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Get the Best Value for Your Money: An In-Depth Look at Forklift Leasing Costs

Last Updated: October 15, 2023

CostOwl.com note: Need a forklift at an affordable price? Fill out the 30 second questionnaire below and our forklift partners will send you free price quotes.

Summary: Forklift Leasing Prices #

Leasing a forklift will cost between $350 and $950 per month depending on the size of the lift. Generally, the more expensive the forklift, the more it will cost per month. Delivery of the forklift may cost up to $100.

Forklift Leasing Prices

Leasing a forklift is a good option for business owners who need the use of a lift truck for more than a year, but are not interested in sinking large amounts of capital into purchasing a machine. While forklift leasing provides the ultimate in flexibility by allowing you to return the equipment at any time, it also has the highest costs. Forklift leasing, also known as a long-term rental, may not be quite as open-ended as a short-term rental, but you still maintain considerable flexibility while keeping costs down. This buying guide outlines the basics of leasing a forklift and includes pricing information to help you start budgeting.

Average Forklift Leasing Rates #

  • Small capacity (3,000 - 5,000 lbs):

    • Monthly lease: $200 - $400
    • Term: 2 - 3 years
  • Medium capacity (5,000 - 8,000 lbs):

    • Monthly lease: $400 - $600
    • Term: 3 - 5 years
  • Large capacity (8,000 - 12,000 lbs):

    • Monthly lease: $600 - $900
    • Term: 5 - 7 years
  • Heavy capacity (12,000+ lbs):

    • Monthly lease: $900+
    • Term: 7+ years

Other leasing factors:

  • New vs used: New forklifts have higher monthly payments

  • Brand: Toyota, Hyster, Crown tend to have higher lease rates

  • Maintenance: Lease may include maintenance services

  • Buyout option: May be able to purchase the forklift after the lease

In summary, leasing a forklift generally ranges from $200 up to $900+ per month depending on capacity and options. Lease terms span 2-7+ years.

Forklift Leasing in the Real World #

Leasing can be a cost-effective way to obtain a forklift without a large upfront payment. Here are some real-world examples of forklift leasing rates:

We leased a new 5,000 lb Toyota electric forklift for $450/month over a 5 year term. This got us a brand new lift without the huge upfront cost.

I leased a used Yale reach truck with 4,500 lb capacity for $275/month over 3 years. It had around 10,000 hours but the short term lease worked for our needs.

We leased a larger 8,000 lb Hyster LPG forklift for $650/month over 4 years. This covered all maintenance costs and really freed us from hassle.

I own a small shop and leased a 3,000 lb Nissan lift for $150/month over 2 years. It's an older used model but the short low cost lease was perfect for my warehouse.

Our growing business leased a new 10,000 lb Toyota electric forklift for $750/month over 7 years. This got us a robust forklift for the long term at reasonable monthly rates.

Reasons Why Leasing a Forklift Is Better Than Buying #

Forklift leasing has a number of advantages over ownership, including:

  • Cost Effectiveness: Unless you need a forklift for 52 weeks a year indefinitely, spending $30,000 or so for a new machine just doesn't make sense. Whether you have seasonal business, a temporary increase in workload, or are taking on a special project with a definite endpoint, leasing a forklift is probably the way to go. And the money you save by leasing can be put into what matter most: growing the business.
  • Better Equipment: In addition to freeing up capital, leasing a forklift usually results in getting better equipment than you could afford to buy. Leasing new or almost new equipment ensures that you will have a quality machine that won't break down.
  • Fewer Responsibilities: With the purchase of a service or maintenance plan, if anything does go wrong with the leased forklift, the dealer will take care of it.

The Basics of Forklift Leasing #

While leasing is cheaper than buying, it is still a considerable investment and should be thought over carefully. Some things to keep in mind before signing on the dotted line include:

  • Types of Forklift Leases: As a forklift lessee, you have two major options. The first is a "pure" or "true" lease, which is defined by a lease term such as 36 or 60 months. After this period the equipment is returned to the dealer. The other major leasing option is a capital lease, which is considered a purchase and often gives you the option to take ownership of the equipment when the lease term expires. Both types of leases have tax implications that should be discussed with an accountant.
  • Lease Duration: Have a clear understanding of how long you will be using the forklift so that you don't end up leasing it for longer than is necessary or cost-effective. If you want to retain ultimate flexibility by using a forklift for only a few days, weeks, or months, you may want to consider renting a forklift.
  • Forklift Capability: How heavy are the loads to be moved and how high do they need to go? Will special attachments be required? Is the machine going to be used indoors or outdoors? Make sure to do your homework and determine what type of forklift is required for the job, otherwise you could end up paying for too much machine or else leasing one that can't handle the job.

CostOwl.com note: Need a forklift at an affordable price? Fill out the 30 second questionnaire below and our forklift partners will send you free price quotes.

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