How Much Does Equipment Leasing Cost in 2024?

Depending on the type of equipment you’re seeking to lease, the cost could range between $260 – $2,759 per month. Let’s calculate your cost, start here:


When considering the typical cost for equipment leasing and types of loans for heavy machinery such as forklifts, aerial lifts, mini excavators, and skid steer loaders, it’s important to note that costs can vary widely based on factors like equipment type, lease terms, and loan conditions. Here’s a structured outline:

Equipment Leasing and Loan Costs

  1. Forklifts
    • Lease Cost:
      • Average Monthly Rate: $300 – $1,000
      • Influencing Factors: Model, Load Capacity, Lease Duration
    • Loan Options:
      • Interest Rates: Typically 6% – 15%
      • Loan Term: 1 – 5 years
  2. Aerial Lifts
    • Lease Cost:
      • Average Monthly Rate: $1,000 – $2,500
      • Influencing Factors: Type (scissor, boom), Height Capacity, Lease Duration
    • Loan Options:
      • Interest Rates: Usually 8% – 20%
      • Loan Term: 1 – 5 years
  3. Mini Excavators
    • Lease Cost:
      • Average Monthly Rate: $1,500 – $3,000
      • Influencing Factors: Size, Horsepower, Lease Duration
    • Loan Options:
      • Interest Rates: Generally 5% – 15%
      • Loan Term: 1 – 5 years
  4. Skid Steer Loaders
    • Lease Cost:
      • Average Monthly Rate: $500 – $1,500
      • Influencing Factors: Capacity, Attachments, Lease Duration
    • Loan Options:
      • Interest Rates: Around 6% – 18%
      • Loan Term: 1 – 5 years

Remember, these figures are approximate and can vary based on the lender, the specific equipment model, regional differences, and the financial standing of the borrower. It’s always advisable to get quotes from multiple lenders and leasing companies to find the best deal.

What Is Equipment Leasing and How Does It Work?

If you have ever rented an asset such as a house or car, then you’re already a step ahead and understand the basics of equipment leasing—because it uses the same principles. When you lease a piece of equipment, you pay the owner of the equipment a set price per period, and you get to use the equipment as you please.

Bobcat E145 Large Excavator

While the equipment is leased to you, you are the only one allowed to use the equipment. No one else can operate it without first you permitting them to do so.

Finally, the original owner of the equipment cannot repossess the equipment until the equipment lease agreement is finished. Once you sign your lease, you basically own the equipment until the agreement is terminated.

The cost of leasing equipment varies greatly depending on the type of equipment. However, most leases work the same in that the fixed rate is paid per month. Additionally, it’s important to note that leasing companies will consider your credit score during evaluation.

So, in answer to this question, equipment leasing companies operate similarly to house or car rental companies. The equipment belongs to you alone until the agreement is terminated.

What Are the Benefits of Equipment Leasing?

When it comes to whether or not you should rent or buy equipment, you should consider what you plan to do with the equipment upon completion of your project. Few would choose to keep the equipment they buy in storage until they use it for another project. This is why equipment leasing provides more benefits to the lessee than purchasing equipment would.

Skid Steer Loader

Some of the benefits to touch on before moving on are listed below:

  • The ability to use the equipment as you please
  • More flexibility to work on your own terms
  • You get to decide with the lessor who is responsible for the equipment if it breaks
  • You have the ability to negotiate deals that work in your favor

Depending on the size of the project you want to get started on, leasing equipment rather than buying will most likely be the best option. If your project is very large, for example, purchasing all of the necessary equipment to complete the project would be very expensive and impractical.

This is one reason why leasing equipment would work in your favor as far as searching for the least expensive way to complete your desired project goes.


What Are The Different Types of Equipment Leasing?

Though leasing equipment is certainly more beneficial than purchasing equipment, it’s important to know the different types of equipment leasing before signing your agreement with a company. There are three important types of equipment leasing that should be discussed before you make your decision.

1. Operating Lease

This type of lease is the easiest to understand. Essentially, the owner of the equipment will lease the equipment to you for a timeless than the equipment’s life span. Generally, this is no more than one year. If you’re looking for a relatively short-term project, you should consider an operating lease.

2. Capital Lease

These leases are long-term leases (a few years, usually) and involve large-scale equipment such as airplanes. With this type of lease, the lessee treats it as a loan. If your aim is to obtain a piece of equipment for a period of longer than one or two years, this might be the lease for you.

3. Leaseback

This lease is somewhat complicated and is meant for those who don’t have enough finances at their disposal to sign a capital lease and involves multiple steps. Firstly, someone purchases a piece of equipment and sells it to a firm. Then, they sign a lease with the firm so that they can use the equipment themselves—which generally results in saved cash.

Now that you have a brief overview of each of these three important types of equipment leases, you’re ready to continue reading and getting more information to make your decision.

What Kinds Of Equipment Can Be Leased?

Basically, any type of equipment you can think of can be leased. In this article, I will discuss four pieces of machinery that are commonly leased and answer questions about them. These are listed below:

  • Forklifts
  • Aerial lifts
  • Mini excavators
  • Skid Steer loaders

Each of these will be discussed in detail—including the pros and cons of buying versus leasing.

How Much Do Forklifts Cost to Buy?

This is almost like asking, “how much does it cost to buy a car?” The answer is, it depends. It depends on the model, size, age, and power. The general rule of thumb is that it costs between $15,000 and $50,000. With this in mind, we can move on to discuss the ideal conditions for purchasing a forklift.


If you know that you will be using the forklift for many years from now, purchasing one might prove to be a good option. However, don’t discount the benefits of leasing the forklift.

How Much Do Forklifts Cost to Lease?

This mainly depends on the length of time you wish to rent the forklift. Generally speaking, leasing a forklift can prove to be cheaper than purchasing one. For example, some high-end forklifts only cost about $1,000 per month to lease.

This means that if you want to lease a forklift for just one year at $1,000 every month, you will only end up paying about $12,000 for a high-end forklift as opposed to $15,000 for a low-end forklift that you’ll be stuck with until you can sell it.


How Much Do Aerial Lifts Cost to Buy?

For those wondering, aerial lifts are basically a larger version of a forklift. They allow an individual or groups of individuals to reach very high places by extending a vertical arm upwards. They are used often in repairing telephone lines.

Aerial Lifts

Additionally, aerial lifts are quite expensive. A standard aerial lift can cost between $50,000 and $70,000. In fact, the most expensive can sell for well over $100,000. To put this into perspective, the average cost of buying an aerial lift costs about as much as a luxury car.

The point is that these are very expensive pieces of equipment enough to turn even the most stubborn to start looking at various leasing options. This is especially true if you don’t need the aerial lift for an extended period of time.

How Much Do Aerial Lifts Cost to Lease?

This depends on the company that you go to. Because of this, it’s very important to keep your eyes open and scour the market for the best deal out there. If you think you’ve made up your mind about the company you want to lease the aerial lift from, don’t stop searching until you’re certain so you can save as much money as possible.

When it comes to a piece of machinery such as an aerial lift, it really comes down to whether or not you will be using it often. This is because leasing one is nearly as expensive as buying one. In fact, leasing an aerial lift costs between $200 and $400 per day.

How long is your project? Will you be using the lift every day? These are questions that you will want to ask yourself before making your decision.


How Much Do Mini Excavators Cost to Buy?

Mini excavators are one of those things that make you feel amazing when you’re operating one. This will definitely present a temptation to purchase one rather than lease because you will be able to use it whenever you want, for as long as you’d like.

Mini Excavators

Don’t let this turn your analytical mind away from the opportunity to sign a lease for a mini excavator for a period of time, however. Typically, mini excavators can cost up to and around $49,000. You could find, if you are lucky, one that costs roughly $30,000.

This is a very large piece of industrial equipment that is obviously very expensive. If you believe that the return will be greater than the cost, you might consider purchasing one of your own. However, let’s first analyze the leasing prices of mini excavators before you make your decision.

How Much Do Mini Excavators Cost to Lease?

It is possible to find great deals when it comes to leasing mini excavators. For example, lower-quality excavators could go for as low as $150 if you manage to negotiate a good price. Conversely, it is possible to lease a very high-quality mini excavator—sometimes they cost as much as $500 per day, however.

Similar to the other pieces of industrial equipment examined in this article, whether or not leasing a mini excavator will be cheaper than purchasing one depends on the duration of the project. If you will consistently be using the mini excavator for an extended period of time, you might consider purchasing one. However, a capital lease would allow you to possess the same piece of equipment for a lower price until you decide to terminate the lease.


How Much Do Skid Steer Loaders Cost to Buy?

This piece of equipment is a kind of blend between a bulldozer and an excavator. Used mainly for digging large holes, these machines can cost exorbitant amounts of money to purchase. In fact, the price range is very wide.

Skid Steer Loader

Some can go for as low as $25,000 to buy. If you decide that this is your price range, you might be able to get one of low-quality. If you are not so concerned with the price, but you want a high-quality skid steer loader, you may be spending upwards of $65,000. Searching for the best deals to purchase one of these massive machines can become quite tedious—which should be enough to compel you to look at various leasing options as opposed to purchases.

How Much Do Skid Steer Loaders Cost to Lease?

Interestingly enough, some leases will allow you to pay less money each month if you decide to lease the equipment for a longer period of time. When it comes to skid steer loaders, some leases will allow you to pay around $2,000 to $2,500 per month for a loader with a retail value of $25,000. This applies to a 12-month lease.

If you decide that you will be needing the skid steer loader for a longer period of time, the deal works in your favor. The cost will average between $1,000 to $1,500 per month for a skid steer loader with the same retail value (applies to a 24-month lease). In this way, you will be spending roughly the same amount of money as before, but the amount of time that the equipment is in your possession will be significantly longer—double, to be precise.

These leases use the same principles and can extend up to 48-month leases and beyond. With a lease such as this, you can own a skid steer loader for a fraction of the cost of purchasing one. For a 48-month lease, the average cost for a skid steer loader will be just $600 to $700 each month.

If this doesn’t compel you to consider leasing a skid steer loader as opposed to purchasing one of your own, I don’t know what will.


What Equipment Types Are The Cheapest to Lease?

When it comes to the equipment leasing cost of certain machinery, there are many options to choose from. Included in the information below are two of the cheapest types to lease for each of the equipment types discussed.

1. Forklifts

The two cheapest types of forklifts to lease for a certain period of time are walkie stacker forklifts and warehouse forklifts. Technically, pallet jacks are the cheapest type of “forklift,” but they will not be included. This is because most people want to know the prices of motorized forklifts.

Walkie stacker forklifts can be leased for roughly $130 per day. However, depending on the model and brand, some of these can go for up to over $300 daily. They are designed so that the operator walks behind the forklift and steers it manually.

Warehouse forklifts are quite different from walkie stacker forklifts. They are also significantly more expensive than walkie stackers. Starting at $140 per day (average), they can reach enormous prices like $3,400 every day, so keep this in mind when choosing the right sized forklift for the task you have.

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2. Aerial Lifts

The cost of leasing an aerial lift does not depend so much on the brand as it does the reach of the machine. The cheapest aerial lifts are listed below:

  • 20′ personnel lift (costs about $120 per day)
  • 26′ personnel lift (costs about $140 per day)

With this in mind, it might not be the best choice to go with the cheapest aerial lift to lease if it cannot reach the height that you need the lift for. For example, if you need an aerial lift to carry personnel to a height of 30 feet, you would not want to lease the 20-foot lift because that would not make any sense at all. Rather, you would be forced to lease a more expensive aerial lift to get the job done.

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3. Mini excavators

Answering this question in regards to mini excavators is complicated. This is because the leasing prices are dependent on the type of attachments to get as well as the size of the mini excavator.

For example, you could choose to lease an inexpensive mini excavator along with state-of-the-art attachments. Combined, these could potentially be very expensive. However, if you chose to lease an expensive, high-quality mini excavator with low-quality attachments, the price will vary greatly.

Generally speaking, leasing a Bobcat mini excavator with its designed attachments for 36 months will cost roughly $226 per day ($2,427 per month). Essentially, finding the right balance between the quality of machinery as well as the duration you end to lease it for is a long process.

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4. Skid steer loaders

The cost of leasing a skid steer loader is dependent on the horsepower. This makes it simple when deciding what price range you want to shoot for when making your decision—which is unlike the other equipment costs discussed.

If you want a loader with less than 20 horsepower, it will cost about $150 to $200 per day. If your project requires a much more powerful skid steer loader—say, 45 horsepower—the average cost will be around $300 per day.

The same principle that applies to aerial lifts also applies to skid steer loaders. If your project requires an extremely powerful loader, don’t waste money on a cheaper loader and hope it works. Instead, it would be smarter to pay the extra cash for the more powerful (and more expensive) skid steer loader so that you can get the job done right.

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What Should I Do If I Can’t Make Up My Mind?

Buyers GuideIf you cannot decide whether you should lease a piece of heavy machinery or purchase one of your own, there are a few options you should consider. First, you should think about maintenance costs. If you lease the equipment you need, you have a greater chance of striking a good deal with the lessor that absolves you of most charges should the equipment break down.

Next, what you intend to do with the machinery once your project is completed is worthy of consideration. Will you be using the equipment every day, or will it sit collecting dust in a warehouse? Do you need the equipment for a single project, or do you have a series of projects in mind?

Questions like these are those that you need to ask yourself before either purchasing the equipment or signing your name to any lease. If you make the wrong decision, you could end up losing enormous amounts of money that could have been used to obtain the equipment you needed at the price you desired.

Another thing you should consider if you so decide to purchase a piece of machinery is whether or not that is the most cost-efficient decision you can make. To some, it will seem as if spending hundreds of dollars every month (or day, depending on the equipment) for your machinery will amount to more than it costs to buy. Most of the time, leasing will always come out as the less expensive option.