You hear arguments about renting versus buying when it comes to homes, but what about other things? Right now we are having a little dilemma with renting versus buying a steam carpet cleaner. Our carpet was purchased new (on credit) shortly after we moved into our house. The carpets have never been cleaned, and with pets and a child in the house, they are looking pretty bad.
In the past, I probably would have bought the steam carpet cleaner on credit and that would have been that. Now, though, every big decision is looked at carefully. What is the better thing to do in this case? Should we rent a steam cleaner for around $25 or should we buy a lower end (but well rated) model for $150?
Since I’m really not sure what to do, it’s time to look at the pros and cons.
Pros of Owning a Steam Cleaner
– No time constraints to get a job done
– Having it available would lead to the carpets being cleaned on a regular basis
Pros of Renting a Steam Cleaner
– No worries about equipment breaking
– Better grade equipment and continual upgrades
Cons of Owning a Steam Cleaner
– Larger initial cost
– Maintenance/repair costs
Cons of Renting a Steam Cleaner
– You never know who used it before you and exactly what they cleaned
– Time constraint to finish a job
Right now, the biggest reason why I would want to own our own steam cleaner is the fact that we could use it anytime and if it takes a week to finish cleaning all of our carpets – that’s okay. With my schedule, it’s difficult to have a huge block of time to dedicate to cleaning carpets. I used to work for a company that rented out steam cleaners (a very small portion of their business). I’d say about 5% of the customers I talked to with would tell me how they didn’t get the job done so they’ll have to rent again another time.
The biggest reason why I am hesitating on purchasing our own steam cleaner is the price. We technically have the money and we could buy one right now without having to put it on credit. But that’s a bit of money to spend on something for the home that you may only use a few times a year.
In this case, I think the decision is a little harder because after six uses of a purchased steam cleaner, you would break even with renting. After that sixth carpet cleaning, it would be free cleaning (not exactly free, but I think you know what I mean). It’s not like in the case where you rent a car for a day for $80 and it costs over $17,000 new. If I only needed to use a car one day a month for a year, I’d rent the car and wouldn’t think twice about doing it ($960). There’s a big price difference there.
I’m not sure why, but these little decisions are tough. I’ve been thinking about it off and on for about a month now hoping to come to a conclusion, but I haven’t. I even googled “renting versus buying a steam cleaner” and didn’t come up with much.
What do you think when it comes to these smaller scale renting versus buying situations?