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Old 09-13-2016, 12:44 PM   #1
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Initial cost?

I know this is probable a silly question that had to been asked before BBBBUUUT I'm going to ask anyway. I want to get a feel for the average price that people paid for the stock bus. I know it all depends on engine and size and miles . I would like to hear from those that bought a full size diesel bus. Any body style flat nose or conventional. I think I need to spend at least 2000.00-2500.00 or do I need to spend more?

Thanks for all the Help!
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Old 09-13-2016, 12:53 PM   #2
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search the forum..... we had a thread a year or so ago that lots of peeps posted their bus purchase info.
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Old 09-13-2016, 01:41 PM   #3
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Ok I'll give it a shot
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Old 09-13-2016, 02:05 PM   #4
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Bus pricing is all over the place. Varies geographically, by make, model, condition, mileage and so on. For whatever reason, there does seem to be some very good pricing out of California (?). But if it is a more desirable or hard to find model (like 4 x 4's for example) the prices can go through the roof just about anywhere.

Generally speaking, the best deals can be had by buying direct from a school district (no dealer markup), plus...you can very often get the vehicles maintenance records (worth their weight in gold) and even chat with the techs who took care of a particular unit.

So...price is part of the buying equation...but there can be a lot more that should be considered. Including location. Sometimes you 'll find a great deal right in your own backyard, but if your ideal unit shows up across the country...well, then you have to factor in travel and such.

Just my dos centavos on the subject.
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Old 09-15-2016, 03:00 PM   #5
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Got my bus from publicsurplus.com. Original bid was at $1650 or so. A few seconds from finish the bidding war started and i won after running it up to like 2850 against 3 others.

95 30ft flat nose Amtran with less than 180k from Seattle area school.
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Old 09-15-2016, 04:38 PM   #6
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Happy ?

@Crossy
So in the end was it worth it?
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Old 09-15-2016, 04:50 PM   #7
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I think your asking me

Yes I think it was worth it. I am pretty sure If I had wanted I could have turned around and sold my bus for profit on the drive home. I highly recommend buying from the school district as they can share the maintenance logs.

In my case I was able to learn the history and use of the bus and see the maintenance records. My only recommendation is to have your financing ready and have a plan for sitting at the ready for when your auction is ending as mine errupted into a bidding war about 5 seconds before it closed.
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Old 09-15-2016, 04:55 PM   #8
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I paid $5500 for my bus, but it came with some nice perks. The previous owner had already torn out the seats and windows, installed sheet metal over the windows, and it came with a bunch of supplies (3 water tanks, RV windows, spare engine parts, spare tire, and more).

It is a flat nose '98 Thomas, 40 ft long, with a Cat C7 3126 engine, 250HP. I bought it in Texas and it had 113k miles, no rust, and it was in good shape. It is a transit style bus, so it has huge storage compartments underneath.
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Old 09-15-2016, 05:48 PM   #9
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Shoppin...

I paid $2500 for a 1991 30ft BB. 5.9 cummins, AT Allison, wheelchair lift. 250K miles. It was only out of service from a northern Utah school district for about 6 months when I got it.

My Buddy is on a road trip to pickup a 30-ish foot (Thomas?) with a Dt466, Allison 645, 170K miles bus in Washington state. His was on auction earlier this week and he is out the door for less that $1500. (but he has a 1600 mile trip to get it.) (and he only wants the engine and trans).
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Old 09-15-2016, 06:13 PM   #10
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Location: Sarasota, Florida
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Year: 1995
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Chassis: Carpenter
Engine: d466 mechanical
I got my bus for $4500 and made out like a bandit if you ask me.
65k miles with 3.1k engine hours
International d466 (pre electric) with MT643 trans
Air brakes and air suspension
4 underbelly storages already
And behind the rear wheel wells the chassis was lowered to walk in level.
From what I've been told and some research, It served as a prison work transport bus and the reason for the lowered rear chassis was for the guards horses. Afterwards it was an extra bus for a horse breeder in Ocala, FL and used it to transport show bikes here and there.

Pretty cool story and I'd of paid probably up to $7,000 if I had to for the engine/trans and custom work done without questioning. Air brakes and suspension a big plus too.

My point is: is a $2,000 bus off someone on Craigslist really a steal? When you have to put in that or more on engine or tire problems?
If I had to do it again I'd pay good money for a 40ft Rear engine with air brakes/suspension.
Go with auctions and cold calling local school districts before CL, eBay, dealers.
Pay good money for the sure thing
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Old 09-15-2016, 06:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NowhereFast View Post
My point is: is a $2,000 bus off someone on Craigslist really a steal? When you have to put in that or more on engine or tire problems?
If I had to do it again I'd pay good money for a 40ft Rear engine with air brakes/suspension.
Go with auctions and cold calling local school districts before CL, eBay, dealers.
Pay good money for the sure thing

Agreed! The bus I bought is very sound, I bought it just for the engine, but ended up playing Converson Man instead. I'm using it as a "sample bus" just to figure out what is needed or important to ME in a bus, then I plan to find The best platform that fits me, and really build what I want. As for now, I'm keeping it simple and modular, I can take everything I've put in right back out....
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Old 09-15-2016, 10:38 PM   #12
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Cool guys thanks for all the info. I like the individual stories everyone has, very cool and helpful!
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Old 09-15-2016, 11:00 PM   #13
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Bought two busses from Craigslist, and paid $1000 for each.
First one ran but not properly and after a few weeks of working on it i threw in the towell and out it back on craigslist. The guy who sold it to me bought it back for the same price

This one i drove home and after a serious tune up she runs perfect.

I have been watching bus prices for some time and it seems most people here spend under $5k.
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Old 09-15-2016, 11:24 PM   #14
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Year: 1991
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Engine: DT466
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I paid $2600 + 10% buyers premium off of public surplus. 1991 65 passenger, 300K miles. DT466. 70% left on the tires, drive train retarder, coolant heater, from a school, all maintenance records, best feature - in town!

A few weeks ago I saw the exact same bus (from the same school) for $1600 with no bids.
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Old 09-16-2016, 05:45 AM   #15
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2300 for a short bus. Will pick it up at the end of the month.

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Old 09-16-2016, 08:15 AM   #16
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I got lucky on Fleabay with my bus...BUT, I'm the fourth owner, the last owner was a bus company in Newfoundland & Labrador, with an unflipped title from owner before them, and no importation paperwork. It was the type of bus I wanted, however, the moral of the story- with anything *other* than buy from 1) directly from a school district, or 2) a recognized surplus site, Caveat Emptor- Let the buyer beware.
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Old 09-16-2016, 10:47 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oricha1984 View Post
2300 for a short bus. Will pick it up at the end of the month.

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what kind are ya getting? since you are in florida also, besure to check the engine compartment real well. our bus caught on fire on the way home when we bought it. turns out one of those dang Wrens made a nest on top of the turbo. thankfully I had taken a fire extinguisher. ours is a 1998 Ford E-350 with a startrans body.
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Old 09-16-2016, 04:20 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoverlover View Post
what kind are ya getting? since you are in florida also, besure to check the engine compartment real well. our bus caught on fire on the way home when we bought it. turns out one of those dang Wrens made a nest on top of the turbo. thankfully I had taken a fire extinguisher. ours is a 1998 Ford E-350 with a startrans body.
Buying a 2000 ford E450 6 window bus. 7.3l engine with 110k miles.
I'm bring it from NJ.
I will be checking every spot for rust. If it has any, I will not bring it.
The bus was taken out of service this past summer due to 15 year service mark.

Thanks for the heads up.


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