Are you thinking about hiring out a mini digger for a DIY project, but you’re not sure if you will legally be able to operate one? Or perhaps you’d like to pursue a career as a mini digger operator / invest in your own fleet and hire them out to others for profit? In this article, we’ll answer these questions and more, including how much you can expect to pay for a mini excavator of your own in Australia.

Can anyone drive a mini digger?

Can anyone drive a mini digger? More or less. Naturally, sitting a toddler in the cabin and letting them take a mini digger for a spin is a terrible idea. Just as having an elderly person with poor eyesight operating your mini excavator would be unwise as well.

However, providing the operator is 18 years and over and has been sufficiently trained to operate a mini digger, then yes – theoretically anyone can drive a mini digger.

If you are hiring a mini excavator for use in a non-commercial DIY project at home on your own property, then you do not need any licensing or certification. This is because it is at your own risk and personal liability.

That being said, rent hiring a mini excavator through a machine supplier, they should provide you with ample safety and general operational usage explanation.

If you are not feeling especially confident, then fortunately there are options to hire a mini excavator with an operator. Naturally, this will cost you more for the labour involved, however, this will also remove any need for you to learn and familiarise yourself with the equipment. That, and an experienced operator will likely make short work of whatever it is that you intend to do with it (e.g., excavate the foundations for a swimming pool or home extension project).

If you’d like to know more about operating a mini excavator and the recommended health & safety practices involved, you’ll find everything you need to know right here.

How much money can I make with a mini excavator?

How much money can you make with a mini excavator? That all depends on whether you are looking to pursue a career as a mini excavator operator or if you’d like to invest in one of your own and hire it out to people for various projects.

  • For your reference, the average hourly rate for a mini excavator operator in Australia is approximately: AU$30.83 per hour
  • As for renting a mini excavator out, most cost between $300 and $500 over a 24-hour hire period (depending on the quality, size, and rental service).

If you invest in a small fleet of mini excavators and manage to rent them out regularly and successfully, there’s a fair amount of money to be made – including the option to scale your business to even greater heights.

Should you pursue the mini excavator rental approach and hire them out to others, you should consider investing in an Australian made excavator trailer for easy and convenient transportation between projects. A reputable manufacturer of aluminium ramps and trailers such as SureWeld will be able to help you with this.

Of course, if you would prefer a more stable job then there are lucrative careers in construction as a mini excavator operator. It all depends on your preferences and just how much money you’re looking to make.

How much does a mini excavator cost?

How much does a mini excavator cost? This depends on a wide variety of different factors:

  • Do you want to buy brand new or used?
  • What brand of mini excavator are you looking for?
  • What safety features are included?
  • The reliability of the machinery
  • Fuel efficiency
  • The ease of operation
  • Availability of parts
  • On-board prediction and prevention technology
  • Re-sale value
  • Disposal options

In any case, the average cost to purchase a mini excavator in Australia is between $12,500 and $965,000; averaging at $101,577.

Mini excavators will be on the lower-end of the spectrum, starting from $12,500 – however, there may be cheaper options available if you are looking for a used excavator and aren’t particularly fussed about brand, quality, on-board technology, and fuel efficiency, etc.

If you aren’t looking to invest and would simply prefer to rent a mini excavator for a construction or DIY excavation project, the average rental rates (as listed above) are between: $300 and $500 over a 24-hour hire period (depending on the quality, size, and machine rental service in question).


In conclusion, any able-bodied adult is able to operate a mini digger without a license or certification, though sufficient training and instruction is recommended.

A career as a mini excavator operator can offer decent compensation at an average of AU$30.83 per hour.

To purchase an excavator outright, you can expect to pay anywhere between $12,500 and $965,000; averaging at $101,577.

As for renting a mini excavator for a limited period, the average in Australia is $300 and $500 over a 24-hour hire period.

We hope that this article has been helpful to you and wish you the best of luck with your excavation projects.