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Propane Tanks

Renting vs. buying: Which option is right for your propane tank needs?

propane rental vs buying couple laptop
Whether you’re moving into a home already heated with propane or considering switching to a propane system at your current property or business, you might be wondering should I buy or rent my propane tank? 

Propane is an incredibly versatile alternative fuel and has many domestic and commercial uses, from home and water heating and cooking, to powering industrial and agricultural equipment. If you’re new to propane it can be difficult to know where to start but our ‘Ultimate Guide to Propane’ has everything you need to know. 

In this article we’re going to consider is it better to rent or buy a propane tank for your home or business propane system, we’ll look at the pros and cons of each option and how Pinnacle Propane can help. 

Let’s start with the basics by looking at the different sizes of propane tank available. 

Know your propane tanks

There are many different sizes of propane tanks and selecting the right size will depend on what you’re using it for and Pinnacle Propane offer several options: 

  • 250 Gallon Tank: Best suited for homes and businesses of less than 2,500 sq ft. 
  • 500 Gallon Tank: Most common tank size can be used for domestic and commercial applications. 
  • 1000 Gallon Tank: Can fuel homes and businesses over 4,500 sq ft with several appliances. 
  • Commercial Tank: Tailored to meet the demands of individual business operations. 

To get the right propane tank size for your home or business, visit our propane tank size guide and use the tank volume calculator.  

Buy a propane tank

What are the pros and cons of buying your own propane tank and what factors need to be considered when deciding what’s best for you?

Buy a propane tank – pros

  • Long-term cost savings – Although the upfront cost can be high, over time you’ll likely pay less in total than committing to recurring rental fees, saving you money in the long-term.
  • Supplier flexibility – If you buy a propane tank you’ll have the flexibility to choose which supplier to use to refill your tank so you can find the best deals available.
  • Control – Owning your propane tank gives you more control over maintenance and, perhaps importantly, where your tank is installed i.e. above-ground or underground.

Buy a propane tank - cons

  • High upfront cost – The cost of purchasing and installing a propane tank are significant, which may be prohibitive for some.
  • Maintenance – If you buy a propane tank you will be responsible for maintaining it and ensuring it remains compliant with regulations, which can be costly and time consuming.
  • Resale value – The value of a propane tank will depreciate over time and older propane tanks will have a lower resale value, which may be a concern.

To sum up, if you buy a propane tank you will incur a higher upfront cost although, as there will be no ongoing rental costs and you’ll have the flexibility to choose suppliers, you’ll likely pay less over the long term. By owning your own tank you’ll also have control over where it’s located and how and maintenance is carried out, which could be attractive.

It really depends on your circumstances, if you are able to invest the money up front and willing to take responsibility for maintenance and regulatory compliance, buying a propane tank might be the option for you.

Rent a propane tank

The alternative to buying and owning a propane tank is to rent or to lease the tank from the supplier, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of renting a propane tank.

Rent a propane tank – pros

  • Lower upfront cost – If you rent a propane tank you will avoid the expense of purchasing the tank and the associated installation costs, which can represent a significant investment.
  • Maintenance – When renting a propane tank the supplier will be responsible for carrying out maintenance and any repairs that may be needed, giving you peace of mind.
  • Resale value – As you won’t own the tank, you won’t need to worry about the resale value if you rent a propane tank.

Rent a propane tank – cons

  • Ongoing costs – The fees for renting the tank are a recurring expense and, over time, may accumulate to a higher overall cost than buying and installing a tank.
  • Supplier restrictions – Your propane tank rental agreement may tie you to a specific supplier, meaning you can’t shop around for the lowest prices available.
  • Control – When you rent a propane tank you will have less control over where your tank is located (above-ground only) and there may be other contractual obligations (such as a minimum with which you’ll have to adhere or incur fees.

Renting or leasing comes with a much lower investment upfront as you won’t buy a propane tank, but recurring monthly rental fees alongside restrictions on supplier choice mean the overall cost will likely be higher in the long-term. If you rent a propane tank you’ll be restricted on its location but the supplier will be responsible for ongoing maintenance and compliance, including the costs of any repairs needed.

Again, it comes down to individual circumstances and if you can’t afford to invest the amount needed to purchase and install a tank, or would prefer to spread the cost over time, then renting could be a good solution.

The verdict

Whether it’s better to buy or rent a propane tank is entirely dependent on individual circumstances and the decision has to be based on our own unique needs. We’ve covered the main things to think about but Pinnacle Propane’s team of experts are on hand to provide friendly advice and guidance so you can make the right decision for your home or business. Please get in touch, as we’d love to hear from you.