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Propane Tank: Lease or Buy?

If your home uses propane and you’re trying to decide if you should lease or buy your propane tank, there are a few facts about each option that may help you decide. What’s right for one homeowner may not be right for another, and your financial situation and preferences are an important part of the decision. Here’s a quick overview of leasing versus buying to help you make the best choice.

Leasing Your Propane Tank

Leasing is an option that can provide you with a manageable, predictable expense that you can factor into your monthly budget. One of the features of leasing that customers typically find appealing is that the propane company maintains the tank, so you don’t have to worry about unexpected expenses for repairs, replacing the tank at the end of its lifecycle, or having the tank inspected. It is important to note, however, that related piping, parts, and other components are purchased by the homeowner and are not part of the lease agreement.

When you lease a propane tank, you are typically required to purchase your propane from the company that owns the tank, and there is usually a minimum annual usage amount to qualify. So, if you’re the kind of person who likes to shop around for the best price and shift providers frequently, leasing is probably not the best choice for you. You should be aware, however, that price shopping is not the best strategy for selecting a propane provider. The lowest price can come with hidden fees, and it does not guarantee the best service.

Some propane companies may also require you to sign up for automatic delivery while you’re leasing their tank. Automatic delivery means you don’t have to monitor your propane supply or schedule delivery when your tank is running low. Instead, your provider uses historical data on your home’s propane usage along with weather conditions and other factors that affect your consumption to determine optimum times for delivery.

Buying Your Propane Tank

When you buy a propane tank, you only pay a one-time fee to purchase the tank. There is no ongoing charge, and you have complete control over who you select to provide your propane. The downside is that you also have complete responsibility for any maintenance or repairs that are required to keep the tank operating safely and efficiently.

If you own your own tank, you can also paint it any color you wish. For some homeowners with above-ground tanks, this is a great benefit because they are able to change the color of the tank to match their home or blend with its surroundings. You can also choose to bury your tank underground and out of sight. Owning is also an added convenience when you sell your home, as the tank is part of the sale of the property and there is no tank return involved or leasing contract to resolve.

If you still need help deciding if you should lease or buy your propane tank, contact a trusted advisor at HB McClure at 717-232-HEAT (4328) or request an appointment online.

Leasing vs. Owning

  Leasing Owning
Payment Small, ongoing monthly fee Large, one-time payment
Responsibility for maintenance and repairs Propane company You
Tank appearance/color As is, can’t change Paint or bury underground
Propane provider Same as tank provider Choose any provider you wish
Propane usage Minimum annual amount/auto delivery typically required No minimum amount/choose any delivery option