Renting an office trailer is ideal for small businesses that need an operational base and a meeting room for clients. Alternatively, you can even use portable buildings as construction trailers or mobile classrooms. Indeed, if fitted with the right accessories, you can use them in many different industries.
Monthly rental rates range from $100-$800, depending on their size and features. But, if you intend to use one long-term, purchase prices for a used job site trailer in good condition range between $3000-$8000. Alternatively, a new trailer costs between $15000-$30000. Therefore, after hiring for a year or so, total office trailer rental prices soon surpass the purchase price of a pre-owned model. In this case, you might consider buying one instead.
So, whether you rent or buy, you can use an office trailer rental as:
- Temporary office space.
- Overflow classroom.
- Medical room.
- Sports club locker room.
- Office, toilets, and changing rooms on a construction site.
- Or simply as extra storage space.
But this isn’t everything. In this guide, we’ll discuss all aspects of mobile office trailer rental costs, along with all the factors you can expect to influence your rental rates.
How Much Does a Mobile Office Trailer Cost To Rent?*
The table below gives price comparisons of the different types of mobile offices and their estimated average monthly rental rates. The prices shown are for standard dimensions and specifications without any additional add ons.
|Trailer Size||Monthly Cost|
|Small Single-Wide (8ft x 20ft)||$100 to $300|
|Medium Single-Wide (10ft x 44ft)||$200 to $550|
|Large Single-Wide (12ft x 60ft)||$500 to $800|
|Large Double-Wide (28ft x 74ft)||$800 to $1200|
*Please note: Prices here are subject to change. We estimated the charges by contacting large nationwide office trailer rental dealers. You should use these amounts as a starting point for your own research.
Office Trailer Delivery and Set-up fees
You can expect to pay for delivery at the start of your mobile office rental contract. This charge will vary depending on how far you are from the rental company’s storage facility. Furthermore, some companies also charge a set-up fee. The total cost of these two charges can range from $1000 to $1500, depending on the distance traveled.
Typically, you pay this fee at the end of the contract. Usually, suppliers charge a removal fee of between $300 and $1000.
Additional features and add-ons
Depending on the purpose of the trailer, you might have to pay for certain accessories or features. These include HVAC for a classroom or office space and optional amenities such as showers, toilets, kitchen, or rest areas. You’ll find that washrooms usually come ready fitted in large trailers. We’ll talk in more detail about these features later.
Office trailer rental companies must comply with health and safety regulations when supplying mobile office trailers, and customers must follow the regulations when using them.
Usually, customers use mobile office trailers raised on their wheels and stabilizing supports. Therefore, users need steps and, sometimes decking to access the office entrance from the ground. Additionally, it’s also essential to prevent access to the trailer’s underside and protect the wheels from interference and vandalism. Therefore, suppliers provide office trailer skirts for this purpose.
Often the costs for these add-ons are included in the rental price while other companies charge extra. You can expect to pay $20 to $50 per month for steps. And a flat fee of up to $800 for a skirt.
Amenities & Extras
Let’s look at the different purposes of a mobile office trailer and the additional amenities and features needed to make them usable. Remember, you pay different mobile office rental rates depending on the amenities available.
Unless you use the trailer as extra storage, you will probably find water and drainage essential. The following trailer types need water and drainage. However, the list is not exhaustive.
- Classrooms need toilets and washing facilities.
- Portable construction offices usually require a sink and a toilet.
- Additional office space often needs a small kitchen and sink for handwashing and cleaning coffee cups.
- Construction sites and sports clubs need showers and toilets.
- Mobile medical clinics need handwashing, toilets, and showers.
- Military field offices require toilets and washrooms, and kitchens
To connect these to municipal utilities, expect to pay a plumber between $200 and $400.
Just about every type of trailer needs electricity. Even a storage space needs lighting, and a small office trailer with no other features will need power sockets and lights. Therefore, you’ll find that wiring and power sockets, interior and exterior lighting, and electrical heating are already installed. All you need to do is hire an electrician to connect the circuit to the mains electricity supplied by your power company. Typically, an electrician will charge from $200 to $350.
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning are essential in one form or another. In cold and temperate climates, you might not need air-con, preferring to open a window for ventilation and cooling. However, you will find that most trailers already have an HVAC unit fitted. These trailers cost around $50 extra to hire if already installed. Furthermore, running a system like this usually costs from $25 to $100+ per month.
Telephone and data network communication
Any mobile office trailer used as a sales office, clinic, retail space, and others will require a phone and facilities for a computer. If your extra office space is near a permanent building, you can connect the trailer to your main office for a phone and computer network. Otherwise, you’ll need a separate telephone line connected to the trailer by the local phone company. Alternatively, you could forget a landline altogether and use cellphones and data coverage on the mobile network for a laptop.
Mobile Office Sizes
The great thing about renting a mobile office is that you can choose various sizes and configurations to suit your requirements.
If you need an office for yourself at home, you can choose the smallest single trailer and place it in the backyard. You only need electricity and lighting, as you can use the bathroom in your house and tap into your home wifi for phone and computer.
If you belong to a sports club, you probably need to rent a portable trailer with enough room for lockers, showers, and toilets. Perhaps you need a small kitchen area for drinks. And maybe, a sitting area for club members to sit and discuss tactics. Alternatively, you might want a room for weight training or a running machine. The options are almost endless.
Let’s look at the various standard trailer sizes that you can choose from.
|Dimensions (ft x ft)||Area (sq.ft.)|
|8′ x 20′||160|
|8′ x 28′||224|
|8′ x 32′||256|
|8′ x 36′||288|
|10’ x 44’||400|
|10’ x 50’||500|
|12’ x 32’||384|
|12’ x 44’||528|
|12’ x 56’||672|
|12’ x 60’||720|
|Dimensions (ft x ft)||Area (sq.ft.)|
|Dimensions (ft x ft)||Area (sq.ft.)|
Usually, Double-Wide trailers are two Single-Wide trailers joined together to make one unit having twice the width. Usually, Double-Wide units have two small offices, a large open area incorporating a small kitchen area, and a toilet.
In contrast, you can have a Triple-Wide unit. These consist of three Single-Wide units welded together. Not many businesses choose these because the large size makes them awkward to transport. Therefore, suppliers transport them to the site as Single-Wide units and weld them in-situ. Many companies find that a much better way of giving the same floor area is to use multiple Single-Wide or Double-Wide units linked by covered walkways or decking.
Why Rent a Mobile Office Trailer?
There are many reasons why it’s a good idea to rent a mobile office trailer for just about every sized company.
If your company needs extra space, you would generally have to wait many weeks or months if you chose to build an extension to your premises. But, usually, when you need space, many companies need it immediately. And, this is where a mobile office trailer comes in handy as many suppliers can offer a one-day installation. Therefore, you could conceivably choose your unit on Monday and have it delivered on Tuesday.
How good is that?
Mobile office trailers, by definition, can be moved whenever and wherever you want. For example, imagine you’re working on a sizeable construction site. Your engineers need to be close to the action, so you set up the trailer office at the entrance to the site. Then weeks down the line, after building the first bunch of houses, you need to move their office nearer to the new builds. No problem. Connect a tractor to the trailer and move locations. Furthermore, you can also do this if you’ve finished one construction project and expect to start a new one immediately, a few miles away.
There are many office trailers for sale, so why would you choose a rental? Typically, the price to buy can be more than $30,000, whereas the cost to rent can be as little as $100 to $500 per month. If you compare the prices, you can see that rentals win every time. And, you don’t have the problem of storing the units between jobs, maintaining them, and accounting for depreciation over their lifespan. So you see that renting is much more cost-effective over the short term than purchasing.
Buying vs. Renting an Office Trailer
The choice depends on whether you intend to use the mobile office for a short or long time, and for how long.
Typically, mobile trailers are more cost-effective for those who plan on temporary use. For example:
- You might need extra office space while you have a permanent office building erected.
- Alternatively, you might only need extra space for a few months.
- You might need to regularly move the trailer if you have a mobile clinic or some other purpose needing a mobile base.
In these cases, and many more, there’s no reason to buy a trailer.
However, buying rather than renting might make more sense if you intend to use the trailer for a few years.
- The sports club needs premises for many years to come.
- If you’re using the trailer for military use, it makes sense to own the unit. You can then transport it internationally, add your facilities and paint it in the preferred colors.
If we look at this from a costing point of view, it might make it more obvious. Suppose a rental trailer costs $500 per month, and the cost to buy one is around $20,000. In this case, you can see that after 40 months, it no longer makes sense to rent.
Office Trailer Rental, Cost Factors
Many factors influence the rental rates of a mobile office trailer. Below we’ve outlined some of the most important.
The prices we’ve outlined in this guide are estimated averages. Actual prices vary with your location (your region) and how much the trailers are in demand. For example, trailers tend to be more in demand on the east and west coasts when compared to the south and midwest. Therefore you can expect the monthly rental payments to be much higher in these regions.
Many construction companies use mobile office trailers as on-site offices and break rooms. The busiest seasons for the construction industry are spring and summer. So, if you can choose to rent during the remainder of the year, the premiums will be much lower.
You probably have a good idea of how long you want to rent the trailer. If you can tell the rental company the duration, and it’s more than just a couple of weeks, you can probably agree to a lower rental payment than for a short duration. Having said this, the rental company will expect you to give at least one month’s notice of rental termination.
We’ve already talked about the various amenities and features you might want in your mobile office. So let’s say that the price will depend on how many bells and whistles you want.
Once again, we know that prices vary depending on whether you choose a Single-Wide, Double-Wide, or Triple Wide. However, you might find it more convenient and cost less in the long run to choose two or more Single-Wides rather than a Double Wide. At least the Single-Wides are more versatile.
For example, say you have a staff of about five employees who need to share the office. You can easily do this by removing doors and partition walls and using the large area as an “open plan” office. Otherwise, if you need a conference room or private offices, you have no alternative but to choose a Double-Wide.
Usually, modern units come with add-ons such as HVAC, washroom facilities, lighting, and vinyl floors as standard and are included in the monthly rental price. The other add-ons available include:
- Data connection and phone lines.
- Desks, cabinets, shelves.
- Shower rooms.
- Non-slip metal steps.
- Wheelchair ramps.
- Skirts to hide the wheels and prevent access to the underside (Some suppliers include this as standard).
- Security cameras.
- Lockable shutters over the windows.
Remember not to choose so many add-ons that the total rental cost doesn’t exceed the purchase price.
Questions To Ask Mobile Office Suppliers
There are many mobile office trailer rental companies to choose from, and often you don’t have a lot of time to choose your supplier. So it’s a good idea to compile a list of your questions and keep them handy. Then, you send a list to each of four or five suppliers. You can then compare their answers and choose the supplier that suits you.
- What condition are the trailers in? You might not always need one in perfect condition, especially if it’s sitting on a construction site for a few weeks. So, also ask whether they offer a range of conditions. Perhaps, “New”, “Used”, “Refurbished”.
- Under what conditions do you store your office trailers? Indoors, outdoors? And what’s the usual weather in the area? From this information, you can usually tell what wear and tear the mobile offices suffer.
- What are the usual rental contract lengths? How does the price vary depending on each term length? Are there any discounted premiums for long-term rentals?
- How much notice do I have to give at the end of the contract?
- How much do you charge to deliver, remove, and set up the mobile office?
- Once I place an order, how long before the office trailer arrives at my premises? And how long to set up the unit?
- What guarantees and cover do you offer while under contract? For example, accidental damage, theft, fire damage, dysfunctional features, etc.
- What insurance options do you offer to cover damage, and how much do they cost?
- How easy is it to return or remove the trailer? And usually, how long do I wait from making the phone call to removal?
Now let’s talk about insurance on the mobile office. You might choose to use your company’s insurance provider. In which case, ensure they provide enough cover to compensate the rental firm if the worst happens.
Alternatively, use the insurance supplied by the rental company. Some suppliers offer insurance included in the rental price, while others offer it as an additional expense.
The rental company might offer you a “damage waiver option.” This usually covers you up to a certain amount of money, which should be enough to cover the total amount needed to replace the unit. Every supplier offers different policies, so ensure you know what you’re covered for.
In addition, the insurance company might charge reduced insurance premiums if you have special locks, steel window shutters, CCTV cameras, or a regular security patrol. These additional security features aren’t only to protect the trailer; you also have company property stored inside, such as computers and other electronic equipment, job supplies, and many other items essential to the smooth running of your company.
Mobile Office Trailer Permits & Regulations
Before you go ahead and rent a mobile office trailer, contact your local building and code enforcement agency to find out if there are any local zoning and permit requirements. Often you’ll be okay to place a trailer on your property for a short time, but sometimes it’s not so easy, especially if you want it there for more than a few weeks. Anyway, it’s always better to contact the local authority to find out the law. And abide by it.
Generally, if you’ve obtained permits for a construction project, the city hall already knows that you probably need a site office or storage unit, so it shouldn’t be a problem to apply for a permit. But, you must ask permission, even if you don’t think you need to. In some situations, such as in a residential area, you must obtain a separate permit, even if you use the mobile office for a construction project.
Remember that you’re responsible for asking about permits. And, if you forget, you’ll be liable for hefty fines.
In general, you need a permit to use the mobile office trailer as a temporary office for more than a few months. Ask at city hall what the limit is, as every area has different rules. Before granting permission, they need to know about your property, foundations, ground leveling, and whereabouts you intend to place it. You must also provide details about ADA compliance, the fire alarms, and connections to utilities.
Additionally, you must obtain zoning variance approval in some areas before placing your mobile office on site.
We’ve gathered information from a few states to highlight the different permit requirements. But, remember that rules change, so contact your local agency for the most up-to-date information and fees.
You can apply for a mobile vehicle permit for New York. And, various permit types cover just about any eventuality. Apply online or in-person at city hall.
Texas DMV issues a permit for transporting portable buildings. Contact your local city for temporary building permits.
Each administrative area organizes its temporary building permits. Contact the local office to find the details.
Florida has a page on its state website devoted to the different types of permits. If in doubt, contact your local permitting and licensing agency.
If your business needs extra space to continue working, renting an office trailer is the way to go. By doing this, you will provide extra working space for your employees, provide washroom facilities, or give them somewhere clean to take a meal break.
However, choosing the right company and the correct type and size of trailer can be very difficult, especially if you haven’t much time.
Therefore, you need professional help. Complete the form on this page, and you will receive up to four quotes to help you choose the right facilities for your company.