To buy, or to hire, that is the question…


The dilemma of when to purchase tools and when to hire them is a tricky decision. Our Tool Hire team has put together some useful tips of when to spend and where to save on tools for your project.

Buy or hire your tools

The numbers

Cost is the key factor in the decision to hire or buy. 

For the tools you will use day to day, it’s a no brainer to purchase upfront. Our top tip is to buy the best quality tools you can afford as they’re ultra-durable. It’s important to maintain these tools by cleaning and storing them in their cases after use, as a well–maintained power tool is a long term asset. High quality brands such as Makita will also hold their value in the resale market.

Our top tip: Don’t forget to check out the second hand market if you are looking to purchase.

Plant and bulky equipment such as rotovators will sit outside most people’s budgets and they can be difficult to store. For the short term or specialist equipment, it’s generally cheaper to hire than buy. The key is to figure out how often you’d use the equipment and how long you would need it for. You can then compare the cost of purchase vs the cost of hire.

If you’re hiring, it’s essential to consider how long the job will take. It’s worth buffering in time for complications. For example,  if you hire a wall paper stripper over the weekend but run into problems, or run out of time and end up keeping the tool a couple of extra days, it could cost you more than if you hired the product for a week!

Our top tip: If in doubt, hiring for a week will usually be much cheaper than adding on extra days!

There are also cash flow and accounting benefits of hiring your tools. Over the short term, it generally costs less to take out plant hire than to buy it, so hiring can have a positive impact on cash flow particularly for small companies. Hiring equipment is 100% tax deductible and you will not have to depreciate the equipment in your balance sheet.

You may already own equipment but if you experience a peak in demand, you may need extra tools to keep up with increased work flow. It’s far more sensible to hire these tools during these periods rather than pay a high initial outlay, storage and maintenance cost if they are only needed for relatively short periods. 

Hidden costs

Purchasing the equipment is not the only outlay; there are a number of extra costs including registration fees, storage, maintenance, insurance and repairs. When you hire from Bradfords you know that our tools have been cleaned, registered, serviced, tested and properly maintained.

Whether you hire or buy, you’ll still need to invest in suitable dry storage. There are cases of tradesman hiring cement mixers because it’s such a bulky item to transport and store away.

Perhaps the most important cost to think about if you buy outright is insurance. This will cover the possibility that the item may break down or be stolen and once the build is finished, you’ll need to add the value of replacing your tools onto your contents insurance.

Bang for your buck

Hire equipment you can trust

If you hire, chances are you’ll be able to use high spec equipment that you may not have been able to buy outright. 

This is due to hire equipment being constantly upgraded to keep up to date with advances in technology.

Top tip: Why not hire the equipment you are considering to buy. It’s the perfect way to trial a product without the obligation to buy. 


Bradfords Tool Hire will walk you through the safety procedures before use

Confidence and skill level are a big factor in deciding whether you should buy, hire or even attempt the job at hand. Safety has to be the highest priority for you and others on site. You must be able to operate the equipment properly before using. At Bradfords we will walk you through the safety procedure for the equipment you hire and you can take advantage of our expert knowledge. 

Hiring is a good idea if you do not wish to keep a tool after you have used it or if it’s a specialised tool that requires expert advice. However, always buffer in extra time for your hire period for the inevitable delays. For the day to day tools its worth investing in your own set but make sure you clean, maintain and store these products correctly to prolong their life.

Our Tool Hire team can help you pick out the right equipment for the job. They can also help you project plan and provide in-depth consultation that could save money on your balance sheet!