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The Secret Life of Buses in advertising

Vehicle rental company owner, James discusses how his fleet enjoys a busy life on and off camera

London's iconic red double-decker buses are recognized around the world as a symbol of the UK's capital. But did you know that when they retire from the hectic streets of London, these buses often find a second life on the silver screen?

James, owner of a busy bus and coach company, has been working with for the last few years to provide retired London buses for movies, music videos, TV commercials and photo shoots.

It all started when they were looking for a classic London bus and James sent him photos of their bright red Routemaster. They loved it, but then asked, "What else have you got?" much to James' surprise. It turns out filmmakers are often looking for something more unique like pink, white or even special configurations such as a “wrapped” bus.

Providing buses for filming has led to some fun and crazy experiences according to James. They've had whole buses wrapped in chrome for luxury brand video shoots in London, and provided buses with seats partially removed for filming music videos and rowing machine commercials. James recounts with amusement a recent last-minute shoot for a famous footwear ad with models posing on the roof of a bus that then had to hurriedly leave for its scheduled school route!

It's not always easy though when film crews don't understand the restrictions and regulations involved with operating buses. James acts as a liaison to make sure everything is done safely and legally. He chuckles about the filmmakers, who think they can just park a bus in central London without permissions, police coordination or proper safety precautions. Big budget productions have it figured out, but smaller crews often need guidance on logistics, road closures, and driving regulations.

Still for James, the fun and smiles generated from being part of these productions makes it worthwhile. He gets a kick out of hearing the music whenever a video they contributed buses to plays on the charts. James says it reminds him how people often don't realize everything that goes into making movies and videos.

While none of his company's buses have made it onto the big screen yet, James has also provided coaches to shuttle crews and actors around on location. He does hope to see one of their buses in a movie someday. For now, he enjoys working with to provide a touch of British culture and vibrancy to productions. Afterall, what's more iconic than a cheeky London bus making a cameo in the movies? 

Further Information relating to James’ selection of film-friendly buses may be found here…


Red Double Decker - 

Pink Double Decker -

White Double Decker - 


For all current bus options -


If you would like to get a quote for any of these buses, or if you have a property or vehicle that you think could be of interest to the film production community, then we’d love to hear from you.

01782 388090 or 01782 388439

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