Top 30 things brits would rather rent than own outright

By Richard Jenkins
Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 8:55 pm
Updated Tuesday, 24th May 2022, 4:47 pm

A third of Brits are more likely to rent things now than ever before – leasing designer clothing, the latest mobile phones, furniture, bikes - and even Christmas trees.

A poll of 2,000 adults found the average Brit shells out £227 each month on renting products or services to suit their lifestyle.

Another one in 10 find themselves parting with more than £500 each month on subscription services or rental fees.

More than half (55 per cent) of respondents believe renting individual items is much more normalised now than it was five years ago.

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    And 53 per cent said they no longer feel the need to own things - and that it is access to goods and service which is important.

    A tenth would now even prefer to rent their wedding dress – as Carrie Symonds did when marrying Boris Johnson earlier this year – rather than owning it outright.

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    The research was commissioned by leading recommerce expert, MusicMagpie, as part of a report exploring the rental revolution.

    This follows the company’s announcement it has extended its popular smartphone rental offering to include new and refurbished iPads.

    Four in 10 adults believe living a more rental or subscription-heavy lifestyle allows them to have more flexibility.

    And 38 per cent feel it’s simply a way of avoiding having to pay full price for something outright.

    Glamourous lifestyle

    One in five said renting allows them to live a more glamourous lifestyle – giving them access to things they wouldn’t be able to otherwise - with one in 10 renting designer handbags, clothing, and jewellery.

    And for around a third (28 per cent) renting enables them to keep up with the latest tech, by renting computers, consoles, phones and more.

    musicMagpie’s CEO, Steve Oliver, said: “There’s been a dramatic shift in how we consume all sorts of different things over the last decade or so.

    “Many people now see renting as a smarter choice, by allowing themselves access to products and services rather than having to buy them outright.

    “This is particularly the case for high cost or luxury items, or items they only need for a short period of time.

    “Not only this, but renting can also be a smart choice for the environment, promoting a circular economy where products are kept in circulation for longer, we own less ‘stuff’ and don’t produce as much waste for the planet.”

    On this note, more than half of those polled (52 per cent) believe renting things is more environmentally friendly than owning them.

    It also emerged millennials – those born between 1981 and 1996 – are most likely to live a rental-style life because it’s less wasteful for the planet.

    Environmental benefit

    Thirty-eight per cent believe a key environmental benefit of renting is that doing so leads to more shared usage of items – meaning they get more use out of them from more people.

    And 32 per cent appreciate renting can increase an item’s lifespan, according to the OnePoll.com figures.

    Brits estimate they own just 70 per cent, on average, of the products and services they use on a regular basis.

    More than a tenth of the population (13 per cent) even believe there will be a time when they rent absolutely everything in their lives.

    TOP 30 THINGS BRITS WOULD RATHER RENT THAN OWN OUTRIGHT:

    1.           TV/Video streaming (e.g. Netflix)

    2.           Music streaming (e.g. Spotify)

    3.           Gym/fitness

    4.           Car

    5.           Storage space

    6.           Mobile phone/smartphone

    7.           DIY tools

    8.           Wedding dress

    9.           Sports equipment (e.g. skis)

    10.         Home cleaning equipment

    11.         Designer clothing

    12.         Accommodation e.g. house, flat

    13.         Gaming subscription

    14.         Laptop/computer

    15.         Parking space

    16.         Bicycle

    17.         Pets (e.g. BorrowMyDoggy, Share Your Pet)

    18.         TV

    19.         Christmas tree

    20.         Designer handbag

    21.         Jewellery/accessories

    22.         Whitegoods/home appliances

    23.         E-scooter

    24.         Game consoles

    25.         Furniture

    26.         Suit

    27.         Tablet

    28.         Motorbike

    29.         Baby/children’s toys

    30.         Smartwatch