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Should I Rent or Purchase a Shipping Container?

Shipping containers can be used in a large array of transport and storage applications. Containers can also be converted into bespoke structures like eco-friendly homes and cost-effective office space. When it comes to acquiring a shipping container, one of the most important decisions you will make is whether to purchase or hire a container. Both options have advantages and disadvantages and the best choice for you will depend on your individual circumstances. You should consider various factors when deciding whether to rent or buy a container. This includes your available budget, your intended use and the period that you will require a container. To help you make the right decision, we’ve put together a guide on everything you need to know about purchasing or hiring a shipping container.

Purchasing a shipping container

Buying a shipping container is often the best option if you are going to need the container for an extended period or want to make substantial modifications to the container. We offer both new and used shipping containers for sale in various sizes including 10ft, 20ft and 40ft containers. You also have the option to purchase a specialised container intended for specialised applications. For instance, open-top containers can be used to transport over-height dry cargo. Let’s look at some of the key advantages and disadvantages of purchasing a shipping container.


  • When you purchase a shipping container, you can modify it to meet your exact requirements. For instance, you can add shelving units or install extra insulation.
  • Purchasing a shipping container is generally more cost-effective if you require long term or permanent use of a container.
  • You have the potential to make most of your money back when you sell the container.


  • Buying a shipping container outright can be a large expense.
  • You will be required to dispose of your shipping container when you are finished with it. This can be labour-intensive and expensive.

Renting a shipping container

If you only need a shipping container for a short period, then renting a container may be a more cost-effective option. Renting a shipping container means that you can use a container for your shipping, storage or conversion needs, and then return it when you are done. We offer containers for hire in many sizes including compact 10ft containers and larger 20ft and 40ft containers. This means that you only need to pay for the container while you are using it. Here are some of the main advantages and disadvantages of renting a shipping container.


  • Renting a shipping container is cheaper if you only require a container short term. For example, if you are organising a one-off event or are renovating your home and require secure space to store belongings.
  • You simply arrange for the container company to collect your shipping container when you have finished using it.


  • It is unlikely that you will be able to modify a rented shipping container. That said, many rentals come pre-modified with features like shelves.
  • Renting a shipping container can work out more expensive if you use it long term. Plus, you will get no money back when you have finished using it.

Find out more about shipping containers

We understand that our customers have different needs when it comes to shipping containers, which is why we offer containers for both sale and hire. We are experts in shipping container hire and purchase and have been providing containers to individuals and businesses across the UK for many years. We will take the time to discuss your container requirements and find the most suitable options for you. You can contact our specialist team for more information on shipping containers and to get advice on whether buying or renting would be right for you.

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0800 1954 538