Rent or Purchase the Equipment? Pros and Cons

Rent or Purchase the Equipment? Pros and Cons

time icon 3 min read update icon Nov. 26, 2019


The dilemma to rent or buy is very apparent with medical equipment, which usually packs a high price tag. Many seniors with health issue must decide if they should make a purchase or only pay a monthly rental charge for their healthcare necessities.


There are several factors involved in trying to decide if a senior should rent or purchase equipment. One of the main deciders is cost. A high-dollar item might not be economically feasible to buy outright and may be more cost efficient to rent. In many circumstances, veterans’ associations, healthcare foundations, and other state and local nonprofits will pay the rental fees on specific items or even purchase them outright for a senior in need. All options should be explored, and the pros and cons should be weighed. 

Is it More Feasible to Rent Equipment or Purchase It?

As with any decision, the pros and cons must be weighed out, especially when it involves making a possible high-dollar purchase.

  • Cost: Cost is always the ultimate deciding factor. Can the senior afford the item, or will it put a strain on their savings?  Also, are the rental fees affordable for the senior’s monthly budget?  Exhausting a senior’s savings account to purchase a high-dollar item that can be rented may not be a viable option. Low-cost items such as walkers and canes should be purchased outright instead of leased when possible.
  • Long Term or Short Term: How long will the senior need the equipment? If it is something that the aging individual will require long-term, then it may be more prudent to purchase the item than rent if the senior can afford the purchase price. Many times, after surgery, a senior will require a hospital bed for a month or two, but not for the long term. In such circumstances, it is often advisable to rent the item.
  • Rental Agreements: The maintenance and repair of some items are costly, so always make sure the rental agreement covers the cost. Electric wheelchairs and other things often need support to stay functioning, which is expensive.In such instances, it may be more economical to rent the item if the monthly rental fee covers maintenance.
  • Resale Value: If the senior purchases the item and no longer needs it, then what will the resale value be? If the aging person cannot recoup most of their investment, then it may be better to rent the equipment short-term. 

There is no black and white answer when it comes to renting or purchasing an item. What works for one individual may not for another. Also, some items are easier to rent than purchase. A senior must think about all the options and alternatives that are available to decide what works best for their unique situation. 

Kimberly Sharpe - Senior Advisor

Kimberly is senior researcher with Grandfolk® providing in-depth product and service reviews to empower senior buying decisions.