You’ve heard of renting an apartment or a movie, but did you know there are tons of other things you can rent instead of buy to save money? Renting things you need on a limited basis is a great way to spend less money, reduce your carbon footprint by limiting your consumption of consumer goods, and test out items before making a purchase.
The general rule of thumb is that you should rent anything you use less than three times a year, so next time you find yourself in “need” of something, see if you can rent it first – instead of shelling out your hard-earned cash.
Keep reading for 18 things you should rent instead of buy.
Editor’s note: Rental services and store hours may be affected due to the rapidly evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Please visit rental websites for the most accurate, up to date information.
Unless you’re James Bond, how much use can you really get out of a tuxedo? A traditional tuxedo rental can cost more than $135. However, The Black Tux offers online tuxedo rental options starting at $95.
If you need a nice tux or suit for a wedding, prom, or other occasion, use their fit finder algorithm to get sized online. Your rental will arrive at your door a full two weeks before your event, so you can make sure it fits perfectly.
In addition to suits and tuxes, The Black Tux offers shirts, vests, cufflinks, neckwear, shoes, and other accessories. They also have showrooms around the country where you can get fitted in-person.
2. Women’s Clothing
Renting a special occasion outfit for a wedding, prom, or quinceañera is usually more affordable than buying new. Rent the Runway rents designer dresses, shoes, bags, and jewelry at a fraction of their retail price. Dress rentals start at $30, compared to the cost of a brand-new dress, which could be well over $100. Rent the Runway also offers a generous student discount.
Another option is StyleLend, which crowdsources designer items. Choose your items, select a delivery window, and send your stuff back using the prepaid shipping label at the end of your rental period. Or, lend out your own designer items to earn extra cash. One-time rentals start at $20.
3. Kids’ Clothing
One of the more practical things you should rent instead of buy? Kids’ clothing! Think about it: kids outgrow clothing so quickly – why splurge on a special occasion outfit your kiddo will probably only be able to wear for one season? Rent the Runway also has tons of kid-friendly styles for children ages 3 to 10. One-time rentals start at $18.
4. Storage Space
Renting a self-storage unit costs $88 a month on average, and you might not be able to access your stuff easily when you need it. If you’re short on space, try renting a neighbor’s empty basement, garage, shed, or attic with StoreWithMe or StoreAtMyHouse. It’s often cheaper than paying for a storage unit.
5. Parking Spaces
Reserve parking spaces with Park Whiz, a parking app that shows you the prices of parking spaces in your city. You can quickly book ahead online or using the app. It’s not necessarily cheaper than typical parking rates in your city, but it is a more efficient way to find the cheapest parking spots near you.
Craigslist is another great option where you can find short-term and long-term parking spot rentals in your neighborhood.
6. Garden Space
Got a green thumb but short on green space? Consider renting a plot in a community garden. There are more than 4,000 community gardens throughout the United States!
Use the American Community Gardening Association’s garden finder to find a community garden near you and start growing your own fresh produce. Some gardens charge a small fee; others require you to help with maintenance.
7. Foster Dogs
Owning a dog can cost more than $4,000 a year. Fostering a shelter dog, however, is practically free, and many humane associations offer “doggy dates” and sleepovers to get pups out of the shelter environment. Go for an afternoon hike or snuggle on your couch and binge a TV series – it’s a great way to give a lovable pup a break and make a furever friend! Check out your local humane association.
8. Sports Equipment
Been wanting to try a new sport, but don’t want to spend money on all the necessary gear? Sports equipment is one of the best things you can rent. Play It Again Sports offers rentals for racquets, inline skates, golf clubs, bikes, hockey equipment, and stand-up paddleboards.
A standup paddleboard can cost $700, while a day rental can cost $45. Renting sports equipment is also a nice option if you have a child who wants to test out a new sport, but you don’t have the equipment.
9. Camping Gear
Want to take a weekend camping trip, but don’t have any of the gear? REI and Eastern Mountain Sports rent all sorts of camping and hiking equipment, including tents, sleeping bags, and packs. A backpacking pack can cost over $200, but a rental from REI is $30 for your first night and $6 for each additional night. They also rent out equipment for snow and water sports!
If you live in a home with limited storage, you know every bit of space counts, and luggage takes up a surprising amount of space. RentLuggage.com offers tons of great luggage, as well as cases and racks for golf bags, bicycles, and ski and snowboard gear.
Buying a rooftop carrier for a weekend camping trip could cost over $150, but a rental could cost about half as much. RentLuggage.com also ships your rentals with enough time to spare, so you have plenty of time to pack.
Save cash by renting tools and other equipment instead of buying them. Home Depot offers rentals for just about every tool under the sun, including indoor and outdoor tools, power tools, lifts, moving equipment, and other machinery.
Tool rental pricing varies depending on the type of tool you need and how you want to rent it. If you need a tool for a project and won’t need to use it again, try renting instead of buying. Big tools like augers, lawn mowers, and pressure washers can cost hundreds of dollars, while renting the same items can cost around $50 for the day.
Check to see if your local hardware store offers a tool rental program!
12. Wedding Cakes
The average cost of a wedding cake is $528, and keep in mind that’s only an average. But who says you have to serve your guests real cake? FunCakes makes dummy wedding cakes that look just as beautiful as the real thing!
Styrofoam cakes covered in real fondant arrive to your door in one piece, ready to place right on the cake table. They even have a secret section where real cake can go for the ceremonial cake cutting. Once you’ve captured that picture-perfect moment, take the cake to the kitchen and serve your guests slices of sheet cake. Your guests won’t taste the difference!
13. Video Games
Video games are expensive and tend to wear out their novelty. Save money by renting video games through Game Fly. You can rent thousands of titles for a few different consoles without worrying about late fees.
When you’re a student, you want to save all the money you can. Sites like Chegg and eCampus let you rent textbooks for up to 90% off their original price. Send them back using the prepaid shipping label at the end of the semester!
Renting to own furniture costs more over time due to high interest rates – up to double or triple what you’d pay with cash, layaway, or an installment plan. But if you need new furniture quickly, Rent-A-Center or Aaron’s Furniture offer low weekly or monthly payments on name-brand items.
You can get you the items you need without having to put a bunch of money down, get a credit check, or make a long-term commitment. There are no credit checks, and you can make low monthly or weekly payments
16. Tires and Wheels
If you need new car tires or wheels stat and can’t afford to pay full-price, consider renting them. Rent A Wheel/Rent-A-Tire help you do just that. Driving on bald tires is dangerous, and renting them will help you get back on the road quickly and safely.
Traditional car rental companies require you to pay by the day, and you’re also at the mercy of the store’s hours. But what if you need a car to run a few errands or take a last-minute weekend getaway?
Zipcar offers flexible on-demand car rentals for as little as one hour up to two days. As long as you’re 21 or older (18 if you’re a student) and have a valid driver’s license and a debit or credit card, you can become a Zipcar member and start booking cars as soon as your account is activated. Zipcar also covers gas, parking, maintenance, and insurance.
Click here to learn how car insurance for rental cars works.
18. Just About Anything!
Search for stuff you rent in your neighborhood at Loanables.com. Loanables reduces your carbon footprint by reducing your consumption of consumer goods, so it’s as good for your wallet as it is for the Earth! You can find everything from bounce houses and boats to projectors and pressure washers!
From helping you discover things you should rent instead of buy to offering affordable car insurance with low monthly payments, Direct Auto is always looking for ways to help our customers save money. Learn how much you could save with a free car insurance quote by calling 1-877-GO-Direct (1-877-463-4732), visiting us online, or stopping by one of our local stores. We’re always a quick call, click, or drive away!
*Direct Auto Insurance does not endorse and is not affiliated with any company or person that might be listed in this article.