Many people succumb to the appeal of renting which allows consumers to make smaller monthly payments instead of paying a large lump sum. Sometimes renting makes sense but other times it’s a money trap. To help you decide when to rent, MSN Money has put together a list of things you should and should never rent. The list, inside…
You should rent:
5. Pickup trucks
Unless you frequently need to haul stuff, you might be better off renting a pickup for the occasional load and driving a car with good gas mileage on a daily basis.
4. Vacation homes
Owning 2 homes is often more than twice the cost of owning one. People often underestimate the cost of insuring and maintaining a mostly unused home.
3. Anything you use once a year or less
Floor buffers, power washers and expensive power tools can be cost effective if renting. Another idea is to go in 50/50 with a neighbor on infrequently used equipment.
Unless you repeatedly watch the same movies over and over, it makes more sense to rent. If you haven’t heard about Netflix by now, it’s time to check them out.
1. The next car you plan to buy
If the rental agency offers the particular car, it is a good way to get a feel for a potential new car without the pressure of the salesman.
You should never rent:
5. Wheel Rims
Being a player can be expensive especially since the least expensive rims cost $1000 and up. Rent-A-Center will rent you VCT Grissini wheels for $62 dollars a week for 12 months. However, at this rate you end up paying twice as much as they are actually worth.
Renting furniture can quickly put you in the red. You can easily spend 100% more than the furniture is actually worth if you rent-to-own. You are much better off by checking out Craig’s List or a thrift store.
Unless you are running a small business, renting computers is usually a bad idea. For example Rent-A-Center offers a Dell system for $39.99 a week for 62 weeks totaling $2,479 while the cash price is about $1,100.
At Rent-A-Center, a 50 inch Toshiba rents for $34.99 a week for 116 weeks totaling $4,000 while the cash price is only $1,200
1. Your Paycheck
Payday lenders loan you cash for a fee. For example, you may be charged $45 to cash a $300 dollar check. This works out to an effective APR of over 400%. If you fail to pay back the loan, even more fees are added leaving you buried.
As a rule of thumb, rent-to-own stores rarely ever make financial sense. These stores profit on people who don’t have enough money at the moment but feel they cannot live without certain luxury items. Even carrying a credit card balance for a few months on purchased items is ideal compared to rent-to-own. However, as we see in the list, sometimes renting does make sense, but you can rest assured you will never see such items in a rent-to-own store.