Are Some Equipment Subtypes Cheaper to Own than Rent?

Average monthly ownership costs versus average monthly rental costs.

Key Takeaways for Decision Makers
CONTRACTORS: The variance in costs heavily depends on the type of equipment so be thorough in research and pay close attention to the subtypes with significantly different ownership and rental costs.

The rent versus buy decision is always a tough decision to make, but understanding the difference in rental and ownership costs can make that decision a little easier and more well-informed. Across 48 different subtypes, ownership costs per month tend to be 5% higher on average. For certain types of equipment you could see rental costs to be over twice as expensive per month, while other types of equipment will cost you twice as much to own than it would to rent each month. Looking at five commonly used and popular types of equipment the volatility between ownership costs and rental costs based on the equipment type becomes apparent.

One of the biggest disparities you will see is with crawler mounted compact excavators. On average you can expect to see a 26% difference between renting and owning, with ownership costs being less expensive per month. Another large difference you might see is with crawler mounted hydraulic excavators, but in the opposite direction where owning tends to be 22% more expensive on average each month. 4-wd articulated wheel loaders are 19% less to own each month while tractor-loader-backhoes are 15% more expensive to own. Compact track loaders, however, tend to fall around the total average difference for all subtypes. Ownership costs per month are only 6% higher on average than rental costs.