Are Party Buses a Good Investment?

Unlike a standard passenger vehicle, a bus can carry about 30 to 60 passengers. You usually see buses shuttling commuters or schoolchildren. Some travelers use Greyhound buses for longer trips, and your favorite bands probably ride in tour buses. Then there are party buses. Groups can rent these vehicles for private celebrations with a VIP feel. A party bus business can be lucrative, but it also requires a considerable investment.

What is a party bus?

Are party buses a good investment
A party bus in New York’s Times Square on July 10, 2021 | Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Party buses have couches or lounge chairs instead of conventional seating. The floor is often carpeted, and some buses are even large enough to accommodate a vinyl dance floor. Similar to a limousine, a party bus might also have window shades and drink coolers.

These vehicles can also accommodate big-screen TVs, hot tubs, disco balls, and LED lighting. But unlike most limos, party buses have a lot more room for riders to get up and stretch their legs. Even the longest stretch limos can seat only 18 riders, so party buses are ideal for larger gatherings.

Are party buses worth the investment?

According to Step by Step Business, it costs an average of $75,000 to put a down payment on a soon-to-be-converted party bus. Most people report paying about $2,000 per year for insurance on the vehicle. Depending on the bus’ size and the extent of modifications, you could spend upward of $30,000 on the interior.

Fortunately, buying a party bus for business purposes has both excellent profit and revenue potential. It usually costs customers $700 to rent a party bus for a few hours each night, which means annual earnings of around $291,000. Profits can be as high as about $116,000.

How to start your own business

Forming a party bus business is only a small investment compared to securing the vehicle. You’ll need to come up with a creative business name, ideally one that includes the words “party bus.” Before you officially register your business, use the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office database to check if the name is available. 

Once you settle on a name, make a business plan that details your revenue goals and marketing plans. After that, you can officially register your business. You also need to file for an IRS Employer Identification Number to pay business taxes.

In addition, it’s highly recommended you open a business bank account to keep your profits in order. You’ll likely spend an average of $175 for these initial steps.

Your business will still need funding to launch, but many banks offer start-up loans. The Small Business Association also provides loans and outlines the licenses and permits you’ll need. Acquiring those permits usually costs around $200.

Plus, you’ll need to purchase business insurance, which can be as low as $100.

And before your business officially launches, you need to build up the hype with effective marketing. Business cards or brochures cost about $250 to produce.

A website can cost up to $3,000 to build, but online landing pages are crucial to getting more customers. An online presence also gives interested parties a convenient place to contact your business, make bookings, and scope out your offerings.

Besides employing a manager, you’ll also want to hire at least one marketing manager and a driver with a commercial driver’s license (CDL).

A party bus business costs nearly $100,000 to start, minus any loans you’ll need to repay. Still, if your business is a success, you’ll reap the profits for years to come.

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