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Propane Tank Purchase or Rental

Prospective propane customers often have the option of either buying or leasing a propane tank for their needs. There are pros and cons for both the rental and purchase of propane tanks that should be taken into consideration when deciding between buying a tank or leasing one. Additionally, propane companies have differing policies that factor into the decision of whether to rent or buy. There are obviously too many factors involved with tank rental versus purchase while individual circumstances vary widely but the overall process is outlined here and will hopefully help with your decision.

Buying a Propane Tank - New Tank Purchase

Purchasing a propane tank is more common than renting one in some parts of the country. A propane tank purchase price will generally include the piping from the tank to the house as well as all regulators, fittings, gas and other installation related parts. These costs associated with a tank purchase are common throughout the propane industry and are explained to customers prior to the installation. Most companies will not sell and install a tank without filling it with propane. Nor will a dealer sell a tank to an unlicensed individual for installation by themselves. If choosing to buy, the gas company selling the tank will likely have financing available for qualified buyers or the tank can be paid for at the time of installation. One of the primary advantages of buying and owning the tank is that the customer can buy propane from whatever gas company they choose. Other issues to consider with buying a propane tank:

  • Tank financing is often available with approved credit with one year terms.
  • Warranty on tank, parts and labor should be discussed with the propane company prior to purchase.
  • Propane prices sometimes differ for customers that own their own tank.
  • Selling your home doesn't burden the next owner with acquiring propane service as the tank is part of the sale.

Propane Tank Rental - Leasing a Tank

Leasing a propane tank is an option that many potential customers have, provided they meet certain requirements. Many propane companies require a minimum annual propane usage, a certain number of appliances be on propane or total BTU load is at or above a minimum threshold. For example, a company may require three or more propane appliances in order to lease a tank but standards such as these vary widely by company and by region. Also, propane tanks are generally leased to credit worthy applicants so expect the propane company to perform a credit check prior to approval. Know that all piping, fittings, parts and connections are purchased by the customer and cannot be rented. Several things to think about if renting a tank is an option:

  • Company owned tanks are maintained by the propane company so any repairs to the tank will generally be taken care of by the propane company.
  • All propane must be purchased from the company that owns the tank. Buying gas from another company will likely result in the termination of the tank lease.
  • Most propane companies require that rental tanks are filled by scheduled delivery (automatic filling) which is much safer and protective of the customer.
  • Propane companies pay very close attention to their lease tanks for their customers' protection as well as their own.
  • Lease tank contracts often give the propane company the legal right to enter property to inspect the tank.
  • Moving to a new home will require you to notify your propane company of your relocation.

All in all, the differences between buying a propane tank outright and leasing one boil down to the maintenance of the tank and who is responsible for the repair cost. Also see Choosing a Propane Company