Is It Better to Buy or Rent Emergency Rescue Equipment?

The decision to buy or rent emergency rescue equipment can be more complex than it sounds. There are advantages and disadvantages to both renting and purchasing so it’s essential to assess your needs, your company’s situation and future plans.

Here are 5 factors to consider when deciding whether you should buy or rent rescue equipment.

1. Upfront Costs

Do you have the capital to buy the equipment or is renting a better option for now? Purchasing the equipment may have a larger initial outlay, but renting could also add up if you’re renting for many periods. However, buying the equipment may not be worth it if the equipment is not used frequently.

Your company’s corporate finance strategy may also have preferences for purchasing assets vs leasing assets.

2. Mobility

A benefit of owning your equipment is having it available anytime you need it. However, if the equipment needs to be moved from storage to the site, or from site to site, then transportation costs can get add up, especially if it’s large or requires special handling. If you rent the equipment, you can negotiate to have the vendor drop-off or pick-up the equipment right to the work sites.

3. On-Going Maintenance

Rescue equipment needs to be maintained on a regular basis and be in top-notch shape because they’re used in life or death situations. If you’re purchasing the equipment, you’ll be responsible for it’s on-going upkeep which could include costs for personnel to manage the equipment. If you’re renting, all this responsibility will be on the vendor.

4. Storage and Inventory

Do you have space and the facilities to house the equipment? Some equipment may also have special requirements for storage. For example, ropes should be stored in dry areas. If you purchase, you also need a process for taking inventory to keep track of your equipment to ensure there aren’t losses or theft. You may also need to check your insurance policy for adding new equipment and it’s coverage.

5. Upgrades and New Technology

Technology is always evolving and that means new equipment that performs better and costs less is constantly being offered by manufacturers. When you own equipment and need to upgrade, selling your old equipment can take a lot of effort. It takes time to list, advertise and show the equipment to potential buyers. When you’re renting, you can always get the most up-to-date equipment, sometimes at the same cost as renting older equipment.

The decision to buy or rent equipment may involve multiple parties at your company, from the equipment users, to finance and operations. To learn more about when to rent or buy your rescue equipment, contact us at