How Much Does A Portable Generator Cost?

Getting a portable generator is wonderful but it can become costly, depending on your needs. Fortunately, provided you do your homework, you can find an option that will work perfectly for you, without costing an arm and a leg. To ensure you are getting the best deal possible, it is important to have a good idea of what to expect when shopping for a new portable generator.

A portable generator can be priced anywhere between $300 to $6,000. It depends on several variables including power output, type of fuel, monitors, lights, and even the starting mechanism. This can affect the price you end up paying for the new generator.

Here is a breakdown of the costs associated with a portable generator and what to account for during the research phase.

Types of Costs To Consider


You will want to start with the type of fuel being used to run the generator. If you are going to be powering it with gasoline then it will be somewhat affordable. This is compared to natural gas, which tends to veer towards the more expensive side when everything is calculated. The cheapest option is to go with a solar-powered portable generator. This is going to run with nothing more than solar power making it a cost-effective option for those on a tight budget.

Monitors & Lights

A lot of portable generators are now tech-heavy, which means they do come with extra features that might not have been present in the past. One of those features would be the monitor that is set up on the front of the generator. The idea is to list all of the ongoing settings and data points on the screen to let the user know what’s going on. This is great when using the generator, but it can play a role in the cost. It is going to burn more energy and you will be the one footing the bill when it’s time to refuel.

Starting Mechanism

You will want to think about the starting mechanism as that is one of the most important steps in the process. The goal is to assess how the generator is going to start (especially during the break-in process) and how this will impact the cost. A portable generator that has an electric push button or manual pull start will be the most affordable option. However, other models are now offering wireless starting options and that does add to the cost. This is a supplementary feature that is for your comfort as a user. You will have to pay for this as it will increase the cost immediately. Note that as this feature has become more common, the additional cost has dropped considerably.

Power Output

How much power is being generated by the portable generator? You will want to account for the amount of power that’s offered by the generator at max capacity. A lot of generators are going to have a set number and this can be up to 20,000 watts. Most people will stick closer to the 2,000-5,000 watts range because it will keep the price within a more reasonable limit. The power requirements often come down to what you want as a user and how you are going to put the portable generator to the test later on. Always keep that in mind when buying a new generator.

Related: If you are searching for a powerful generator, see our picks for the best 12000 – 13000W portable generators.

Running Costs

There are running costs to keep in mind when it comes to maintaining the portable generator so it runs year-round. The one detail you want to think about is the fuel. How much fuel are you going to be using to keep the generator running? What type of fuel are you going to be using? You will also want to account for maintenance. For the most part, a portable generator is not going to give issues for at least 3-5 years, unless you purchased a used model. Most companies also provide warranties to back their portable generators because they believe in the product.

Final Thoughts

These are some of the costs associated with a new portable generator. It’s in your best interest to go through each detail, assess your options, and then come up with a solution that’s worth it. You will want to go with an affordable option that is built for the long-term and will yield good results. The best brands on the market do offer this and should be a top priority for you.