I haven’t written about renting washing machines before. I’d come to think of it as something from the past, and no longer relevant. You can buy new ones so cheaply now. However, the problem is they aren’t lasting very long. Appliances are the least repairable they’ve ever been.
But when I was contacted by Forbes asking to advertise with me I decided to investigate the subject more seriously. Many people are spending a lot of money replacing their appliances regularly. So renting may make sense again for some. (Rent any appliance at Forbes)
Renting appliances was common when I began in the white goods trade. Some people rented all their appliances. People didn’t want the initial expense of purchasing, and were afraid of future repair costs. There was also a concern about being stuck with old features as appliances evolved. Renting felt safer, and didn’t require a large outlay of money, or getting into debt.
Appliances eventually became cheaper to buy and could be maintained at reasonable prices. They didn’t change much from year to year. Credit became easy to acquire. It now made sense for most people to buy their own. Things were good. White goods appliances lasted on average between 10 and 20 years. Many lasted much longer. Whenever they broke down the local repairman fixed them at reasonable prices.
The life span for an average family washing machine has plummeted to around 7 years. Many don’t last that long. It’s also getting harder to buy spare parts. Manufacturers used to keep spares available for decades. But it’s common for some spares to be “unavailable” after several years. Other spares are priced so high it’s not worth repairing the appliance.
Even people with extended warranties can find their appliances scrapped once over 5 years old if anything expensive fails.
So buying isn’t as safe a bet as it used to be. According to my poll on how long should a washing machine last 40% of readers said their last washing machine lasted 5 years or less. Remarkably, 22.65% said their washing machine lasted only 3 years or less. To give some balance, 36% said theirs lasted 10 years or more. (Figures from 3,652 votes)
Is renting an appliance the answer?
Although not for everyone, renting an essential appliance may be worth a try for some. Especially if fed up of constantly buying appliances that don’t last. People buying at the budget end of the market can be trapped in a cycle of replacing major appliances far too often. Worried by expensive repair costs some people also end up buying extended warranties, which adds to the financial outlay.
Most people don't realise that under an extended warranty many appliances still get written off when they need expensive repairs, or parts are prematurely obsolete. You can still find yourself with a 6 year old washing machine written off by the insurance company with only a contribution towards the cost of replacing it (are extended warranties the answer?)
Where to rent a washing machine or other white goods appliance
For a professionally organised rental company renting new appliances and with a large backup service to look after them you might want to check out Forbes Rentals who advertise on my appliance rental page.
Advantages of renting
- No initial financial outlay or loans to take out
- No more repair bills and call out charges
- Usually get a fast repair service – often same day/next day
- No stress trying to find a repairer or a replacement if it breaks down
- No need to buy an extended warranty
- Have a more expensive appliance than you might afford to buy
- Can change appliance more regularly
As with renting anything, it’s cheaper to buy in the long term. But it’s not necessarily that much cheaper for some users these days. Especially if doing a lot of washing on some of the most common budget or mid-priced washing machines, and taking out loans & extended warranties.
Rent any of the following
- Washing machines
- Fridges and Freezers
- Plasma | LCD | LED TVs
- Combination DVD/Video
- Home Cinema
- Home Laundry