Doing research before signing an equipment rental agreement will ensure that you negotiate a price based on the item's fair market value. The fair market value of a rental is based on the current supply and demand for that piece of equipment. High levels of competition and inventory can equal reduced rental rates for the consumer. Determining an item's value in the market will give you the peace of mind that you got a fair deal on your equipment rental.

Things You Will Need
  • Yellow pages or Internet access

  • Phone

  • Pen

  • Paper

  • Calculator (optional)

Step 1.

Find business listings in your area for companies that rent the specific equipment you are researching. Rental companies that are further away from your location may be willing to deliver the equipment at no additional charge.

Step 2.

Call every company and ask for a rental quote for the same piece of equipment over the same period of time. Ask about any extra fees that are not included in the quote.

Step 3.

Record the company name and rental price quote total for every business that you contact on a sheet of paper.

Step 4.

Total the amounts quoted by all the rental companies and divide by the number of quotes you received. The resulting figure is an average or fair market value for the rental equipment.

Step 5.

Contact your first choice rental company and let them know about your market research. Ask if they will be able to match the lowest quote you received or at least rent the equipment at its fair market value.


Fair market value is often assessed for tax purposes. Consult with a tax professional to get full credit for your businesses rental and lease costs. See the link in the resources section for a guide to changing equipment rental rates in California.