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 Rent to own or Rent to buy agreement is also a consumer lease. 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.

Rent vs buy calculator

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.

Other purchasing options

There are other options you should consider before you make a purchase.

Advance payment

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

Small loan

You may qualify for a small loan from the No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) or StepUP. 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 can’t take home the goods until you have paid the full price.

Interest free

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. Sometimes there are fees and charges. Read more about interest free deals on the MoneySmart website.

Page last updated: 27 August 2017