To rent or buy, that is the question. Moneysupermarket.com wants to help you decide. On some products, you have a choice whether to rent the item or purchase it outright. Typically, you should consider renting items that you will only use once or twice and do not want to store. You can rent a variety of items, including some that you probably never thought of.
Clothing and Accessories
Instead of purchasing an outfit for that special occasion, rent one. Specialty shops rent designer gowns and accessories at a fraction of the price of buying new. Be aware, however, that the shop may add a cleaning fee to the rental cost. For example, you can rent a gown for a week for as little as 10% of the retail price plus a one-time $10 cleaning fee.
College students can save money by renting their textbooks instead of buying them. While reselling used textbooks has always been an option, the resale value is a fraction of their original cost. If you rent, make sure you return the book in the condition specified by the contract. This can prevent the store from charging additional fees.
Renting furniture can be the right choice if you are unsure of what you want, or if you need extra pieces for a party. Renting allows you to specify how long you need the furniture and only pay for that specified amount of time. If you suspect that you may need the pieces for the long-term, however, you will probably save money by purchasing.
Unless you are a regular camper or biker, you can save money by renting your gear instead of buying it. While owning tents, sleeping bags and kitchen items is nice, storing them can be an issue for many people. Renting allows you to get the equipment you need for your trip without having to worry about what to do with it all once you come back home.
If you are planning a DIY project, consider renting the tools you need. Tools are expensive to purchase outright, but many home-improvement stores have a rental department that allows you to rent specialty tools to get your job done for less. You can put the money you save toward your project instead of spending it all on the tool.
While renting a casket may seem like a gruesome idea, for those considering cremation it can be the perfect solution. While they look identical to purchased caskets, they contain an insert that holds the body for the funeral service. While not common, families can also rent a coffin when burying the decedent if they want a nicer casket than they can afford.
While purchasing an item is preferable in some instances, renting is often preferable. Renting can provide tax write-offs for business owners that are not available to buyers. When deciding whether to rent or buy, make a list of the pros and cons of each. This can help you determine the most effective choice for your circumstance.
Written by Sam, a financial expert for moneysupermarket.com.