Frequently asked questions

We specialise in hiring vintage, high quality Southdown buses and coaches dating from the 1960s. There are three types available to choose from:

Luxury touring coaches from 1961 and 1963. 28 seats. More information

Classic open-top double-deck bus from 1964. 69 seats. More information

Traditional closed-top double-deck buses from 1964 and 1967. 69 seats. More information

The only single-deck vehicles currently available are the 28 seat coaches.

We do not operate London Routemaster red buses - our vehicles are much nicer!

Vehicles may be hired each season between the beginning of April and the end of October, subject to availability within this period. They are not available during the Winter.

The vehicles are based in West Sussex and are usually available for hire in East and West Sussex, Surrey & Hampshire. We do not normally travel outside of these counties.

Operating area

Yes, they are - what you see it what you get. The pictures are downloadable by right clicking with your mouse or pad.

The rate varies depending on how long you want the vehicle for and also the distance it needs to travel from our depot, which is near Chichester, West Sussex. The minimum charge is usually £550, with most hires costing no more than £800. (VAT is included at 0% rate for transport). Sometimes, the cost may be higher where there is extra mileage or more time is required. (Separate pricing packages exist for The Epsom Derby Festival and Goodwood Revival).

In all cases, we will provide you with a free quote so that you are aware of the cost.

Should you wish to book a vehicle for hire, we will request a deposit of £100. Once your deposit has reached us, your booking will be confirmed and the vehicle will be reserved in your name; other people will not then be able to make a booking against it. The deposit is non-refundable, except in circumstances where we cannot proceed with the hire.

Full payment will be required 14 days before the hire date. Invoices are provided and include different payment options.

When you book one of our vintage buses or coaches and have paid the deposit, we allocate that vehicle to you. This vehicle will be the one which comes on the day. It is very rare to have to offer a substitute and in such circumstances we would contact you first.

If you later decide that you would like a different type of vehicle to the one you have booked, we will normally do our best to oblige. However, this becomes more difficult to arrange as your hire date approaches. The more notice you can give, the better.

Luxury touring coaches from 1961 and 1963. 28 reclining, armchair seats. Seating plan

Classic open-top double-deck bus from 1964. 69 seats (39 upper deck & 30 lower deck). Seating plan.

Traditional closed-top double-deck buses from 1964 and 1967. 69 seats (39 upper deck & 30 lower deck). Seating plan.

Please see our Accessibility page on this web site. Click here.
The maximum speed of the double-deck buses is 40mph; the coaches travel slightly faster. As you might imagine, when you plan your day you will need to allow plenty of time - on average, almost twice the time a car might take to travel over the same distance. Don't forget to also allow a bit of time for people to get on and off the vehicle.

Please do not underestimate the size of a bus: they are big! We will plan a route beforehand, but it will help your day to go more smoothly if you consider the following:

Height. Consider trees and bridges. Double Deck buses require 15 feet clearance and coaches 11 feet. Some venues will tell you that 'large vehicles' regularly visit, but there is a big difference between a bus and a delivery van, so we recommend you take a few minutes to check.

Width. The buses are over 8 feet wide, so a width restriction can be a serious problem. Also, please consider if the place you wish visit suffers from parked cars which narrow the road.

Turning area. There is no power assisted steering fitted as with modern vehicles, so the buses need plenty of room to turn. Insurance restrictions prohibit excessive reversing, so dead end roads should be avoided.

Of course, but it's best to ask the driver to pause whilst you do so. Trying to serve glasses of bubbly on a moving bus can be tricky and no-one wants an unexpected dry cleaning bill! Once the happy couple have been toasted, the bus can then continue on its merry way.

Our restoration group was formed in 1988 with the intention of saving and preserving buses and coaches from a golden age, and after successfully obtaining a licence in 1999 we now operate some of our collection for the pleasure of others.

Read more on the About Us page on this web site. Click here.

Something special for 2017

Epsom Derby buses

The world famous Epsom Derby in June dates back to 1780 and is surely one of the most iconic sporting and social events of the calendar.

Why not create a really special day at Epsom by hiring a vintage bus to take you to the races. Our buses park facing the rails within an exclusive enclosure and provide excellent grandstand opportunities.

Epsom Derby festival Epsom Derby Festival, June 2017

Take a look at these events too!

Southcoast Motor Services Ltd. PO Box 1029, Croydon, CR9 6AA.
A company registered in England: number 03678297