Five Benefits of Buying a Used Generator

Five Benefits of Buying a Used Generator

July 30, 2017

Generators are used by facilities in industries as varied as hospitality to technology to medical. If a business loses power, it can lose a significant amount of money — not only the cost of getting the business back up and running, but also the cost of downtime. For example, according to a study by the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of data center downtime across industries was approximately $7,900 per minute.

If your company is one of the many that’s in the market for a generator to help prevent costly downtime, you should consider buying a used generator. Used equipment can be in excellent condition with little wear, especially when it becomes available due to an upgrade or change in product. When you’re trying to decide whether to buy new or used, consider these benefits of purchasing a used generator.


The first (and obvious) benefit is price. Used generators cost significantly less than new ones, simply because they are pre-owned. Think of how a new car loses value the minute it’s driven off the lot — generators face a similar loss in value once they’ve been put into use. Used generators often cost 40%-60% less than the new version, even if they’ve only been used for a short period of time, with low hours.


If you decide to sell your generator at any point, you’ll get much more of your money back out of it if you buy used. The initial depreciation, over a 12-month period, is mitigated when you buy a generator that’s at least a couple of years old. Depreciation on generators can be as high as 40% the first year, so a used asset is often better than a new one when you take into account the cost to acquire it.


When you purchase a new generator, you’ll typically have to wait several weeks at a minimum for fulfillment. Many companies are now waiting months between placing and order and delivery, due to demand. Used generators, on the other hand, are immediately available. If your need is time-sensitive, this availability is a serious selling point.


Again, similar to a car purchase, the cost of insuring a used generator is typically lower than the cost of insuring a new one. Insurance companies usually base premiums on the equipment’s replacement cost. Since it’s less expensive to replace a used generator than it is a new one, the insurance is often less expensive as well.


A significant amount of paperwork is required when buying a new generator, and you can reduce the hassle when buying used. You’ll still need to complete some paperwork, of course, but the burden will be reduced.


There are three main things to look at when you’re thinking about buying a used generator: age/hours, the manufacturer, and the seller.


Common sense will tell you that an older generator with a lot of hours on it will be less valuable than a newer one with fewer hours. You’ll want to research the specific type of generator and manufacturer to make sure the generator you’re considering has enough life left in it for what you need. This information is pretty easy to find, since many generators have an odometer read-out.

It’s also helpful to learn what the generator was used for. A generator that was used primarily as backup will be more valuable than one used as a primary power source.


As with any product, some manufacturers are better than others. Look for brands that have a strong reputation for quality products that hold their value and last over time. You’ll not only gain peace of mind, but you’ll also be able to find replacement parts more easily.


The seller is one of the most important factors to consider. Does the seller inspect and guarantee their equipment? Do they test the generators before offering them for sale? Do they use qualified experts for refurbishing? Do they have a track record of excellent customer service in case something goes wrong?

A used generator can be a smart buy for any facility. The key is to do your research to make sure you know what you need to about the equipment and about the company selling it to you.

Questions about used generators? Give us a call at 864.249.0943! We’re happy to help.

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