Rental vs. Ownership of Construction Equipment: What’s Better for You?

Sometimes it can be difficult to determine whether purchasing or renting a piece of construction equipment is in your best interest. This is especially true for owners of construction companies, who are likely looking for the most financially sustainable ways to expand their operations.

Here are just a few of the most important considerations for you to look at when deciding on renting vs. owning construction equipment in Pennsylvania.


Of course, the cost of ownership as opposed to renting is likely to be the first factor you consider. For the cost of ownership, you should consider not just the price you’ll pay for the equipment, but also ongoing maintenance and operating costs, necessary insurance or licensing expenses and any interest you’ll need to pay on loans you take out for the equipment. For some pieces of equipment, fuel will also be a cost—it may reach a third of your total expenses over the equipment’s entire life. Rental costs are much easier to determine, as they have set rates.

Nature of your projects

How often do you expect to use this piece of equipment? If you just need the equipment for a one-off or short-term job, construction equipment rental in Pennsylvania is almost certainly going to be a better option. But if you will be working on a long-term project or expect to use the equipment for numerous jobs in the future, you might find it worthwhile to invest in the purchase of the equipment.


You should talk to your accountant about any impact a purchase or rental of equipment could have on your taxes. In some cases, you may be able to benefit from deductions for rental expenses. Purchasing construction equipment, however, will result in the equipment being considered a capital expense and treated as such during tax time. You cannot deduct that entire expense during the purchase year—those expenses are depreciated over the equipment’s useful lifespan.

Depreciation and resale value

You should at least have a general awareness of how depreciation could affect the value of your equipment, especially if you ever intend to sell it off in the future. Some pieces of equipment will hold their value better than others, so if there’s a possibility of resale, you should be careful about investing in a purchase of rapidly-depreciating equipment.

Equipment availability

If you tend to take on jobs on short notice, it might be in your best interest to purchase equipment rather than rely on rentals. There’s always the possibility that the equipment you’re looking for will not be available at your preferred rental location, which can make it difficult for you to get jobs done in a timely manner. Owning the equipment allows you to operate on your own schedule without having to worry about whether it’s currently available for use.

Interested in getting more insight about whether purchase or rental is the best option for your construction equipment needs in Pennsylvania? Central Equipment Company is happy to be of assistance. We carry equipment manufactured by many of the biggest and most trusted names in the industry, including Bosch, Husqvarna, Dayton Superior, Crosby, Norton and more. Contact us today with your questions.

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