Most Popular Charter Bus Manufacturers

Most Popular Charter Bus Manufacturers

When you think of charter bus rentals, you probably think of comfortable seats, roomy aisles, and a smooth ride. But before you make a reservation, you might also want to consider the bus’s maker! Each manufacturer has its own unique history, specialty, and reputation for creating buses that are reliable and enjoyable to travel in.

We’ve compiled a guide of the most popular charter bus brands in America, so you can better understand what each has to offer.

Motor Coach Industries (MCI)

MCI is one of America’s biggest and most trusted bus manufacturers—and there’s a good reason for that! They’ve been in business for nearly 90 years, and throughout that time, they’ve consistently put out some of the highest-quality motorcoaches on the market. In 2011, MCI coaches were 10 times more reliable than the competition, and MCI remains one of the top choices for charter bus companies today.

History of MCI

The story of Motor Coach Industries starts in 1933—in the repair shop of Harry Zoltok, a man who wanted to do more than just fix buses, he wanted to build them! He created the first bus for Grey Goose Bus Lines, which eventually became a subsidiary of Greyhound Canada. Then, in 1945, the company introduced the first bus with a rear engine—a true breakthrough at the time.

In the 1950s, MCI introduced a new series of buses called the “MC” series, and in 1958, the company manufactured its first 40-foot bus, which revolutionized coach travel. This decade saw a surge in MCI’s popularity, with record sales of 26 buses in 1959!

By the 1960s, MCI had made its way to the U.S. market and began manufacturing buses for Greyhound and other companies. MCI’s popularity soared, and the company was producing 500 buses per year by 1968!

MCI began producing more and more buses throughout the 1970s, and in 1978, the company introduced the MC-9 Crusader II, which was, for a time, the best-selling model in North America. MCI was also the first to feature wheelchair lifts in its buses, a big step toward ensuring all passengers have access to safe and reliable transportation.

By 1994, MCI had created the MC-9, which became the best-selling model in North America. In 1995, MCI’s D-Series was introduced, a bus that seats up to 55 passengers in a 45-foot length—making it even more popular than the MC-9. Today, there are still 7,700 D-Series buses in operation!

During this time, MCI continued to innovate, introducing new models that were bigger and more advanced. The company became a leader in the motorcoach industry, producing buses with luxurious finishes, the longest warranty in the industry (at the time), and clean-diesel engine technology that produced smoke-free exhaust.

In 2000, the company made headlines after New Jersey Transit purchased $500 million worth of MCI commuter buses—the largest bus transaction ever recorded!

In 2001, the company released the J4500, which has since become one of MCI’s best-selling models. By 2016, MCI was producing more than 3,500 units a year—a remarkable achievement for a company that had started in a small repair shop just a few decades before.

MCI in Today’s Age

Today, MCI continues to lead the industry in innovative design and production. They’ve released a number of eco-friendly, clean-diesel motorcoaches that produce near-zero emissions. But even as the company embraces green practices and modern luxuries, MCI hasn’t forgotten their roots in quality and reliability. In 2013, the company rededicated itself to manufacturing the most reliable coaches in North America, solidifying its reputation as a top choice for charter bus companies.

The company also has two new all-electric motorcoaches in development, which are expected to have the same comfort and reliability you’d expect from an MCI bus, plus a longer range than most other electric buses on the market.

MCI’S Bus Fleet

MCI manufactures ten total coach models: the J-Series and the D-Series.

The J-Series comes in either a 45-foot or 35-foot length. The 45-foot J4500 is the country’s best-selling coach, offering the largest floor space and seating for 60 passengers. The 35-foot J3500 can seat up to 44 passengers, making it one of the largest 35-foot coaches on the market. Every J-Series model features a special e-Fan system to boost fuel efficiency, an option for a customizable entryway light that projects logos, and LED lights that can be adjusted to create a variety of color environments.

The D-Series features buses designed to be low-cost, while still maintaining a high standard of reliability and performance. The D4500 and D4505 are popular choices among travelers for their durability and dependability, though these models are no longer manufactured.

MCI Bus Facts

Model Weight Height Width Length Seats Luggage Space Fuel Tank Capacity
D45 CRT LE 54,000 lbs 138 in 102 in 45.58 ft 54 135 cu ft 183 gal
D4000 Commuter Coach 46,000 lbs 137 in 102 in 40.50 ft 49 N/A 164 gal
D4505 50,000 lbs 137 in 102 in 45.42 ft 55 517 cu ft 164 gal
J3500 35,000 lbs 137 in 102 in 35.58 ft 44 N/A 144 gal
J4500 45,000 lbs 137 in 102 in 45.58 ft 60 573 cu ft 164 gal

Van Hool

Van Hool is a family-owned business in Belgium that has been manufacturing buses and commercial vehicles since 1947. They are well-known in Europe, especially for their public transportation buses, but in recent years, they’ve also made inroads into the American market.

History of Van Hool

Bernard Van Hool started his company with a vision: to build vehicles that could be used to rebuild the roads, bridges, and other infrastructure that was destroyed during World War II. It was quite a challenge, as most of the buses and trucks that were available had been repurposed for the military. So, Van Hool—a talented mechanic—decided to rebuild an old bus from scratch. He did such a good job that he built a few more, and Van Hool was born!

After the war, the company began selling buses throughout Europe, and in 1957, they reached a commercial agreement with Fiat to incorporate Fiat engines and other parts into their vehicles. This led to the creation of “Van Hool-Fiat” buses, which were very popular in Europe.

In the 1960s, the company began manufacturing more industrial vehicles, and it also introduced a line of buses for the United States. Van Hool then began using GM components, which made them even more competitive in the U.S. market.

During the 1970s, the company established its first in-house welding school to help ensure its workers were equipped with the skills they needed to make high-quality buses. That decade also saw the release of the Acron, one of the company’s most popular models.

The 1980s brought new technological advances for the company, with Van Hool introducing computer-aided manufacturing to create lighter, lower-floor buses that could carry more passengers. The company also signed a deal with ABC Bus Companies, Inc. to help them enter the U.S. market. Over the next few years, Van Hool became the largest importer of buses in the United States!

In the 1990s, Van Hool started to produce buses that ran on alternative fuels—like hybrid buses and trolley buses—to meet a growing demand for environmentally friendly transportation. The company also introduced a new line of tour buses known as the T9.

By 2005, the company had unveiled its first zero-emission, hydrogen-powered bus, a true landmark for the company and for the industry as a whole. The bus was quickly added to Dallas public transit. Just a few years later, Van Hool started construction on a factory in Tennessee, which is focused on producing more buses for the American market.

Van Hool in Today’s Age

Van Hool has an incredible commitment to reducing the transportation industry’s environmental impact. Their latest line of public transit buses, the “Exqui.City,” is designed for high-volume passenger travel but is also powered by a multi-propulsion system that uses a variety of eco-friendly options. This includes hybrid systems, fuel cells, and batteries. The company also offers a program to help owners of Van Hool coaches improve their vehicles’ safety, with easy-to-install features that include: dividers between seats, air purifiers, and sanitation stations.

Van Hool’s Bus Fleet

Van Hool offers eleven types of charter bus models, each specifically designed to meet the standards and needs of the continents they serve. In Europe, you’ll find a range of midibuses—a bus larger than a minibus, but smaller than a full-size coach. In North America, you’ll find buses that seat 48 to 56 passengers—the ideal size to fit large groups. The company’s North American fleet includes these models:

  • CX series: a line of mid-level tour buses with affordable and functional accommodations.
  • TX series: a line of deluxe tour buses with plush seating and the option to choose from premium amenities like tray tables.
  • TDX model: a new model of double-decker tour bus that can seat 81 passengers.

Van Hool Bus Facts

Model Weight Height Width Length Seats Luggage Space Fuel Tank Capacity
TDX 41 46,000 lbs 12 ft., 8 in 8 ft., 6 in 40.5 ft 55 385 cu ft 180 gal
TDX 45 54,000 lbs 12 ft., 8 in 8 ft., 6 in 45 ft 57 482 cu ft 180 gal
EX 11 46,000 lbs 12 ft., 3 in 8 ft., 4 in 40 ft 48 384 cu ft 180 gal
TX 41 47,000 lbs 12 ft., 3 in 8 ft., 4 in 40 ft 55 384 cu ft 180 gal
TX 45 54,000 lbs 12 ft., 3 in 8 ft., 4 in 45 ft 55 440 cu ft 180 gal


Known for building some of the most comfortable and luxurious buses in the country, Prevost is a French-Canadian manufacturer that’s currently owned by Volvo.

History of Prevost

Prevost’s origin story is interesting. In 1924, Eugene Prevost, a cabinetmaker with a talent for creating detailed furniture, was asked to build a wooden coach body on top of an REO truck chassis. He did such a good job that he soon started manufacturing more coaches, and the Prevost company was born!

In the 1930s, Prevost began to gain recognition for its excellent work, receiving a huge order from the Canadian government. The company also opened its first factory, in Sainte-Claire, Quebec. In the 1960s, Prevost ventured into the American market, setting up shop in New Jersey.

The 1980s marked a turning point for the company: Prevost introduced its new H-series, a bus known for its luxurious amenities and spacious design.

The 1990s saw the company acquired by Volvo Bus Corporation and the Henlys Group, a move that allowed Prevost to grow even bigger and more successful. Prevost went on to receive certification for its commitment to environmental sustainability. In 2004, Volvo took full ownership of Prevost.

In 2006, the company released the X3-45 model, a fuel-efficient bus with larger storage space. The company also unveiled an updated version of its H-Series, featuring a more aerodynamic design and greater storage. By 2019, the company had secured a contract for 1,400 buses from the New York City MTA.

Prevost in Today’s Age

Prevost is still dedicated to building buses that are easy and comfortable to drive. The company offers a range of modern features for drivers, like controls on the steering wheel instead of the dashboard and an ergonomically-angled steering wheel.

Prevost has also introduced several new features to make traveling more comfortable for passengers, including panoramic windows, tinted windshields with sunblinds, a larger wheelchair lift, electrical outlets at every seat, and individual reading lamps.

Prevost is the first and only North American motorcoach manufacturer to receive ISO 14001 certification for their commitment to environmental protection.

Prevost’s Bus Fleet

Prevost offers a fleet of motorcoaches, some under its own name and others manufactured by Volvo.

Here are some of Prevost’s most popular models:

  • H3-45: the oldest model in Prevost’s fleet, known for its luxurious interior, spacious design, and plenty of legroom. The H3-45 also has the most storage space of any Prevost bus.
  • X3-45: designed to be more fuel-efficient and with a lower height than the H series. This model features new amenities, like larger side windows and tinted windshields.
  • X3-45 Commuter: designed for commuter travel—specifically for short daily trips. This model features wider doors and aisles, electrical outlets, and LED reading lamps.

Prevost Bus Facts

Model Weight Height Width Length Seats Luggage Space Fuel Tank Capacity
X3-45 37,000 lbs 11 ft 8 ft., 5 in 45 ft 54 380 cu ft 160 gal
X3-45 Commuter 48,000 lbs 12 ft., 9 in 8 ft., 6 in 45 ft 54 350 cu ft 160 gal
H3-40 45,000 lbs 12 ft., 11 in 8 ft., 6 in 40 ft 50 390 cu ft 160 gal
H3-45 52,000 lbs 12 ft., 11 in 8 ft., 6 in 45 ft 55 470 cu ft 180 gal


TEMSA is a Turkish motorcoach manufacturer that has been in business for more than 50 years. They produce buses and light trucks in 66 countries around the world—and have a reputation for developing eco-friendly, sustainable transportation options.

History of Temsa

In 1968, TEMSA began as a steel supplier for the construction industry. They didn’t start producing buses until 1984, when they partnered with Mitsubishi Motors. TEMSA’s first coach bus, the Maraton, was released in 1987, and shortly after, the company expanded its production to countries outside of Turkey.

The company started introducing different sizes of buses in the 2000s. In 2004, TEMSA introduced a bus model that was specifically designed for urban transportation in Europe. Three years later, TEMSA made its debut in the U.S. market. In 2016, the company signed a contract to produce over 300 buses for Romania’s Interior Ministry, as well as deals with the biggest tour operators in Portugal and Serbia.

TEMSA is the first coach manufacturer in the world with more than one model of production-ready electric bus. The company also plans to release a fully-electric coach bus for the U.S. market, the TS 45E. In 2020, the company was acquired by Sabanci Holdings and Škoda Transportation.

Temsa in Today’s Age

TEMSA has its sights set on expanding its business throughout North America. Unfortunately, production was stalled for a time because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though the entire transportation industry has seen a massive downturn in business, TEMSA has managed to persevere. The company announced it would not furlough any employees during the pandemic and has since begun working on new projects.

TEMSA is also dedicated to continuing development on its electric bus models. In the next few years, the company plans to produce four different models of electric bus, including the Avenue EV, Avenue Electron, and MD9 electriCITY city buses and the TS45E coach bus.

Temsa’s Bus Fleet

TEMSA has a wide range of buses, and currently offers three models in the United States:

  • TS 30
  • TS 35
  • TS 45

In Europe and Turkey, TEMSA also offers a wider range of buses designed for intercity travel and urban commuting.

Temsa Bus Facts

Model Weight Height Width Length Seats Luggage Space Fuel Tank Capacity
TS 30 27,980 lbs 11 ft 7.9 ft 30 ft 34 190 cu ft 80 US gal
TS 35 37,448 lbs 11.5 ft 8.3 ft 35 ft 40 215 cu ft 154 US gal
TS 45 50,000 lbs 11.5 ft 8.3 ft 45 ft 56 300 cu ft 180 US gal
Maraton 13 18,000 – 19,000 kg 3.9 m 2.5 m 13.08 m 57+1 14 m³ 583 L

Book a Charter Bus Easily

As you plan your next group trip, remember you’re not alone! is here for you every step of the way. We work with a large network of the best bus rental companies, so we can find the ideal bus for your needs—no matter which manufacturer you prefer! We have access to buses from MCI, Van Hool, Prevost, and TEMSA. Let us help you find a charter bus that will get you where you need to be!