Excavators play an important role in the construction and mining industry. These machines are pretty much the heart and soul of these industries. When excavators were introduced, they were cheap compared to other machines and mainly used for digging. However, that is no longer the case. In fact, excavators today are some of the most expensive machines in the industry. That leaves us with a debate about whether to buy an excavator or rent one. 

While industry experts are split over this issue, buying and renting both have pros and cons. Let us take a closer look at whether to buy or rent an excavator. 

Here are 6 Factors to Consider Before Buying or Renting an Excavator

1. Anticipate Utilisation Levels, Project Duration, and Frequency

Buying or renting an excavator depends on many factors, primarily the utilisation levels, project duration, and frequency of use. If you use the equipment frequently, it makes sense to buy instead of rent. A general rule of thumb is that if you use your machine for at least 250 hours each month, you should consider buying it. 

2. Service and Maintenance Cost

When you rent a machine, most of the time, the service and maintenance are done by the rental company only. Thus, your job is to get the work done and return the equipment. However, when you own the equipment, you handle the service and maintenance as well. 

3. Availability of Replacement Units

When renting the equipment, especially from a company with a larger fleet, you have the assurance of getting a quick replacement unit on site. The fleet company can quickly provide replacement parts if the machine faces a downtime or requires prolonged service. However, if you own the equipment, you may be faced with a job delay or need to rush to find a replacement unit at the last moment. 

4. Warranties

When you are renting equipment, the warranty is the owner’s responsibility. While as an equipment owner, you should know the machine warranty period. It is also crucial to follow manufacturer specifications to maintain the warranty.

5. Transportation

Excavators and other heavy machines incur massive transportation costs. However, some companies have semi-trucks, which makes the entire transportation price very low. When you rent an excavator, you will be charged a transportation cost set by the rental company which is in general one way cost in India. However, if you own equipment, you have more options in choosing transportation methods. 

6. Storage

Another critical factor to consider when it comes to renting or buying an excavator is storage. Usually, construction equipment is stored in a yard. However, some machines require indoor storage to protect them from harsh weather elements like snow and rain. Remember, the indoor storage structure comes with an additional infrastructure cost and insurance. 

Pros & Cons of Buying an Excavator


  • Complete control over the equipment regarding the availability 
  • You choose whether to buy a used machine or a brand new
  • Lower operating cost if there is frequent use
  • You can write off the device for tax purposes


  • Have to pay for storage cost
  • Economic risk
  • You cannot change the machine if you need something different 

Pros & Cons of Renting an Excavator


  • More flexibility
  • No long-term commitment
  • No service and maintenance cost


  • Costs could be higher on a per-day basis
  • No guaranteed availability of the equipment
  • Cannot modify or change the machine

Final Thoughts

Both buying and renting the excavator have their unique advantages and disadvantages. The decision will ultimately depend on the end-user and individual requirements. However, one thing is certain. Whether buying or renting, one should only get an excavator from a reputed manufacturer.

Hyundai Construction Equipment India is one of the leading construction equipment manufacturers in the country. Hyundai manufacturers some of the most robust and reliable excavators to perform any construction and mining activity efficiently. If you are looking for one to buy, Hyundai is the way to go.


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