Posted by Nurul Basher on

  • Whether you’re a self-employed engineer or the buyer at a major construction company, it’s a common question: is it better to buy or hire?

    We discussed the particular advantages of the 130% capital allowance for buying survey equipment in a previous blog, but as a company that has been hiring out equipment all over the South East since 1997, we feel it would be remiss not to mention some of the great advantages to hiring.

    It will always be a personal choice depending on a range of factors but ultimately it usually boils down to three variables: cost, how much you’ll use it, and whether you can afford to buy it.

    With that in mind, we’ve put together some questions to ask yourself along with case studies of how situations have worked out for our customers:

    1. How Often Will You Use This Equipment?

    If it’s just a two-week job, why spend out on something you might never use again? Hiring is really useful for short-term requirements, and it saves you having to store and pay for upkeep on kit that’s just gathering dust.

    We have a client that works in heritage and needs to monitor his building twice a year with a laser scanner. For him, hiring is perfect because it’s delivered for the task and collected, with zero hassle and thoughts about having to look after such an expensive piece of kit.

    2. What Is Your Budget?

    With so many other financial outlays in your life and business, it can make sense to avoid having to pay a lot of cash upfront for surveying equipment. When hiring from us, you can enjoy 30-day payment terms subject to credit checks, allowing you to get to work without the pressure on your cashflow.

    If you do decide buying your surveying equipment is best, we can offer leasing arrangements to spread the cost through our partners Lattitude Leasing. For one self-employed engineer, this was the perfect arrangement - he was able to enjoy the cost saving of buying his Zoom90 robotic total station upfront, whilst still spreading the payments for it over a three-year period.

    3. Are You Able To Maintain The Product Effectively?

    Rotating lasers, pipe lasers, total stations, cable locators and many other items need to be calibrated annually. Some safety items will need to be serviced every six-months. If you’re not sure, feel free to enquire about your service requirements.

    This is often written into insurance requirements and work plans issued by contractors. If you hire from us, your equipment will be delivered fully calibrated with a certificate to prove this. Recently, I got a panicked call from a concrete frame foreman as his rotating laser had been smashed and he was expecting a concrete pour an hour later. We got him a replacement within the hour. Obviously, we can only do what’s logistically possible, but the advantage of dealing with an independent company like Surveytech is that we really care about our customers and our reputation.

    Hiring takes the hassle out of service, and removes the risk of a large repair bill for something that is out of warranty (though you will still be liable if you damage the equipment)


    At Surveytech, we offer a full range of equipment, with free demonstration and technical support. And if you’re in London and the Southeast, delivery is free too. Setting up an account is easy, so if you need to get to work, without the hassle - get in touch today.

    Here Are The Big Advantages Of Hiring:

    • Spread the cost and pay monthly on 30-day terms.
    • No need to worry about service and maintenance.
    • Always work with the latest technology - and try before you buy.
    • Rapid replacement in case of item breakdown.
    • Totally flexible - if you find it’s not useful, call us to collect it!

    But Hiring Does Have Some Downsides:

    • Over a long period of time, you’ll pay as much or more than buying.
    • At the end of the day, the equipment is returned to us.


    Take the plunge and it might just turn out to be the best thing for you! Whether it’s Ground Penetrating Radar or a GNSS receiver, if it’s something you’re making heavy use of, you should definitely consider making that big purchase.

    Advantages Of Buying

    • Over a long period, it’ll save you money.
    • At the end of the job, you can sell your kit, part exchange it or whatever, it’s yours!
    • You have your surveying equipment when you need it, for small or large jobs in the future.

    Disadvantages of Buying

    • You’re paying out more upfront, often at the beginning of your contract before the money has started coming in.
    • You’ll need to make sure it’s serviced and maintained.
    • If you find that it’s not needed, you’ll have to store it somewhere safely.

    Whatever you decide, we offer all our customers advice and support. Most of our clients will make use of a combination of hiring and buying so that they can manage their finances effectively whilst still enjoying the flexibility to work effectively. Fundamentally, we just want to help you to get the job done efficiently, and that will depend on the task and your circumstances. If you want to weigh up the options, get a quote today!

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