In today’s competitive business environment, even a brief power outage can have a ripple effect, disrupting operations, leaving customers waiting in frustration, and potentially causing financial losses. To mitigate these risks, many businesses turn to commercial generators as a reliable backup power source. However, acquiring a generator presents a strategic decision: should you rent or buy?

Shenton Group delve into the advantages and disadvantages of both renting and purchasing a commercial generator, equipping you with the knowledge to make the most cost-effective choice for your unique business needs.

Renting Vs Buying – A Quick Overview

Renting A Commercial Generator

This is a great option for short-term needs and emergencies. It’s also a good option if you don’t have the budget to buy a generator outright as hiring a generator in comparison has lower upfront costs, or if you don’t have the space to store one.

Purchasing a Commercial Generator

This is a brilliant option for long-term needs. It can also be a good option if you need a backup power supply that is always available, however, buying a generator requires a larger upfront investment, and you will also be responsible for the cost of maintenance and repairs.

Renting vs Buying Considerations

Commercial generators offer peace of mind that your business will have a reliable backup power solution should there be a power outage. But before you suit up and start speaking to a generator specialist, a critical question needs answering: should you rent or buy?

The following will illuminate the key factors to consider when making this crucial decision for your business’s continued success.

Cost Comparison – Short-Term Savings vs. Long-Term Value

Cost Comparisons for generators

Let’s face it, upfront costs are a major consideration. Renting a generator offers a more budget-friendly option in the short term. Generators come with an hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly rate, with prices varying based on the size and type of generator you need. However, these ongoing rental fees can quickly add up, especially if you anticipate needing the generator for frequent or extended use. Imagine this scenario: you’re in the midst of a critical construction project, and a power outage strikes. Renting a generator to keep the site powered might seem like a good solution at first. However, rental costs can add up for projects that span over multiple years. In such cases, it may be more economical to purchase a generator instead.

Purchasing a generator requires a significant upfront investment, but it can be more cost-effective in the long run, especially for frequent users. You’ll eliminate recurring rental fees and gain ownership of the equipment. This means the generator is readily available whenever you need it, without coordinating rentals. Additionally, when you no longer need the generator, you can recoup some of the initial cost by selling it. Think of it as an investment that pays for itself over time, particularly if you value the peace of mind and convenience of having your own backup power source. To learn a little more about Generator purchases, visit our generators page.

Matching Your Needs – A Generator for Every Occasion

The frequency and duration of your power needs are crucial factors. For example if you require temporary power from anywhere between 1 week to 12 months, it would be more cost-effective to hire a generator. Comparing the hire cost and the cost purchase a generator can vary depending on the size of the generator. Sometimes hiring a generator for  2 to 3 years can still likely be the most cost-effective option. On the other hand, if you require consistent backup power, purchasing a generator becomes a more economical choice.

Shenton’s rental services cater to a variety of needs. Need a generator in a pinch? We’ve got emergency rentals with depots placed all over the UK. Are you in a remote location? We offer towable generators for easy access. For any of your generator rental needs visit our Generator Rentals page.

If you’re unsure about what size of generator you require, have a read of our Generator Sizing guide or get in touch with our team of experts who can ensure you get the right solution for your needs.

Availability – Ensuring You Have the Power When You Need It

Containerised generator being delivered to site

While renting a generator offers flexibility with lower upfront costs and can adapt to changing needs, it doesn’t guarantee immediate access to the specific power solution you require during emergencies. Rental companies often face high demand during peak outage periods, like storms or natural disasters, which could result in the specific generator size you need being in short supply. This can delay getting your business back up and running. If this is something you are concerned about, our team can provide support on how to best navigate these situations and discuss the options available in advance so you are ready when an outage strikes.

We offer a disaster recovery plan to help you establish steps to reduce downtime and protect your business in such scenarios of a power outage. Our team can guide you through the process and discuss the support we can provide to keep your business operational.

For critical operations that rely on uninterrupted power, owning a generator ensures power continuity and peace of mind, with power readily available on-site. However, if you anticipate needing a generator only occasionally, especially for non-critical situations, exploring emergency generator rental services can be a good option.

Maintenance and Storage – Considerations Beyond the Purchase Price

Owning a generator brings additional responsibilities that require ongoing investment. This includes a commitment to routine maintenance, essential for ensuring optimal performance, reliability and a longer lifespan of your generator. Regular tasks like oil changes, filter replacements (air, oil, and fuel depending on the model), and spark plug checks become part of your preventative maintenance routine.

The frequency of these tasks depends on the size, type, and usage of your generator, but adhering to the manufacturer’s recommended schedule is crucial. Additionally, generators will require periodic servicing by a qualified technician for more complex tasks like internal component inspections, valve adjustments, and load bank testing to ensure proper output and efficiency. All aspects of servicing can be covered by Shenton Group service contracts.

Finally, remember that generators aren’t exactly compact. You’ll either need a secure, dry, and well-ventilated storage location to protect it from the elements and potential damage, or you can opt for a weatherproof external canopy so the generator can be situated outside. Depending on the size, you might need additional measures like a concrete pad. These ongoing costs – maintenance supplies, servicing, and the location of your generator – should be factored into your decision-making process alongside the initial purchase price.

Additional Considerations

In addition to the factors mentioned above, there are a few other things to consider when deciding whether to rent or buy a commercial generator:

The Cost of Use

Renting a generator is a budget-friendly option for short-term needs or emergencies. Rental rates vary depending on the size and type of generator you require, but these costs can add up over time.  Purchasing a generator requires a significant upfront investment, but it can be more cost-effective in the long run. Ownership eliminates recurring rental fees, and you potentially recoup some of the initial cost through resale. Opting to buy a generator is ideal for long term power requirements and ensuring you have the correct generator solution available as and when you need it.

If you’re unsure whether you need a rental generator or are considering a purchase, then please contact one of our generator experts.

Convenience and Safety

Rental companies typically handle maintenance for rented generators. However, if you purchase a generator, the responsibility for regular upkeep (fuelling, oil changes) and potential repairs falls on you.

A transfer switch, although optional, is a valuable safety feature. This device automatically switches your electrical load from the National Grid to the generator during outages, enhancing both safety and convenience. These are considerations that you as the purchaser will have to make.

The Final Word

The decision to rent or buy a commercial generator hinges on your specific business needs. By carefully considering the factors explored in this article, you can make an informed choice that ensures reliable backup power without breaking the bank. Here’s a quick recap:

  • For short-term needs or emergencies: Renting is a budget-friendly option that offers immediate access.
  • For frequent or long-term needs: Purchasing provides cost-effectiveness in the long run, ownership benefits, and peace of mind with immediate availability.

Shenton Group are here to help!

We offer a comprehensive range of commercial generator rental and sales services to meet your unique requirements. Our knowledgeable staff can assist you in selecting the right size and type of generator, ensuring you have the reliable backup power solution your business needs.

Contact Shenton Group today to discuss your specific needs and explore our generator solutions. We’re committed to empowering your business with uninterrupted power!

Subscribe to our mailing list

    I accept that Shenton Group will use the information you provide on this form to keep in touch and to provide updates and marketing