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For business owners who either don't have the capital to buy a skid steer loader outright or only need the equipment for a short term basis, leasing or renting a skid steer loader can be an attractive option. There are significant differences between renting and leasing. You should carefully evaluate your needs before making a decision about which is best for your business. This buying guide offers criteria for evaluating whether to lease or rent a skid steer loader in addition to straightforward pricing information.
Leasing vs. Renting Skid Loaders: An Overview
When determining whether skid steer loader rental or leasing is a more sound business decision, consider the benefits of each described below.
- When it makes sense to rent: If you don't envision using a skid steer loader for more than one project (or a series of small projects) then skid steer rental is probably the way to go. The main advantages of skid loader rental are flexibility and limited risk. Although rentals periods are typically from one week to several weeks you can also choose to rent by the hour, half day, day, or month. Renting can also be beneficial from accounting and taxation standpoints as it doesn't affect your credit or show up on your balance sheet as a liability. Other reasons to rent a skid steer include trying it before you buy or lease, supplementing your existing fleet or a big project, and avoiding the risk of investing in equipment that doesn't end up being used very often.
- When it makes sense to lease: Leasing a skid steer loader can be thought of as a compromise between purchasing and renting. Lasting a year or more on average, a skid steer lease is intended for business owners who will frequently use a machine but don't have the money to buy or put a down payment on one. You typically won't have to take on debt for a skid loader lease and like renting, there are numerous tax benefits available for those who lease a skid steer loader—just be sure you know the various implications of how your lease is classified (operating vs. finance leases and tax vs. nontax leases).
Things to Do Prior to Leasing or Renting a Skid Steer Loader
Before signing on the dotted line for a skid steer rental or lease, make sure that you do the following:
- Thoroughly evaluate your needs in order to understand whether leasing or renting is better for your business, and also to ensure that you end up with the right piece of equipment.
- Before the machine is handed over to you, perform a visual inspection of the body, engine, and tires and note any imperfections so that you are not charged for them. If possible, take it for a test ride.
- Speak with your accountant so that you understand the applicable tax benefits of leasing and renting.
- Read the lease terms carefully to avoid paying a penalty for an early return or incurring other fees that are laid out in the fine print.
- Decide whether you want to (or even can) buy insurance from the rental/leasing company, or use or supplement with your own insurance.
Sample Costs of Buying or Leasing a Skid Steer Loader
Because rental and leasing prices fluctuate based on supplier, location, and model, you should only use the following pricing information as a rough overview.
- Skid steer rentals might cost approximately:
- $50-$100 per hour
- $150-$500 per day
- $600-$1,200 per week
- $1,000-$3,000 per month
- In addition to your rental skid steer, you may also want to rent skid loader attachments, which may cost around:
- per day
- $150-$500 per week
- $350-$1,350 per month
- The cost to lease a skid loader depends on a number of variables, including the price of the machine and the length of the agreement. Sample skid steer loader lease prices for a machine that costs $25,000 include:
- $2,000-$2,500 per month over 12 months.
- $1,000-$1,500 per month for a 24 month term.
- $700-$900/month over 36 months.
- $600-$700 per month for a 48 month term.