How much does it cost to rent an electric wheelchair? UK
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If you are looking into getting a new electric wheelchair, there are several things to consider. One of the main considerations, is how you will pay for your new chair.
A question you might ask, is whether you should buy, or rent your new wheelchair.
In this article we will be looking at how much it costs to rent a wheelchair. This will include short term rental and long term rental, including the pros and cons of each. We will also be looking at how renting compares with buying your wheelchair. Including whether finance might be a better option.
So how much does it cost to rent an electric wheelchair? The answer to this depends on several factors. These include:
- The type of wheelchair you are hiring.
- Will this be short term, or long term hire?
- Are you renting the wheelchair from an online company, or a local store?
The price for wheelchair rental will usually vary the most, based on how long you hire for. This can range anywhere from £15 per week for long term rental on cheaper models. All the way up to £200+ per week for short term rental on more expensive wheelchairs.
Pricing example – Comparing long term and short term rental
In this example we will be looking at a folding electric wheelchair, from a popular online hire company.
This is a popular UK base hire company. The chair is mid-price range. So, there are more expensive electric wheelchairs, and there are also cheaper chairs.
This example will give you an idea of how long, vs short term hire will affect the hire price.
This company offers a minimum rental period of 2 weeks on this electric wheelchair.
If you want to rent this wheelchair for between 2 and 12 weeks, it will cost you £50/week. Over 13 weeks this will reduce to £30.
If on the other hand you hire this wheelchair on a long term contract of 36 months, you will pay just over £25/week.
As you can see, the price is 50% cheaper if you rent this wheelchair over a longer period.
However, you should consider, a long term contract will mean you pay £25 per week, for a minimum of 156 weeks. That adds up to £3,900. Which is considerably more than it would cost to buy this same wheelchair.
You will need to decide if the convenience of renting, rather than owning would be worth the extra cost.
The potential advantages of short term rental instead of buying
As we have already seen, short term hire is going to cost you more money on a weekly basis. However, there are many situations when short term rental could be a good option.
These would include situations where you only need the wheelchair for a short period of time. This could include any of the following:
- You are going on holiday and would like a certain type of wheelchair to improve the quality of your trip.
- If you have an injury that will improve over time, meaning you only need a wheelchair until your situation improves.
- You have recently had surgery and have limited mobility that will improve over time.
- Or if you have a friend or family member visiting who has mobility issues and need short term hire to use during their stay.
All these scenarios would be a good reason to rent an electric wheelchair over a short time period.
If you only need to hire for a few weeks or months, then it is usually going to be a better option than buying a wheelchair.
The pros and cons of long term hire instead of buying
One of the potential advantages of long term hire could be the extra service you receive. This will usually include things like:
- Free insurance
- Regular servicing of your electric wheelchair
- Free repairs and replacement of damaged batteries, wheels, and any other mechanical faults
- New replacement if your wheelchair cannot be fixed
- And the option to upgrade after a certain time period for a new chair
Another potential advantage could be for people who cannot afford to buy a chair outright. Or perhaps they have bad credit and are unable to get finance on a wheelchair.
The one thing to consider with long term rental, is you are highly likely to pay more than the chair is worth over the full contract.
In our opinion long term rental is usually not the best option. It is expensive and the extra service you receive can be easily replicated when you buy a chair.
For example, a good insurance policy is generally not that expensive and would cover you for any repairs. It would also cover you for loss and theft of your wheelchair. Plus, if you own the wheelchair, there is a good chance you will be able to part-exchange or sell it when you want to upgrade.
How much does it cost to rent an electric wheelchair VS finance?
If you do not have money to buy an electric wheelchair in one go, renting can seem like a good option. In many cases it could be and as we have mentioned previously, short term rental can be a particularly good solution.
However, Finance is nearly always a better option when compared with long term electric wheelchair rental. This is due to two main reasons:
- It is going to work out cheaper overall
- Once your contract ends you will own your wheelchair
One of the common problems with electric wheelchair finance, is whether you can get approved.
Many people who are interested in purchasing a wheelchair may have problems with low income and/or poor credit. This can make borrowing money to pay for their new chair a challenge.
Quite a lot of the finance options that are available, will require a credit check, as well as affordability checks, to make sure you can afford the repayments.
However, there are more flexible alternatives. One particularly good option is short term finance with companies like DivideBuy. This type of finance allows you to take short term finance over 4 – 12 months. Due to the shorter lending period, it is less restrictive and there is no credit check. Instead they will just perform a soft search that does not impact your credit file.
This type of finance has an extremely high approval rate (up to 96%). However, people with particularly bad credit may need a guarantor. You can read more about electric wheelchair finance options here.
How much does it cost to rent an electric wheelchair? Online vs locally
If you do decide to go down the rental route. Whether that be for short term rental, or maybe you are not able to get a better deal with finance. The next question you might have, is whether it is better to rent from an online company or a local company.
The truth is prices can vary quite a bit. Sometimes the best deal will be online and other times you might get a better deal locally. For short term rental, delivery and collection can be a major factor in the overall cost.
As an example, if you were to rent a chair for 3 weeks at £50 per week via an online company, delivery and collection will usually be added to the price. This will usually cost at least £30 each way, for drop off and collection. Therefore, the total cost would be £210.
£150 for 3 weeks rental + £60 delivery and collection = £210
If you can collect the same chair locally, with no delivery charges, for a higher price of £60 per week, you would save money. Even though the weekly cost is higher your total cost would only be £180.
If you are looking to rent an electric wheelchair, we recommend you start your search online. Once you find chairs that you like, you can call local hire companies and see if they carry the same models.
You may also find that local companies are prepared to price match if you can show them a cheaper price online. Just doing a small amount of research (maybe a couple of hours) could end up saving you a decent amount of money.
Hopefully, this article has given you a better idea of how much it could cost to rent an electric wheelchair. Also, it should have shown you some of the benefits and potential pitfalls of renting rather than buying.
There are many situations when renting could be the best solution. But it is not always the cheapest. Generally, we love rental for short term solutions. Over a short period of time it can be very cost effective. But long term rental is rarely the best choice, it can be overpriced and unless you have extremely bad credit, there are usually better options available.
We would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Do you think renting is better than buying when it comes to electric wheelchairs? Let us know in the comments below.