Rent vs buy calculator

Use the calculator to find out the costs of renting or buying household items.

Real costs of renting

When you rent items, such as a television, fridge or washing machine, you enter into a consumer lease. You’re expected to make regular payments over an agreed timeframe. At the end of the lease, you may:

  • have paid more than it would have originally cost you to buy, and
  • not own the item

A consumer lease might also be called a ‘Rent to own’ or ‘Rent to buy’ agreement. It can seem like an easy way to get goods that you can take home straight away but there are risks. Before you sign up you should check all the costs, including any fees and charges on top of regular rental payments. Renting can be very expensive!

ASIC’s MoneySmart Rent vs buy calculator can compare the costs of renting or buying products. It pays to use this calculator before you sign any consumer lease. You may be paying much more than the item is worth. Read more about rent to buy and borrowing and credit on the MoneySmart website.

Rent vs buy calculator

Other purchasing options

You may be eligible for an advance payment depending on how long you’ve have been getting your Centrelink payment. Find out more about Advance payments.

You may qualify for a loan from the No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) or StepUP. Available for small amounts, they can offer you an easy way to get goods without the added stress of interest payments. Read more about NILS or StepUP and which loan is right for you on the Good Shepherd Microfinance website.

Lay-by allows you to pay for goods over time by paying a deposit and then regular amounts over a certain period. There is no interest charged on lay-bys. You cannot take home the goods until you have paid the full price.

Some shops have interest free deals that let you take goods home before you pay for them. Interest free doesn't always mean cost free. To avoid being surprised by fees and charges, read more at MoneySmart about interest-free deals.

Page last updated: 8 September 2016