A minibus is typically defined as a multi-passenger vehicle that is larger than a minivan and smaller than a bus, but did you know that there are several different types of minibus? Whether they are being used as taxis or for school transport, minibuses come in all shapes and sizes and are used around the world.
Convert it: Vans
Van conversions are the most basic type of minibus, and are just what they sound like: van bodies converted into larger passenger vehicles. They take all kinds of shapes and sizes, but will typically add a higher height roof, more seats, additional windows, and any other items – like a door – that will accommodate more passengers. Ford and Mercedes-Benz are two car manufacturers who produce vans often used for minibus conversions. Obviously, van conversions are great for smaller minibuses, as they do not allow for extreme changes to body or chassis size.
Build it: Body
If a simple van conversion won’t do enough for your minibus needs, there are many companies who prefer to do an entirely new body on an existing chassis, either from a van or truck depending on size needs. In the US, small school buses are typically designed in this way, and in parts of Europe and Asia it is not rare to see body builds that literally look like they are placed on top of existing pieces. Body built minibuses are an excellent choice for mid-range minibuses in size and price, because they are more customizable than a van conversion, but sometimes cost less than a new manufacturer-built minibus.
Born this way: Purpose Built
Of course, the final and newest form of minibus production is for car manufacturers to fully design and produce an entirely new minibus. Typically bus manufacturers focus on this, and design smaller versions of their existing larger stock. Nissan and Mitsubishi are two well-known car manufacturers who produce purpose built minibuses for use around the world. If you need minibus hire for regular high-density use, purpose built minibuses are your best option as they are specifically designed to accommodate the specific needs of a minibus operator.
While these are the three main ways of producing a minibus rental locations, there are endless variations to customize a minibus according to your needs. Dropping the floor on a minibus to echo a commercial bus is a new change, and these “low floor” minibuses are designed to increase accessibility for a variety of passengers. Access doors for wheelchairs or other medical devices can easily be added, to ensure comfort for all riders.
Remember, even converted van minibuses are often held to specific laws and regulations governing how minibuses can be used and who can use them, so no type of minibus is allowed special clearance with these rules. Always be sure to check local laws, and be sure you have selected the right minibus for your needs.