Who makes the best school bus?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Who makes the best school bus? We will review seven of the best school bus manufacturers in the United States. 

Who makes the best school bus?

There are different companies that manufacture school buses in the United States, however, we believe that the following seven manufacturers are the best in their domain:

  • Grupo REV (Annual revenue: $ 2.4 billion)
  • Navistar, Inc. (Annual revenue: $ 719.91 million)
  • Collins Bus Corp. (Annual revenue: $ 120 million)
  • Eldorado National Kansas, Inc. (Annual revenue: $ 50.29 million)
  • Alexander Dennis, Inc. (Annual revenue: $ 6.07 million)
  • Van-Con, Inc. (Annual revenue: $ 5 million)
  • The Lion Electric Co. (Annual revenue: less than $ 1 million).

We will tell you more about each company in the sections below, but first, let’s see what are the particularities of an American school bus. 

The famous yellow bus appears in many American films and series. As a result, it has become one of the most iconic buses in the world. The school bus is specifically dedicated to school transportation in North America. 

Its iconic yellow colour is mandatory for visibility and safety reasons. Each bus has a capacity of approximately 90 seats. It was founded by Thomas Built Buses in the course of the 1930s. The company quickly became the segment leader after World War II and was acquired by Freightliner Group in 1998.

The school bus is particularly suitable for transporting children, including those with disabilities, thanks to its large rear door which facilitates loading and unloading (from a wheelchair for example).

Fan of the famous yellow bus? You can buy one and convert it for around $ 0,000, as long as you remove the “school bus” label from it.

Best school buses manufacturers: The Lion Electric Co.

Headquarters: Newtown, PA

Estimated Annual Income: Less than $ 1 million

The Lion Electric is a Canadian company founded in 2011 and has an office in Newtown, PA, while its headquarters are in Saint-Jerome, Quebec. The company produces commercial vehicles, but Lion Electric’s premium product is a school bus. In the United States, the company earns an annual estimate of less than $ 1 million, making it one of the largest school bus manufacturers in the United States.

The Lion Electric Company’s product line includes electric school buses, semi-trailers, transit buses, and garbage trucks. The main characteristics of all the vehicles produced by the Lion Electric company are that they are electric vehicles with zero emissions. All of these features and products make Lion Electric one of the largest bus manufacturers in the US.

Best school buses manufacturers: Van-Con, Inc.

Headquarters: Middlesex, NJ

Estimated Annual Income: $ 5 million

Van-Con has its headquarters in Middlesex, New Jersey. They are famous for producing the safest and most structurally sound school buses in the US The company manufactures Type A and B school buses with a variety of safety features.

School buses manufactured by Van-Con are equipped with wheelchair lifts for disabled students. Safety features on Van-Con buses include the emergency exit, switch panel, reflective decals, electrical and storage panels, and optional child safety seats. All of these features make Van-Con one of the leading US school bus manufacturers.

Best school buses manufacturers: Alexander Dennis, Inc.

 Headquarters: Canyon Lake, CA

Estimated Annual Revenue: $ 6.07 million

This is a British company with the headquarters inCanyon Lake, California. The company is behind the current TransBus International and was founded in 2004. In the United States, the company has estimated annual revenues of $ 6.07 million, making it one of the leading bus manufacturing companies in the United States. United.

Alexander Dennis manufactures a variety of buses and offers a wide range of products. The product range includes single-decker buses, double-decker buses with two and three axles and Plaxton coaches. The variety of their products makes them one of the largest bus manufacturing companies.

Best school buses manufacturers: Eldorado National Kansas, Inc.

Headquarters: Salina, KS

Estimated Annual Revenue: $ 50.20 million

Eldorado was founded in 1978, while the National Coach company was founded in 1976; These companies were later taken over by Thor Industries and are now known as Eldorado National Kansas, Inc. The company is one of the leading manufacturers of school buses and heavy vehicles in the United States.

The company’s headquarters are in Salina, Kansas, and it produces all types of buses for the transportation industry. Eldorado is not famous only for school buses, but it also produces great quality and durable RVs, transit and shuttle buses. Famous Eldorado National models include Axess, Passport-HD, Enviro 500, and Aero Elite.

Best school buses manufacturers: Collins Bus Corp.

Headquarters: Hutchinson, KS

Estimated Annual Revenue: $ 120 million

Collins Bus Corporation was founded in 1967 by Don Collins and is one of the oldest yellow bus manufacturing companies in America. The company’s headquarters are in Hutchinson, Kansas. The first company has actually started with the manufacture of a van. Later, Collins Bus Corporation was known as the first company in the US to manufacture a bus with a wheelchair lift!

Nowadays Collins Bus Corporation makes school buses, including Type A bus, daycare bus, multifunctional school activity bus, electric school bus, and low-floor school bus. All of these buses have luxury and safety for students travelling to and from school.

Best school buses manufacturers: Navistar Inc.

Headquarters: Lisle, IL

Estimated Annual Revenue: $ 719.19 million

Navistar ranks second in the United States for manufacturing vehicles, including school buses. The company was established in 1986 and was the successor to a company called “International Combine Harvester”. Navistar International is headquartered in Lisle, Illinois. Navistar International serves two main markets in the United States, namely military and transportation.

Yellow buses manufactured by Navistar transport some 26 million students to and from school and university. The company’s product line includes integrated vehicles such as the CE series, BE series and AE series. Navistar is also manufacturing brand new Type A school buses.

Best school buses manufacturers: REV Group

Headquarters: Milwaukee, WI

Estimated annual revenue: $ 2.4 billion

REV Group is the largest manufacturer of school buses, headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The company was founded in 2010 and in a short time has grown to be the leading vehicle manufacturer in the United States.

REV Group offers a wide variety of products in addition to school buses. Its product range includes all kinds of special vehicles such as ambulances, fire trucks, trucks, sweepers, cars, buses and vehicles for the disabled and special people. The cars manufactured by the REV group are luxurious and resistant.


As you can see, the bus industry in America is generous enough. If you are looking for more guidance on which school bus to choose for a conversion, you can check our other article on What school bus is the best for conversion.

If you have any questions or comments on the content, please feel free to get in contact!

FAQ on Who makes the best school bus?

What school bus has the most headroom?

The school bus with the most headroom currently on the market is made by GreenPower Motor Co. and offers 78 inches of interior space. The school bus with the least headroom is only 66 inches tall.

​​What is the longest school bus?

The longest school bus is the coach bus. It is 42 to 45 feet long and can carry between 25,000 and 35,000 lbs, or up to 97 passengers!

What is the best school bus to convert to RV?

The best school bus to convert to RV will greatly depend on what you are looking for, how often you are going to use it and of course, what is your budget.

Are Skoolies a good investment?

Skoolies are a good investment as long as you are willing to commit to the conversion process and are ready financially speaking. A Skoolie can become a great RV or even a more permanent home. 

How much is a Skoolie worth?

A Skoolie is worth $20,000 to $30,000 for the initial build-out. Depending on the number of amenities and modifications that you are going to make, the worth of your Skoolie will increase significantly.


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