If you’re looking to save money when buying a motor coach, getting a used motor coach can be a great deal – or can end up costing you a small fortune in repairs and maintenance. The key is to know what to look for and what questions to ask before you buy.
Here are five things to keep in mind if you’re shopping for a used motor coach:
1. Age isn’t everything . . .
Just because one model is older than another doesn’t mean much. By the same token, two buses from the same year can have completely different values if they have different mileage and wear. Don’t just go by the age of the vehicle or judge by the paint color. Check the condition and have a trusted mechanic inspect everything before you buy. You can always change fabrics and colors later if the coach is mechanically sound.
2. . . . but it DOES matter
If you’re going to finance your used motor coach and the vehicle is 10 years old (or even older), banks might have a lot of questions. They may not want to offer you a loan if it seems like too big a risk. They may finance it, but expect it to be a short-term deal. Keep this in mind when shopping.
3. The numbers game
Check the mileage on the engine control module (ECM) and the odometer. These numbers are not always accurate and may have been changed. If you find a coach with very low mileage for its age, there may be a reason why it’s so low. Ask for the whole backstory.
4. Choices, choices
Decide what options you’re looking for and make a list of what’s essential vs. what would be nice to have. If a coach doesn’t have the options you want, ask if they can be added, and if so, at what additional price.
5. Where have you been?
Know where the bus came from. If a coach has been sitting in a Minnesota parking lot for two years, the “rust factor” caused by snow and high moisture will usually create headaches for you sooner or later. On the other hand, the high heat in places like Texas or Arizona can cause rubber hoses and gaskets to dry out and crack or batteries to die.
In general, a bus that has average mileage and normal wear and tear for its age often indicates that it’s been used and maintained (and not just sitting around). Still, make sure you get as much history as possible.
Still have questions about buying a used motor coach? Contact us today to speak with one of our experts.