Should you rent or buy an instrument for your child?
It's that time of year to get an instrument for a new band or orchestra student. Is it better to rent or buy an instrument?
Most people acknowledge that renting-to-own anything typically means you will pay more for it than you would have paid if you purchased it outright. This is no secret. However, it does allow you to purchase the instrument on a low monthly payment that fits your budget.
Renting also sometimes comes with insurance or maintenance included so that is certainly an added value.
Purchasing can be scary, as you don't want to be stuck losing money on an instrument if your child quits. When purchasing, ask if the store has a buy-back or trade-back plan. This may provide you with an option if your child stops playing.
Used instruments can be a tremendous value, and often can be purchased for less than the cost of renting an instrument for the school year. Just make sure the instrument isn't in need of expensive repair, and that the quality meets your school's individual standards. Most repair shops, or music stores are happy to assess any used instrument you are thinking of purchasing at no charge to you.
In conclusion... the answer isn't simple. Purchasing is always cheaper in the long run, but renting is cheaper up front. Make the best decision based on your individual budget.