Seven things you should always rent

If you don't have the money or storage space, renting is a useful alternative.

However much space we have, somehow we always fill it.

But what if instead of buying everything, we rented the things we only use occasionally?

Not only would we save on storage issues, we’d eliminate maintenance costs. And, if one item doesn’t work for us, we could swap it for another. We’d reduce our impact on the environment – and best of all, it may even save us money!

Check out some of the items we could rent, instead of buy:

1.  DIY/Gardening equipment

Power tools must rank as one of the least-used items we own.

So why buy them? You can hire anything from a pressure washer, to a mini digger(!) on a daily basis from companies such as Homebase or HSS on a daily or weekly basis. And as industrial grade tools, they’re likely to be more effective than the layman versions we buy.

An industrial steam wallpaper stripper (which would have made mincemeat of the woodchip wallpaper I laboured over in my old house) can be hired over two days for just £17.71.

And a Heavy Duty Garden Chipper can be hired for £68 for a weekend.

2. Baby equipment

While hiring baby equipment may not seem very economical, particularly if you plan to have more than one child, it does have its uses.

Everything from cots, to baby toys can be rented from companies such as Minilodgers (as recommended by reader muminthenorth), meaning you always have the age-appropriate equipment for your child, without having to store the gear they’ve outgrown.

Alternatively, you could choose to simply hire specific, expensive items.

For example, rather than buy two or three pushchairs (a newborn lie-flat, an umbrella fold for the car and a three-wheeler for country walks) you could plan which is needed when and rent the appropriate model instead.

3. DVDs

Why buy films? Renting DVDs or Blu-ray is perfect – you get to see the latest blockbusters for just a few pounds without the hassle of storing them afterwards. Better still, many companies allow us to instantly download a film instead.

Check out this site and choose a DVD rental company. What’s more, companies such as lovefilm offer a free 30-day trial (and £15 Amazon voucher to those that sign up). Just remember to cancel before the time is up if you’re not keen.

4. Computer games

If you’ve got an Xbox 360, PS3 or Nintendo Wii, sites such as Blockbuster, can include games in their film rental packages. You can borrow one game or movie at a time for £7.99 a month (try a free, 14-day trial).

Simply post it back when you’ve finished with it.

5. Wedding Dresses

Why is it that grooms are happy to rent a morning suit for their big day, but brides rarely hire their wedding gown?

You’ll still look amazing on your big day and still have stunning photos – but as hiring a dress can cost as little as £95, it’s a fraction of the price (plus you don’t have to clean or store it).

And if you’re concerned the only dresses to hire are cheap looking meringues, think again – nowadays designer and even couture dresses can be hired.

If you’re an average size (dresses for hire tend to be in standard sizes and alterations may not be allowed), check out companies such as Savvy Cinderella, House of Couture or Vonlee Bridal Hire.

6. Designer dresses

We’d all love to wear designer dresses, but few of us can afford to buy them.

So check out sites such as Girl Meets Dress where dresses for all occasions can be rented from just £29 for two nights.

Handbags and hats can be hired too, so you could wow your friends in a fabulous, pulled-together outfit while spending a fraction of what it would cost to buy it all.

Rent an Yves Saint Laurent dress for your cousin’s wedding, Stella McCartney for that work function and a Herve Leger bandage dress for your friend’s birthday party. Better still, take out a weekly rental and wear the same dress to more than one function within seven days.

Then simply post them back when you’re finished with them.

7. Cars

Finally, some friends of mine live in central London, but still own a car that they use infrequently. Not only are they paying for its tax, insurance, and maintenance, they rent a garage to store it in. Yikes.

It would be far more sensible to sell the car and simply hire one when they need it.

Better still, they could join a Car Club and simply borrow a car whenever they need one.

According to Carplus, if you drive fewer than 8,000 miles per year, using a car club could save you as much as £3,500. Use this calculator and find out how much you could save.

More on money saving:

The UK’s favourite shop

Sell for less: the alternatives to eBay

Have You Seen?: is this new cashback website too good to be true?

Fabulous baby freebies

Tesco launches online marketplace to rival Amazon


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