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Pros and cons

Renting a Car Vs Buying a Car

Like many things these days, buying a car isn’t cheap.

Purchasing a new model that’s suitable for your family might cost you at least the equivalent of half a year’s salary. And although you’ll probably choose to find a finance deal and pay in instalments, you’ll still have to pay a substantial deposit and make sure that you’ve got the wherewithal to make the repayments each month. That’s on top of your existing list of direct debits, standing orders and all other responsibilities. Furthermore, don’t forget that your credit rating will have to be healthy before you secure any type of car loan or financing deal.

On the other hand, if you buy a second-hand car, you’ve got to go through the process above and, no matter how good the condition of the vehicle seems when you buy it, you’ll also have to be prepared that your maintenance and repair bills might increase incrementally as it ages.

All that said, there are advantages to buying your car rather than renting it and there are several reasons why some people are opting for short or long-term car rental rather than buying.

To help you weight up what’s an important decision, we’ve gathered together some useful insights on the great renting a car vs buying a car debate – enjoy!

Car Showroom
Car Rental Sign

Renting Vs buying: which is the smarter move?

Whether renting or buying is the smarter move depends very much on your circumstances and living arrangements.

Proportionately, renting a car over the medium to long term will in most cases cost more per day than the equivalent car purchase payments. And if you live in a remote rural area, on balance it’s probably best to buy a vehicle – you’ll likely have to use it every day for activities like shopping and commuting . Furthermore, even if you’re not on the road every single day, having access to a car will be vital in times of emergency.

On the flipside, if you live in a city which is blessed by a good public transport system, there might be no reason for you to splash out on your own car. It’ll be more economical for you to hire a vehicle when you need it (for weekend trips and family holidays, for instance). Plus, as a city-dweller you’ll be well aware that it’s often a struggle to find secure parking and if you’re not lucky enough to have a space included with your residence, the fee for buying one is probably exorbitant.

At the end of the day, if your circumstances are likely to remain the same for some time, these will dictate whether renting or buying a car is your best move.

Car Rental Companies
car-contract

Can hiring a car save me money?

If you live in an urban area and don’t need to use a car every week, it could be far cheaper for you to hire a car rather than buying.

Most cars depreciate in value from the time you buy them, but if yours is lying idle in a space for days and weeks at a time, it could deteriorate even faster than if you were using it every day. In short, if you’re enjoying city life, buying a car might be a completely unnecessary expense.

Renting a car - pros & cons

If you want to rent a car in the long- or short-term or are swithering about leasing, you should weight up a few facts before you choose this option over buying. One advantage of renting is that you can experience driving brand new cars of lots of different types – some of which, for various reasons, you might never choose to buy. For instance, you might want to hire a 9-seater for the weekend or treat yourself to a luxury model or sporty convertible.


Pros

  • Car rental agreements are more flexible than many car loan payments and some long-term car rental payments can be cheaper than a car loan repayment.
  • It’s cheaper to rent a new car model than it is to buy it.
  • When you want to switch up to a new model, you don’t need to go to the hassle of selling your existing car.
  • Depending on the car rental provider and terms, you’re not typically responsible for repairs on your hire car.
  • If you only need a car occasionally for short term-use, renting a car is more convenient and cheaper.

Cons

  • If you’re leasing a car, rather than just renting, you might be subject to penalties if you exceed your mileage limit, don’t take care of maintenance or otherwise fail to comply with the terms of your agreement.
  • You won’t recoup any money at the end of your lease. Whereas when you own a car, you can sell it and put the funds towards your new vehicle.
  • You don’t have the same scope to modify or customize a hire car as you would if you owned it.

As you can see, there are several advantages and disadvantages to renting a car. But don’t make your decision just yet, because next up we’ll consider the pros and cons of buying a car.

Car Hire Site
Car Dealer Showroom


Buying a car – pros & cons

A car is a must-have for many people in the UK and elsewhere – whether you need it for family duties, work or a combination of both. But before you make a commitment, let’s look at a few pros and cons of shelling out for your wheels.


Pros

  • First and foremost, you might experience a sense of satisfaction when you actually own your car. The open road awaits – you’re ready for a road trip any time you like!
  • You’re making a financial commitment each month but that’s because you’re paying up something you’ll own outright. You’re not handing your car back at the end of a rental agreement.
  • If you want to upgrade your car, you’re free to do so. You can find a buyer to raise funds or trade it in at a garage.
  • There are no monthly mileage limits when the car’s your own – if you want to drive your car from Aberdeen to Penzance on a whim, strap yourself in and hit the road!
  • Fancy some go-faster stripes up the side of your vehicle? A snazzy set of low-profile alloys? A completely new paint job? Red leather upholstery? You can add as many bespoke touches as you like to your own car.

Cons

  • Your monthly car payments might be dearer than leasing or long-term rental. You’ll have to consider whether your cashflow can absorb this commitment.
  • Unless it’s a rare, classic car, your vehicle will value will depreciate constantly from the moment you buy it. You’ll recoup some funds when/if you choose to sell it on, but it won’t amount to the initial ticket price.
  • If you don’t have the wherewithal to pay for the entire amount (or do, but simply prefer not to), you’ll need to get a loan for your car.
  • You’re responsible for repairs. You might expect these with an older second-hand car, but even new cars need repairs, and they can be expensive.

It’s evident that there’s lots to think about in terms of the pros and cons of buying a car. So what’s the ultimate answer? We’ll highlight some key takeaways next.


Final thoughts – is it better to rent or buy a car?

It’s evident that there are upsides and downsides to renting and buying a car. Your final decision will depend on how much you can afford to spend and why you need a vehicle.

If you don’t drive often, a shirt-term rental package is perfect for you. If you want to try out a luxury car before buying or just appreciate flexibility, a long-term rental or lease might be attractive.

However, if you’re a frequent driver, are planning to cover long distances and want some cash back when you upgrade, you’ll probably prefer to buy a car.

If you want to find out about hiring a car in the UK, renting a vehicle in the US or car hire in pretty much any major town, city or local or international airport worldwide, we’re happy to help. We work with trusted international, national and local car rental providers to offer you the cheapest deals all year round and you can book in a couple of clicks.

Finally, whether you choose to rent or buy your next car, stay safe and happy driving!


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