent a motorcoach. These could be sports teams, businesses, nonprofit organizations, schools, churches, and private individuals planning for a big event.

Schools – It is common for primary, intermediate and secondary schools or universities to hire coaches for the purpose of taking students on a field trip. These could be trips to museums, theatres, sports tournaments, seminars, tours, and so on.

Wedding Parties – Couples who are planning to get married may want to treat their wedding guests to a coach shuttle service. The shuttle can bring them to engagement parties, wedding ceremonies, stag dos, or wedding receptions.  This is a much safer option for the guests as they often drink too much at these parties and risk driving home.  Check out our page on what you need to consider when organising a bus rental for your wedding..

Corporate Events – An executive or business leader in a company will want to impress their clients after they invite them to a corporate event. To give them a premium experience, the company will rent a coach that will bring their clients to the event.  Luxury business coaches can be used for these purposes.  Check out our page on bus rental for corporate events.

Churches – It is common for members of a church to use coaches for religious mission trips, service projects, and other fellowship activities, whether they be local or far away.  Also in conferences buses are often used to transport people to and from the conference as the conference centre may have limited parking.

Sports – When athletes and sports teams travel around the country and play in different stadiums and other locations, they typically travel together on a coach.  This keeps them together and focused on the event, ensuring no one is lost.  Check out our page on bus rental for sports teams.

Musicians – Event organisers and entertainment companies may arrange to have musicians and other types of entertainers ride a coach to various venues throughout the country.

Seating on a Bus


Coaches have anywhere between 36 to 60 plush seats available for large groups of people to sit on. If you choose a minibus, then it can hold up to 35 people. Some people prefer to rent minibuses because they’re more personalised for special events like weddings, corporate parties and festivals.  There are so many options in the number of seats on a bus. Some executive buses only have 12 seats. Other buses that want to move people efficiently have up to 60 seats. In New Zealand, the most common bus size is to have 53 seat buses. There are double decker buses, the articulated bus (allowing it to bend in the middle), heritage buses that all have different numbers of seats available.  Please contact us with your requirements and we will match you to the perfect bus.

Coaches vs. Minibuses vs. Party Buses vs. Entertainer Coaches

With Minibuses, private groups are free to rent these vehicles and travel out of town with them. A professional driver must be behind the wheel to operate them. What makes these vehicles differ from one another are the purpose they’re used for and their sizes.minibus

The average group will rent a minibus or standard size coach. The former holds up to 35 people while the latter carries up to 60 people. You’ll find extra amenities on the standard coaches because they’re larger. Some of these amenities include bigger luggage compartments and a complimentary toilet in the back.

Party buses are reserved for smaller groups that want to celebrate personal events, such as birthday parties. The seating inside the bus is usually positioned along the sides so that everyone faces each other. This makes it easier for them to play games, talk, and even dance.

Entertainer coaches can seat between 8 and 12 people. They offer many luxurious amenities to them too, such as a lounging area, sleeping bunks, televisions, storage compartments, kitchen amenities, a master suite, Wi-Fi internet access, and more.

Each bus has various amenities, that differ per bus.  Items like air conditioning, reclining seats, television monitors, toilets, washroom, microphones are common.  However many other options are also available. When you are booking a bus through us please indicate what amenities you are wanting for your bus transport.  Our selection is the best in New Zealand.

Food and Drinks on Buses

If you want to allow your group to consume food and beverages on your coach rental, then please indicate this in your booking as not all buses allow food to be brought onto the bus. At times buses forbid food and beverages on their buses because they can cause stains, messes and bad odours. If you do consume food on the bus then make sure you leave the bus clean.  At times a bond can be taken and will be used to cover cleaning the bus, if it is left dirty. If there are trash bins on the front of the bus, then have your group use those bins to discard their trash as they exit.

Alcoholic Beverages on Buses

Alcoholic beverages are usually allowed on coach hires as long as the guests are adults only. We may hold a bond in case there are damages caused by your members. When you make your reservations, inform the reservation specialist about your desire to bring alcohol onto the coach. This will ensure that you get the perfect bus for your needs.

The professional driver will never be permitted to drink. Group members are expected to leave the driver alone when they drink and not cause any interference in their ability to operate the vehicle.

Pets on Buses

Pets are not usually allowed on coach hires. However if you want to have a pets day out and bring your animals, please inform us and we will endeavour to find you the perfect bus to meet your needs.  People that use dogs for sight or other needs are typically allowed to bring their dog on the bus.

Prohibited Items on Buses

historical-busThe policies regarding prohibited items are different for each bus company. Typically, you are not allowed to bring weapons, flammable materials, hazardous chemicals, and explosives onto a bus. You’re also forbidden to smoke inside the bus, so the smokers of your group must wait until they get to bus stops in order to smoke.  If your bus has lots of smokers we could arrange additional stops to cater for this.

If you have a question about whether you can bring a particular item or not, then please let us know when you book the bus.

Buses have sorts of purposes and they have different regulations for each bus.  I’m sure you would be able to smoke and bring your weapon on the bus to the left.

Beds on Buses

There are no beds in standard coaches. However, you can take advantage of the reclining cushioned seating. This should keep you comfortable enough so that you can fall asleep easily. If you bring your own neck pillow, then that is even better.

If your group insists on having beds in the coach, then you should choose the entertainer coach instead of the standard coach. Entertainer coaches come with up to 12 beds as well as a master suite. The bigger entertainer coaches come with luxurious amenities like Wi-Fi internet, satellite televisions, a toilet, a washroom, kitchen facilities, and a lounge area.

There are also other options, so please let us know your requirements and we will match the right bus for you.

Storage Space on Buses

Standard coaches come with a lot of storage space for the luggage that your group members may bring with them. There are also overhead compartments for your group members to store their personal belongings. Just look above the seats to find these compartments. They do not get in the way of the aisle at all. Suitcases and bigger luggage go underneath the bus.

Minibuses don’t have as much storage space because they’re smaller sized buses. That is why you should only rent a minibus if you have a smaller group with a minimal amount of luggage. Just let us know when you book how many people are in your group, and bag numbers and we will recommend the best option for you all.

Toilets on Buses

bus-toiletThe average coach has at least one toilet on it for passengers to use.  They are small (as shown in the picture), having to fit into a tiny space. If you have a long trip it is important to have a toilet on the bus as it definitely helps reduce the stress of those with small bladders.  While booking please indicate whether or not you want to have a toilet on the bus for your trip.

Seat Belts on Buses

Seatbelts are not required by law on buses in New Zealand.  Often the first five rows have seat belts fitted. If you require seatbelts please inform us and we will match a bus for your needs.

Wheelchair Accessibility

A good number of buses cater to those with special needs.  When you are booking a bus please inform us on whether or not you need wheelchair access or have other special needs.  We will work to get you the perfect bus to meet your needs.

The Bus Driver

Tipping-bus-driverThe most common rental is to hire a bus and driver.  No one in your group is expected to drive the bus. When you rent a coach we will provide you with a professional driver who has the right license to transport passengers. Not only does the driver drive the bus, but they also manage the safety of your group members while they’re on the bus as well.

In some cases you can ‘dry hire’ a bus.  That is where you just hire the bus and you provide the driver yourself.  It is a bus hire without a driver. Please ask us if you would like that. However not anyone can drive the bus, they need a proper license to do this.

According to NZ regulations, bus drivers are only allowed to drive passenger vehicles for no more than 14 hours in a single day. They must also stop every 5 hours and 30 minutes for a break. If your group requires a longer trip that’ll take over 14 hours, then we will give you a second driver.

If you’re taking an overnight trip with one bus driver and they need to stop for the night at a hotel, then the driver needs a room to rest. This doesn’t need to be a fancy 5-star hotel, but it does need to be comfortable to allow your driver to get some sleep.  If this is the case we will price the cost of the room at the booking time or inform you of the need to book the drivers accommodation.

Last Minute Stops

When you book a coach with us we are going to ask for your complete itinerary of all the stops that you want to make along your trip. The bus driver plans their time according to this itinerary. So, if you end up asking the bus driver to make any unscheduled or last-minute stops, then it is up to them whether they will accommodate your request.  They have certain rules that they need to follow and may or may not be able to accommodate your request.

Advance Booking

Coaches get booked quickly. If you want to make sure that you get the best coach possible for your group, then make your reservations at least one month ahead of time. Although, three months in advance would be even better for the average trip.

During the busier months of the year, such as December, January and February, you might even want to book your coach as much as nine months in advance. These are the months when coaches are booked the most.

If you’re planning a last-minute group trip, then there may be coaches still available for you. There are just no guarantees that you’ll get the type of coach you want.

Bus Hire Prices

bus-hire-pricesMany factors determine bus rental rates, including a daily rate, kilometres of your trip, the time of year, the location of your booking. In addition to this, the star rating of your bus and the amenities available on the bus will impact your costs.  We work hard to get you the best bus hire price for your trip, that matches your needs. Most people don’t want the cheapest bus, but want something that matches there needs. If you would like to see some recent examples of bus hire prices then check out the bus rental price page.


Tipping the bus driver

New Zealand does not have a tipping culture and you are not required or expected to tip the driver. On the other hand, there are no rules against tipping the driver. If you feel like they did a great job, then feel free to give them a tip for their efforts.

The Bus Rental Process

We have made it super simple for you to get the right bus or minibus at the right price.  As you move through our booking process it will ask you questions on where you want to travel, what dates and times you are travelling, what is your itinerary, what type of coach you are looking for, how many passengers do you need us to transport, what type of amenities do you want to have and what is the purpose of the trip.  With this information, we will be able to match you to the perfect bus. is here to answer any questions you may have about coach and bus hire in New Zealand. We’ve already satisfied many customers who’ve enjoyed our coaches for their sports tournaments, corporate events, weddings, church events, school events, tours, and more.

Hire a coach or a bus and start your trip today.   We will provide you the perfect bus at the right price.