Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

2009 Lamborghini Gallardo

Recently I paid almost $1,000 to drive a Ferrari and a Lamborghini as fast as I could around a racetrack for a total of about 10 minutes. It was one of the most financially responsible things I've done in a long time.

Your off-the-cuff reaction might be to think I've lost my marbles. Who would pay that much for anything? While the cost on a per-hour basis was astronomical, the outlay pales in comparison to actually owning one of these exotic cars. Instead of buying the car, I bought the experience. Besides, I could never afford the car, so I feel like I saved $299,000.

A recent American Express study found that a "rentail" mentality doesn't just apply to the finer things in life. Quoting from the study, "Cost-conscious young consumers aged 18-34, brought up in an era of online sharing and collaboration, are choosing to downsize and simplify their possessions, experiencing products and services rather than owning them."

Story continues below advertisement

Consider the growing number of car-sharing services like Zipcar and Autoshare: For young, urban professionals, owning a car is a very expensive proposition. Covering finance or lease payments, insurance, gas, maintenance and parking doesn't make much sense if your driving averages less than an hour a day. Renting a car that is readily available from a car-sharing service can be a practical, efficient solution.

Entertaining company? You can rent plates, silverware and crystal. Want to glam it up while out on the town? You can rent high-end purses and there are even long-term leasing options. Camping? Yep, you can rent all the gear you'll need. Heck, you can even borrow a spouse at rentawife.ca or hire-a-husband.ca.

Another bonus of the "rentail" trend is that it's green. Why acquire materials required for hobbies and sports if you're only going to partake in the activities once in a while? Perhaps you rent golf clubs five times a year. If it becomes a regular pastime, you are going to want to your own set. Some might argue that not only will it make more financial sense to buy your own set, but you'll get better consistency using the same equipment. The math might be break-even now, but unless you keep it up, you'll just find yourself with equipment taking up room in your home. And if you are only golfing five times a year, believe me, your high scores aren't due to your clubs.

The flipside to this discussion is that sometimes we rent things we should be purchasing. Your TV's digital box is a prime example: I noticed the model we rented went on sale at an electronics store for the equivalent of one year's rental cost, so we sent our rental unit back to the cable company.

Something else you should consider buying is a water heater. To buy your own, including installation, might run you $1,000, yet the latest door-knocker who came to my home seemed convinced a 15-year contract that would have me pay a total of more than $5,000 was a better option. I'm pretty sure I'm not going to go through a tank every three years.

So while more companies are specializing in rentals of products and experiences, remember to not only crunch the numbers but to take a hard look at the expected actual use of these items. You may find that while many things are better rented, some things are indeed better owned.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Tickers mentioned in this story
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies