Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Borrow Bus? 

A Borrow Bus is a collection of things other than books that are loaned out to members of the community like books traditionally have been. A Borrow Bus might loan out kitchen appliances, tools, gardening equipment, electronics, toys and games, art, science and craft equipment, musical instruments, recreational equipment, and more – anything that you might want to have access to or the use of but not necessarily to own.  

What’s the difference between a Borrow Bus and a hire shop?

There are various differences between a hire shop and a Borrow Bus:

  • our Borrow Bus is a non-profit Community Interest Company, rather than a commercial enterprise;
  • it contains a wide range of things, including many that a hire shop would not have;
  • it aims to loan items out more cheaply than a hire shop would and thus to be affordable for anyone;
  • we aim to be part of a change in economic behaviour that will reduce waste, through the Bus itself and by being involved in wider networks of events, campaigns and activities.

Is Borrow Bus the only thing that Resource does?

ReSource has lots on offer, see our website for more information.

Where is the Borrow Bus?

The Borrow Bus visits a number of locations in Llangollen, Denbigh, Mold and Ruthin. See our Locations page for details.

See also the Contact page.

Can I volunteer with the Borrow Bus or Resource?

We welcome new volunteers. Please see contact us for more information.

Where do you get the Things from?

The great majority of the items in the Bus have been donated by kind individuals or organisations. A small number we have bought in charity shops or acquired at Swapshops. Some items are on loan from their owners who are allowing us to have them in our catalogue while retaining ultimate ownership.

Do you need more Things?

We are always trying to extend the range of what we can offer, so please do ask us if we would like an item that you are willing to offer to us. However, we do not aspire to meet all possible borrowing needs and there is also a limit to the space we have to store things. If you can offer us a better quality item than one on the inventory, or one in better condition, that would always be helpful – to us and to those who borrow from us.

If you have suggestions of other items that you think we should consider having, please let us know.

Do you accept donations?

Money: Yes we do. We are always happy to accept financial donations as the expenses of the Bus, though not great, still, need to be covered – see ‘Why do I have to pay to borrow things?’ below.

Things for the Bus: see ‘Do you need more things?’ above.

What can I do to support the Borrow Bus?

Become a member. You can borrow. You can volunteer in many ways. You can donate money or ‘things’. You can spread the word about the Bus: sign up for our newsletter (for all key updates), read and follow our blog (smaller snippets), follow us on Facebook and Instagram. Maybe you can find us sources of funding or suggest ways to extend the reach of the Bus. 

How else can I support your aims of reducing waste and consumption?

We are in favour of attempts to waste less, or move towards “zero waste”. Beyond using the Bus you can support our mission in your own life by making efforts to consume fewer things and waste less. 

Can you help me set up a Borrow Bus where I live? 

We have talked to a number of people from across the country who want to set up their own Borrow Bus. Please get in touch and we’ll help if we can. 


Why do I have to pay to borrow things? (Why isn’t it free like a book library?)

Public book libraries are free at the point of borrowing but they are paid for in your Council tax. We are working to find funding to cover our costs (including paid Project Coordinator and Bus Driver, rent, repairs, spare parts, consumables, replacements, etc). We would love to have enough secure funding to offer cheaper or even free hires in the future, but at the moment, charging for hiring things is an important part of enabling us to exist.

How do you set your prices?

We aim for all of our prices to be affordable. When setting prices we take into consideration the replacement cost, what an item might cost you to buy, how often we might need to repair or maintain it, and our need to have enough income in aggregate to be able to continue the Bus – as well as to grow it.

If you think we are charging too much, or too little, please do let us know and we will consider whether to adjust the price; remember, we are still quite new and still learning. 

How do I pay for my items?

You pay when you come to collect your item. The online catalogue has an integrated payment system; you can also use this to pay for your loans. We also take cash and have a clever gadget that will allow you to pay with a credit or debit card, contactless, or with your phone.


Do I need to join the Bus? 

If you want to borrow anything, you must join. Go to to see the details and follow the links. The registration process takes only a couple of minutes. (Note: our catalogue and membership program is GDPR-compliant.)

How do I renew my membership when it expires, or cancel it before it renews?

You will receive reminders about the renewal/expiry of membership when it’s coming up. To renew (or cancel), go to your account (top right) and select the appropriate option. Thank you for renewing!

How do I reserve an item?

Go to and follow the link. Use the Search bar or the Categories to find out if we have what you want and whether it is available when you want it. Choose the item, Reserve it, and then go to the Cart to confirm the reservation.

How many things can I borrow at one time?

There is no set limit to how many items you may borrow at one time, but we’ll probably question you if you reserve a lot.

Do I need to bring anything with me when I borrow items?

The first time you borrow from the Bus you will need to bring proof of who you are and of your address.

How long can I borrow things for?

The loan period for most items is seven days but you can reserve and borrow for longer, but it will cost more. 

Exceptions to the 7-day norm are the kind of items that in our estimation are generally only needed for a shorter period – and are generally more expensive – such as the cargo bike, the carpet cleaner, the pressure washers, the gazebos and so on. You will see the specified borrowing period (and the charge) on their entry in the catalogue.

Can I borrow things for an entire university term?

This is not currently in the working model of the Borrow Bus. We do not currently have very many of the kind of things that a student might want to have for a whole term.

What if I can’t return my item on time?

We do like things to come back into the Bus on or before they are due back; they may be reserved by someone else. If it’s not reserved, you can extend your loan period by renewing it online, or asking us to renew it for you. Technically if you simply fail to return your item on time there is a daily overdue charge of double the daily loan rate (e.g., an item that costs £10 for seven days, will incur a daily charge of £2.86, reaching £20 after a week). However we know that things go wrong, or unexpected things occur and we try to be reasonable; please let us know if you are having trouble getting it back to the Bus on time and we will discuss the options.

Will you show me how to use my item?

Please tell the bus operator on duty if you are unsure how to use your item, but we will generally ask if you know how to use it. (We may check with you that the item you have chosen is the right one and will actually do what you want it to do.) Items that need instructions generally have them attached to their entry on the catalogue. In some cases, we have hard copies too, or instead. Of course, there are many videos online that show or give guidance about many items and processes. In due course we intend to look for ones we think are good, so please do let us know if you find useful or helpful ones.

Does it come with everything I need to use it (consumables etc.)?

In some cases yes, in others not. The entry on the catalogue should tell you. We can advise you on what you will need. We will always try to be helpful if we can, eg with drill bits and so on and may ask you to pay a bit extra for them. In other cases, you may want to also borrow items such as goggles or ear defenders.

Is this thing guaranteed to work?

All electrical items are PAT-tested before they go out. In addition, as far as possible we test items to see that they work before they ‘go live’ on the catalogue. We loan all items in good faith believing that they work as intended. That said, things do sometimes fail, we sometimes may not spot an imperfection, and so on. In this case, we would of course apologise and refund what you have paid.

What happens if the item breaks while I’ve borrowed it?

That depends. Did you misuse it, or even abuse it?  We ask you to be straight with us about the conditions under which something breaks and will discuss the situation with you. 

We aim to have an approximate replacement cost of each item on its entry in the catalogue and will discuss with you whether it is right that you should pay some or all of that replacement cost. Remember, Borrow Bus is a community action group, not a commercial rental company, and start the conversation from there.

Our Mission

Borrow A Tool to Save The World!

When you choose to borrow a tool from Borrow Bus, you reduce the amount of waste going to landfills each year and you save yourself the expense of buying everything individually, the cost of maintaining it and you can enjoy the space you don't have to allocate to storage. We have a huge range of items available on the bus so subscribe to our newsletter to keep up to date.
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Send us a message to find out more about Borrow Bus and the work we're doing to reduce the amount of items going to landfill each year.
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