For decades it was the norm for families to hire expensive gadgets such as televisions, rather than buying them outright.
It was only in the 1990s when these items became more affordable and reliable, that rental shops in town centres faded into distant memory. But the renting revolution is back — with a modern twist. Concern about fast fashion and waste has driven a surge in people looking to hire items rather than buying yet more ‘stuff’.
Just this month Carrie Johnson injected new life into the trend after renting a £2,870 wedding dress to marry the Prime Minister for just £45 a day. But it’s not just clothes you can rent. From furniture and washing machines to mobile phones to DIY equipment, there is a website for everything.
One rental firm, Fat Llama, says hiring everyday items has soared, with 500 new borrowers joining its site every week. But does renting really work out as better value? Here, Money Mail does the maths…
Rental firm Hughes offers a basic washing machine for £2.77 a week — or £144 a year. This includes installation and servicing. However, you can buy the same model online for just £219. So if you rented a machine for more than 77 weeks you would have paid more than it is worth.