The purpose of this paper was to present a failure rate and maintenance cost comparison for two types of city transport buses. The paper presents in detail a case study of well known bus brands used at Municipal Transport Company in Lublin. A failure index of all functional and constructional systems of the vehicles and their technical availability with regards to calendar time was determined. The paper also presents analysis of the factors related to maintenance costs of buses, including costs of fluids, repair costs and maintenance service. It has been demonstrated, that both analyzed buses generate similar maintenance costs, while their failures and technical availability differ significantly in operational practice. These differences are particularly evident in relation to the cumulative costs of repairs.