How much does a portable modular classroom cost?

Find the cost for a portable modular classroom in the United States
Matt Banes modular building information source
Written by Matt Banes

Understanding all of the costs to rent or buy a portable classroom is key to preparing a smart budget and completing your project successfully.

A typical portable classroom that has enough space for twenty students and a teacher can cost $1,200 or more per month to rent, and anywhere from $75,000 (used) to $120,000 or more (new) to purchase. But many conditions can increase or decrease your costs, so read on and learn more about the factors that can save your school or church thousands of dollars when you rent or buy a portable classroom in the United States.

Question from a school facility manager: “My school is searching for a new or good-condition used portable classroom for twenty-five students, and we wanted to get the best possible price for a long-term rental or lease. Our needs are simple – one open classroom big enough for desks and some tables, two doors, and an ADA handicap wheelchair access ramp. I searched the web for portable classroom trailers and made some calls, and it seems like prices are high from company to company. Any ideas about how much a portable classroom should cost?”

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Response from Matt Banes at iModular: Thanks for asking and for sharing some of the details about your temporary classroom space need and pricing question. Here are a few questions and tips that have helped many people in your position.

1. Are you open to renting a used portable classroom? If so, you can rest assured that suppliers have used portable classrooms in stock that are in very good condition – and the prices will be lower than using a new model that has to be manufactured. Ask about in-stock used classrooms that are available for the lowest price, and always have a look at the classroom before you buy or rent. Here is a helpful modular classroom checklist to use during your search.

Are you open to purchasing the portable in place of a long-term rental? Purchasing a used portable classroom can sometimes be very affordable compared to renting a new model. Purchasing makes the best sense when you know it will be needed for several years. Remember, buying a portable classroom is a real estate-style purchase. If you pay rent for too long – you could have easily purchased the portable classroom for far less.

3. If you prefer a new portable classroom trailer, get at least three price quotes from suppliers in your area. Try to find a manufacturer that will sell direct…in some cases. This is the best way to save thousands of dollars. Otherwise, shop smart and make sensible decisions when it comes to the exterior and interior finishes and amenities, and always think about the future resale of the modular school building when and if you outgrow the floor plan or decide to build a permanent structure.


Remember….you can always call me directly using the Modular Building Help Line at (800) 806-7485 or use the Compare Prices for Portable Classrooms online tool.

About the author

Matt Banes modular building information source

Matt Banes

Since 1998, I have assisted numerous businesses, schools, and churches in buying, renting, and selling various types of modular buildings, mobile offices, and portable classrooms suitable for diverse space needs. One of my core success principles lies in my accessibility via phone to provide prompt assistance, answer queries, and aid in the search for cost-effective space solutions that align with your facility goals. So, why wait? Call me directly at the Modular Building Help Line (800) 806-7485.


  • I used for our private school project and ended up getting a really good deal on some used modular classrooms. Going to use it again soon.

  • Modulars can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars per month to rent to a few thousand depending on what your needs are and where the modular building will be located. To purchase a modular expect to pay $15,000 at least for a used unit.

    I suggest using…..this site connects you with the most qualified suppliers in your area and helps you get the best price for a modular building.

  • If you need to have a new modular built be sure to review the specifications very closely before signing a contract. Also…keep all of the documents in case you will eventually want to sell the modular at some point.

    Ask about handicap ramps, installation costs and license fees. Cover the bases and you will be fine.

  • We just rented a 36'x 60' modular daycare center and are paying $1,500 per month. We got three prices but didn't choose the lowest. We actually like the floor plan of the more expensive used model. Try…that site was the biggest help.

  • One other good point brought to my attention recently is that you can save money by renting or buying a used aluminum or steel handicap ramp and/or OSHA approved aluminum steps for your modular classroom trailer. Most suppliers of modular buildings have used steps and ramps that meet ADA and OSHA standards in stock so finding them is not a problem. Use if you want to get a few prices from locals companies.

  • I received this question this week: Is it better to pay for floor plan changes up front or amortize them into the rental rate for a modular classroom in Florida?

    Answer: Always pay for modifications up front unless the money is not available to do so. Why? Simple interest is tacked on to the monthly rate so you pay way more to add walls, doors and other features to your modular building or classroom.

  • Also on the handicap ramps for modular buildings – be sure to get the exact measurement of the main entrance threshold…that's basically how many feet of ramp you will need unless the site is not level.

  • Paul…I agree. It is always a good idea to have a used modular building checked out by a contractor and an experienced HVAC person as well. Check for any major problems and budget to repair those. Used modular classrooms typically suffer from heavy use and the AC units most likely have not been maintained properly. Used modular office trailers are usually in decent shape if they have been looked after properly.

    Also, don't forget to look at the original paperwork – bill of sale, license, etc.

  • Buying a used portable classroom is a really good option when compared to the price of a new one. Just check the ac units, floor and roof. If those are in good shape everything else should be easy to remodel, clean, whatever.

    P. Morrow, Facility Manager

  • Here are some questions to ask if you are buying or renting a modular:

    When you speak with suppliers be sure to request their best price for the following items:

    1. Rental price per month plus any tax or license fee.
    2. The price to deliver and install the modular building.
    3. The price to knock it down and return delivery.
    4. The cost to rent a set of steps or a handicap ramp for access if required.

    *Remember to ask about hidden fees such as cleaning, insurance and maintenance.