How Much Does a Forklift Cost?

The initial investment is one of the most crucial factors in any running business. The forklift market has a wide range of prices as the standard model can quickly go from $15,000 to $40,000. The multiple price point of these vehicles requires the future owner to know everything about these machines before they conclude to buy the Forklift

This article will go through the cost of forklifts and the factors influencing the pricing model.

The Cost Of A Forklift

Two of the significant factors that affect the cost of Forklifts are specifications and needs of customers. Prepare to spend up to $30,000 to $50,000 on a forklift. If you are going with an old-school traditional combustion forklift, the standard capacity will cost approximately $20,000 to $50,000 or even higher.

Switching to an electric forklift might save your wallet, as the standard capacity might cost around $20,000 to $450,000. The customer’s needs are the only important factor in increasing prices to even higher numbers. The forklift dealers gather information about the customer’s needs, then direct the consumer to the machine that fits the profile.

ICE forklift vs. Electric Forklift Price Details

ICE forklifts or Internal combustion engine running forklifts will have higher maintenance costs than their electric counterparts. A forklift that runs on diesel will run you around $12,000 to $15000 per year. If you switch the diesel forklift to an LPG running forklift, the price will go down to $12,000 to $15,000 a year.

Here you might find an electric forklift a better fit for the job, as the yearly operating cost of an electric forklift rounds up to $1,500 to $2000 a year. Compared to the traditional machines, the newer ones are much more long-term worthy. When it comes to maintaining the cost of a forklift, here, an electric forklift stays on the winning side, as it will cost you $500 to support them every year.

On its counterpart, an ICE forklift can cost $1500 per year. If you plan to save money running a forklift, then choosing Electric is the right choice as you will save plenty of money on maintenance and operating costs. It can save up to $10,000 to $11,000 per year in fuel, maintenance, and operation cost. Both sides of the vehicle have their pros and cons. 

Check out in more details the difference between internal combustion forklifts and electric forklifts

How much does a new forklift cost?

Expected the price range to be somewhere between $30,000 to $45,000 for a 10,000lb. ICE forklift. Larger forklifts will have a higher price tag,36,000lb. ICE forklift can cost around $115,000. Some heavy-duty models can deal with more work, and these machines can jack up the cost to $140,000.

The starting price for an electric forklift will stay between $25,000 to $37,000. 11,000lb. An electric forklift will range from $37,000 to $80,000. And lastly, a heavy-duty forklift with the capability of living up to 40,000lbs will cost you $100,000 or more.

8 Factors That Affect The Price of A Forklift

Forklifts are not cheap, and you are going too far from a different price range based on the machine’s specs. Here are some of the essential factors that affect the pricing of the Forklift.

Capacity equals more expenses

The larger the Forklift, the more expensive the price tag is going to have on it. Many interested buyers tend to create a plan before hitting buy now. The requirement will give you a clear vision of what kind of machine you want on your land.

Lift weight

Depending on its configuration, there will be different prices for forklifts. 2 stages, three stages, or quad stages will add more to the bill.


Not all brands tend to function the same, they are in the business of making forklifts, but the quality will only come with the brand’s reputation. If you are shooting for long-term value, you need to stick to the repeated brand that has experience making forklifts.

Fuel Type

A traditional forklift that uses good old fossil fuel will add more cost in the long term. But when you get an electric forklift, the initial cost will be higher, but the long-term cost of running the Forklift will be much lower. Electric forklifts are considered less expensive, while the traditional-based Forklift will add a lot to the operating cost.

Avoid long-term cost

While getting a better deal at the initial stage might sound like a good idea, long-term costs will weigh the machine down over time; sometimes, the longer-term cost adds more expense than the upfront cost. Many people instead go for paying a heavy price at first without dealing with any issues that arise with long-term costs.

The long-term cost is crucial as many people will think it’s alright to purchase a cheap forklift to save a couple of bucks. Many forums are filled with complaints about forklift repair costs and maintaining the flow of work. The repair cost will pile up over the years.

Operating cost 

One of the crucial additional costs in maintaining a forklift is the operator’s cost. You need to set a different budget model for the operating cost.

Additional attachment cost

Increased productivity requires the Forklift to have additional attachments; paying for side shifter fork positioners, or single or double attachments will raise the price of the Forklift as increased productivity will lead to more growth in work. But it will add more to the upfront cost of the machine.

Extended warranties

One thing to keep in mind is always getting a vehicle warranty. If any part of the Forklift breaks down, it will cost a lot to repair or replace. A contract on your back will save you a lot of financial expenses and headaches dealing with these problems. Since the Forklift is an everyday use machine, the chance of the issues appearing in the system is higher.

Should you buy a used Forklift?

Buying used forklifts can offer unique benefits, but you need to be aware of plenty of negatives when making this decision. On the positive side, you will save plenty of money as you can expect to get 50% off the original price of a forklift. If your business demands a forklift immediately, then instead of buying a new one, you can opt-out to get two used ones to fill the needs of your business.

Suppose you are accustomed to older models with their functionalities. If the forklift operator is much more experienced with an older forklift, it is better to get a used one and save money instead of getting a new one. The new one might sound better, but you will have to spend additional money and time teaching the tools of the machine to the operator.

Where to purchase forklifts?

Always choose an OEM-authorized dealership over another. You will want your machine to have a high standard of care and certifications from the OEM. Sometimes, OEM certification can lead to special deals and warranties for products and services. OEM manufactured parts are also better for raw performance.


Forklifts can be a great addition to the business, but the heavy machinery’s cost might persuade people to look into other alternatives. Here you can choose used forklifts and rent them to save money. If the project is smaller in the timeline, then you can skip the purchase and jump into renting it. You will save plenty of cash in maintaining the machine throughout the project.

A piece of heavy machinery such as a forklift will have a fair share of work that must be carried out by the operator daily for it to be fully operational in the field.