Party bus services cost between $750 and $1000 on average, nationwide. Several factors affect the total cost of the ride, including the type of vehicle, when the party bus is needed for pick up and drop off, party bus packages, any luxury features or special requests, and the number of passengers.
Party buses, stretch limos and stretch SUVs are commonly hired for birthdays, prom season, brewery tours, bachelor/bachelorette parties, bar crawls, sporting events, and weddings. Services can be contracted for one-way, multi-location or round trips.
What’s in this cost guide?
- What Affects the Cost of a Party Bus?
- How Much Does a Party Bus Charge Per Hour?
- How to Hire a Party Bus
- How to Save Money on a Party Bus
- Benefits of a Professional Party Bus
What Affects the Cost of a Party Bus?
Renting a party bus, limo or SUV means renting the experience. Clients are not only paying for the one-way, multi-stop or round-trip ride, but they are also paying for the driver’s time to and from the business depot, the time spent preparing the vehicle prior to departure and cleaning it after. For example, it takes SW Limo drivers an hour and a half to get ready for a job before they even pick up the customer—so a one-hour ride in the vehicle requires almost three hours of work.
Length of the Ride
The length of time a customer needs services affects the total cost. Often, party buses and limos are offered in four-hour time blocks, which means even if clients only need one hour, they will still be charged a base rate that covers four hours. If clients need the party bus to drive them to and from an event, they will still be charged for the wait time even if the passengers are not using the bus. Still, for transporting large parties to special events such as weddings or bachelor parties, the marginal extra cost could well be worth it to keep the party together.
Where the depot is located in relation to the customer location affects the cost of rental services. For example, for SW Limo in Scottsdale, Arizona, driving from one end of the metro area to the other covers 100 miles. The company’s limousine services include a 30-mile service area in its base cost, and prices generally increase if drivers have to travel more than 30 miles to arrive at the customer location. There may also be additional surcharges if the party bus needs to travel long distances, such as from Connecticut to Manhattan, or if there are parking charges at the site of the event.
Time of day
After 5 p.m. is prime time for party bus, shuttle bus and limousine services, so costs will likely be higher for evening reservations. If a bachelorette party, birthday party or special event is expected go into the wee hours of the morning, some companies charge an additional fee after midnight. Ask customer service about the best time to secure your party bus rental when you make your reservations.
Type of party bus
How fancy the ride is and how many passengers it can accommodate also affects the overall cost. Types of vehicles include luxury party buses, stretch limousines, limo buses, Cadillac Escalade party vehicles and SUVs, such as stretch Hummers. Many coach buses or passenger party buses have special features such as DVD players, sound systems and laser lights. All these extras add to the cost of party bus rental. In addition, the cost of gas for each vehicle is a factor, with some buses and stretch SUVs only getting three or four miles per gallon, depending on how many passengers there are. Here’s what SW Limo charges for various vehicles.
|Number of Passengers||Total Cost|
|10-passenger, stretch Lincoln||$100 per hour with a four-hour minimum, Sunday– Thursday|
|14-passenger, white stretch Bentley||$125 per hour with a four-hour minimum, Sunday–Thursday|
|20-passenger, super-stretch Escalade||$150 per hour with a four-hour minimum, Sunday–Thursday|
Day of the week
Saturdays make up 80 percent of business for most of these companies. Many companies receive five times as many requests for business on weekends as on weekdays. On Saturdays, SW Limo’s base rates increases for every type of vehicle.
|Party Bus||Total Cost on a Saturday|
|10-passenger stretch Lincoln||$125 per hour with a four-hour minimum|
|14-passenger, white stretch Bentley||$150 per hour with a four-hour minimum|
|20 passenger, super-stretch Escalade||$150–$200 per hour with a four-hour minimum|
How Much Does a Party Bus Charge Per Hour?
A party bus typically charges in 4 hour blocks, and the cost is between $750 and $1000 on average
How to Hire a Party Bus
- Minimum number of hours: Most party buses require a minimum number of hours. Decide in advance how many hours you’ll need the bus for your event so you can choose a party bus with a logical minimum for your needs.
- Service area: Find out the service area for the party bus and if it works for your locations, or if you’ll be charged additional fees.
- Party bus amenities: Do you want amenities like a wet bar, a flat screen tv, or surround sound? Make sure their vehicles are equipped for your specific needs.
- Check safety records: Ensure the company and driver is in good standing with the relevant safety board, and has all required licenses. For more on smart hiring, check out our tips on smart hiring.
How to Save Money on a Party Bus
- Choose a less busy day of the week: Monday through Thursday is the least expensive time to hire a party ride which is a good way to save if your timing is flexible.
- Go home before midnight: Party buses may add additional charges after midnight, so channel your inner Cinderella and get home before the clock strikes 12.
- Limit the number of passengers: The larger the party bus, the larger the price tag. Reduce your guest list and book a smaller, more affordable vehicle.
Benefits of a Professional Party Bus
Transportation is a part of almost every event, so why not make it fun? Get the party started early and keep your crew safe by having a sober, professional driver behind the wheel. Organize a fun brewery tour for a friend reunion, or turn your wedding reception travel time into one more chance to celebrate. From better birthday parties to more bar crawls to mobile bachelorette party adventures, hiring a professional party bus opens up a whole new world of possibilities.