Renting a minibus is a great way of making sure that everyone in your party gets there together and on time, whether it's a group trip to the theatre or to the airport, or on a holiday trip around the UK. Because everyone is together and in the same place it's a great way for everyone to share the travel experience together and make the whole journey much more fun for everyone involved. You can do this in one of many different ways to ensure that everyone is satisfied with the arrangement, such as having a group meeting point to get on the bus together all at once, or having an individual pick up for everyone on the trip from a place that's easier for them- or even from their own house! You'll then be taken exactly where you want to go.
But, do you want a driver with you, or do you want to go the journey alone and take it in turns driving? There are pros and cons to both options and both of them will allow you to have a great trip no matter where you're going.
For single journey trips to things like airports or theme parks, then having a driver is a great advantage. You simply all get on the bus at the start of the trip and are driven to your destination by the appointed driver, and then arrange a pick up time once you've arrived at your destination. This is excellent for places where parking is really expensive, and it gives you the peace of mind knowing that your driver will be there at the right time when you're ready to go back home again.
You also have the freedom of not having to worry about navigating on the journey and can sit back and concentrate on other things during the journey- be this organising the trip details or sitting back and anticipating the day ahead. These drivers will know exactly where they're going and if necessary they'll know good rest stops to take a break at when you're travelling.
However, the downsides of this is that you have to work to the driver's schedule and be at a certain place at a certain time to adhere to the rules they have to follow and work by. You also have limited freedom over when and where you stop as your journey is predetermined. You'll also need to make sure that everyone else on the bus follows the driver's rules about eating and drinking and be sure that the driver is happy with anything that's going on.
If you're driving yourself, however, you have much more freedom when it comes to deciding when and where you stop for breaks and were you go along the route. You simply rent the bus from the company and either appoint a driver from your party or all take it in turns to take the wheel and drive. This means that everyone is pulling their weight and people all get their fair share of rest during the journey- and it means you can continually keep driving if you're all willing to take your turn, whereas with a driver you're under time limits of when they can drive and when they can't. As long as you return the minibus to the company you rented it from in the same condition that you received it from them in you have a lot more freedom over what you can do there. Though you have a responsibility to fill up the petrol upon returning it and making sure all the rubbish is cleared away afterwards.
The downsides of this, however, can be that when you're driving yourself you have the responsibility of navigating and deciding when you need to stop and how often, and this can be very stressful when you have a bus full of your friends or full of students from a school to deal with and keep happy. There can also be a lot of squabbles caused over who has to drive and when plus where exactly you need to be at what time. Also, because you're in charge of petrol and cleaning the bus this can add to the cost of renting the bus if you're on a long journey. Your license status is also a big factor in this. As long as there are less than eight people on the bus, a normal driver's license is fine, however, for more than eight people your license will need to be one with a category D1 entitlement which means you can drive a minibus with more people. This is usually gained by taking a separate test, and most companies will insist that their drivers have it to drive their self hire minibuses.
Once you know what kind of drive you want, hired or self, you then need to rent your minibus. Mini buses come in eight seaters, 12 seaters, 15 seaters and 17 seaters so you'll need to work out exactly how many people are going to be on the bus and account for this. You'll also need to think about if you'll need to use any seats for storage and extra luggage if it won't all fit under the bus. Remember, it's always better to have a few spare seats than to end up with not enough! You'll then need to shop around to find the best deal, prices will vary with all the different companies, so research will be required to make sure you're getting the best possible deal for your money when you book. Then, book with the company and make sure that they offer everything you want and that your trip is possible. You'll then have to plan the journey with them and explain if there's any detours you want to take and organise a meet up point for everyone. If you're driving yourself this is all down to you as there's obviously no driver to inform about the journey, so you'll have to plot out with everyone who will be driving and when.