August 30, 2020

Should You Buy or Lease Your Propane Tank?

When it comes to using propane in your home, you have the option to either buy or lease your propane tank. Like most choices, there are pros and cons that should be taken into consideration before you make your decision.

The most common questions customers have are:

  • What is the cost to buy the tank vs. rent – what is the break-even point when you will have paid as much to rent it vs. buy it?
  • What are the terms of the lease contract?
  • Will I be tied to buying propane from the company that owns the tank?

Buying your propane tank

 The price of the tank will typically include the price of all the regulators, fittings, gas, and other installation related parts. Many companies will not sell and install a tank without filling it with propane.

The tank dealer will most likely not sell a tank to an unlicensed homeowner to install themselves. They will either want to do the installation themselves or ensure that you have a licensed contractor doing the work. One of the biggest advantages of buying and owning the tank is that the customer can buy propane from whatever gas company they choose.

You also need to consider:

  • The size of the tank you need to purchase and what that cost will be
  • Financing may or may not be available so you may have to pay for the tank in full
  • Warranty – does the tank and any parts have any warranty from the propane company?
  • It can be an advantage when selling your home since the new owner won’t be stuck with a leased tank and a designated propane company
  • You will be responsible for maintaining the tank

 Leasing your propane tank

 Leasing your propane tank can be a great option but there are some things you’ll need to determine beforehand. Some companies require a certain minimum annual usage in order to lease you a tank, so if you only use it for a pool heater, they may not want to leave a tank on your property all year long for such low usage. You may also need to pass a credit check beforehand.

You may still have to pay installation fees if you need to have piping, fittings, parts, and connections installed – these cannot be rented and will be required to be purchased.

You also need to consider:

  • The propane company will be responsible for any maintenance and service of the tank
  • All your propane must be purchased by the company who owns the tank
  • You may have to pay a rental/leasing fee for the tank, which could be a one-time fee or annually.
  • The propane company may want to inspect the tank annually
  • When you move, the new owners will be tied to the propane company, unless they choose to lease a tank from a new company or buy their own.

When it comes to choosing the right option for your home, make sure to look at both options carefully. If being able to change suppliers whenever you want, purchasing a tank may be a better option for you. If you prefer a hands-off approach where the maintenance and service are handled by the propane company, then leasing may be your best option.

Have questions? Give us a call – we’re here to help!

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