Forklift Hire vs. Purchase

Forklift Hire vs. Purchase


The decision whether to invest in a forklift truck or ever a forklift fleet is a significant step for any business, which leads to the vast improvement in your warehouse operations. In fact, forklifts are expensive pieces of equipment. Based on your business needs, you can go for rental or purchasing. In order for you to make the right choice, take the time considering the options and the most common reasons businesses choose to buy or rent a forklift.

Rental hire forklifts can be attractive to many industries, whether short term (STR) or long term rentals (LTR). The cost of renting can vary based on a few variables, including the type and cost of the material handling equipment, and timing you are renting it for. By hiring a forklift or a forklift fleet you can avoid year-round servicing and maintenance costs as it is included in the rental agreement. Moreover, if requirements in your business have changed, or you find a truck isn’t fit for purpose, you can always swap it for a different forklift model without significant expenses. Renting can be very beneficial for those who operate seasonally and need to move extra freight during the high season.


Depending on your requirements buying a forklift truck could make more sense than renting. Purchasing material handling equipment bloats numerous advantages in terms of longevity. Firstly, you cannot deny the benefit of buying a forklift in the fact that it will be rightfully yours. Owning a forklift usually provided a better return on investment compared to rentals as the rental monthly fee is higher than in the same period financing costs. Secondly, purchasing a forklift means you have ownership of it which allows you to make modifications and customise the forklift. There are so many different setups and options to choose from so you can tailor a forklift for your special requirements and the company’s needs.


Below is a few Scenarios that we go through when a client wish to procure equipment. This may help in the decisions when either Renting or Purchasing your new forklift.

Are you a large warehouse with 5+ forklifts?

Long Term Rental (LTR)

You may want to lease your fleet for a longer period of time to get a better long term rate.

Are there more than 1 shift during operations?

Lease Your Equipment

In these situations it might be more beneficial to lease your equipment. Some of our Battery electric equipment can do 2 shifts on one charge cycle. No more double battery and changing scenarios. Thus better for safety and productivity.

How about hours of use?

Lease Your Equipment

If you are turning over 2000 hours per annum or more each forklift, leasing is more favourable, as the repair and maintenance (R&M) will escalate.

Will I get a better lease rate if I were to order 10+ Plant equipment?


You can gain our Jungheinrich/Unicarriers Fleet Support with some significant discounted rates, Purchase and Lease with a fleet purchase.

I have Very Narrow Aisle Racking (VNA) what type of machine do I need? And is it better to purchase or lease?

Flexi Articulated machines or VNA System machines

This is a good question as there are a few different types you could look into: Flexi Articulated machines or VNA System machines are very specific to your racking and are usually built to your warehouse. These will be fairly expensive over a term on lease, and if you have the capital expenditure you might be better to purchase, as these machines will last the lifetime of your production/operation. However not to say that you can't lease something like this – but please consult with our team for any queries regarding this type of specialist equipment.

Get in touch with us and we will help you to determine what is your better option.

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