Is it Time to Buy a Touring Vehicle? | Tips | WhisperRoom, Inc.™

Is it Time to Buy a Touring Vehicle?

By: WhisperRoom™

October 23, 2023

Row of white touring vans parked side by side, representing potential options for musicians or bands considering purchasing a touring vehicle.

So, you’ve decided to get on the road and start touring with your up-and-coming band. That’s great because playing live music is one of the best ways to make money and get your name out there. However, before booking your shows, you must iron out a few details. In addition to learning how you’ll maintain your mental and physical health during the tour, you’ll need to decide how you’ll get to each show. It may be time to consider renting or buying a touring vehicle.

If you’re at this stage in your career, weigh the pros and cons and research to make the best decision possible.

Pros And Cons of Owning A Touring Vehicle

Infographic depicting the advantages and disadvantages of purchasing a touring vehicle for bands, including aspects like cost, convenience, freedom of travel, and environmental impact.

Before you head to the local dealership, it’s wise to look at the pros and cons of owning a vehicle. There are various perks to consider, including the fact that if you buy a van or bus, you’ll be able to keep all of your equipment in one place, so there’s less hassle. Plus, you can travel on your own terms and be comfortable along the way.

Since you’re technically a self-employed worker, as a musician, you may also be eligible for various tax benefits, including deducting your musical instruments and business expenses. Since you use it for touring, you may also be able to write off the cost and depreciation of your van as you use it over the years.

Like with almost any purchase, there can be potential downsides to buying your vehicle. Among them is the fact that you’ll be on the hook for payments, which may be tough if you’re just starting to make money as a musician. Since you’ll be driving it a lot, you’ll also need to maintain the vehicle regularly by filling the tires, changing the oil, and checking the fluids, which can take time and money.

There are also environmental impacts of vehicle ownership. Internal combustion vehicles create carbon pollution. In addition to hurting the environment, pollution also affects your health. The pollutants in the air can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation over time, which can make it hard to breathe. The condition will only worsen if you already have asthma or respiratory issues. Plus, the chemicals in pollution can increase the chance of cancer.

You’ll want to weigh all of these pros and cons and decide if you really need to buy a new vehicle or if you just want one.

Renting Vs. Owning

If you decide to get a vehicle, you next need to determine if you’ll rent or buy. There are some benefits to buying a new or used vehicle outright. When you buy a car, you’re the owner, and you can do with it as you wish. You can customize the vehicle’s side with your band’s logo if you want. Plus, you won’t have monthly mileage limits to worry about if you decide to add on another show at the last moment.

On the downside, the monthly payments will often be more expensive than the cost of a rental, and you may need to take out a loan that can have a high-interest rate. Once the warranty runs out, you’ll also be on the hook for maintenance costs, which can get expensive over time.

Depending on your situation, there are also benefits to renting instead of owning. In addition to a reduced cost to rent the vehicle, you’re not on the hook for repairs, especially if you don’t cause the damage yourself. You can also protect yourself by taking out short-term insurance. Best of all, when your tour ends, you can return the car and save money for the next rental. Renting can be a great solution if you don’t plan to be on the road year-round.

Choosing A Vehicle If You Decide To Buy

If you decide to purchase a touring vehicle after thinking long and hard, you need to sit down and do your research. First, consider the type of vehicle that’s best for your needs. Solo acts and small bands with only a few instruments may opt for a car or an SUV that provides plenty of room but doesn’t go overboard. Larger bands with numerous instruments may require a cargo van or a splitter van that provides separate spaces for personal items and the instruments.

Recommendations from the YouTube channel GaragebandandBeyond

Once you start narrowing down your choices, completing more extensive research is wise. Look at gas mileage and consider how often you may have to fill the tank. A larger vehicle may go through gas quickly, so consider if you need a van or can buy something smaller. Also, read reviews about the dependability and maintenance other owners face. Don’t forget to also think about the smaller details, like whether you can install a hitch if you need to haul a trailer.

Your research may lead you to buy a used car, which can be a good idea because they’ll often have lower payments. However, you must be careful because there are some red flags to beware of in used car listings. One of them is when the seller does not supply adequate pictures. If the listing only shows exterior or interior shots, you may need to wonder if the customer is hiding something. See the vehicle in person before you commit.

It’s also essential to carefully read the listing of your potential vehicle to ensure that you’re on the right track. Some sellers will type in many different car models into their vehicle descriptions in hopes of getting more clicks and what you see may not be what you’re looking for. Ensure you’re getting valid details before you pursue the sale any further.


Buying your first touring vehicle is incredibly exciting because it means that you’re finding success as a musician. However, don’t let the thrill cloud your judgment. Take the time to research and think about your needs and make the best choice from there.

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