So you want to purchase a used forklift? How do you know you are getting a good price from the dealer? Is that forklift you are considering buying overpriced?
The prices of forklifts depend on several factors such as the brand, model, engine type, capacity, tires, and accessories included. For used forklifts, age and condition must also be taken into account.
Scroll down to learn about the factors that affect forklift prices, and to get an idea of how much you should be paying.
New Forklift Price
How much does a forklift cost? The prices vary depending on several factors which we will explore shortly. Here are some approximate costs to give you an idea of the price you can expect to pay for a brand new forklift.
New standard capacity electric forklifts (battery and charger included):
3,000 lb capacity costs $25,000 to $30,000.
5,000 lb capacity costs $35,000 to $40,000.
New cushion tire forklifts:
3,000 lb capacity costs $19,000 to $22,000.
5,000 lb capacity costs $24,000 to $30,000.
10,000 lb capacity costs $44,000 to $60,000.
15,000 lb capacity costs $60,000 to $80,000.
New pneumatic tire forklifts:
3,000 lb capacity costs $21,000 to $30,000.
5,000 lb capacity costs $30,000 to $40,000.
10,000 lb capacity costs $40,000 to $62,000.
15,000 lb capacity costs $60,000 to $80,000.
Factors That Affect Price
There is wide variation in the cost of purchase of a brand new forklift for several reasons. Let's take a closer look at some of the factors that affect new forklift prices.
Some manufacturers are generally more expensive than others, and this may be due to the quality of their material handling equipment. Better quality forklifts cost more, but are also better value in the long run.
There are a huge number of different models and types of forklifts out there, including telescopic, narrow-aisle, straight mast, rough-terrain, and standard warehouse. You must select the model that is right for your business needs, but bear in mind that prices vary significantly. A large capacity, heavy-duty machine plus non-standard accessories will cost more to purchase.
It's important to have the correct capacity of machinery for your business. Forklift costs rise with increasing capacity. A high capacity forklift will cost you more than a low capacity forklift. For example, a forklift with a standard capacity of 5,000 lbs will cost about half as much as a lift truck with a 10,000 lb capacity. This is because a larger amount of raw materials goes into manufacturing a higher capacity forklift, and that is reflected in the sales price.
Engine and Fuel Type
When it comes to engines, forklifts can be electric or have an internal combustion engine. Forklifts with internal combustion engines run on different fuel types, such as diesel and propane gas (LPG).
Generally, electric forklifts have a higher upfront cost compared to forklifts with internal combustion engines. When purchasing an electric forklift there is the price of the battery and charger to consider, which run about $2500 to $5000.
However, this is offset by having much lower operating costs in the long term.
A diesel forklift is usually more expensive than a propane gas forklift. Diesel forklifts require more heavy-duty parts for their engines because of the way they function. Propane gas forklifts have the lowest up-front cost and the propane fuel itself is generally much cheaper per unit cost than buying diesel fuel. Although diesel and propane gas forklifts have a lower upfront cost, their long-term operating costs can be higher compared to electric forklifts.
For a standard capacity forklift of 3,000 lbs to 5,000 lbs, a brand new electric lift truck cost ranges anywhere from $25,000 to $40,000 including the cost of the battery and charger. A standard capacity lift truck with an internal combustion engine ranges around $19,000 to $40,000.
The are various tire options available for forklifts such as solid foam-filled, air-filled pneumatic tires, cushion tires, non-marking tires, and dual-drive tires, depending on your forklift model. Cushion or air-filled pneumatic tires are the usual standard choices but more specialist tires can cost an extra $1500 to about $4000.
Mast & Hydraulics
A range of mast heights is available depending on your specific material handling equipment needs. Tall and specialized lengths of mast will increase the price as the manufacturing costs are higher.
A three-way hydraulic valve is standard with most lift trucks. Extra valve functions required to handle attachments will increase the cost.
Accessories & Features
Most accessories don't come free, if you would like a lift truck with more features, this will increase the cost. Features such as a heated cab, LED headlights, custom paint jobs, specialized material handling features for cold storage or hazardous material handling will all lift the price. Depending on the extras you need, several $100s could be added to the cost of your purchase.
Used Forklift Price
How much does a used forklift cost? There are many different types of forklifts, so looking at forklifts manufactured since 2010 with less than 5,000 hours of use and a standard mast length of 149 to 200 inches, prices vary from $9,000 all the way to $56,000. Let's look at rough price ranges of various categories of a used lift truck.
Used standard capacity electric forklifts:
3,000 lb capacity costs $9,000 to $20,000.
5,000 lb capacity costs $8,500 to $25,000.
Used cushion tire forklifts:
3,000 lb capacity costs $8,500 to $17,000.
5,000 lb capacity costs $9,000 to $22,000.
10,000 lb capacity costs $17,000 to $30,000.
15,000 lb capacity costs $34,000 to $53,000.
Used pneumatic tire forklifts:
3,000 lb capacity costs $16,000 to $19,000.
5,000 lb capacity costs $13,000 to $24,000.
10,000 lb capacity costs $35,000 to $49,000.
15,000 lb capacity costs $42,000 to $56,000.
Factors That Affect Price
All the factors that apply to new forklifts also apply to used forklift trucks, however, there are some extra considerations when purchasing at used machine. Let's explore the main things that can affect used forklift prices.
The nature of the previous workplace environment of the used forklift can result in different levels of wear and tear. Lift trucks used in extremes of environment should really have a reduced price.
Conditions to be cautious of include extremes of temperature, high humidity, heavy use outdoors, and use in close proximity to seawater. All these factors can have a detrimental effect on the forklift such as reduced battery life, corrosion, and damaged engine and electric components. This will result in higher maintenance costs.
Forklift age will have a significant impact on the price. The older the lift truck, the lower the price should be. Older forklifts will have had more usage and therefore have more wear, higher maintenance costs, and their features may be outdated. When it comes to service and maintenance, it may also be harder to find parts for older models. If you're buying a used forklift for your business, it is best to select one that is under ten years old.
Hours of Use
A forklift that has been used for 5,000 hours has about the equivalent use of a car with a mileage of 75,000, so this must be reflected in the selling price. Lift trucks with a higher number of hours of usage are likely to have increased service and maintenance costs, therefore, the higher the number of hours of use, the cheaper the used forklift should be.
All new forklifts come with a warranty, however used lift trucks will have a much shorter one depending on if you are purchasing from a dealer or a private seller. Some very old discounted price used forklifts may not even have a warranty.
The warranty cost is variable depending on the situation, but ranges from a few hundred dollars to a couple of thousand dollars. Your location can also affect the warranty.
If you're buying a used forklift from a business in a different state, there may be no warranty available, as it is expensive and hard for forklift dealers to offer a warranty on a machine not in their area.
If you're buying a used forklift from an online dealer it's important to consider the shipping costs. Check to see if this is included in the final price, as it's unlikely to be free. It can cost several thousand dollars to ship a forklift across the country, or even between states. Very large, heavy-duty forklifts can require permits which can escalate costs. Check out the used forklifts available from your local dealer first, to avoid shipping costs.
If you would like to see specific dealers and pricing in your city then see our forklift near me page or if you've decided that buying is not the best option right now then check out our forklift rental guide.