Save Money Using a Mass-Transit Vehicle When Moving

When relocating you can save money if you do it yourself by using a mass-transit vehicle when moving, including finding the best deal, a bus renovation and making the bus legal.

| July/August 1982

Robert J. Filipovich discovers a green way to relocate house from Minnesota to Montana by using a mass-transit vehicle when moving. 

There are any number of popular songs that make "movin' on down the highway" sound like a fulfilling, and even exhilarating, experience . . . but when a change of job or lifestyle makes relocation necessary, most folks find the task a good bit less than pleasant. In fact, moving can be not only a tremendous hassle, but also a pretty darned expensive one.

That second concern loomed pretty large several years ago when my family of four had to leave Minneapolis, Minnesota for the western part of Montana, a distance of about 1,200 miles. We couldn't afford to hire a professional company—since I was fresh out of school at the time—and even the $600 fee stipulated by the local you-drive agency seemed a bit beyond the reach of our budget. In short, we knew we had to come up with a less conventional, lower-cost way to get there.

Happily enough, after a few hours of deliberation we hit upon what turned out to be the perfect answer to our moving woes: using a mass-transit vehicle when moving! After all (we reasoned), with its seats removed, a bus would have a lot of cargo space . . . it would be equipped with an engine designed to haul hefty loads . . . and we could probably sell the vehicle at our journey's end or—at the very least—put it to use as a portable outbuilding.

The idea proved to be a practical one, too. We've changed homes twice since that first jaunt to Montana and have used a bus on each occasion. So why shouldn't you try the same thing?


Of course, the first thing you, as a would-be bus owner, will have to do is shop around for a vehicle that satisfies your needs and won't empty your pocketbook. Our initial buy was an orange International Harvester 48-seater that we purchased secondhand from a transit company. School systems and churches can also be counted upon to sell old buses from time to time.

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