Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Bus?

The cost of hiring the bus depends on several factors: - Distance - How far your journey is - Location - Where the event is to take place, that is, round trip costs from our base. - Duration - There is a minimum charge covering a period of up to four hours (i.e. from pick up to final set down). If you only require the vehicle for less than this time the charge will be the same and vehicle will depart after drop off. For any additional hours there is a charge of £75 per hour or part of. The standard hire charge is around £650 between 1st May & 31st October 2016 and covers a period not exceeding 4 specified hours at time of booking. Other times of year are slightly less. A small discount is offered if you are ordering more than 1 bus at same time. A £50, per bus, non refundable deposit, is required when making the booking. For two or more buses then the deposit must be received within 2 weeks unless the hire date is imminent.

2. What Is Included In The Price?

All quotes are fully inclusive, covering use of the bus, driver, conductor, mileage, fuel, insurance. There is no VAT on private hire as a complete package. For weddings we also include in the price white ribbons on the front of the bus and a Wedding Special destination blind. If you require a different colour ribbon there maybe an additional charge if we don't have your preferred colour in stock.

3. How Many Buses Do You Have?

We are able to provide as many Routemaster buses as you require. In the unlikely event that we cannot provide all the buses ourselves, we can bring in other vehicles from alternative suppliers (of the same quality as ours).

4. What Kind Of Buses Are They?

Without getting too technical, we provide the following types of vintage bus: RML Routemaster (72 seats, covered top)  RM Routemaster (64 seats, covered top) RCL Routemaster (65 seats), green covered top and with a closing doorway at rear. RT (56 seats, covered or open top) - the predecessor to the Routemaster and the bus that Cliff Richard used in Summer Holiday. Single deckers 39 seat covered top in red or green. All buses for private hire are fitted out to the highest standards.

5. Can We Drink Alcohol On The Bus?

No, However, following a wedding ceremony we will permit Champagne / Pimms / Prosecco or Carver. We don't want to spoil the fun, but safety is our top priority. So the following rules apply: - The hirer is responsible for providing the bottles and plastic glasses (no glass allowed in guests hands) - Only enough to provide a couple of flutes each can be consumed on the bus. No more will be allowed on after that - The quantity of alcohol should be appropriate to the number of passengers. The conductor will have the final say! - Also, all drinks must be consumed from plastic glasses. No drinking from bottles or cans. We reserve the right to charge a damage deposit at the time of booking for events that involve drinks on the bus. We ask that the hirer ensures rubbish sacks are provided and if possible these are removed at the end of the hire. Champagne bottles must be opened off the bus or the corks caught as they can damage the ceilings.

6. Where Do You Operate?

Our operating area is the South-East (London, Kent, Essex, East Sussex, Surrey and northern part of West Sussex near Crawley/Horsham). We do not operate outside mainland Britain. The map shown on our Hire Quotation page is not totally accurate. Please read the notes above map itself.

7. How Many Passengers Can You Carry?

The maximum capacity of a red Routemaster is 72 seated, If you have a large number of people to transport over a short distance, we recommend doing two or more trips with the same bus rather than hiring an extra one. Please note that more than 2 pushchairs will need two seats being taken out to accomodate them on the bus. Our green Routemaster seats a total of 65 as it has greater leg room and thicker seats.

8. Do You Work At Night Time?

We no longer provide Late Night Returns except by special agreement for Corporate events!

9. What If The Bus Breaks Down?

All of our Routemasters are subject to a rigorous maintenance schedule, so it is highly unlikely that your bus will let you down. If the worst should happen, we will try to provide a replacement bus as soon as possible.

10. Can We Have Items Delivered To You For Our Hire?

No. We are not set up to handle any deliveries and to ensure they end up on the correct day on right vehicle.

11. What Do You Need To Do To Ensure Hire Runs Correctly?

The crew will not be aware of how many guests/ delegates you have and we don't want to leave any behind. We ask that you nominate someone who makes themselves known to crew on arrival. That nominated person will then be the only one to give instructions to crew about departure of 2nd or subsequent trips. This is particularly important if party are meeting at an hotel or railway station. We cannot be held responsible for any passengers being left behind. This is particularly important if guest tells crew "no need to come back they have all gone" when organiser is expecting bus back!

12. Can We Decorate The Bus?

If you hire one of our vintage Routemaster buses for a wedding, we will provide white wedding ribbons and a 'Wedding Special' destination blind as standard. For other requirements, you should let us know at the time of booking and we will arrange to arrive at the pick-up point early enough for you to put the decorations up yourselves. No sticky tape on paintwork please.

13. Can We Have Personalised Blinds?

Personalised blinds can be produced on request to lend a special touch. Let us know at the time of booking and we can order them for you. Guide price around £50 per panel. There are 7 panels on each double deck bus if you would like to fill all of them.

14. Can We Have A Conductor?

When you hire a bus with an open platform at the rear, it includes a driver and a conductor. The conductor's main role and duty is to ensure the safety of the passengers. Our 2 single decks have doors fitted at front so no conductor is provided. We do also provide a conductor on our green double deck Routemaster, that has platform doors fitted.

15. What About Wheelchair Access?

There is no actual wheelchair access so it must be able to collapse to fit inside, though wheelchair users are more than welcome, providing that there is assistance available to help them on and off the bus. Passengers may not however sit in a wheelchair on the bus. Note that on our single deck vehicles there are three steep steps to get into the saloon.

16. Can We Listen To Music?

If you bring a fully charged iPod/mp3 player with a 3.5mm output (ie normal audio output) we will provide a jack that can play your music through the PA speakers on both decks. Please state at the time of booking that you require music as not all the buses are fitted with PA systems. Note that this facility is only available on our Routemaster buses and the open tops.  

17. How Fast Are The Buses?

On the open road, most of the buses will cruise at 35-40 mph, We will assign which ever bus we think appropriate for the distance / timing requested. As a guide a 45 minute car jounrey will take around 1hr 10 minutes in a bus.

18. Are There Any Types Of Events You Do Not Undertake?

We try to accommodate most types of events but from experience the following are no longer covered:- Football / Rugby matches, except under 18, pub crawls, birthday parties for anyone under 40.

19. Can We Bring Dogs On The Bus?

We are happy to allow well behaved dogs to travel on our buses. Please let us know if this is something you would like to do.

Get in Touch

The London Bus Company Ltd
Units 1-4
Northfleet Industrial Estate
Lower Rd
Northfleet
Kent
DA11 9SN

Tel: 01474 361199
Office Hours Mon-Fri 09:00 to 17:00