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Buying a bus or van

Many community service organisations use buses and vans to transport clients or other passengers. Choosing a bus or van involves different decisions to acquiring a car e.g. choosing the number and size of seats, aisle width and interior height.

Choosing a bus or van

The standards applicable to buses licenced to operate in Victoria provide insight into factors to consider when choosing a bus or van including:

  • occupant capacity
  • access e.g. doors, steps and ramps
  • space including aisle, interior height and floors
  • handholds
  • seat belts and child restraints
  • storage space
  • wheelchair accommodation
  • body structure
  • seats – number and type
  • mirrors for the driver to view passengers and doors
  • emergency exits.

More information:

The size of the bus or van selected will depend on the vehicle's purpose. The requirement to hold a special licence and get bus operator accreditation to drive larger buses should also be considered.

More information:

Some organisations remove seats from small buses so they seat 12 people including the driver and therefore can be driven with a standard car licence e.g. the Toyota HiAce Commuter bus which comes standard with 14 seats.

More information:

Factors to consider when purchasing buses and vans:

Where to buy

Wheelchair-accessible buses and vans

Providers of buses and vans custom-built for special needs e.g. to accommodate wheelchairs include:

Vehicles modified or designed for special needs are advertised for sale in:


Staff of organisations funded by the Department of Human Services, Department of Health or Department of Education and Early Childhood Development can access the 'Disability Accommodation Services - vehicle assessment form' from the Resources section of My Agency.

This form is used to assess the needs of residents and staff of Department of Human Services-managed disability accommodation when:

  • a vehicle is due to be replaced
  • residents' transport needs change
  • if a bus is to be received for the first time.

Supported by the Community Sector Investment Fund (external link - opens in a new window).