Leasing or Buying Your Propane Tank – Is There a Right Decision

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Wrestling with the decision of whether you should be leasing or buying your propane tank? You’re not alone. There’s no universally right answer. Just like with the decision of whether to lease or buy your car, or lease an apartment or buy a home, your best option depends on your needs, your budget and your preferences. And like these latter decisions, it’s important to know all the advantages and disadvantages before you make your choice.

So, we’ve laid out the basics for you.

Leasing Your Propane Tank:

Advantages:

  • The supplier does the installation for you, which can save you the hassle of finding a company to install it. Many companies even include the tank’s installation costs within the rental contract.
  • When you lease, some companies, like Levco, will swap out your existing tank for free.
  • You don’t need to worry about maintenance. The supplier usually handles the repairs or other services you might need if your propane tank is not functioning properly. Because the tank belongs to them, they take responsibility for the safety and integrity of equipment.
  • With a lease, the propane company usually requires that refilling the tank be done on an automatic delivery schedule. That means they monitor your usage and how much fuel is left in the tank. Then they deliver propane when you need it. Not only does automatic delivery keep track of usage so you don’t run out of propane, but it provides an additional layer of safety and efficiency for your home, your family, or your business.
  • If you move to a new house, many propane companies will transfer the contract with you, provided the new location is still in their service area.

Disadvantages:

  • For the duration of the lease, you need to stay with the supplier who owns the tank. Federal and state regulations prevent another company from filling or repairing tanks they or their customers don’t own.
  • Many suppliers ask for long term contracts. And while you can leave at any time, there may be a penalty for unmet usage levels. Check the contract terms carefully. Some companies, like Levco, don’t lock customers into a long-term contract. Therefore, if you need to change suppliers for any reason, you pay a low tank removal fee only.
  • The leasing company also has the right to remove the tank from your property if contracted terms are not being met.
  • If you do want to change suppliers, you might be charged an early termination or a tank removal fee.
  • Propane suppliers charge either annual or monthly fees to lease a tank. This means you are responsible for these ongoing costs in addition to the cost of filling you’re the tank. However, many experts agree that the tank rental fee is usually more cost-effective than buying it outright.

Buying Your Propane Tank:

Advantages:

  • You can choose a tank from any manufacturer rather than being limited to tanks the leasing suppliers carry. This allows you to compare prices on both the tank and the installation costs.
  • You aren’t tied to a propane tank lease agreement.
  • There is no risk of the supplier taking back the propane tank in the case of a billing disagreement.
  • You don’t have to worry lease termination fees or tank removal fees.
  • You can shop around for the best propane prices and take advantage of special pricing promotions offered from time to time.
  • Not only can you choose your propane supplier, but you can also choose whether you want automatic deliveries for peace of mind and safety or will call deliveries.
  • There are no minimum consumption rates.  When leasing, some companies set a minimum amount of consumption or minimum number of connected appliances to maintain a standard usage rate. Buying a tank gives you the freedom to consume as little or as much as you want.
  • If your tank is in good condition and doesn’t need a lot of repairs, you might save money by paying upfront and skipping the monthly rental payments.

Disadvantages:

  • Propane tanks can be an expensive purchase.  For example, a 120-gallon propane tank above ground can cost about $600-$900. And that estimate DOESN’T INCLUDE additional installation costs, like gas lines, piping, digging a hole or pouring a concrete slab.
  • You may spend more money in the long run-on maintenance costs.  These include annual inspections, as well as repairs to the tank, lines that are chewed up by animals or lawn equipment, and cleaning up possible leaks.
  • You need to monitor the safety and integrity of the tank yourself. While your delivery company will usually monitor the tank’s fuel gauge so it doesn’t fall below the 20% level, you are responsible for making sure the tank, lines and pipes aren’t dented, corroded, damaged or leaking.

You Make the Decision!

The decision on leasing or buying your propane tank depends on your needs and circumstances. It all boils down to whether you prefer: to have a higher expenditure up front, take care of your own maintenance and repairs, and be able to shop around for suppliers; OR to space your payments out over time and let the experts be responsible for the efficiency and integrity of the equipment. While the answer is a matter of personal preference, the more important decision is choosing the right propane company.

When you lease a propane tank from Levco, you get a maintenance free experience, less up-front costs, and the peace of mind of knowing we are keeping an eye on not only your usage, but the tank as well.

Rely On the Experts at Levco

Levco’s team is uniquely positioned to help propane users throughout southwestern Connecticut with all their propane installation and delivery needs. Whether it’s deciding whether to lease or buy, choosing the right tank size, you can trust Levco.

Levco is a leader in helping customers understand and adhere to industry standards for the safe LP-Gas storage, handling, transportation, and use of propane. Give us a call at (203) 533-8249 or contact us today!

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