When Does It Make Sense to Rent, Not Buy?
Experts’ tips on when borrowing might be the best deal―and how much you can save.
Splurging on a new treadmill might not make you work out every day. And a quick test-drive won’t tell you if your groceries fit into that cute convertible. "Rent if you are wavering on an expensive item and feel the need to try it out first," says Cheryl Sherrard, director of financial planning at Rinehart & Associates, an asset-management firm in Charlotte, North Carolina. Here, some items that may require a spin around the block.
What's available: Digital cameras, cam-corders, computers, projectors, GPS devices, PDAs, cell phones, speakers, video-game equipment, and more.
Where to find it:
Keep in mind: Before renting a communication device (anything that requires connection to a service provider), always inquire about additional usage fees.
To rent: $60 for a weekend.
To buy: $900.
Macbook Pro (15 inch)
To rent: $250 a week.
To buy: $2,500.