Three Reasons to Rent Rather than Buy Equipment

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The debate on whether to rent something or buy it is a common one. When it comes to property, for instance, there are several good reasons on both sides of the argument. Those in the “buy” camp will note the value in holding assets, building equity, and having the freedom to decorate, renovate, and eventually sell one’s property, while the other side will mention that renting property means you’re not responsible for repairs, homeowner’s insurance, or other maintenance costs.
This debate applies to more than just real estate, though. Leasing cars has become much more popular in recent years, as monthly payments are typically lower, and it’s simple to lease a brand new car after just a year or two with little additional hassle. But what about slightly smaller, cheaper items, such as tools and other equipment? At what point should, say, a construction company rent its tools rather than buy them?
Three Reasons to Rent Equipment:
1) Considering Space and Storage
It’s common sense that when you choose to own something you also choose to provide it with a proper space for storage. In other words, when you buy a hammer, you need to keep it somewhere. Eventually you might find yourself in a spatial predicament. If space becomes an issue, your options are to either clear out some of your belongings or invest in additional space.
If you’re running your own business for which a healthy amount of supplies are needed, it might make sense to rent these supplies instead of owning them. Equipment rental means you don’t need to worry about providing the storage space for the tools you need for a specific job. This means you can do more with your own space and not have to worry about sacrificing your own equipment.
2) Flexibility for Timeframes
Another positive aspect to equipment rentals is that you can often rent tools and supplies for various amounts of time. While different equipment rental companies have different rules and services, most places with tools for rent will allow you to rent their tools for up to a year. If you need equipment for a seasonal job (such as roofing, pool building, etc.), for instance, you can rent the necessary equipment for the entire season, then return it when you’re finished.
While owning your own equipment means you never have to worry about returning it, you still indeed have to consider the storage aspect. For seasonal work, it’s likely a good amount of your equipment won’t be used for six to nine months, meaning if you own this gear you’ll have to keep it stored and unused for along period of time. With equipment rentals, you once again don’t need to worry about this storage or maintenance in the off-seasons. Rather, you simply pick up the gear you need when the time is right to work. And if you only need to rent equipment for a few days or weeks, you can do so as well. With equipment rental, you can have the supplies you need when you need them, and then return them when you don’t.
3) The Hidden Costs of Ownership
As mentioned in the two previous points, owning equipment is freeing but also costly in many ways. In addition to the initial cost of purchasing a piece of equipment, many other hidden costs begin to show up over time. For larger, more expensive equipment, insurance is often recommended or required. Then, there are potential maintenance and repair costs to the equipment if something breaks or needs tightening up. All of these costs, and the time that goes into dealing with them, fall on the owner.
Rental tools are different. While you’ll have to pay a monthly or yearly fee for the equipment you rent, you won’t have to worry about paying for your own maintenance or having the equipment repaired. The stuff you rent will be in good shape when you need it, and you can rest assured if something goes wrong you’ll be able to rent more equipment quickly and at little additional cost to you.
Ultimately there are great reasons to buy and rent equipment. If one option were objectively superior than the other, there would be no debate. But renting remains a great option for these three reasons and more.

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