Tom Haug


There is a common belief that newer is better. This is not inherently true in every aspect of life including the quality of a forklift. A brand-new forklift might not be the most beneficial piece of material handling equipment to add to your fleet; a used forklift could be optimal for you.

There are many different factors that you should consider when deciding between acquiring a new or used forklift. It is important to research and compare specific information about the make and model of the forklift you are interested in before deciding. Keep in mind there are many different advantages and disadvantages to both new and used forklifts, mainly centered around forklift price and efficiency. We have compiled the main elements that you should review when deciding to obtain a new or used forklift for sale.


The cost of acquiring a new or used forklift may be the most apparent factor in the difference between a new and used machine. Below, we have summarized the key components of each purchasing option in regards to their specific prices.

A new lift will have a premium price. A new internal combustion forklift with a 5,000lb lifting capacity will be priced roughly between $15k-$28K, depending on the make, model, specs, attachments, tires, etc. Pneumatic tires will generally be more expensive than cushion tires. Conversely, an electric forklift with standard capabilities and the same lifting capacity will generally be priced around $18K-$25k. You should also factor in the cost of the battery and charger, which will be another $2,500-$5,000.

A used lift could be 30% to 50% lower in cost compared to a new forklift. With the constant pressure to decrease expenditures, you may be in the market for a lower-priced forklift. A used IC forklift with a 5,000lb lift capacity will cost you around $10K-$15K and an electric forklift with a capacity of 3,000lb will be priced around $5K-$10K.

Upfront, the cost of a used forklift may be lower, but there can be additional costs in the long run that you need to consider, including maintenance and repair costs. These additional expenses of your used forklift can quickly add up. If you are in the market for a forklift that will only be needed for occasional use and will not be operated for hours at a time, then a used forklift might be the right choice for you.

Another way to lower your costs is to finance your new or used machine with a forklift lease. This solution does not require you to pay for the entire cost of the machine all at once but instead has low monthly payments. A lease can be customized to your business needs so you are not making a costly upfront purchase all at once.


Purchasing a new lift will give you the benefit of the latest technology and the best functionality. Because the forklift has not been used in the past, it will have the ability to efficiently work for a long period. Buying a new forklift will also come with a 12-36-month warranty; a major benefit that will allow you to essentially have a machine that functions as well as the day you got it for the duration of the warranty.

With a used forklift, the lifespan of the machine can be significantly shortened. Putting a lot of time, effort, and capital dollars into the maintenance of a forklift when it already has a reduced service life can be costly, so it is vital to obtain a forklift that is in good shape in terms of its operating capabilities.


It is essential to obtain your forklift from a reliable seller to ensure that you are receiving a high-quality machine that will benefit your material handling operation. Here at Meridian Leasing, we have your long-term business success in mind. Our experts provide a consultative approach to the equipment procurement process. We can help you determine which forklift suits your organization’s productivity demands and financial needs.

If you are considering a new or used forklift for sale or would like to see other financial solutions, such as a forklift lease, call us at +1 (855) 980-4578 or send an email to [email protected].