Should You Buy a Used Diesel Generator?


Published On November 24, 2022

Buying a used diesel generator can save you some money, but you have to know what to look for. Click here to learn more.

Is a used diesel generator a worthwhile investment in your business? What is the average lifespan of a generator? When it comes to finding ways to cut operating costs, many businesses turn to used items.

Generators are important equipment for any business because they provide backup power in the event of a power outage. Buying a used generator can be a great way to save money while still getting a quality product. When looking for a used generator, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Let's discuss these.
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What Are Diesel Generators?

Diesel generators are a type of internal combustion engine that makes use of diesel fuel to generate electricity. Diesel generators serve a number of different applications, including backup power for homes and businesses, as well as providing power for construction sites, RVs, and other outdoor events.

Diesel generators are more expensive than gas generators, but they are also more fuel-efficient and have a longer lifespan. In addition, diesel generators produce less pollution than gasoline engines, making them much better for the environment.

Whether you need a generator for emergency power or for powering construction equipment, a diesel generator is an excellent choice.

Benefits of a Diesel Generator

When the power goes out, a standby generator can keep your business running. Diesel generators are more efficient than gas generators and can run for longer periods of time on a single tank of fuel.

Diesel fuel is also less likely to ignite than gasoline, so it's safer to store and use. And because diesel engines don't produce sparks, that cause fires, the likelihood of a fire emergency decreases. Diesel generators are also less likely to overheat than gas generators, making them ideal for use in hot climates.

If you live in an area that is prone to power outages, a diesel generator can give you peace of mind knowing that you'll be able to stay up and running no matter what.

Should You Buy a Used Diesel Generator?

We've established that diesel generators are beneficial to your business but should you buy a used one? There are a number of reasons to consider buying a used one. Used generators:

  • are more affordable than new models
  • have been broken in and won't have as many problems as a new model
  • some have low hours and are almost new if you buy from a reputable dealer
  • supports sustainable practices by keeping products out of landfills
  • can be just as reliable as new models if they are well-maintained
If you're looking for a quality used generator at a fraction of the cost of a new one, consider buying a diesel generator. You'll be glad you did when the power goes out and you're able to keep your business running.

Tips For Buying a Used Diesel Generator Set

When buying used equipment, proper diligence upfront can avoid costly mistakes and downtime later. Here are key things to consider when shopping for a used diesel generator set.

Check Hours Used

The first thing to check is the total hours used on the generator. This will give you a good idea of how much life is left in the equipment and how long it will likely last.

A diesel generator has an average life span of 20-40+ years. If possible, get maintenance records from the previous owner to verify the hour meter reading.

Inspect for Wear and Tear

Next, take a close look at the equipment for any signs of wear and tear. Look for cracked or damaged parts, loose bolts or wires, and anything else that looks out of place. Also, check for leaks around fuel lines and seals.

Test It Out

If possible, test the generator set before you buy it. This will give you a good idea of how well it performs and whether there are any issues that need to be addressed. If the seller is unwilling to let you test it, that's a red flag.

Get It Serviced

Before putting your new (to you) generator set into service, be sure to have a qualified mechanic inspect the generator before you buy it. This can help you identify any potential problems.

What Was It Used For?

Not only is it crucial to identify the application, but you must also be aware of how intense the generator set was used in prior settings. A power plant will put more strain on a machine than if it were lightly used in an office space, for example.

Consider Your Needs

When shopping for a used diesel generator set, be sure to consider your specific power needs. If you're only going to use it occasionally, you may be able to get by with a smaller, less expensive unit. But if you need a lot of power on a regular basis, you'll need to invest in a larger, more powerful generator set.

Get a Warranty

If at all possible, try to get a warranty from the seller. This will give you peace of mind knowing that you're covered if something goes wrong. Even a short warranty of 30 days or so can be helpful.

Service and Maintenance History

Be sure to ask about the generator set's service and maintenance history. This information can be invaluable in identifying potential problems and avoiding costly repairs down the road. Ask the seller for maintenance records.

This will give you a good idea of how well the generator has been cared for. Get the serial number from the seller and use it to research the generator's history. This can tell you if it's been well-maintained and if there have been any major issues.


When shopping for a used diesel generator set, it's important to consider the brand. Some brands are known for being more reliable than others. Do some research to find out which brands have a good reputation and which ones to avoid. Check reviews online to see what others have said about the brand and model.


Of course, price is always a factor when buying anything used. But be careful not to sacrifice quality for a lower price. A generator set is a big investment, so be sure to buy one that will meet your needs and last for many years to come.

A used generator costs between $2,500 and $5,000 on average. But the price will vary depending on the size, brand, and condition of the generator.

Dealer Reputation

If you're buying from a dealer, be sure to do your homework and check out their reputation. Read online reviews and talk to people who have done business with them in the past. You want to be sure you're dealing with a reputable company that will stand behind the products they sell.

Check For Certifications

A reputable dealer usually reconditions and certifies their generators before they sell them. This means the generator has been inspected and tested to make sure it meets certain standards. Be sure to ask about this when you're shopping for a used generator set.

Certified technicians inspect, test, and certify used generators to make sure they meet emissions standards and are safe and reliable.

Pros of Buying a Used Diesel Generator

Let's break this all down so you can make an informed choice. The pros of buying a used diesel generator include:

Cost Savings

The biggest advantage of buying a used diesel generator is the cost savings. A new diesel generator can cost tens of thousands of dollars, while a used one can be had for a fraction of the price.


Another advantage of buying a used diesel generator is that it won't depreciate as quickly as a new one will. This means you'll get more value for your money in the long run.


Today's diesel generators are built to last, so even a used one should have many years of life left in it. As long as it's well-maintained, you can expect it to perform reliably for years. Diesel generators are especially known for their durability.

Less Paper Work and Filing Forms

One of the benefits of buying a used diesel generator is that there is less paperwork and filing forms. When you buy new, you have to deal with all sorts of paperwork, from the sales contract to the warranty registration. But when you buy used, much of that paperwork is already taken care of.

Cons of Buying a Used Diesel Generator

Of course, there are some cons to buying a used diesel generator as well. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Less Choice

One of the disadvantages of buying a used diesel generator is that there will be a smaller selection to choose from.

Lack Of Warranty

One downside of buying a used diesel generator is that it likely won't come with a warranty. This means you'll be on your own if something goes wrong.

Used Equipment You Can Trust

As you can see, there are both pros and cons to buying a used diesel generator. Weigh the factors carefully in deciding if this is the right option for you. If you need backup power and are willing to invest in a quality used diesel generator, it could be the perfect solution for you.

Browse our listings today to see our selection of generators and find the perfect one for your needs. We only list used generators from reputable dealers, so you can be confident you're getting a quality product.