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

It is difficult to give a quick answer to that question. We operate bespoke pricing. So we look at a multitude of different aspects that impact our costs to provide your service and thus provide you with a quote specifically tailored to your requirements.  Factors include: How far your start and finish points are from each other and from our bus garages. The anticipated journey time. If the bus has to wait at any point or make multiple trips. The time of day. The nature of the work being undertaken. The type of vehicle being requested. Although you may only want the bus for a short trip we still have to block out the vehicle, a driver and conductor for the day, but short trips reduce our other cost factors. We do apply a discount for multi-bus bookings. Prices range considerably. As a very rough guide the most basic hire charge is from around £895 per bus booked and increase from there. A £100, per bus, non refundable deposit, is required when making the booking. Final balance payments must be made at least two weeks before the hire date. Please bare in mind if you increase scope of your hire after booking, there may be additional charges to pay for elements not included within the original quotation price.

We are occasionally able to provide buses at short notice, it is worth contacting us, you would need to be able to get payment to us before the hire though.

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 (except for filming work). 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 we have other basic colours or if you are having a specific colour themed wedding you can send us a roll of the ribbon you are using and we will fit that to the bus front. We can produce and fit bus route and destination blinds with your choice of wordings on for an additional fee.

3. We only want the bus for an hour?

Our charges are reflective of many criteria, see 1 above.

We strongly believe in fair remuneration for our staff for their work for the day, we are proud to be National Living Wage employer and all of our staff in all grades and rolls are paid a rate that exceeds the National Living Wage. We pay our staff an agreed minimum number of hours for the day for their work. We still have to get to you from one of our garages and back again. We will reflect the costs of short hires in our bespoke pricing where we can.

4. How Many Buses Do You Have?

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

5. What Kind Of Buses Are They?

Most of our vehicles are the famous Routemaster heritage buses, with a half cab and rear entry/exit platform:

Routemasters – London Red livery

  • RM Type – 64 seats – closed top
  • RML Type – 72 seats – closed top
  • RM Type – 60 seats (32 upstairs) – full open top
  • RM Type – 64 seats (36 upstairs) – part open top (roof from front to 2nd window bay)
  • RMC Type – 57 seats (36 upstairs) – full open top
  • RML Type – 72 seats (40 upstairs) – part open top (roof from front to second window bay)

Vehicles represent different red livery history periods with the central band in either cream or white.

Closed top bookings – we will allocate any RM or RML from our fleet, unless a specific vehicle has been requested, so it is important we have an accurate idea of your guest numbers.

Open top bookings – we will allocate any full or part open top vehicle from our fleet unless a specific type of open top has been requested, so it is important we know your guest numbers. We can occasionally substitute a closed top vehicle, at your request, if rain is expected, but that is very much subject to availability.

Routemaster – London General – Red, White, Silver & Black livery.

  • RM 1933 – 64 seats – closed top.

This vehicle was painted by London Transport into the eye catching livery of it’s predecessor The London General Omnibus Company which ran London’s buses from 1855 to 1933.

Routemaster – White

  • RML 902 – 72 seats closed top.

With a green band, this vehicle compliments our White single decker. Both are especially popular for weddings – early booking reccomended!

Routemasters – Green Line – Deep Green

  • RCL – 65 seats closed top
  • RMC – 57 seats closed top

Green Line liveried buses have a light green central band.

Routemaster – London Country Area – Leaf Green

  • RMC – 57 seats closed top

These lighter green Routemasters have a pale grey band, in the colours of the National Bus Company used up and down the country.

RT (AEC Regent Three) – Red

  • RT – 56 Seats closed top
  • RT – 56 seats open top
  • RTW – 56 seats closed top

These half cab, rear platform buses ran from 1938 to 1979 in normal service and were so numerous London Transport had over 7000 of them!

Single Deck RF (AEC Regal Four) Type

  • RF – Red – 39 Seats closed top
  • RF – White – 39 Seats closed top
  • RF – Green – 39 Seats closed top
  • RF – Red/White – 39 seats closed top

These single deckers built in the 1950s were the mainstay of single deck routes in the city and countryside.

Single Deck – Daisy

  • Open Top single decker of East Kent origin – Cream and Maroon livery.

We occasionally have to substitute a vehicle for another of equally high quality. If this involves  a change of colour, we will make every effort to contact you and discuss with you your preference of the available alternates.

6. Can We Drink Alcohol On The Bus?

We do not operate “Beano” type trips where alcohol is the main feature. However, following a wedding ceremony we will permit Champagne / Pimms / Prosecco or Cava. On Corporate transfers or tours we are happy for you to treat your guests to a drink. Safety is our top priority. So the following rules apply:

  • The hirer is responsible for providing the drink and paper cups or plastic flutes (no glass (or individual bottles) allowed in guests hands during trip).
  • The quantity of alcohol should be appropriate to the number of passengers. The conductor will have the final say!
  • All drinks must be consumed from plastic glasses or paper cups. No drinking from glass bottles.
  • All empty containers and rubbish must be bagged and removed, by the hirer, from the vehicle at the end of the hire.

We reserve the right to charge a damage deposit at the time of booking for events that involve drinks on the bus. The hirer should ensure rubbish sacks are provided and 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. Beer and spirits are not permitted under any circumstances.

7. 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.

Bare in mind a Routemaster speed is about 35mph. Motorway journey times shown on Google Maps should be doubled and via other roads add about half again.

8. How Many Passengers Can You Carry?

The capacity of a Routemaster varies from 56 to 72 seated, we regret we do not take bookings with an expectation of standing passengers. 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 in extra ones. Please note that more than 2 pushchairs will need two seats being taken out to accommodate them on the bus. That would reduce total seating in consequence. It is important we know your guest numbers as we will allocate vehicles according to this.

9. Do We Tip The Bus Crew?

That is entirely your choice. If you are happy with the service provided by our team members then you are very welcome to give them a tip. Any gratuities give to our crews will be kept entirely by them. (Industry practice is that any tips given to a Conductor (or Guide where used) will be shared equally with the Driver, Conductor and Guide (where used)).

10. Do You Work At Night Time?

We regret we are unable to provide Late Night Returns except by special agreement for Corporate Events only!

11. 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 vehicle as soon as possible.

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

No. Sorry, we are not set up to handle any deliveries and to ensure they end up on the correct day nor on right vehicle.

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

The crew will not be aware of exactly how many guests / delegates have turned up 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 time and any 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 a guest tells our crew “no need to come back they have all gone” when organiser is expecting the bus to return!

14. 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.

15. 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.

16. 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, the vehicle and the open platform (so unfortunately they are not able to serve drinks). We do also provide a conductor on our green double deck Routemasters, that have platform doors fitted. Our single deckers are front entrance and have doors fitted so no conductor is provided.

17. What About Wheelchair Access?

Heritage vehicles were never built for wheelchair access, you are welcome to carry a folded wheelchair onto vehicles, it would need to be able to collapse to get past the doorway poles to get inside. 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, heritage buses do not have the relevant safety features or space for this. Note, that on our single deck vehicles there are three steep steps to get into the saloon.

18. Can We Listen To Music?

This facility is not usually desired at Weddings, in our experience, guests usually wish to talk. Heritage Buses were not equipped with sound systems from new. Only a modest number of our buses have a pa facility added and we will not routinely allocate an equipped vehicle to a wedding hire.

Where an equipped vehicle is provided, if you bring a fully charged iPod/mp3 player/mobile phone with a 3.5mm output * (ie normal audio output) there will be a jack that can play your music through the PA speakers on both decks. Note that this facility is only available on some of our Routemaster buses and some open tops. *For newer iPhones you will need to supply a Lightning to 3.5mm Jack adapter as these are not provided.

Unless a PA system was specified and agreed with you when booking we will normally allocate a vehicle without that facility. We will prioritise allocation of PA equipped vehicles to buses hired with a blue badge tour guide for Sightseeing Tours as these will require a PA.

19. 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 journey will take around 1hr 10 minutes in a bus.

20. 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, Notting Hill Carnival, Hen or Stag, pub crawls or similar events. However please give us a call to see if we can accommodate you.

21. 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.