Purchasing Options for Mobile Offices: Renting vs. Buying, Used vs. New

When you need mobile and temporary office space, classrooms or storage, you will find a lot of products aiming to meet your needs. The same is true when it comes to the choice between purchasing and renting. Renting and buying each have their good points. We’ll discuss both. Afterward, we’ll examine the benefits of used vs. new structures.

Renting vs. Buying

When you’re faced with the choice between renting or buying, it’s important to ask yourself about your use patterns, how long you’ll need the space, and more. Here are a few questions to help you get started.

  • How long will I need my facility? Will it be long-term? A purchase or a lease-to-own might work best. Short-term? A standard rental/lease option might be a good fit.
  • How much money will I have to put into a purchase initially? Would a lease/rental or a lease-to-own save more money?
  • Will I need these facilities for other uses down the road? Will they come in handy at your other locations, for example?
  • For renters and leasers, you’ll likely be dealing with a mix of storage, removal, and relocation – plus additional fees for those services. In order to avoid these issues, you might prefer to own the facility.

Here is a quick look at two forms of leasing (short- and long-term) and how they compare to buying a facility outright.

Operating Lease

This is an extended rental option, cheaper than purchasing a facility.

  • Monthly bills will typically be lower, depending on the type of facility you’re working with, as well as the length of your lease.
  • This lower cost gives you a great deal of flexibility.
  • The lease terms usually run from 12 to 60 months.
  • Many other options are also available.

While longer-term (finance) leases can help you save money, shorter-term (operating) leases give you flexibility when conditions change unexpectedly, such as when you don’t know how long you’ll need the facility, if you discover you need swing space during construction or renovation, or when the number of personnel or customers changes rapidly.

Finance or Capital Lease

This second option is otherwise known as leasing to own. The lease term tends to run anywhere from 6 to 72 months. The shorter-term operating lease enables you to use the facility without needing a lot of cash up front, as you would if you were buying it outright. A longer-term finance lease, on the other hand, has lower monthly payments allowing you to save money.

Used vs. New

It’s also important to understand how used mobile solutions compare with brand-new facilities.


Used facilities can be available very quickly, providing just-in-time extra space during construction or renovation or when emergencies displace workers or students.

  • Used facilities can help you save both time and money.
  • Used facilities can normally be refurbished to look new, giving you cost savings, flexibility, and functionality all rolled into one.
  • Like new facilities, used ones can be a great way to go green, as they are relocatable and reusable. They can also help cut down on consumer waste, as well as reducing wasteful and harmful standard construction processes.
  • Also like their new counterparts, used buildings can do duty as swing or expansion space.



New facilities initially require a longer construction process, making it possible for you to customize almost every detail of the facility, from size, shape, and add-ons to skirting, HVAC, and more. You pay more, but your structure ends up beautiful and unblemished while customized to your exact specifications. New facilities can serve either short-term or long-term needs, too.
Much like used facilities, many new mobile solutions offer

  • green construction
  • flexible financing
  • faster construction and delivery than with standard construction
  • lower costs and quality materials

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