Employee using a forklift in a warehouse.

How Much Does a Forklift Cost? Financing for Forklifts

When it comes to outfitting your warehouse with a forklift or multiple forklifts, the question on every business owner’s mind is almost always the same: how much does a forklift cost? The truth is that the cost of a forklift can vary significantly depending on various factors, including the type of forklift you need and the features you’re looking for.

There are several financing options available for businesses looking to purchase forklifts, and the right option will depend on your specific needs and financial situation. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how much forklifts cost and how you can finance the purchase of one or more forklifts for your business.

What Is a Forklift For? 

A forklift is a lifting truck used to move materials, typically in a warehouse or construction site setting. Forklifts are available in various sizes and styles to suit different needs. For example, some forklifts are designed for indoor use, while others are better suited for outdoor use. Additionally, forklifts can be equipped with various attachments, such as forks or cages, to accommodate different materials.

Types of Forklifts

There are several types of forklifts, including electric, diesel, and gas-powered models. Electric forklifts are the most popular type of forklift, as they are more environmentally friendly than their gas-powered counterparts. However, electric forklifts typically have a shorter range than other types of forklifts and may not be well suited for businesses with large warehouses or construction sites.

Diesel forklifts are more powerful than electric models and can operate for longer periods of time without needing to be recharged. However, diesel forklifts are also more expensive than electric models. Gas-powered forklifts are the least popular type of forklift, as they are less environmentally friendly than electric or diesel models.

How Much Does a Forklift Cost?

The cost of a forklift varies depending on the type of forklift, the brand, the size, and the features you’re looking for. For example, a small electric forklift from a budget brand may cost as little as $15,000, while a large gas-powered forklift from a premium brand can cost upwards of $50,000.

Factors That Can Affect the Cost of a Forklift

Factors that can affect the cost of buying a forklift include:

The type of forklift you need: The cost of a forklift can vary significantly depending on whether you require a standard warehouse forklift, a rough-terrain forklift, or a specialized model for specific tasks like narrow-aisle or order picking. Specialized forklifts often come at a higher price due to their unique capabilities and potential maintenance costs.

The make and model: Different manufacturers and forklift models offer varying levels of durability, performance, and reliability. High-quality, well-known brands tend to command a premium price, while lesser-known brands or older models may be more budget-friendly.

The weight capacity and size: Forklifts come in a range of weight capacities and sizes to suit different lifting needs. A forklift with a higher weight capacity and larger size will typically cost more due to its increased capabilities and materials used in construction.

Gas vs. electric: Electric forklifts are generally more expensive upfront than their gas-powered counterparts. However, they often have lower operating costs over time, as they require less maintenance and have lower fuel expenses.

The features you’re looking for: Additional features such as advanced safety systems, ergonomic enhancements, or attachments like side-shifters and specialized forks can significantly impact the price of a forklift. Choose features that align with your specific operational requirements and budget constraints.

Whether you’re buying new or used: New forklifts come with a higher price tag compared to used ones. Consider your budget and the expected lifespan and performance needs of the forklift to determine whether a new or used option is more suitable.

Whether you’re financing the purchase: Financing a forklift can allow you to spread the cost over time, but keep in mind that interest rates, down payments, and the term length of the loan will affect the total cost. Shop around for favorable financing options to minimize long-term expenses.

The interest rate on your loan: The interest rate you secure for your forklift purchase can significantly impact the overall cost. A lower interest rate can result in substantial savings over the life of the loan, making it important to negotiate competitive financing terms.

The term length of your loan: The length of your loan can influence monthly payments and cost of ownership. While longer-term loans may have lower monthly payments, they can result in higher overall interest costs. Shorter loan terms often have higher monthly payments but may save you money in the long run

The down payment: The size of your down payment affects how much you need to finance. A larger down payment can reduce the loan amount, potentially leading to lower interest costs and a more manageable overall price for your forklift.

If you’re considering financing the purchase of a forklift, it’s important to compare interest rates and loan terms from multiple lenders to ensure you’re getting the best deal possible.

To give you an idea of how much you might need to spend for a forklift, here are the average forklift prices for some of the most popular brands:

  • Toyota: $20,000 – $40,000
  • Kion: $25,000 – $45,000
  • Komatsu: $30,000 – $50,000
  • Hyster-Yale: $35,000 – $55,000
  • Mitsubishi Logisnext: $40,000 – $60,000
  • Jungheinrich: $45,000 – $65,000
  • Anhui Heli: $50,000 – $70,000

These prices are only meant to serve as a rough guide. The best way to get an accurate estimate of how much you’ll need to spend on a forklift in upfront costs is to speak with a forklift dealer or retailer about the specific model you’re interested in.

Buying New vs. Used Forklifts

When it comes to purchasing a forklift, you have the option to buy new or buy used. There are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind before making your decision. Consider the list of pros and cons below:

Advantages of Buying New Forklifts

  • You’re the first owner, and you know how the forklift has been used
  • The forklift will likely come with a warranty
  • Newer models are often more energy-efficient than older models

Disadvantages of Buying New Forklifts

  • New forklifts typically have a higher sticker price than used models
  • New forklifts may not have all the features you’re looking for

Advantages of Buying Used Forklifts

  • Used equipment is often more affordable than new models
  • You may be able to find a used forklift with the specific features you’re looking for
  • Used forklifts often have a shorter lead time than new models

Disadvantages of Buying Used Forklifts

  • You don’t know how the forklift has been used previously
  • Used forklifts may not come with a warranty
  • Older models may not be as energy-efficient as newer models

How Much Does It Cost to Rent a Forklift?

The cost of renting a forklift can vary depending on several factors, including the type of forklift, rental duration, location, and additional services or features you require. Here is an overview of the factors that can affect the cost of renting a forklift:

Type of forklift: The rental price will differ based on the type of forklift you need. Standard warehouse forklifts are typically more affordable to rent compared to specialized or heavy-duty forklifts designed for specific tasks or environments.

Rental duration: Forklift rental rates are often calculated daily, weekly, or monthly. The longer you need the forklift, the more cost-effective it may be to rent it for an extended period. Some rental companies may offer discounts for longer-term rentals.

Location: Rental prices can vary by geographic location due to differences in demand, competition among rental companies, and regional economic factors. Urban areas may have higher rental rates than rural areas.

Forklift capacity and features: The specific capacity and features of the forklift you require will impact the rental cost. Forklifts with higher weight capacities or specialized attachments may come at a higher daily rate.

Maintenance and service fees: Some rental agreements include maintenance and service fees, while others may charge these separately. Ensure you understand the rental agreement’s terms to avoid unexpected maintenance and repair costs.

Insurance: You may need to purchase insurance coverage for the rented forklift. The cost of insurance can vary depending on the coverage type and the value of the forklift.

Delivery and pickup charges: If the rental company needs to transport the forklift to your location or pick it up after the rental period, there may be additional fees associated with delivery and pickup services.

Seasonal demand: Rental rates can fluctuate based on seasonal demand. During peak seasons, when many businesses require forklifts, prices may be higher due to increased demand.

Rental company policies: Different rental companies may have varying pricing structures and policies. It’s essential to compare quotes from multiple rental providers to find the best deal that meets your needs and budget.

To determine the exact cost of renting a forklift, it’s recommended to contact local forklift rental companies, provide them with your specific requirements, and request detailed quotes. This will allow you to make an informed decision based on your unique circumstances and budget.

Why Financing Forklifts Is the Better Choice

Financing is often the better choice for businesses when purchasing a forklift. Some of the benefits of financing include:

  • You can get the forklift you need without having to pay the full price upfront
  • You can spread the cost of the forklift over time
  • You can deduct the interest you pay on your loan from your taxes
  • You may be able to get a lower interest rate if you have good credit

When financing a forklift purchase, it’s important to compare interest rates and loan terms from multiple lenders to ensure you’re getting the best deal possible. The average interest rate for a business loan is between 5% and 10%. However, the interest rate you’ll qualify for will depend on several factors, including your credit score, the length of the loan, and the amount you’re borrowing.

If you’re looking for a flexible and affordable way to finance a forklift purchase, consider using the services of Charter Capital. We offer financing for all types of businesses, including startups and established businesses. A family-run business operating since 1977, we have been helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses for over 40 years. We offer heavy equipment financing assistance in amounts ranging from $10,000 to $1 million.

Contact us today to learn more about our services. We look forward to helping you start or grow your business.