Charter Bus Prices: How to Calculate Your Chicago Bus Rental Costs

How much does a charter bus rental cost in Chicago?  Each trip is different depending on the distance, amount of passengers, timing, and occasion. On average, the rates for charter buses and minibuses in the Chicago metro area are as follows:

Bus Type Per Hour Per Day Per Mile
18-Passenger Minibus $122 – $152 $1,222 – $1,452 $4.20 – $5.20
20-Passenger Minibus $126 – $156 $1,226 – $1,462 $4.38 – $5.38
25-Passenger Minibus $132 – $162 $1,272 – $1,572 $4.42 – $5.22
56-Passenger Charter Bus $136 – $182 $1,322 – $1,676 $4.62 – $5.56


Budgeting for Your Upcoming Trip

While you can use the chart above to get a rough estimate of your group’s transportation, your quote may be adjusted based on factors including:

  • Seasonality: Taking a trip in the summer? You might pay a premium to travel between May and June, the bus industry’s traditional peak season. This is when schools take their final field trips, families take vacations, and companies schedule trade shows. Your rates may also increase if you’re traveling during a major event in Chicago like Lollapalooza in Grant Park.
  • Distance: If you’re traveling outside of the Chicago metro area, your trip’s cost may be calculated by the day or mile. Keep in mind that if you’re traveling locally, there is a five-hour minimum on your rental. You don’t have to use the bus the entire time, but your quote will reflect a five-hour rental.
  • Number of Passengers: The number of people traveling in your group will determine the type of buses you’ll need. Groups with fewer than 30 people can ride in a compact minibus, while larger groups or those needing space for luggage will benefit from a full-sized coach.
  • Other transportation costs: Depending on where you’re heading, you may need to factor in toll bridges, parking permits, and other travel-related expenses into your budget. If your trip spans several days, you’ll need to book a hotel room for your driver as well. We recommend accommodations at a 3-star hotel or better to ensure they get plenty of sleep. Tipping your driver is not required, but the industry standard is 10-15% of your rental for a job well done.

You should now have a better idea of how much your upcoming trip will cost, but we’ve put together some trip examples to show you how all of these factors affect charter bus pricing.

The White Sox Tailgate

This Spring, Marcus is looking for a small bus to take him and his 15 friends to Guaranteed Rate Field for a White Sox tailgate. He wants the driver to pick everyone up at his house in Buffalo Grove and drop them off at the stadium two hours before the game starts. They’ll need a bus that has room for a portable grill, food, paper products, and other tailgating gear. In total, Marcus and his friends need charter bus services for a total of seven hours. His reservation specialist recommended an 18-passenger minibus and provided him with a quote for $945.

The Trip to Lollapalooza

Laurie is organizing a trip from Milwaukee to Chicago for the Lollapalooza music festival in August. She and her 23 friends will leave Milwaukee around 8:30 am on Thursday morning and return home the following Monday morning. Instead of renting cabs or taking public transportation, they’ll use their bus to travel between the hotel and the festival, as well as to local attractions and restaurants while they’re not watching their favorite bands perform. When Laurie called for a bus quote, her reservation specialist recommended a 25-passenger minibus for her group so they would have room for luggage as well. Her total came to $7,000 for a five-day rental.

The Field Trip to the Chicago Botanic Gardens

The tenth-grade teachers at a Chicago high school are taking their classes to the Chicago Botanic Gardens this April for a field trip. With 51 students, two teachers, and one parent chaperone, the group will need a full-sized charter bus rental. They’ll leave the school at 7:30 am, and return at 12:30 pm in time for the bus and car-rider bells. One of the teachers called Chicago Charter Bus Company, and the reservation specialist provided them with a quote for $750 for a five-hour rental.

Book a Quality Charter Bus Today!

We hope that you find this pricing information useful, but remember that your results may vary. The best way to get an accurate quote for your bus trip is to call us at 312-322-0703. You’ll receive a personalized, no-obligation quote on your next trip in and around the Windy City!