The increasing costs of buying new machinery makes renting sweepers more appealing for contractors. The general rule-of-thumb rental representatives tell you is that if you do not plan to utilize a machine for 65 to 80 percent of the time, you are better off renting. By renting, you only pay for equipment when you are using it and do not have to pay for idle machines when you aren’t working.
Sounds pretty good, right?
Well, while that rule may be valid when comparing the costs of renting versus buying a new sweeper, it does not apply when you look at the value of used sweepers. In many instances, buying used sweepers will keep your equipment investment low, giving you higher returns.
The truth is, the value of most equipment drops 20-40 percent in its first year, and after the first year, the value flattens out and remains steady for many years to come. Plus, if you properly maintain your sweeper, you’ll have a valuable business asset that you can sell or trade-in on your next machine, something you don’t get when you rent. You don’t have to utilize the sweeper 80 percent of the time to still come out ahead when buying used.
Get Exactly What You Want, When You Need It
Rental sweepers have the widest appeal to its customer base. That means you won’t likely find job-specific machines in rental fleets or sweepers with a lot of extra options. So, if you need a sweeper with a magnet bar or high-pressure washdown option, there is a big chance you’ll be out of luck. And more than likely, you’ll be left waiting for more than a month if you try to add an option.
Your best bet is to shop for used. There are plenty of sweepers to choose from, and there is no waiting. If you decide you need a magnet bar or heavy duty bumper, you can add one right away, especially if you buy directly from the factory.
Lower Monthly Expense
Buying a new sweeper can tie up a lot of operating capital, which is another reason renting is growing in popularity. Renting doesn’t require a down payment, and you’re only on the hook for the rental fees. However, when you buy used sweepers, you don’t need such a large down payment for a financed purchase, and on top of that, your monthly payments will be much lower.
Depending on how much you’re paying in rental fees every month, financing a used sweeper purchase may be able to reduce your monthly equipment expenses, and at some point, you’ll be done making payments on your purchase altogether.
The cost of renting a sweeper can be written off on your taxes. However, you’ll be able to lower your tax obligations more through asset depreciation of a used sweeper, and you will also be able to write off insurance, equipment taxes, repair and service expenses and transportation costs. Go ahead and consult a tax advisor to help you compare the saving of buying used machinery versus renting.
New Rule-of-Thumb for Renting
Purchasing quality used sweepers gives you reliable machinery at the best price, saving you money now and later. So, the rule for renting should really be: “Rent sweepers that you don’t utilize more than 20 to 30 percent of the time. For everything else, consider buying a used sweeper.”
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