Should I buy or hire a generator?

Hire vs. Buy: How to know when buying a generator is cheaper

There comes a time in any camper's/renovator's/business owner's/farmer's life when it simply makes better sense to stop hiring a generator every time you need remote power, and buy your very own set. So how do you know when to take the plunge? Here are some of the things you should know when you hire a generator.

Crommelins have been a long time supplier of welder generators and workstation generators to the hire industry

Not too long ago, it made better financial sense for people to hire a generator for portable power - unless they owned a large construction, events or mining company. This was when generators were more expensive for the everyman.

But buying a generator isn't the big investment it used to be. Today, there are lots of cheaper generators out there that represent great value for money without compromising on quality.

Starting with the budget options, lets take a look at the Cromtech generator range. Yes these generators are manufactured in China, but that's no longer code for "cheap, cheerful and ready-to-fall-apart". Far from it - Cromtech generators are reliable gensets for infrequent use that have almost all the features you'd expect in a premium brand like Yamaha or Honda. The main difference with these is the shorter warranty (1 year as opposed to 4 years). But Cromtech is backed by the generator masters at Crommelins, so it still has the expansive service network that the premium brands do.

Oh, the only other thing they don't have is the pricetag - a Cromtech 2400w generator comes in at a bargain at under $1000. They are quickly becoming a popular power reserve option on the occasional camping/caravan trip or to have on standby in case of back up power at home when there is a blackout.

cheap generator
Cromtech is backed by a national service network
Premium vs Budget Generator

Another budget brand inverter generator made in China which also has a national Service Agent backing is Supaswift. These Supaswift generators are backed by All Power Industries and supported by the All Power nationwide Service Dealer and Spare Parts Network.

Compare that to hiring a generator

The daily hire rate for small generators, of around 2000-4000 watts is anywhere between $120 to $200 per day (sometimes more). So for every 3-4 days of hiring a generator, you could buy your own. If you take regular trips, live in an area prone to blackouts, are embarking on home renovations or are looking to start a small business, the cost savings quickly mount up.

The more you use a generator, the more cost savings you can expect. Though if you are relying on a generator for frequent use - maybe for a mobile business, ongoing renovations or a long trip on the road - you should consider investing in a more premium generator brand such as Yamaha. While more expensive, a Yamaha 1000w or 2000w genset for example still won't break the bank. And you get all the benefits of a large service network (over 200 accredited agents nationwide) with a longer warranty period of 4 years. If you intend to use it more, then it's easier to justify the greater spend. The premium brands are built to handle more frequent operation.

The other benefit of a premium brand like Yamaha is it's versatility - typically the budget brands are best for smaller requirements and less frequent use...whereas Yamaha's range covers you for a whole range of uses and at greater intensity; recreational, trade, events, home/business back up, farming and more.

Yamaha generators
All Yamaha units come with a 4 year warranty

For portable trade/construction generators, you can't go past Powerlite. These guys are the best in the portable power business when it comes to industrial, mining, civil engineering, building etc. etc. Tough generators backed with full 2 year commercial warranties on all parts and they utilise premium engines such as Honda, Yanmar, Briggs & Stratton. Many models come in standard or Work Cover approved, such as the best selling Powerlite 8kVA Generator - this is the number one choice for tradesmen. It is also convenient to have one of these on your own than hire a generator. In fact, an 8kVA Generator powered by Honda is the best all-purpose across several quality Australian brands:

8kva Petrol Generator: for trade and farm use

Let's talk about convenience

It's not only from a cost-saving point of view that buying your own generator makes sense - there's also the convenience factor. Every time you hire a generator, you have to go through a time-consuming process:

  • Research the best deal

  • Find a generator that's available when you need it

  • Booking the generator

  • Arranging delivery or collection

  • And so on...

When it's your own generator, you simply retrieve it from storage and do some quick maintenance checks (make sure there is enough oil) before getting on with your job or on the road. And the better the generator brand, the more support you get if you need servicing.

When to buy a generator

Just to recap, here are three example scenarios you should seriously consider buying a generator over hiring a generator:

  • You take regular camping, caravanning, boating and 4WD trips

  • You own a small portable business, such as market stall, coffee cart or food van

  • You are doing regular home renovations, DIY tasks

  • You live or run a business in an area prone to power outages

  • You are a contractor who undertakes work on un-powered sites

Take the time to work out exactly what size generator you will need, so you can get the best bang for your buck - check out our simple Generator Buyer's Guide. This has a simple step by step example to help you get the right size generator for your application. Buy your own now rather than hire a generator.

Once you've worked out the size you need, explore our range of world-class generators for exceptional prices at My Generator.


DISCLAIMER* Please note, this advice is general in nature and we strongly recommend consulting the product manual and where relevant, a professional installer.

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