"Just to say thank you to you and your 2 operatives for last Friday. Very punctual and professional, and everyone here enjoyed the surprise of travelling on an old London Bus. We will of course be in touch again." Ian, Dec 08
How much does it cost to hire the bus?
The cost of bus hire depends on several factors:
- Distance - How far your journey is
- Location - Where the event is to take place, that is, round trip costs from our base. Our vehicles have a maximum speed of around 40 mph.
- Duration - There is a minimum charge covering a four hour hire (i.e. from pick up to final set down). For each additional hour there is an hourly charge.
The minimum standard hire charge is £650 between 1st May and 31st October slightly less on Monday - Thursday and in other months.
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. For weddings we also include in the price white ribbons on the front of the bus and a Wedding Special destination blind.
How many buses do you have?
We are able to provide as many classic Routemaster buses as you require. In the unlikely event that we cannot source all the buses ourselves, we can bring in other buses from alternative suppliers (of the same quality as ours).
What kind of buses are they?
Without getting too technical, we provide the following types of vintage bus:
- RML Routemaster ( 72 seats, covered top )
- RML Routemaster ( 64 seats, covered top )
- RCL Green Routemaster ( 65 seats, covered top also with closing doorway at rear )
- RT ( 56 seats, 30 on top, covered or open top ) - the predecessor to the Routemaster and the bus that Cliff Richard used in Summer Holiday
- Single deck 37 seater in green or 39 seater in red covered top with front entrance
All buses for private hire are fitted out to the highest standards.
Can we drink alcohol on the bus?
No, but Champagne is allowed, but strictly by agreement at the time of booking. We don't want to spoil the fun, but safety is our top priority. So the following rules apply:
- The hirer is responsible for providing any drinks and plastic glasses (no glass allowed) soft drinks in plastic bottles only
- Only Champagne / wine brought on at the beginning of the hire can be consumed on the bus. No more drink will be allowed on after that
- The quantity of alcohol should be appropriate for the number of passengers. The crew will have the final say!
- Also, all alcoholic drinks must be consumed from plastic glasses. No drinking from bottles or cans.
All the rubbish to be removed at the end of a hire. We reserve the right to charge a damage deposit at the time of booking for events that involve drinks on the bus.
Where do you operate?
Our main operating area is London and the South-East (Kent, Essex, Surrey, East Sussex, however we are happy to provide quotes for events further afield. We do not operate outside mainland Britain.
How many passengers can you carry?
The maximum capacity of a Routemaster is 72 seated, we are not permitted to take any 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 an extra bus. If small children (under 5) are in the total and they can sit on adults laps then up to 5 can be discounted from total. When the bus is full only 2 pushchairs can be carried.
Do you work at night time?
We no longer provide late night returns after 21:00 except by special arrangement.
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, our operating partner will provide a replacement bus as soon as possible.
Should we tip the driver?
We are confident that the driver and conductor will contribute to your enjoyment of the occasion. They are a good bunch! A discretionary tip at the end of the hire will be much appreciated if feel you have been well looked after.
Can we decorate the bus?
If you hire one of our vintage Routemaster buses for a wedding, we will provide 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.
Can I have a personalised set of 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. Please note that there is a lead time of around 10 working days for delivery. These may be invoiced separately from the hire. Expect to pay around £30 inc vat and delivery for a bespoke blind, although the price varies depending on the wording requested. Once these are ordered they have to be paid for.
Can we have a conductor?
When you hire a classic vintage double deck bus, it includes a driver and a conductor. The conductor's main role and duty is to ensure the safety of the passengers. Single deck is driver only.
What about wheelchair access?
There is no wheelchair access, though wheelchair users are more than welcome providing that there is assistance available to help them on and off. Passengers may not however sit in a wheelchair on the bus.
Can we listen to music?
Please state at the time of booking that you require music as not all the buses are fitted with PA systems some are only fitted for commentary to be given on a tour. We cannot guarantee that the bus has a connection for music to be played.
Your responsibility on the day
We are not aware who your party are and to ensure that the hire performs as you would wish it to you must nominate a guest to take charge of the loading and checking off of people. We do not want to leave anyone behind. This is particularly important if party is meeting at an hotel or railway station.
We cannot be held responsible for any passengers being left behind. This also applies if more than 1 trip has been asked for and a guest says no need to come back everyone is here and they are not in possession of the full details of the hire. The nominated person should introduce themselves to the crew and from then on only instructions from that person will be actioned.
How fast are the buses?
On the open road, most of the buses will cruise at 35-40 mph, but we have one 64 seat Routemaster which can reach 55mph. We will assign whichever bus we think appropriate for the distance / timing requested.
Are there any types of job you do not undertake?
We do not provide our buses for:
- Football matches, except under 18 with parents onboard
- Pub crawls
- Hen or stag events
- Late night returns except by special arrangement
The Routemaster Bus
Routemaster Buses are available as 64 or 72 seaters and we have both closed and open top vehicles for private hire.
Our London bus hire service is based in North Kent. Private hires are operated in the South East.
All our double deck hires include a uniformed driver and conductor.
Bickley Park Rd
Phone: 020 84673823