Why Renting a Trailer is the Better Option for Now
Updated: Aug 24, 2022
Supply shortages have created an imbalance of trailer demand and supply which is the primary reason why renting a trailer is currently the best option.
If you were to order a trailer at the end of 2021, consider yourself lucky if you get it by the end of the first half of 2022. That's right. Supply shortages have backed up trailer supply to the point where Great Dane, Hyundai, Vanguard and other trailer manafacturers are quoting delivery times 6-8 months after the order date.
That is just one part of the story. The other part is that the purchase price of a trailer is double what it used to be just a little over a year ago. Back in mid to late 2020, the purchase price of a new trailer would be somewhere around $30,000. Now, trailer prices have hit stratospheric heights, going for above $60,000 for a new trailer. Unsurprisingly, the cost of buying a used trailer has skyrocketed as well since new trailers take so long to be delivered.
Why Renting is the Best Option for Now
Given that buying a new trailer will mean a minimum of a 6-month waiting period and will cost over $60,000, renting a trailer is simply the better option at the moment.
Let's take dry van trailers as an example. The current industry trailer rental rates are between $250-$350 per week. This roughly translates to an annual trailer cost between $13,000 and $18,000. At this rate, it would take 4-5 years before the amount spent on a new trailer equals the amount spend in trailer rental fees.
In conclusion, renting a trailer will cost far less in the short term than buying one. Combined with the long term uncertainty of what will happen to the trailer market once supply catches up with demand, it is the safer option to rent a trailer for now. It is reasonable to say that once supply catches up with demand, the trailer market will crash leading to trailers being sold for substantially less money than they were originally bought for. Perhaps that will be the perfect time to buy a trailer, but for now, renting a trailer is the far better option.