The rental trends that can save cash

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Wedding guests looking down aisle

We've heard plenty about the horrors facing 'generation rent'. However, while their need to rent property is likely to cost them a small fortune over their lifetime, there are other areas in life where rental can be the most cost-effective approach.

We reveal three unusual rental options that can pay.


1. Car clubs

We are wedded to our cars, but we pay handsomely for the privilege, and there are some people for whom rental is a far cheaper option.

For those who commute via public transport, shop online, and leave the car rusting outside the house for the majority of the week, a car cub like Zipcar or City Car Club could save you a packet.

You just pay a fee - which tends to be around £60 a year. Then when you need to use a car, you can reserve it online or by phone, and pay around £5 or £6 an hour. It might seem a lot to pay - especially if you want to take a car for the weekend and suddenly end up with a bill for more than £100. However, you need to compare this to all the costs of ownership.

According to the AA, if you own a cheap car, the cost of insurance, road tax and depreciation comes to over £2,000 a year - all of this is taken care of with a car club. Add in the running costs (excluding petrol which you pay for anyway) and that's another 9p a mile.

You'll need to do the maths to see whether this is cost-effective for you, but you might be surprised.

2. Dress rental

Apparently women only wear 20% of their clothes 80% of the time, and the more we have spent on something fancy for a specific occasion, the less likely we are to wear it regularly enough to make the expense worthwhile. You might tell yourself you'll wear something expensive enough times to make it pay, but unless you're prepared to don the dress ten times or more, you could be better off renting.

Anna Bance, a co-founder of Girl Meets Dress says that dress renters range from the teenage girls renting for a school prom to professional women with five weddings in a summer and the fashion-conscious on a budget.

You could, for exempt rent a Temperley London Long Kaydon Dress worth £1,575 for just £109; or a Herve Leger V-Neck Bandage Dress worth £1,330 for £129.

3. Husband/wife rental

It's not as bad as it sounds. These are companies which work for busy people who don't have time to settle down, and as a result don't have a willing spouse to do those niggling household jobs.

For about £40 an hour, plus travel expenses, they will do small maintenance jobs like unblocking sinks and painting doors, run errands like dry cleaning, and do fiddly things like assembling flat pack furniture and repairing bikes. You hire them for an hour or more, and they'll combine any number of these jobs - which is clearly cheaper than getting a professional in for each of them.

Of course, whether you prefer to invest in a spouse for the long-term, or rent a hard-working one by the hour depends entirely on you.