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24 May 2024

RENT OR BUY? THE PROS AND CONS OF TRACTOR HIRE

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If you need a new tractor for your farm operations, the question of whether you should buy or rent will be front of your mind.

As if choosing the right tractor for your needs wasn’t hard enough, even when you know the make and model you want – or what functionality and features you must have – you still have to decide if you should hire or buy.

Traditionally, the decision has been to buy, but as new tractors don’t come cheap, and the price of borrowing money is escalating the popularity of tractor hire is quickly increasing.

With loads of financial and practical benefits – and very few cons – hiring a tractor could be just what you need.

Let us help you decide whether you rent or buy, as we explore the pros and cons of tractor hire.

 

Tractor hire pros: Finances, Features & Flexibility

Exploring tractor hire options is the smart thing to do for your business if you’re conscientious when it comes to managing farm finances and want to make sure you get the best possible deal for your money.

There are many benefits to hiring a tractor in Cheshire, Warrington, the North West or UK wide, and they include:

  • Lower costs – Hiring a tractor is significantly cheaper in the short term, when you think that tractors can cost in excess of £300,000 (depending on the brand and the size). Renting eliminates this initial outlay immediately. In addition, there’s no need for expensive borrowing and the cost remains fixed for the term of the hire.
  • Straight-forward accounting- The cost of your tractor hire is a business expense and therefore fully tax deductible each year. Not to mention that you’re carrying one less depreciating asset on your books.
  • Access to the latest technology – As soon as you buy a new tractor, it becomes out of date, right? There’s a newer model with newer features. Hiring a tractor means you can always access the newest features and gadgets.
  • Maximise tractor utilisation- Don’t have expensive kit standing in quiet times with a short-term hire to cover your busy periods.
  • Zero maintenance and servicing – Lastly, one of the biggest benefits of tractor hire is that you don’t need to worry about maintenance or servicing. If anything goes wrong, the hire company is responsible for sorting it out. No expensive repair bills, no hassle. Plus, in the unlikely event of a breakdown occurring the hire company will fix or swap the tractor quickly, minimising down time.

Find out more in our 8 reasons why you should consider long-term tractor hire blog.

But what about the downsides to tractor hire?

 

The cons of tractor hire

Hiring a tractor might not be for everyone. Depending on your budget and your intended use, you might find there are a few cons to renting that you need to consider.

  • Tractor use– If your use is significantly over 4,000 hours a year it may be more cost effective to buy to avoid excess hour charges.
  • Availability of tractors – While it’s not normally a problem, in some rare cares during peak farming season, you might find that there’s high demand for the exact tractor you want, and you can’t get it when you need.
  • Lack of customisation – If you want a short-term hire of only a couple days or weeks, some very specific features or functionality on your tractor that aren’t standard, maybe difficult to hire.

So, should you consider buying instead of hiring?

 

The challenges with buying a tractor

There’s no two ways about it; buying a tractor is very pricey. That upfront cost is a big barrier to purchase, especially if you’re a small business and cashflow is tight… as is the case with lots of farms.

That cost impacts other areas too:

  • Depreciation – As soon as you drive your new tractor off the lot, it loses value. It will continue losing value every year too, something you don’t need to worry about when you hire.
  • Upkeep – If you own it, you’re responsible for it, which means you need to pay for all the maintenance, all the repairs and all the replacement parts (and hope nothing major goes wrong!) A new tractor should come with manufacturer guarantees, but there will always be general wear and tear costs to factor in.

If you can afford the upfront investment and aren’t concerned about staying up to date with the latest tractor models and modern gadgets, then buying a tractor could be a good long-term plan.

But is that worth the cost… and the hassle? Or is tractor hire the best choice for you?

Deciding if tractor hire is right for you

Tractor hire is now a popular choice and it’s easy to see why, cost effective and flexible- what’s not to love!

To help make the hire vs buy decision there are a few key questions to ask yourself.

1. How often do I need to use a tractor?

If it’s more than 4,000 a year then you may want to buy, to avoid excess hour charges, then buying is also a reasonable option to avoid paying for a tractor that is stood.

2. Do I want the best tractor for the job?

If you want to always make sure you’ve got the best tools on farm or on site, you’ll want the best available tractor. You’ll want all the latest features and hottest gadgets to make life easier, which probably means hiring.

3. Am I worried about maintenance and repairs?

Maintenance and repairs could be simple and straightforward. They could also be expensive and a big hassle. Don’t want to worry about them? Hiring a tractor is the option for you.

Renting or buying? If you need a new tractor then the answer will depend on your needs and circumstances. But if you’ve seen the value, the flexibility and the freedom that hiring a tractor brings, then let’s talk makes and models!

With ASHBROOK, you don’t need to worry about tractor availability or expensive hiring costs – we’ve got you covered!

Get in touch with our friendly team and we’ll help you hire the right tractor.

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