Sooner or later the power access platform user will ponder the same question: to buy or rent an MEWP?
Powered access platforms are efficient, safe and can cut time and costs for most jobs at height but investing in plant is a big decision for many companies.
Depending on the size of your job and your business needs, there are pros and cons to buying your own access equipment or choosing to rent individual machines on a job-by-job basis.
Obviously, some financial analysis is needed before a decision can be made to purchase. It may be prudent to start by renting on a job-by-job basis, but if your renting requirement starts to increase over time and it eats into your job-by-job profit, it’s time to start considering your options.
Reasons to buy
Purchasing your own mobile access platforms is a definite bonus to growing companies that have multiple and regular jobs at height.
The number one benefit that may tip the balance in favour of buying could be saving tax. In the UK you can deduct all or some of the value of the item from your profits before you pay tax. Talk to your accountant about Capital Allowances and check out more at the Government website. Additionally, Capital Equipment Assets and their depreciation can improve the company Balance Sheet.
Other benefits why buying may be the best choice for your business:
Branding – owning your own equipment means you can brand with your company logo which could be important if you want to attract new customers or if you are a public service organisation.
Saving money long term – If you do a lot of jobs at height then renting equipment can be costly and it makes financial sense to own the necessary access platforms. Look back over your previous year’s trading and do the sums
Training – Larger firms can train multiple staff to use the equipment which is good for business and enables firms to have job flexibility.
Some companies can be put off by the initial cost of buying a powered access platform but there are other options to consider:
Used access platforms – Quality, pre-owned aerial work platforms can be bought for a reduced price.
Service history – Reputable suppliers will ensure they are acquired from reputable sources, fully serviced and inspected.
Finance options – Some suppliers offer finance plans for customers to help them buy the plant they need. Look for accredited lending schemes with payment options including hire purchase, leases and contract hire. Again, there could be tax benefits under such an arrangement.
Reasons to Rent
Not every user of a powered access platform is a larger company with multiple jobs at height so for private jobs and one-off tasks then renting may be a better option.
Cost effective – Renting saves money on the costs of keeping and running a large powered access vehicle that is not in use for a lot of the time.
Servicing and maintenance – The costs of servicing and maintenance can be saved as they are the responsibility of the rental firm. This means the equipment is always security checked and safe to use, with the relevant documentation. Users still need to be trained in the use of both powered access equipment and the model of lift used, even if it is for a private job.
Storage – Some powered access platforms are large and need a lot of storage space that could be difficult to find. Not everyone has room for a road towable boom lift in their garage!
There are pros and cons to renting and buying powered access equipment and the right choice will depend on your individual needs. The issues are still the same when considering what is right for your business: tax breaks, value for money, safety and servicing, and storage.
Make sure you are choosing the right tools for the job before you sign a contract and that anyone using it is fully trained and take these things into account when making your investment. Look for any “hidden” costs you may not have thought off.