Whether you need to carry equipment and materials or haul away debris, a truck is often vitally necessary for your construction business. But depending on what you do, you may not be sure whether now is a good time to Buying vs. Renting a truck.
We’ll go over the factors that go into your decision, the pros and cons of renting versus buying, and what you’ll need for your 4×4 truck insurance either way.
Considerations of Renting Versus Buying
It’s no secret that the vehicle market is going through a time of upheaval. With COVID lockdowns, manufacturers got behind, and nothing has settled back to normal since.
The Vehicle Market
Thanks to the manufacturing halt, the used car market has surged. First, rental companies sold inventory to stay afloat while no one was traveling and renting vehicles. Then, when the market picked back up, they couldn’t purchase a new fleet thanks to the manufacturing halts.
By now, the market should have leveled out had it not been for both major chip manufacturing factories burning down.
You may be thinking that since the market is so expensive right now, you may be better off waiting to purchase a truck. And you might be. But the rental market is costly, too, so renting a truck may not be a viable option for your situation.
Your Dependence on a Truck
Construction workers drive trucks. It makes sense because they’re often hauling equipment and materials that require the power and ruggedness of a truck chassis.
But not every construction business needs trucks. Suppose you’re a general contractor and simply managing the grunt work of other contractors. In that case, you could get by without a truck, at least until the market makes them more reasonably priced and readily available.
If your construction company is responsible for hauling, you’re going to need a truck whether you purchase one or rent one.
Pros of Renting vs. Buying a Truck
First, we’ll talk about the pros of renting a truck for your construction business.
The first benefit is that renting a truck is cheaper than buying one. Now, many factors go into the accuracy of that statement, but if you need a truck a few days a month, it’s going to be cheaper to rent a truck for $200 a day than to purchase a truck for $70,000.
Another benefit of renting a truck is that you don’t have to worry about maintenance. If the brakes need to be replaced, it’s not your responsibility. You don’t even have to worry about general maintenance like oil changes and tire rotations.
When you rent a truck, you can use it to do its job and then return it to the rental agency, and you won’t have to worry about where to park it and how to keep it secure.
Cons of Renting a Truck for Your Business
Once again, your specific situation will dictate the importance of these considerations.
You can’t paint your company logo onto a rental truck, so you’ll miss out on representation if you don’t own your own company vehicles. Advertising your business shouldn’t be limited to an SEO strategy alone. Construction companies should use every means of advertising available.
If you have to depend on a rental agency to use a truck, you’ll have to rely on their availability. Their truck inventory may all be out, and you won’t have a way to do the jobs that you need to do.
Yes, the cost can be both a pro and a con, depending on your situation. If you need a truck every day you’re in business, it’s just not cost-effective to rent one.
Whether you need to carry equipment or haul away debris, a truck is often vitally necessary for your construction business. You may need a flatbed, a winch, or a hitch necessary for the work you do. A rental truck may not have that equipment installed.
While it’s true that vehicles depreciate, they still maintain value. A rental vehicle has no inherent value to a construction company because they don’t own it.
For most construction companies, renting a truck doesn’t make sense. The typical construction business depends on trucks to do their jobs, and you can’t rely on a rental truck for the heavy use most companies require.
Insurance for Construction Trucks
Most people are familiar with personal car insurance policies, but business policies sometimes seem more challenging to understand.
Insurance for Renting a Truck
If you rent a truck for your personal use, you can purchase insurance from the rental agency and have confidence that you’re fully covered.
When you’re renting for business use, though, you’ll need to make sure your commercial policy covers your driving liability.
When you purchase liability insurance for a personal vehicle, you have to consider your personal assets and make sure you have enough liability coverage to protect those assets. When you’re purchasing liability for a business-use vehicle, consider the business’s assets.
You need higher liability limits with a business policy than a personal policy.
Depending on the size of your construction company, you may need to insure several trucks driven by various employees. If this is your situation, you’ll need to consider your employees’ driving records as part of your employee background check screening.
Your car insurance will rise if you hire employees with poor driving records because your insurance company will have to assume their risk.
Comparing quotes is a critical first step in purchasing both commercial and personal auto insurance policies. You should strive to find the best balance between cost and service. You need a company with good customer service and financial standing, but you want those qualities at the best rate.
Authorizing only drivers with good records to drive your company vehicles is another way to save money.
If you have enough vehicles for a fleet policy, that’s another way to save money. You’ll need to check the qualification with your insurer and compare options from other insurance companies to find out if you are eligible.
Most construction companies should purchase their company trucks, but if you fall into a unique niche, you could save a lot of money by renting trucks occasionally to accomplish the tasks you need them for.
Having the right insurance can keep your company solvent even if you face a liability lawsuit, so discuss your business with an insurance agent so they can get you set up with the policy that best serves your needs.