There are many things that we only need for a short time. While it’s nice to have our own items, if you’ll only be needing something a few times it may make sense to rent those items instead of buying them. Renting instead of buying also decreases the need for new products by reusing old ones, helping the environment in the long run.
Renting isn’t a new concept. For years, people have rented everything from cars to wedding tents to folding chairs. Dress-rental services are top-rated right now. There are a growing number of internet organizations and independent businesses offering an increasing selection of things you should rent instead of buy. The length of the rental agreement is frequently negotiable and renting saves money in the long run.
Rather than paying full price for a tool, instrument, or fancy garment, you should consider renting it. Even if you decide to buy an item in the long run, renting is often a great way to try out products without being locked in.
Renting may not be the best option for everything, but there are definitely things you should rent instead of buy. Check out this list of things you should consider renting rather than buying.
Table of Contents
12 Things You Should Rent Instead of Buy
1. Your Home
The “American Dream” includes owning a home. While there’s nothing wrong with homeownership, it’s not always the right decision.
There are a lot of opinions out there about renting vs. buying your home. You may have heard that rental housing is a waste of cash. You’ve probably also heard that your house is your most valuable asset. However, neither of those statements is correct 100% of the time. Renting vs. buying a home will depend on a number of factors and may not be right for you.
Real estate ownership is fantastic, no doubt. Wait, though, till the appropriate moment comes. In a lot of cases, renting is the better option than buying.
When should you rent rather than buy? Here are some examples:
- When you are moving soon – If you’re thinking about moving soon, buying is a bad idea. For the time being, renting makes sense. You can always purchase once you arrive at your destination. For a short-term circumstance, renting will be far more flexible than owning.
- When the market is facing inflation – Some home markets are ridiculous, especially right now. Be wary of buying in a location with inflated values, as you may be saddled with a mortgage that is two times the worth of your home if the market turns.
- When you are saving to buy your home – Don’t rush into a bad loan because you don’t have enough money for a down payment. No money down loans are available, but that does not imply you should take them. Preferably, wait to buy until you have a substantial down payment saved up.
- When you don’t want extra responsibilities – People often get caught up in the math and forget that money is emotional when making these decisions. Renting is an excellent option if you don’t want to deal with home maintenance or upkeep. Follow your instincts and do what seems right to you.
2. Your Recreational Vehicle
It’s generally not a good idea to buy an RV unless you really enjoy RVing and will use your RV consistently.
There are several reasons you should reconsider purchasing an RV. First, purchasing one can be too expensive. RVs are generally quite expensive and can be as much as a home in some instances.
Furthermore, there are a lot of costs associated with RV maintenance. Fuel, repairs, and upkeep all add up. When towing a trailer, remember to account for the extra wear and tear on your truck. Oversized vehicles are also more difficult to maintain and store. In some places, it’s illegal to leave your RV parked in a public area, including your driveway. If this is the case, you’ll have to pay for space every year.
According to one study, the cost of storing an RV can range anywhere from $40 to $500 per month.
Long story short, if you’re an occasional RVer then renting an RV makes far more sense than purchasing one. Keep renting an RV until you know you’ll use it enough to justify buying one. Peer-to-peer services allow you to rent an RV directly from the owner rather than through a rental company, which can save you even more money.
3. Your Boat
A boat’s upkeep and cost of repairs are a bottomless pit. Renting a boat is almost always the better option, especially if you use it occasionally. Docking fees, upkeep, and repairs will compel you to consider boat rental as an option if you ever find yourself in a bind.
Another option is to think about buying a boat with a few other families for those who go out on the water more than once during the year. A pontoon boat or a speed boat are good examples of smaller investments that benefit from this strategy.
One exception to this rule is if you’re serious about fishing (either by profession or an “up-and-comer”). Small fishing boats are inexpensive to buy and maintain. Even if this is an exception, renting a boat may be preferable if you don’t go fishing every day.
4. Your Specialized Gadgets and Tools
It’s a common misconception among do-it-yourselfers that you can never have too many tools.
In all seriousness, do you undertake enough work to justify the purchase of specialist tools such as concrete saws, floor strippers, carpet drying fans, texture sprayers, stump grinders, or hydraulic torque wrenches?
You can rent or borrow any of these tools, as well as a variety of others, from your local library.
I use a fireplace to keep warm in the winter. My only problem is that I don’t have a log splitter. They’re pricey, and I won’t be using them very often. So instead, I hire one for roughly $100 a day every few years.
It’s much easier to rent tools since you can purchase insurance and not think about what happens if you use them the wrong way. Tool rental is available at several locations, including Home Depot and Lowe’s.
Specialized tools you’ll only use a few times or once every few years are among the things you should rent instead of buy.
5. Your Office Space
Many of us have a home office or at least a space we use as a home office. However, if you don’t have an appropriate space at home or if you have a small business, it may make sense to rent an office space.
It may surprise you to learn that you can lease office space for as short-term as a week. So don’t bother with that long-term contract. Several companies rent business facilities, such as Regus. Their rates start at $15 an hour. More than 2,000 of the company’s locations may be found in 750 different towns and cities.
6. Your Blu-ray Discs/DVDs and Video Games
With so many streaming and cable alternatives available, it no longer makes sense to have a large library of movies or games. Renting video games and movies is inexpensive, but purchasing them is costly. How many times have you bought a film only to watch it just once?
Blu-ray discs or DVDs of vintage or rare films can now be purchased for as little as a few dollars. On the other hand, new releases will set you back $20 to $30 per title and more for a complete television show season.
Stop purchasing! Instead, consider some of the following options:
- Rent from the library – Many libraries have extensive Blu-ray and DVDs that you can borrow for free.
- Redbox – Perhaps a single, low-cost review of the most recent superhero film will convince you that you don’t need to see it again. (For a discount on rentals, look up “Redbox coupon” online.)
- Streaming services – There’s so much to watch on Hulu, Amazon Prime, and other streaming services, including movies.
- Free movies – Find sources that are available for free. You may be able to view movies for free.
Now, if you talk about video games, how often do we spend $60 on a game title just to finish it a week later and then abandon it?
Purchase the game if you intend to play it frequently, like GTA 5, Red Dead Redemption 2, etc. If not, rent it. Check for Black Friday offers at electronics stores or online at Steam or Epic games if you want to buy the latest video games at affordable prices.
7. Your Formal Wear
Ball gowns and tuxes aren’t something most of us wear regularly. People rarely wear them more than a few times.
Check out Rent the Runway, Lending Luxury, and Men’s Wearhouse, to name a few. You can also grab fancy bags from Bag Borrow or Steal.
8. Your Baby Gear for Easy Traveling
Getting baby equipment through a hotel, a small business, or a big branded corporation can save you money and time. They sometimes offer a good discount on baby products if you buy in bulk. Touring with a jogging stroller, high chair, or crib is no longer an issue for busy parents, and they no longer have to spend a fortune on things they’ll never use again.
If you know ahead of time that you’ll be traveling with a baby, many hotels will let you borrow their supplies. In addition, renting infant and toddler gear is easy to get if you stay in a private residence or an Airbnb. To give you an idea of the range of options, prominent ones in Tampa, Fla., include VisitingBaby and, in Denver, Baby Stay Rentals.
Another option is a national company like BabyQuip or Babysaway. To work with BabyQuip, you have to go through an intensive training program, background checks, and safety checks, all of which are performed by the company’s in-house safety team.
Cribs, car seats, strollers, and toys are just some of the items you can rent from them.
Product prices differ from one city to the next in more than 700 different markets across the United States. For example, a Pack n’ Play with mattress and bottom sheet costs $8 per day on average, while a street stroller costs $8 per day, and safety gates cost $2 per day. The pricing is determined by the individual entrepreneurs renting their products. The most significant noticeable difference in delivery costs is between $20 and $100.
More than a hundred cities around the world have Babysaway stores with their line of baby goods. Safeguard gates and Pack n’ Plays cost $3 per day on average; strollers cost $7 per day.
9. Your Truck
Many people own and use a truck regularly. However, if you’re in need of a truck for a day, it makes far more sense to rent one.
For instance, consider renting a truck instead of hiring a moving company to haul your furniture or paying the additional cost to get a couch or bed delivered.
Pickup truck rentals at Home Depot are $20 for 75 minutes, $129 a day, or $903 a week.
Lowe’s charges $19 for 90 minutes or $89 all day.
10. Your Camping Gear and Sports Equipment
People with kids who participate in competitive sports might save money by renting sports gear. Equipment only used for a few months of the year, like skis and golf clubs, can be an expensive investment, especially if you or your kids are just starting out.
To begin, decide if it’s cheaper to rent camping equipment than to buy it. Camping and sports equipment can be rented from REI and purchased at the company’s exclusive stores.
Offerings include camping gear as well as downhill skiing, riding, and paddling gear. Because not all locations have the same rental inventory, the company’s website suggests buyers call their local store to see what’s available.
Since REI is a co-op, customers can buy a modest interest in the company for $20 upfront and reap the associated benefits. Even though membership isn’t required to rent, it can be more cost-effective in the long run because of the lower rental costs you’ll get by becoming a member.
For example, people pay $60 for the first night and $36 for future nights to rent mountain skis, whereas joint members pay $90 for the first night and $54 for future nights plus a $100 deposit for nonmembers.
You can also rent from peer-to-peer sports equipment rental platform Friendwitha.com. As an illustration of prices, consider these:
Folding bike rental costs $35/day; snowboard rental costs $25/day; Wilson tennis racket rental costs $4/day; and a Jupiter electric bike rental costs $60/day.
11. Your Musical Instruments
Do you or your child want to dabble in music? Instruments are often expensive and large (think piano). If you’re just getting started, instruments are one of the things you should rent instead of buy. If your interest is short-lived then you haven’t spent much money and you can just return the instrument instead of it sitting in the corner collecting dust.
You can rent instruments from many local music shops, and Musicarts.com serves as a clearinghouse for all things musical. If you decide to buy the instrument, the rental costs can be used as a down payment or credit toward future payments.
12. A Casket
This one is a bit morbid, but it’s important to consider and plan for end-of-life costs because they can add up.
Caskets can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 at retail, so renting one can save you a lot of money. In addition, caskets can be rented from most funeral homes for around $1,000.
If you or your loved one is choosing to be cremated and will only need to casket temporarily, consider renting instead of buying to save some money.
Things You Should Rent Instead of Buy: Final Thoughts
There are a lot of things you should rent instead of buy to save money.
Think about things that you’ll only use a few times or things that you’re not sure you’ll stick with long-term. If you’re not sure or you think you’ll only need it a few times or sporadically, see if you can rent the item.
You can always decide to buy an item later, so you have nothing to lose by renting first.