Should an Individual Go for Computer Rental or Computer Purchase?

By Adriana Noton

In a day and age when computers can be purchased for just a fraction of the price they once brought, many wonder whether renting or buying a computer is the most cost effective option. Sure, businesses benefit substantially from renting computers, saving themselves upkeep and upgrade costs when the time comes, but for the individual purchaser or renter the choice is not quite so clear. Here are some things to consider when making this decision.

Systems

It seems like Microsoft is always launching a new operating system. Also, you may find that you prefer a Mac over a PC. When you purchase a computer, you must simply guess as to the system you like best. You can get advice from those around you, but you will find that for some, one system is ideal, while you have a hard time getting the hang of it. Renting allows you to try out operating systems for a short time. If you find that it is not the right fit for your needs, simply change computers when your lease is up. When you purchase a computer, you are stuck with the one you buy until you can afford to change machines.

Financing

If you can get financing, a new computer purchase may be an option. However, you will be paying for the computer long after it has lost most of its value, and interest charges will make the actual out of pocket cost much more than the sticker price on the computer. Unless you have cash on hand to buy a machine, renting may be more cost effective. It will also be a better option if you are not able to get financing because of a short or negative credit history. Credit checks are not required for most rental companies. You will need to prove stable employment, but if you can afford the rental cost, you can get a computer, regardless of your ability to buy them.

Upgrade

Do you like to have the latest, greatest technology on your machine? With a home computer, you can do some upgrading within the actual machine, but if you purchase your machine you will be limited. With computer rental, you will be able to trade in your computer for a "newer model." Of course, your lease agreement may dictate how often you can do this, but for most people you will find that you can have an up to date machine at all times with renting.

Repairs

With computer ownership, you must buy a warranty to guarantee that you can get affordable repairs. When your warranty runs out, you will be stuck paying for repairs out of your own pocket. If you are good at making these repairs on your own, this is not a difficulty, but the average computer user knows little about how to remove viruses, swap out hard drives, and perform other basic maintenance to the machine. Rented computers are the property of the rental company. As such, they will handle most repairs to the machine.

Computer rental is a viable option, not only for businesses but also for individuals. Before you pay for a brand new machine, consider whether or not it would make more sense to rent one and save yourself the hassle and expense of buying a computer. - 30430

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