Should I Buy or Rent a Forklift? Here's How to Decide

Two lift truck rental options outside on a paved lot

So, is it better to buy or rent a forklift? Unfortunately, the answer is not the same for every business. There are many different factors involved.

It’s no secret that forklift rental prices are lower than the upfront purchasing costs. But, depending on how frequently you need a fork truck rental, you could lose money in the long run.

Industrial Forklift Truck is here to help. We’ve collected a list of reasons to rent and reasons to buy. Consider where your business fits into these lists to determine whether or not lift truck rental is for you.

Then, use our price comparison tool to find the best forklift rental cost in your area. Or, compare forklifts for sale to get a great deal on new or used equipment.

Reasons to Rent a Forklift

There are some great reasons to rent a forklift. Here are just a few:

1. Your business has seasonal peaks.

Do you experience periodic spikes in business? If so, it might be a good idea to rent a forklift. If you only need your equipment for a portion of the year, you’re probably losing money when it’s not in use.

Take advantage of equipment periodically without losing money during slow periods. Lift truck rental allows you to increase efficiency when you need to, and save money when you don’t.

Fork truck rental is also great for businesses that work many different short-term projects. This allows them to change equipment types as needed. For instance, if you need to rent a telehandler for one project and a counterbalance forklift for another, you can do that with fork truck rental.

Plus, if you switch job sites frequently, it may be beneficial to use lift truck rental in different locations rather than worrying about transporting equipment.

2. Your business has limited credit.

If access to credit is a concern, consider lift truck rental. There’s no reason to keep your money tied up in equipment when you could be using it for profitable activities. Paying a periodic forklift rental cost can free up your funds.

Financing options are often available for purchasing equipment. However, you’ll pay more in the long run. When you rent a forklift, you have both short and long-term options. That means you can budget for a month-to-month forklift rental cost rather than a long-term lease.

3. You want to save money.

There’s no doubt that fork truck rental is cheaper upfront than purchasing. Plus, when you rent a forklift, you’ll have lower maintenance costs. In fact, many forklift rental prices include a service and repair cost.

Forklift rental cost depends heavily on the equipment type and lease period. If you want a lift truck rental for day to day use, you’re looking at somewhere between $225 and $800 per day. If you plan to pay monthly, it’ll cost around $1,000 to $5,000 a month.

Of course, if you want to buy a forklift, there’s still a way to save money. Opt for used equipment and save up to 50%. Industrial Forklift Truck carries a huge selection of reliable pre-owned forklifts for sale.

Reasons to Buy a Forklift

Forklift rental isn’t the right choice for everyone. Here are some situations where it would be better to buy a forklift:

1. You need the equipment for a long period of time.

Are you going to use your equipment almost every day for the foreseeable future? If so, it’s definitely best to buy a forklift.

Let’s say you decided to rent a small counterbalance forklift with cushion tires every day for a year. That would cost you around $12,000. Purchasing the same equipment would cost between $15,000 and $25,000 and would last you close to 10 years.

Investing in lift truck rental for extended periods of time is a sure way to lose money. Buy a forklift if you plan to use the equipment for a long time.

2. You have a budget and can afford the equipment.

Obviously, forklift rental prices are much lower than the upfront price to own. However, as long as you can comfortably afford to buy a forklift, it’s a great investment. Forklifts last a long time. The average forklift will run reliably for over 10,000 hours, or 7 years of daily use.

Plus if you ever decide to switch equipment types, you can sell your forklift and get some of your money back. In contrast, when you rent a forklift, you make payments towards something you don’t own. If you decide to switch fork truck rentals, you won’t get a return on your investment.

Long row of fork truck rentals outside under an awning

Forklift Rental Prices

A typical forklift rental cost is somewhere from $225 to $800 per day and $1,000 to $5,000 a month. Purchasing a new forklift can cost anywhere from $15,000 to $100,000. If we compare standard counterbalance forklifts, a rental will cost around $1,000 per month, while purchasing will cost around $15,000.

Consider your budget and usage when deciding if a lift truck rental is right for you. Calculate your weekly or monthly forklift rental cost. Find the break-even point where buying would be more cost-effective than renting. Determine if the price you’d pay for fork truck rental would fall before or after that point.

Of course, to do these calculations, you’ll need access to forklift rental prices in your area. That’s where Industrial Forklift Truck comes in. Let us know what you’re looking for and we’ll match you with pricing on fork truck rentals nearby.

Compare Forklift Rental Prices On Equipment Near You.