At the start of this year, it was reported that there was an emerging shortage of semiconductors that will affect global vehicle production. The shortage of these computer chips came from a surge in demand during the pandemic for consumer electronics and a recent fire at a key supplier in Japan. Other technology companies such as Samsung are also struggling with production because of ‘Chipageddon’. (Read more)

Here at Castle Minibus, we know that there is now a shortage of new minibuses and this situation is unlikely to change in the coming 6 months. We were lucky enough to get our hands on 10 new Ford 17 seat minibuses in May, which were leased immediately because demand is far out-stripping supply.

We are governed by the BRVLA and adhere to their principles that include 1. Not to misrepresent any information about their products or services and 2. To behave at all times with integrity and ensure that any agents working on their behalf also follow the standards set out in this Code of Conduct.

Castle is not promising new vehicles for lease in September as we know they are not available and no new vehicles will arrive before March/April 2022. We have developed other options to help schools through this shortage; we have used minibuses for 12-month rentals and, for a limited period 6-month rentals.

Our best advice for those looking for an additional vehicle for September is to take a 12-month hire now and order your new vehicle for September 2022.

How can you be sure your promised vehicle will arrive on time?

We are concerned that schools are being told by competitors that they will have their new vehicles in September, knowing full well it won’t happen because the reality is, although these schools could terminate their agreement and go elsewhere they don’t because of the time-consuming process they have gone through to get to that purchase stage. So, our fear is schools will be held over-a-barrel waiting indefinitely for their new vehicle when one is desperately needed.

There is not much you can do to check on the status of your vehicles and whether they will indeed arrive on time but if you are concerned you can ask your dealer for the chassis number. This number is given to the vehicle at the point it starts its journey through manufacture. If there is no chassis number it has not even reached this point.

If you have been promised a new vehicle in September and it does not arrive and you feel you have been misled then you can complain to BVRLA.

Solving your minibus shortage with Castle

We are expecting a flood of desperate schools looking for vehicles in September who will either have not anticipated a shortage and expected to find one last minute or are still waiting for minibuses promised to them.

If you’re looking for a new vehicle then place an order now for 2022, we can price protect that order and you won’t be in the same situation next year. Meanwhile, take a 12-month hire vehicle now until your new vehicle arrives, or purchase a used vehicle.

If you think you need a new or additional minibus now, or in the future, why not give our friendly team a call on 01869 253744 or email