Principle Fork Lifts Ltd

Forklift Hire vs Used Forklift Purchase.

The choice between forklift hire and purchasing a used forklift is not a one-size-fits-all decision. Your selection should be based on a careful evaluation of several critical factors that suit your unique business circumstances, your financial capabilities, and your strategic objectives. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each option is crucial to making an informed and well-rounded choice.

1. Specific Business Needs:

The first and foremost factor to consider is your business’s operational requirements. Do you have a consistent, long-term need for forklifts, or is your need sporadic and project-based? If your usage is irregular or seasonal, renting forklifts might be the more suitable choice. This option allows you to match the equipment precisely to the task at hand, ensuring efficiency and cost-effectiveness. On the other hand, if you require a forklift for day-to-day operations, purchasing might offer more stability and long-term cost savings.

2. Budgetary Considerations:

Your available budget plays a pivotal role in this decision-making process. Renting typically involves lower upfront costs, making it a practical choice for businesses with limited capital. This budget-friendly approach can help you allocate resources to other critical aspects of your operation. Conversely, purchasing used forklifts requires a more substantial initial investment, but it can be more economical in the long run. It’s essential to assess your financial situation and determine whether you can comfortably manage the purchase or if hiring aligns better with your budget.

Forklift Hire vs Used Forklift Purchase
Linde Gas Forklift Truck H20T

3. Long-Term Goals:

Consider your business’s strategic outlook and long-term objectives. If you plan to use forklifts as a core part of your operation for an extended period and believe they’ll remain valuable assets, purchasing used forklifts might be a sound investment. You will own the equipment, which can become an asset on your balance sheet and potentially have residual value. However, if your business is rapidly evolving, has fluctuating demands, or you need different types of forklifts for various projects, renting provides the flexibility to adapt to changing requirements.

4. Maintenance and Repairs:

Maintenance and repair responsibilities also differ between these options. When you hire forklifts, the rental company generally handles maintenance and repairs. This can save you both money and the burden of maintaining specialised equipment or hiring technicians. In contrast, when you own a forklift, you are responsible for maintenance and repair costs, which can be both unpredictable and substantial. It’s essential to factor these ongoing costs into your decision.

5. Depreciation:

Depreciation is a crucial financial consideration when buying used forklifts. Over time, forklifts depreciate in value, which can impact their resale value if you decide to sell them in the future. This is a critical aspect to consider when assessing the long-term financial implications of ownership.

In conclusion, the choice between forklift hire and buying used forklifts is multifaceted and should be made after careful analysis. By taking into account your specific business needs, budget, long-term goals, and the responsibilities associated with each option, you can make an informed decision that best serves your operational and financial interests. The key is to strike a balance that aligns with your current situation and future plans, ensuring the efficient and cost-effective use of forklifts in your business.

Forklift Hire:


  1. Cost Savings: Renting a forklift typically requires a lower upfront cost than buying one. This can be beneficial if you have a limited budget or need a forklift for a short-term project.
  2. Flexibility: Hiring a forklift provides flexibility. You can choose different types and sizes of forklifts based on your specific job requirements. This adaptability can be particularly useful if your needs vary over time.
  3. Maintenance and Repairs: The rental company usually takes care of maintenance and repairs. This can save you money and hassle, as you don’t need to invest in maintenance equipment or hire specialised technicians.
  4. No Depreciation: You don’t have to worry about the forklift’s depreciation, which can be a significant cost when buying new or used forklifts.


  1. Long-term Costs: Over an extended period, rental costs can add up and exceed the expense of buying a forklift.
  2. Limited Ownership Benefits: Renting doesn’t provide any ownership benefits. You won’t have an asset to sell or use as collateral for loans.

Buying Used Forklifts:


  1. Ownership: When you buy a used forklift, you own the asset. This can be an asset on your balance sheet and may provide resale value.
  2. Cost Savings Over Time: While the initial purchase cost may be higher, buying a used forklift can be more cost-effective in the long run, especially if you plan to use it for an extended period.
  3. Customisation: You have the freedom to modify and customise your forklift to suit your specific needs and industry requirements.


  1. Higher Upfront Costs: Purchasing a forklift, even used, requires a significant upfront investment. This can be a challenge for businesses with limited capital.
  2. Maintenance and Repairs: You are responsible for all maintenance and repair costs, which can be unpredictable and expensive.
  3. Depreciation: Forklifts tend to depreciate over time, impacting their resale value.

In summary, the decision between forklift hire and buying used forklifts depends on your business’s needs and financial situation. If you have short-term or flexible requirements, renting may be the better choice. On the other hand, if you have a consistent need for a forklift and can afford the initial investment, buying a used forklift can be a cost-effective option in the long term, especially if you plan to use it for an extended period. It’s essential to perform a cost-benefit analysis and consider your business’s growth and utilisation before making a decision.