When you’re in one of the field service industries, it may make more sense to rent equipment instead of purchasing it outright, especially if it’s an expensive item you’d need a loan to afford. Renting allows you to use equipment for a certain period of time, then return it, extend the rental agreement or upgrade to something more advanced. Even though you’re already paying less overall by renting instead of buying, with the right strategy, it’s easy to save money on a rental agreement.
It starts with doing your homework and knowing exactly what you need from your equipment, both now and in the future. When you go to the equipment dealer, be clear about your needs and let the dealer make some recommendations. A common mistake business owners make is not being forthcoming with equipment dealers, preferring to avoid giving out too much information. You’re more likely to get the right equipment if you’re open with the dealer and treat the relationship as a partnership. It also makes the negotiation process more pleasant.
Don’t look exclusively at the rental price when making a decision. It’s also important to consider operating costs with different types of equipment and what type of service guarantees are available. One piece of equipment could have a higher rental rate, but still be the better deal because it costs less to operate and has a superior service plan.
Contact multiple dealers and see what kind of deals you can negotiate with them for the same or comparable equipment. During the negotiation process, consider areas in which you can make concessions to make the agreement a win-win for you and the dealer. For example, you could offer to sign a longer agreement or rent all the equipment you need from one dealer in exchange for a discounted rate.
Rental rates typically aren’t set in stone. With a little preparation and the right negotiating tactics, you can score a sweet deal and still build a good working relationship with your equipment dealer.