Renting vs Buying a Trailer: Which is Best?

Which is better for your business: owned or rented trailers?

At some time in the life of a business, the question will arise: should I rent or buy needed equipment?  The answer can vary based on where you are in the life cycle of your business and what type of equipment you need. Renting or buying a trailer has its own set of considerations, and it can be a difficult decision. However, asking yourself the following questions can make the decision process easier and the answer a lot clearer.

What is the Trailer’s Purpose?

Many types of trailers exist, designed to perform varying tasks. When deciding whether to rent or buy a trailer, first consider how you plan to use the trailer.

Trailers can be used for storage, hauling, dumping, or customized for any combination. While you can rent a trailer based on the purpose needed at the time, a trailer purchase should consider varying job types and the trailer style that can best support a variety of needs both now and in the future.

Another consideration is the frequency of use. Will the trailer see usage all year round, or only for seasonal work? When only needed seasonally, give more consideration to annual expenses associated with seasonal use of an owned trailer.

Is Accompanying Equipment Necessary?

By definition, a trailer requires something to pull it. Whether renting or buying a trailer, keep in mind the vehicle you will be using to pull the trailer. You’ll want to prevent having a trailer without the ability to properly pull it.

  • Hitch compatibility – Can the pulling vehicle properly connect to the trailer?
  • Load weight – An empty trailer weighs a lot less than a full one. Make sure to consider the load weight at the trailer’s maximum weight capacity.
  • Power – Your vehicle needs the power and pulling capacity to handle the load and the resulting wear and tear on your vehicle.

If your long-term trailer needs require customization to be the most efficient and create the least amount of drain on your vehicles, a trailer purchase may be better for you. Even so, you may still find you need to upgrade your vehicles to handle the additional load. However, if your trailer needs are not as heavy-duty, you may be able to cut costs and avoid vehicle upgrades by renting a trailer and using your existing vehicle fleet.

What Are the Associated Costs or Purchased vs Rented Trailers?

The cost of renting versus buying goes far beyond rental fees and purchase prices. Both buying and renting have additional costs to keep in mind.

  • Storage – While a rented trailer may be used and returned, preventing long-term storage,  a purchased trailer will need a place to keep it secure and protected from the elements to extend its lifespan.
  • Insurance – Both rented and purchased trailers have the associated costs of insurance. Insurance costs are prorated for a rented trailer. The insurance for a purchased trailer is an annual expense, whether in use or not.
  • Fees – Rented trailers may incur fees if returned late, damaged, or based on time and distance of use.
  • Time – Owned trailers offer the advantage of storing tools or equipment for use on the next job. Rented trailers have a labor cost of unloading and loading products or equipment with each rental.

There are also associated savings with each option. Owned trailers may offer tax advantages, whereas rented trailers prevent the depreciation costs associated with ownership and the costs of replacing outdated or worn-out trailers.

Rent or Buy?

Ultimately, the choice to rent or buy is specific to your business and its needs, and only you can make that determination.

When renting is the best choice for your business, Vandalia Rental is here for you with quality trailers for your business needs. In addition to superior equipment quality and service, we practice an honest, upfront sales approach. Contact us to experience the equipment rental business – the way it should be.