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The Complete Guide to Coach Hire

27th February 2020

Private coach hire is a great way to get everyone from A to B in an easy, cost-effective way. Whether you’re heading for a day out in London, travelling to the South coast for a holiday or simply going to watch your favourite team play – hiring a coach is quickly becoming a popular option for travelling around the UK.


What is a coach?

 A coach, otherwise known as a motor coach, is a privately hired vehicle that is designed to carry a lot of passengers to a designated destination. Usually, coaches are hired by a group, a business or an organisation.


 Who can hire a coach?

 Anyone can hire a coach, they all come with a driver and are most commonly hired by:

  • Schools/universities – coaches are the perfect way to transport teachers, students and chaperones on school trips, days out or to sporting events.
  • Weddings – transporting guests to and from locations can be expensive, which is why many couples choose to hire a coach as a cost-effective solution for transporting wedding guests. Many also hire coaches for the pre-wedding events such as hen do’s, stag dos and engagement parties.
  • Businesses – Coaches are an easy, cost-effective way to transport employees when attending company events such as team away days.
  • Sports teams/sports fans – Transporting a sports team by coach is a great way to keep a team together so everyone is on-time. Many sports fans opt for hiring a coach to sporting events as it is a cost-effective way of travelling.
  • Entertainment companies – Many event organisers rent minibuses and coaches to transport guests to and from a venue, for example, theatre shows and music festivals.


What is the difference between a minibus and a coach?

The main difference between a coach and a minibus is the size and the number of people they carry. Minibuses have a seating capacity of between 8 and 30 seats, whereas coaches have an average seating capacity of 56, but may have anywhere between 30 and 60 seats.

Most coaches have facilities, such as toilets, entertainment features like TVs, air conditioning and reclining seats that many minibuses don’t have, making coaches more suitable for long journeys.


How far in advance should I book my coach?

To get a coach that suits your travel requirement for the best price then it is best to book your coach as far in advance as you can. We do understand that sometimes you may require transport for last-minute events and trips which we will do our best to find the perfect transport for you. To get the best quote for your journey fill out our enquiry form.


Do coaches have storage space?

Coaches are designed to carry a large number of people to various destinations and have a significant amount of space to store items. Passengers can store luggage and bigger items like pushchairs beneath the bus and store more important, smaller items in the overhead compartments.

If you have a smaller group with little to no luggage then a minibus is perfect – great for football matches, night-outs and day trips.


Are coach’s wheelchair accessible?

Some companies do have wheelchair accessible coaches and minibuses but this does not come as standard for every vehicle. So, if you are looking to hire a private coach but you have or someone in your party has low mobility or use a wheelchair, then please specify this at time of booking so we can best accommodate everyone’s needs and requirements.


Are pets allowed on coaches?

Most coach companies have a no-pets policy. However, the only exception is guide dogs or assistance dogs. If you do plan on bringing a guide dog on your trip, then please specify this at time of booking.


Are there toilets on a coach?

Most coaches have toilets, they usually consist of a toilet and a handwashing basin, they are often small and compact due to limited space on the coach. We recommend for your safety to only use the toilet facilities if you completely have to.


Can I take food and drink on a coach?

Most coaches allow you to bring your own food and drink on board, but each coach company will be different, so it is important to check with the coach provider before your trip.

Be sure to take any rubbish with you or use the bins provided, as you may be charged a cleaning fee if you leave the coach messy. This again depends on the coach provider, so it is always best to read any terms and conditions before you travel.


Can I drink alcohol on a coach? 

It depends on who you are travelling with and where you are travelling to. 80% of coach hire companies will allow you to drink alcohol on their coaches, but it is important to check before you travel to avoid disappointment.

If you have the go-ahead to drink on the coach, we recommend taking cans or plastic cups, as any glass will most likely be prohibited to ensure safety. Make sure to be sensible when drinking and avoid making a mess or you may be charged a clean-up fee.


Who will be driving my coach?

When you hire a coach, you will also be hiring a safe, professional, qualified driver to navigate your bus.

Regulations state that coach drivers can only operate their vehicle for 9 hours in a day and must take a break or breaks totalling at least 45 minutes after no more than 4.5 hours of driving. However, there are a few different circumstances and rules surrounding driver hours that can be followed.

If your trip is taking place overnight, you may be required to book a clean and safe hotel room for your driver to sleep or this will be factored into your price when booking.


How to get a quote?

At Coach Hire Comparison, we do the hard work for you – we find the best quotes and coach companies for your trip! We’ve tried to make the process of receiving a coach hire quote as simple as possible.

Make sure to include as much detail as you can when completing our quote form so we can put you with the best providers for your journey. Having all the required information ready will make the process of hiring a coach much smoother.

Information you will need to provide is:

  • Where you are travelling from
  • Where you are travelling to
  • Number of passengers
  • Date of pick up / date of return
  • Time of pick up / time of departure
  • If you have any additional pick up locations
  • Reason for your trip
  • Luggage requirements
  • Any additional journey information


How much does it cost to hire a coach?

The price all depends on the type of minibus/coach you want, where you’re travelling to and if you have any special requests.

Industry average rates are:

Per hour Standard Executive VIP
16-seater £22 £33 £40
29-seater £30 £42 £50
53-seater £43 £50 £65

These prices are only a guideline, the actual cost of your trip with depend on a number of different factors.


How much is it to hire a driver for a coach?

When you hire a coach, the price of the driver is included in the cost of the coach.


Can I add last-minute stops to my journey?

When you book your coach, you will be asked to specify all drop-offs and pick-ups. If you decide to add last-minute stops, you may ask your coach provider before your journey or driver on the day. However, extra stops may not be accepted or if they are, you may be charged an additional fee.


How do I decide on a coach company?

When choosing a coach hire company, it is important to choose a company with a good reputation. At Coach Hire Comparison, we have coach providers all over the UK, we check that our suppliers use the appropriate vehicle operating licences so you can rest assured we only list experienced, safe and legally compliant coach operators, so we can help you find the best coach for the best price.