Should you buy or rent your propane storage tank? What are the advantages and disadvantages to both? Is owning always cheaper than renting? Find the answers in our article below.
Question: Is it better to rent or to purchase my own propane storage tank?
The answer is not so clear and simple as you might think. There are pros and cons to both owning and renting/leasing your propane storage tank. Lets review these various pros and cons for both owning and renting your propane tank.
Owning Your Own Propane Storage Tank
- You have complete control over where you purchase your propane, giving you the freedom to switch suppliers at will
- Freedom to choose a tank from any manufacturer rather than being limited to the range of tanks available for lease from the supplier
- No possibility of your tank being repossessed by the propane supplier over a billing dispute (i.e. non-payment of debt)
- You are responsible for installing and maintaining your tank. If you need to make repairs, relocate your tank, or replace your tank, you are responsible for the costs involved.
- Tank owners often need to monitor their supply levels themselves
- Most municipalities/counties/states require owners to have their tanks recertified (sometimes called requalified) every 5 – 10 years.
- Depending on the specific supplier, you may or may not face additional fees for using your own tank. Some suppliers apply a surcharge for tank owners. At times suppliers may offer better rates to their customers that lease tanks from them…however, if this is the case and there are multiple suppliers in your area you are free to negotiate for better pricing elsewhere.
Note: Most underground tanks are owned by the customer. So if you are interested in an underground tank you may be obliged to purchase your own and pay for your propane provider to install it.
Leasing/Renting Your Own Propane Storage Tank
- Installation of the tank provided by the propane supplier
- Your propane provider is responsible for the maintenance of the tank, including the costs incurred for any repairs
- Often customers that lease tanks receive preferable propane rates over longer periods of time when agreeing to prepay or other types of propane contracts
- Most lease/rent contracts include free monitoring of your supply levels by the provider
- One year’s lease amount is usually less expensive than one service call on an owned tank.
- Prohibits changing propane suppliers.
- Changing suppliers often involves a termination fee, delays while the supplier removes their/your tank.
The choice to rent or own your propane tank depends greatly on your personal circumstances. While some appreciate the freedom to change propane suppliers at will, others value the full-service type packages that often come with leasing a tank.
For those not able to care for the regular maintenance of a tank, such as elderly or infirm persons, leasing a tank and having the provider monitor supply levels is an attractive option. For others, the ability to seek out the best priced supplier at any given time is worth the additional time and expense of owning and maintaining their own tank.
So in the end, owning vs. renting depends on the personal circumstances of the customer and whether they are willing to pay slightly more for additional services.
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