Coach Hire – Booking for Fun!

In the Coach Hire Industry the challenge for 42 weeks of the year is to get coach hire bookings. The challenge for 10 weeks of the year is to fulfill coach hire bookings. As we enter into June we are in the 10 week period when the challenge is fulfillment and not sales.

This year – despite the recession – will be no different and in fact given the shortage of money and the high price of the Euro it seems domestic demand may be higher than ever for summer tours, day trips to Theme Parks, school outings and other miscellaneous trips involving coach hire.

So what are the peak times for coach hire, how does it impact prices and how long in advance should a client book.

The peak times for coach hire are as follows:

Half Term in February (especially problematic for international coach hire and ferries);

Easter Holidays;

May bank holiday weekends (especially if the play offs are on those dates);

From the first week of June to the first week of August and finally Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings in December.

Peak demand periods do impact upon prices – to the extent that we would expect a customer to be paying up to 25% more for a trip in June than he would pay for the same trip in January. What customers should understand when they look for larger discounts at off peak times is that some 60% of the costs of coach hire are variable costs (fuel and drivers hours) and as such non are non negotiable.

Recommended lead times for coach hire are at least 8 weeks for an international trip and at least 4 to 6 weeks for the peak periods mentioned. For specialist luxury coach hire a 8 week lead time is the minimum recommended. That does not mean coaches cannot be offered if a coach is wanted at 1 days notice in July – but do not expect a bargain!

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