Charter Bus Prices: How to Calculate Your San Diego Bus Rental Costs


You’re ready to book a bus, but you need to figure out your budget. Luckily, San Diego Charter Bus Company is here to help you every step of the way! Our representatives are available 24/7 to calculate a custom quote for your trip, but before you call to book, you can use this guide to estimate how much your bus rental will cost. 

Rental prices are calculated according to several variables, but we’ve made a chart to help you calculate costs:

Type of Bus Per Hour Per Day Per Mile
56-Passenger Charter Bus $140 – $195 $1,355 –$1,755 $5.00 – $5.25
25-Passenger Minibus $135 – $175 $1,310 – $1,610 $4.75 – $6.25
20-Passenger Minibus $125 - $170 $1,260 - $1,510 $4.50 - $5.75
18-Passenger Minibus $125 - $165 $1,220 - $1,460 $4.25 - $5.25

*Keep in mind that the above pricing is not reflective of your service cost. These are only estimates and actual San Diego charter bus pricing will be based on your unique travel factors and provided by a representative over the phone. 

**Trips charged by the day may include additional mileage fees for long-distance travel. Each trip must be booked for a minimum of 5 hours. 

How to Calculate Charter Bus Costs

Quote prices are decided by several factors, including the ones listed below:

Distance: Short-distance trips are usually priced by the hour. Long-distance trips are priced by the day or by the mile.

Time of Year: Depending on when you book, your bus rental may cost more or less. Buses cost less in the winter when demand is lower, but cost more in the summer when more people are traveling.

Number of Passengers: The more passengers you have, the larger your bus will be and the more the rental will cost. Be prepared to book a larger, more expensive bus if you have a high number of passengers.

Other Costs: There may be unforeseen expenses during your trip, such as parking fees, toll roads, and driver lodging for overnight trips. Here are a few example trips and their total costs to help you plan:

Day Trips to Los Angeles


Janet and 12 friends want to head to Los Angeles for a day of shopping, fun, and exploration. They want to leave for Los Angeles at 9:00 a.m. and return to by 10:00 p.m. When they get to Los Angeles, they intend to have lunch and shop at The Grove. Around 3:00 they plan on heading to the Santa Monica Pier to check out the beach and have some drinks. They’ll have an early dinner at Ma’Kai Restaurant & Lounge at 6:30 p.m., then leave Los Angeles around 8:00 p.m., arriving back in San Diego around 10:00 p.m. The girls will be able to store all of their shopping bags, food items, and clothing on the minibus, simplifying the transportation of their possessions. Due to the details of her itinerary, Janet was quoted at $1,625.

Splitting an 18-passenger minibus among 13 passengers, the bus cost about $125 per person to book.

Whale Watching by the Ocean


Mr. Simpson and Ms. Johnson of Fallbrook Union High School are taking their 10th grade biology classes on a San Diego Whale Watch field trip. The whale watch begins at 10:00 a.m., so they intend to leave the school by 9:00 a.m. At 1:30 p.m. they’ll head to In-N-Out Burger for lunch, and arrive back at the school around 3:30 p.m. With both classes combined, transportation for 48 students and 3 chaperones is required. Rather than book two minibuses, they booked a 56-passenger charter bus to transport both classes.

After providing the details of the trip, the teachers were given a quote of $1,040. Divided among 51 people, the charter bus only cost approximately $21 per person to book.

Vacation in Palm Springs


The Andersons are taking a vacation and planning a family reunion in Palm Springs. Their extended family all lives within the San Diego metropolitan area, so they plan on meeting up with many members of the family at the Palm Mountain Resort & Spa. The group of 73 plans on leaving San Diego at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, and returning at 12:00 p.m. on the following Sunday. They booked one full-sized charter bus and one minibus to accommodate every member of the family. Because they required both a charter bus and a minibus for three full days, they were quoted at $10,980 for the entire weekend.

Among 73 people, the bus rentals cost $151 per person.

Book a Private Coach Today

While these examples are all very common scenarios, please remember that all prices are estimates. Rates are subject to change based on time, date, and demand. Book your trip as early as possible to avoid higher rates, and if you’re interested in getting started today, you can give us a call at 619-209-7804!