Once you’ve decided to activate a mobile unit for your marketing or industrial needs, there are a number of important decisions that you have to make in order to ensure that your activation works out exactly as envisioned. One of these vital decisions is whether to lease or buy the vehicles you’ll be using for your campaign.
There’s no one size fits all answer to this question and each organization must weigh the pros and cons based on the needs and parameters of their campaign. Some of the things to consider include the length of the activation, whether you plan on hosting any follow-up campaigns, and your company’s capacity to store and maintain any vehicles.
In order to make these decisions you must first decide the long-term goals you want to achieve with your campaign. It will be difficult to decide which option to choose if you don’t know what you want to achieve with it. For instance, a goal that requires multiple tours or an extended tour may influence your decision, so it’s important to plan this out in advance.
With this in mind, let’s examine some reasons to (and to not) buy or lease your next industrial or marketing vehicle.
When to Buy:
1. You’re planning a long-term campaign or will re-use the vehicle.
Financially, it makes more sense to buy a vehicle if you plan on using it over a long period of time because you will likely spend less money to buy it outright than to lease it on a month-by-month basis. This breakeven point will vary depending on the vehicle being used, the company you buy it from, the amount of time you plan on using it, and a number of other factors, so it is something you should discuss with your team and the seller before spending more money than you need to.
In addition, it might be worthwhile to develop an idea of what your long-term plans are, so you can assess whether you will need to use a similar vehicle for any future activations. It doesn’t always make sense to use the same vehicle for every tour, but if you have the resources available to maintain and store it, buying a vehicle to reuse may save you money in the long run.
When to lease:
1. You don’t have space to store the vehicle when not in use.
This is a huge factor that many people may forget to consider when deciding whether to buy or lease a vehicle. There may be a period of months or years between experiential tours and if you don’t have a convenient and safe place to store a truck or trailer during this time, you may end up paying much more than you intended to in storage fees, weather-related repairs, or other unexpected expenses. Leasing frees you of this hassle by allowing you to give the vehicle back at the end of your tour, where it is then the owner’s responsibility.
2. You’d prefer to hand off the maintenance to someone else.
Another often overlooked element to consider is the effort needed maintain vehicles. Not only will fees that arise from this cost your company money, but it will also require your staff to take the time and effort to deal with these issues. When you lease a vehicle, you don't have to worry about servicing it post-tour, it simply needs to be returned to the seller. Craftsmen Industries will help you manage on-the-road service needs for our lease units to alleviate the stress on you.
3. Your vehicle or trailer needs will differ across different campaigns.
Sometimes, you have big ideas that just can’t be expressed the right way through the same vehicle or trailer that you used during your last experiential marketing campaign. Different campaigns can require different settings, layouts, or venues so you may not want to invest a large amount of money into buying a vehicle that you can’t be sure will fit your needs a few years down the road. In this case, leasing a vehicle that fits your needs now will allow you to meet your set goals for your industrial or marketing activation without compromise due to concerns about the versatility of the vehicle.
4. You need a quicker turnaround.
Our lease units are ready now to be customized with structural and branded vehicle customization elements such as interior displays, seating, wall finishes, flooring, interior and exterior graphics, paint, signage, custom printed vinyl wrap, A/V technology, and more that will make any vehicle look like it was made specifically for your company. Simple customization can usually be added within a matter of 4 to 10 weeks, depending on the unit, which allows you to have it on the road in time for your event.
5. You have a stricter budget.
In addition to factors like storage and maintenance costs, leasing is often the most cost-effective option simply because you’re only paying for the amount of time that you plan on using the unit. For relatively short-term campaigns, it just wouldn’t make sense to spend a large amount of money to buy a vehicle that you don’t have any plans to use once the tour is over. Ultimately, this is what most of the decision on whether to lease or buy boils down to. For companies with short term goals or smaller budgets for their experiential marketing campaign, leasing fits their needs without putting them in a difficult financial situation.