If you’re looking to hire a crane, the associated fees are likely to be at the forefront of your mind.

In this article, the established crane hire firm BJW Cranes explain the factors that influence hire costs and the considerations to keep in mind when hiring a crane.

What exactly is crane hire?

Crane hire is when a hire firm receives a fee in exchange for a rental crane. After it is no longer needed, the crane is returned to the hire firm by the hiree.

For small independent companies, investing in a fleet of cranes isn’t financially viable, considering crane prices can exceed £1,000,000.

That’s why most construction firms opt to rent rather than buy. 

What determines the cost of a hire crane?

Multiple factors influence hire crane costs in the UK.

The type of crane

Not all hire cranes are the same. Larger crane hire plants have more extensive collections of lifting machinery tailored to specific uses.

For example, a hire firm may have both city and heavy-duty cranes in their fleet.

City cranes are nimbler and designed for compact urban spaces, whereas heavy-duty cranes are used to lift extremely weighty loads, sometimes beyond 700 tonnes at ports. As such, they tend to be larger. 

Understandably then, larger more specialised machinery such as tower cranes used on larger-scale projects will cost more to hire than smaller cranes. This may be due to stock availability, crane set-up and more specialised transport required to deliver big cranes to sites. 

For example, on average in the UK, a smaller 25-tonne crane will cost around £420 per day while a tower crane costs significantly more to hire per day, averaging at around £2,500.

CPA Crane Hire or CPA Contract Lifting

Most established crane hire firms will likely offer two rental services: CPA Crane Hire and CPA Contract Lifting.

CPA crane hire 

With CPA Crane Hire, the customer rents a crane of their choice from a hire firm that provides the vehicle.

Companies with their own staff, including appointed persons and crane slingers that are qualified to plan and undertake lifts usually select this service, as they have no need for extra staff. 

However, hirees that choose this option must ensure they take out insurance to cover the lifting operation, which adds to initial costs.

CPA contract lifting

CPA Contract Lifting however, includes hire of the crane alongside qualified appointed persons and crane slingers, who are supplied by the hire company.

With contract lifting, the professionals supplied with the crane take care of lift planning and operation, provide method statements, and conduct risk assessments.

This service is more expensive as fees cover crane rental and labour costs. The hire company covers most of the insurance costs, with the client only needing public liability insurance.

Rental length

Typically, crane hire fees work on a day-by-day or weekly basis. So logically, the longer a crane is hired, the more expensive it will be.

For example, a 35t crane will cost £1,750 for a week and £3500 for two and so on.


In the UK, crane hire costs will also be influenced by rural or urban locations, with rural sites costing more due to more difficult site access.  

Additionally, hire costs in the North tend to be cheaper than those in the South, so companies should bear these factors in mind when looking for quotes. 

The time of year

Traditionally, you can expect to pay more for crane hire on bank holidays and for use at night – this is especially true for contract lifting. 

This is true of most service industries and accounts for the overtime usually paid to the staff who work during these times. 

Compare costs when selecting a hire crane company

Although selecting the correct machinery for your project will always be your focus when hiring a crane, due to competition in the industry, you should be able to compare hire rates in your area.

The more competition a hire company has, the more  their rates may differ. So, be sure to get plenty of quotes from your area and you could find very competitive pricing from suppliers you have not thought of before.

Hire a crane from a reputable hire company

A helpful and reputable hire firm will help you to select the most suitable crane for your project -the most important outcome when renting a crane.

Established hire companies with years of experience have the knowledge and specialists in their ranks to guide and advise you and undertake CPA contract lifting on your behalf.

So, why not get started by taking a look at a hire firm’s case studies and reviews from independent sources such as Trustpilot and Google Reviews to see how they’ve helped other projects before deciding who to request quotes from.


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