June 18 2024 0Comment
Row of portable office containers in a storage lot under a cloudy sky.

Hiring vs Buying Portable Offices: Which is better?

Choosing between buying and hiring a portable office involves weighing immediate benefits against long-term gains. This decision is crucial for businesses looking to optimise their operational efficiency and budget management. 

At Instant Transportable Offices, we understand the importance of choosing the right agreement for your workplace needs. In this blog, we’ll guide you through the decision-making process to determine whether buying or hiring a portable office is the better choice for your business.


Factors to Consider Before Deciding

Duration & Cost Efficiency

Evaluate the anticipated duration of use and assess whether the cost implications align better with buying or hiring. Consider both the immediate financial outlay and the long-term cost benefits.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • How long do you anticipate needing the portable office?
      • If the need is short-term, renting may be more cost-effective.
  • What are the financial implications for your budget right now and in the future?
      • Purchasing has a higher initial cost compared to renting. At Instant Transportable Offices, we offer flexible purchasing options, including instalment plans to ease the upfront financial burden.

Scalability & Adaptability

Reflect on your company’s future needs. Will your business expand or shift directions? Choosing a flexible solution that accommodates growth or changes is crucial.

Question to ask yourself:

  • Does your business plan include expanding or downsizing in the near future?
      • If expansion is planned, a portable office that allows for easy scaling up might be necessary. For downsizing, consider a portable office setup that can be adjusted or relocated cost-effectively.

Practicality & Management

Analyse the practical aspects, such as the ease of installation, ongoing maintenance, and the logistics of space management. Determine which option minimises hassle and maximises efficiency for your operations.

Question to ask yourself:

  • How quickly do you need the portable office to be operational?
    • While we provide immediate setup options for both hiring and buying, please note that any modifications requested for purchased offices might extend the setup time.


Advantages of Buying a Portable Office

Long-Term Investment

Buying a portable office is a long-term investment that can be more cost-effective over time. Ownership eliminates the uncertainty of unfixed rental rates and provides stability without the constraints of lease terms. This can be especially beneficial for businesses that plan to use the office for an extended period.


Owning a portable office gives you the freedom to modify the space to meet your specific business needs without restrictions often imposed by rental agreements. From the layout to the interior finishes, you can tailor every aspect to suit your operations and brand identity.

Asset Value / Ownership

Purchasing a portable office contributes to your business assets. This ownership not only adds tangible value to your company but also provides the flexibility to sell the office if your business model changes or you no longer need it, potentially recovering part of your investment.


Disadvantages of Buying a Portable Office

Long portable office container with security window bars, situated in an outdoor lot.

Initial Investment

The upfront costs of purchasing a portable office can be substantial. This initial investment might be a significant barrier, especially for startups or small businesses with limited capital. It requires a larger sum of money upfront compared to the spread-out cost of renting.

Ongoing Upkeep

Our portable offices typically require minimal maintenance, as they are delivered in pristine condition. However, should any maintenance be necessary, the buyer is responsible for managing and funding all upkeep themselves. This includes any repairs or modifications needed over the lifetime of the office.


When you own a portable office, you also need to consider the logistics of where it will be stored when not in use. This can pose a challenge if your business lacks sufficient space or if the office is only used seasonally, leading to additional costs for storage and security.

Advantages of Hiring a Portable Office

Try Before You Buy

Hiring a portable office provides the opportunity to test the solution before making a long-term commitment. This approach ensures that the office meets your specific needs without the immediate financial burden of a purchase. At Instant Transportable Offices, we also offer flexible hire-to-buy plans that allow you to transition from renting to owning, giving you time to assess the office’s suitability for your operations before finalising your investment.

Lower Initial Costs

Hiring a portable office significantly reduces initial costs compared to purchasing. This option is ideal for businesses looking to minimise upfront investment while still gaining access to a fully functional office space. It allows financial flexibility and frees up capital for other business-critical investments or operational costs.

Short-Term Needs

Hiring is particularly advantageous for businesses with short-term requirements. Whether you need a temporary headquarters during construction, a project-specific office, or additional space for a limited period, renting provides a practical and cost-effective solution. This flexibility ensures you only pay for the office when you need it, avoiding the long-term financial commitments associated with buying.


Disadvantages of Hiring a Portable Office


Recurring Costs

While hiring a portable office may require less initial investment, it involves recurring rental fees. Over time, these costs can accumulate, especially if the rental period extends longer than anticipated. This can make hiring more expensive in the long run compared to purchasing, particularly for those with ongoing needs.

Limited Modifications

When you rent a portable office, the scope for modifications is often limited. Rental agreements typically restrict the extent of changes that can be made, meaning you may not be able to tailor the space exactly to your requirements. This can be a significant disadvantage for companies needing specific modifications.

No equity

Renting provides a perfect solution for temporary space needs, but it does not result in ownership of the portable office. Consequently, there is no equity built over time, and no potential for investment returns. Once the rental lease is up, the financial investment does not contribute to long-term asset accumulation for your business.


Deciding on Your Portable Office Solution

Choosing between hiring and buying a portable office depends on your specific business needs, financial situation, and long-term objectives. Each option offers distinct advantages and comes with its own set of drawbacks. If you’re looking for a portable office for sale or hire in Perth, Instant Transportable Offices is here to help. With options available for delivery WA-wide, we ensure that you receive the best service tailored to your needs.

Contact us today at 08 9406 6600 to discuss your portable office requirements and explore our extensive range of solutions.




Managing Director at Instant Sea Containers

Scott Rawson is the Managing Director of Instant Products Group, a specialist group of companies that offer portable building solutions, including sea containers, transportable offices, and portable sanitation products. With more than 20 years of experience in various management positions and a finalist in the WA Business News 40 under 40 awards in 2013, Scott is a highly motivated entrepreneur that has a passion for designing products to suit the needs of individual markets.

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