Buying vs. Renting: Here’s What You Can Rent to Save Money

by Jessica Sommerfield · 6 comments

With financial planning and a tighter budget comes stricter decisions on what to buy versus what to rent. Most experts will tell you to stay far away from furniture and appliance rental, because it could end up costing you more than three times the retail value of the item.

However, there are a few things that are still worth renting versus buying, depending on the situation. On the flip side, there are also things you can rent out to make some extra cash.

Tools and Equipment

Tools used for home renovations can cost several hundred dollars a piece, and may never be used again. Although you can sell them later, items you’ll only be using a few times are cheaper to rent at places like Home Depot for less than $15 a day.

You’ll be able to save money by only renting out the tools you actually need. The only downside is that you’ll be held responsible if the tools are lost or damaged.


In the United States bikes are mainly rented for sightseeing, whereas Europeans are catching on to the concept of bike rental systems for daily commuter life. These systems require a membership card and grant access to locked bike stations throughout the city — a perfect option for those with minimal storage who still want to get some exercise instead of using public transportation.

Capital BikeShare, based out of Washington, D.C., is one of the few U.S. programs that resembles the European versions. If you’re not ready to invest in a good bike just yet, consider renting one and save money on your daily commute.

Camping and Sports Gear

Camping and sports gear can get very expensive and tedious, especially if you only use them a few times a year and don’t have the space to store them.

More and more sporting goods retailers are offering rental systems — a profitable income for them, and convenient service to customers. This is also a great way to try before you buy major purchases.


College students are all too familiar with the money pit known as textbooks. Many university bookstores offer used textbooks and buy-back programs, so be sure to take advantage of that.

Students can save even more money by renting books through third-party sites like or textbook, or even finding digital versions through sites such as

Likewise you can rent out certain assets to make some quick cash.

Rent Out Your Driveway

Renting versus buying is one way to save money, but you can also make money by renting out your stuff to other peopleIn some locations, near popular venues and in densely populated cities, parking space is at a premium.

Residents in populated areas can (legally) rent out driveways to visitors through services like,, ParkWhiz, ParkingPanda, or mobile apps like SPOT. If you’re not using your parking spaces, consider renting them out to make some extra money.

Rent Out Luggage, Vehicles, Sports Equipment

Pretty much anything you could rent from a business is something you can rent out, yourself. Take stock of what you have that might be worth something to others on a rental basis.

Of course, this includes some risk of loss or damage, but as long as you’re smart about it renting your belongings to others can become an easy way to bring in extra money.

What are some other things you can rent (or rent out) to save or make extra money?

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