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Looking to Buy a Propane Tank for Your Home? Here’s Why You Should Probably Rent Instead

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Owning vs. Renting your Propane Tank: 4 Reasons to Rent

If you’re weighing the pros and cons of renting versus owning a propane tank, you might be in one of two situations:

You’ve just switched to propane and are considering your tank options.

You’ve just moved into a new home, and the property includes a propane tank. (In which case you should check out our propane moving guide here).

Even if your situation is a little different, the questions are likely the same: How do I buy a propane tank? How much will a propane tank cost? What about the cost of installation?

Numerous factors influence the cost of purchasing a propane tank: the tank size, your location, availability, logistics of installation, and others. But in our experience, buying a tank is generally the less economical choice overall. Here are four reasons that propane tank rental could become your preferred choice, too.

  1.  Renting a propane tank may be more convenient and manageable than owning one. While the day-to-day upkeep of a propane tank is similar whether you rent or own, at the end of the day, you are responsible for keeping the tank you own in good working order. When you rent or lease, your propane supplier handles maintenance and repairs for you.
  2. Renting a propane tank limits your liability. Much like the convenience factor, when you own a tank, you assume full responsibility for insurance, compliance with safety regulations, and any accidents that might occur. When you rent, the propane company owns the equipment — and they assume the risk associated with that ownership. They handle insurance, compliance, and safety. (Your supplier will conduct a standard safety inspection with every tank refill. Learn more about tank ownership here.)
  3.  Renting generally costs less up front than owning a tank. With many of the residential tanks we sell, the costs of purchase and installation combined start around $2,000. After that, you pay for additional periodic refueling (tank owners can sometimes shop around and find lower prices for this), and tank maintenance. With a rental, installation costs start at $250, plus a $100 annual rental fee. With initial purchase and installation costs at the lowest starting fees, it could take about 17 years for a propane tank purchase to “pay for itself” compared with renting. (You can always contact us for a personalized quote.)
  4. A propane tank is not always viewed as an asset. When you buy a propane tank and have it installed on your property, it technically becomes an asset. Especially if you keep it in excellent condition, its value will likely be added to the home’s sale price should you ever decide to move (assuming you leave the tank behind). However, propane tank ownership is not on every prospective homebuyer’s wishlist. You’ll have to be prepared for long-term scenarios such as negotiating on price or figuring out how to move with or sell your tank.

When is it definitely better (in our opinion) to own a propane tank?

Basically, if you’re grandfathered in. If you’ve just moved, and the previous homeowners owned their propane tank, then the ownership would likely have been transferred to you with the rest of the property. Just check your purchase agreement and closing documents to make sure, although by this time you’ve likely already negotiated over the tank, as well as any fuel remaining in it. If that’s the case, you’ll simply contact the propane supplier that most recently filled the tank. The fueling service may be under contract, or you may be able to shop around for other supplier options. Ideally, you can simply transfer the account information and schedule refills.

Of course, the choice is ultimately up to you. But whether you’re a new mover or a new propane customer, it’s hard to beat the rental route for cost, convenience, and peace of mind.


Still have questions? Talk to an AmeriGas expert today.