JOHN Lewis is the latest high street shop to offer rental services – parents can hire children’s clothing.
But is it really worth it? Lynsey Hope, mother of three, finds out when she rents everything from clothes and furniture to appliances and a hot tub. . .
Children’s clothing: save £94
Lynsey says, “With three kids, I spend a small fortune on their clothes. Buying something nice when a special occasion is coming up seems like a waste of money.
“By the time of another marriage, they will have outgrown her.
“The selection of John Lewis items on thelittleloop.com was fabulous.
“For £18 a month you get 100 credits to use, which is 18p per credit.
“Olive loved her rainbow stripe playsuit which we hired for 13 credits (£2.34), new £16. I also got a rainbow skater dress from Frugi for eight credits (£1.44), £32 new, an embroidered denim dress (12 credits, which is £2.16 or £16 new) and a shirt and vest for Jacob borrowed for a wedding. This was 27 credits or £4.86 but would have cost £37 new.
“Ivy also joined in the dress up fun with a duck dress costing eight credits (£1.44 or £11 new).
“I still had to buy underwear, school socks and shoes this month, but I’ve definitely saved a bit of money by hiring items for special occasions.
“I plan to do the same for vacation wear in August.”
Hot Tub: Save £191.99
Lynsey says, “What a great way to spend the weekend. I was considering buying one of these but we don’t really have a place to store it and I would be concerned about the running costs.
“You can hire a small one for a long weekend from as little as £98. The kids loved it and unlike the paddling pool which they usually get out of after about five minutes saying it was too cold, it kept them entertained all day. It was also a wonderfully relaxing treat for me after they went to bed.
“It came by courier and was easy to set up. The only downside was that I had to wait 20 hours for it to heat up – and return it.”
Dyson hair dryer and Airwrap: Saving £786.21
- Hairdryer Hire: £8.77 per day Purchase: £329.99
- Airwrap Hire: £15/day Purchase: £479.99
Lynsey says: “I’ve borrowed a Dyson hair dryer before and was very impressed. My hair looked so much shinier and healthier.
“I wanted to use one again for a night out, but I couldn’t afford to buy it. Prices vary depending on where you live, but renting is cheaper.
“I also tried an airwrap this time to add curl to my hair and was equally impressed.
“Not worth the investment for me as I wouldn’t use these every day, but it was a nice treat.”
Designer Bag: Save £1,115
Lynsey says: “I could never have afforded a designer bag like this in my wildest dreams, so carrying it for a few days felt really special.
“The process was easy. It’s still pretty expensive just to rent, so probably not something you’d do every week (and you’re definitely not risking pinching your bag anywhere).
“I loved the color of the Chloe Drew bag (see main image) but there’s plenty to choose from including a £3,360 Chanel mini bag which you can hire for £160. It could be nice for a very special occasion.”
Bikes: Save £715
- Forme Cubley 18in, Rent: £9.99 per month Purchase: £319.99
- Forme Children 24in, Rent: £15.99 per month Purchase: £419.99
Lynsey says, “Jacob and Olive were so excited when their new bikes arrived. They’ve both outgrown their old ones but buying a quality replacement would cost around £740 so I’ve held off.
“You can hire these (and scooters) from The Bike Club for just £4.49 a month.
“Olive will probably outgrow her in a few months, so I can just trade her for a bigger one.
“Normal wear and tear is accepted, but you may have to pay a fee if there is any damage not caused by everyday use.
“For the month these two loans cost me just £25.98.”
Toys: save £170
- Rent: £35 per month or £100 for a one-off Holiday Box
- Buy: £270
Lynsey says: “We chose the Holiday Box and received a lovely selection of toys for my two daughters, Olive (five) and Ivy (two).
But his son Jacob, seven, also liked to look inside.
“The children spent hours examining what was in the box and gave me time to have a cup of tea in peace.
“Most parents will say that their children have tons of toys that they never play with. If the kids get bored of it, I can trade them in for a fresh box.
“It’s a great idea and saves buying toys that end up in charity shops or landfills. It has also saved me hours putting batteries in and assembling stuff.
“If you opt for the £35 monthly fee, eight toys are included, worth around £175.
“I wouldn’t normally spend £35 a month on toys, but when you’re spending that much it’s a great investment.”
Garden Furniture: Save £169.91
- Basic BBQ Package, Hire: £180.09 per week. Includes two beer tables, four benches and a 6 foot trestle table.
- Buy: £350
Lynsey says, “After trying this out I’m definitely going to be hiring some pieces for my daughter’s christening in July.
“On this website you can get a really fabulous package, suitable for all types of events.
“I like the beer benches and the four bean bag pack. It’s definitely cheaper than buying and it saves me worrying about where I’ll store it all after the party.”
Clothes for me: save £333
- M&S X Ghost green long sleeve midi dress Hire: £10. Buy: 79€ SAVE: 69€
- French Connection pink belted maxi dress Hire: £14. Buy: £89 SAVE: £75
- Hope & Ivy Marie dress Hire: £10 Buy: £70 SAVE: £60
- M&S X Ghost V-Neck Satin Wrap Midi Dress Hire: £10. Buy: 79€ SAVE: 69€
- Runaway The Label Tallulah fuchsia midi dress. Rent: £11. Buy: £71 SAVE: £60
Lynsey says: “I have ordered five dresses from Hire Street UK for events taking place this month and after paying for delivery and accident insurance the lot cost me just £75.
“You can search for your items in your size and also select the color, length and style you want. There were many brands from Zara and Reiss to Coast and M&S.
“I hate spending money on a special occasion dress that I wear once and then throw in the back of the closet, so with a few weddings and an upcoming christening this is a great way to save money.
“The dresses all arrived and needed an iron but were in good condition. Not all fit well, but if you’re not wearing the clothes you can trade them in for a rental loan so you can borrow something else instead.”
My verdict… It’s great
RENTING is a great way to save money. I especially loved it for the kids stuff because, as any parent knows, they outgrow everything so quickly – and you’re trying to find a home for old stuff and have to shell out for new stuff.
The jacuzzi and handbag were real treats. I would definitely book both again in the future for a special occasion.
I’m not sure if they really saved me any money as to be honest I wouldn’t have bought them outright at the moment.
But it’s great to know that there are so many rental platforms.
Now, before I buy anything, I’ll see if I can rent it, especially if it’s something I might only use or wear a few times.
It was a great experience and the kids really enjoyed our month of rental too – they felt spoiled.
https://www.the-sun.com/lifestyle/5586566/rent-save-money-clothes-kids/ I saved £3,000 by hiring EVERYTHING from clothes to toys to a Dyson hair dryer – the kids were spoiled