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The world in my pocket

The world in my pocket

Buying is not always the better option. Hiring gadgets and appliances can be more cost-effective and convenient, especially if it's for the short term.

MOBILE PHONES

WHY RENT: If you feel the urge to upgrade your phone every six months or need one on a temporary basis, rent-a-phone is for you. After all, a new mobile phone is being introduced almost every month, making it one of the fastest moving gadgets. Besides, even a branded phone will not fetch you more than 50% of the MRP after a few months' usage.

WHERE TO HIRE: Mobile rentals have been recently introduced in India by Vincegrass Creative Solutions. Register on their Website, www.rentaphone.co.in, to hire.

RENTAL VALUE: For a one-time payment of Rs 365 and a one-year validity, you can buy a RAP (rent a phone) card by filling up a form. You can then rent a variety of phones at prices ranging from Rs 10-61 per day. There's no security deposit.

GAIN: A BlackBerry 8320 costing Rs 16,500 can be rented for just Rs 26.30 a day. So, a three-month rental will cost you Rs 2,760, a fraction of its actual cost.

LAPTOPS

WHY RENT: If you need a laptop for a single project and are not quite ready to purchase one, consider hiring. You can take the machine home simply by signing a rental contract, along with identity proof and an advance fee.

WHERE TO HIRE: Various city-specific businesses have flexible rental periods ranging from a few months to a year. You can also approach the local electronics shops; even a Google search can yield good hiring options.

RENTAL VALUE: Rs 2,000-3,000 a month. Usually, there is no security deposit or delivery charges, but beware of the Websites that may impose hidden charges.

GAIN: A basic laptop will cost you a minimum of Rs 30,000, while you can rent one for three months for about Rs 7,500. It comes with basic software and free maintenance, assuring you trouble-free operation during the rental period.

MEDICAL EQUIPMENT

WHY RENT: Medical equipment is usually costly and has very low resale value. So, if you need a wheelchair or a hospital bed for a short period, say, till your operated knee is better, get one on rent. It's cheaper and more convenient to hire, be it for temporary usage like recovering from an injury or while travelling.

WHERE TO HIRE: The best place to begin your search is the directory and its online avatars. Search under the category 'medical equipment', make a list of local dealers and start calling. Companies like MediRentat also offer flexible rental periods, ranging from few days to months.

RENTAL VALUE: Wheelchairs are available for Rs 1,500-2,000 per month, oxygen concentrators for Rs 4,500-5,000 per month, and hospital beds start at Rs 1,800 a month.

GAIN: Instead of buying an oxygen concentrator for Rs 50,000, you can hire it at one-tenth the cost. Even a wheelchair costing 7,000 will be cheap at Rs 1,500.

AIR CONDITIONERS

WHY RENT: If your job demands frequent transfers and you do not spend more than a year or two in a city, you can save money by renting electronic items that come with heavy price tags, such as air conditioners.

WHERE TO HIRE: Search sites like sulekha.com and clickindia.com can help you find dealers in your neighbourhood.

RENTAL VALUE: Rs 5,000-6,000 for a branded, 1.5-tonne window version, inclusive of all charges, for a season.

GAIN: You can rent an AC for nearly one-third the amount you would spend on a basic 1-tonne window air conditioner. The latter costs around Rs 15,000, with add-ons like installation charges, and a stabiliser, which requires another Rs 2,000.

TWO-WHEELERS

WHY RENT: If you have a transferable job and require a vehicle temporarily, hiring a two-wheeler will not only be cost-effective but can also save you the legal hassle of transporting it between states.

WHERE TO HIRE: The two-wheeler dealers' hub in your city is the best place to start the search. An online hunt can also provide useful links.

RENTAL VALUE: Scooters are available for Rs 300-400 per day and motorbikes for Rs 500-600 per day. You may have to pay a small security deposit. The longer the rental period, the cheaper it is.

GAIN: Buying a scooter will cost at least Rs 40,000, while hiring one (from Unicorn Auto in Bengaluru) will cost Rs 12,060, with a refundable deposit of Rs 5,000.

LUXURY ON RENT
Hiring has stepped beyond the utilitarian to enter the luxury market. Here's a glimpse of the posh lifestyle on lease.

Plasma TV
Wouldn't next year's cricket World Cup look better on a big screen? You bet! But there's no way you can afford a plasma TV worth Rs 40,000. What if you can get it for Rs 1,400 a day? That's the offer being doled out by dealers. Check out the dealer closest to you and remember to bargain for the lowest rentals.

Handbags
Have a big night coming up? Now, you can hire a Jimmy Choo or Louis Vuitton worth Rs 60,000 for just Rs 600 a day. Companies like Bag4aday and Bagsutra have these arm candies waiting for you to show off. These Websites rent certified and authentic range of designer handbags to members on a daily basis.

Cars
The next time you go to a big party, leave the family hatchback at home. Why drive just a car when you can zip in a Mercedes? Vaahan Yatra, a premium car rental firm, offers Mercedes C class for 8 hours and 80 km at Rs 5,000. Avis India and ECO Rent a Car also offer similar services across the country.

Jewellery
With gold prices shooting through the roof, hiring designer jewellery is becoming a common trend at Indian weddings. So, many jewellers are offering even their latest collections on rent. The charges depend on the item you choose. Designer houses also offer package deals for bridal wear along with matching accessories.