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RV ownership is expensive, but can you lease an RV? Leasing sounds like a great deal. You enjoy all the benefits of RVing without many of the added costs. That’s why today, we’ll go over alternatives to typical RV ownership just for you.
Can You Lease an RV?
The quick answer is no; you can’t lease an RV like you would a car. But there is a similar option.
If you want RVing perks without the expenses and repairs, you can do a long-term rental. Keep reading to find out how that would look and if it’s the right choice for you.
Lease an RV With Long-Term RV Rentals
Many people like leasing vehicles because it gives them the vehicle without the responsibility. When you lease a car, all you need to worry about is the monthly payment. There isn’t a sizeable down payment, and you aren’t responsible for costly repairs and upkeep.
Since you can’t lease an RV in the traditional sense, a long-term rental is the next best thing. When you rent an RV long-term, you’ll have just the monthly payment.
You’ll get the RV in tip-top shape. Then, all you have to do is drive it. Typically, long-term rentals will come with roadside assistance just in case anything goes wrong, and you usually won’t be on the hook for mechanical problems and such.
Pro Tip: If you’re not sure what the average RV rental cost is, check out our article How Much Is It To Rent An RV?
Why Can’t You Lease an RV?
If you hoped that the answer to “can you lease an RV” was yes, you’re probably disappointed. But there’s a good reason you can’t lease an RV: depreciation.
Cars depreciate as soon as you buy them. The same is true of RVs. RVs come with a much higher price tag than cars. So that 20% depreciation adds up to be tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the initial price.
That’s why it wouldn’t make sense for anyone to lease you an RV. They would take a huge hit on depreciation.
How Much Does It Cost to Rent an RV Long-Term?
Like we said before, there are similar options to leasing, though, namely long-term rentals. Pricing for long-term rentals varies depending on what type of RV you want—in general, renting an RV costs between $50-$200 a night. But, if you opt for a long-term rental, these prices may drop to closer to $50 a night.
That means your monthly RV rental will cost you at least $1,500. It may be more if you want the newest, best rig out there. However, if you’re a savvy negotiator, you can work with the renter directly to get the best price.
Long-Term RV Rental vs. Buying an RV
So, if you can’t lease an RV, why would you want to pay $1,500 a month to rent an RV? After all, the monthly cost to buy one is usually much lower. It depends on your reasons for RVing and how long you plan to do it.
If you want to take a month-long family vacation, buying an RV makes little sense. After all, you’ll pay more than $1,500 just for the down payment. Then, if you try to turn around and sell it, you’ll lose money on depreciation.
Even if you rent an RV for a month every summer, you’ll save compared to owning. Plus, as mentioned earlier, you aren’t responsible for the regular maintenance and repair costs.
It makes sense to buy an RV if you use it regularly. An RV is rarely a good investment to make money. Although some people use an RV as their homes, it doesn’t have the same value as real estate, and you’re bound to lose money in almost every scenario.
On the other hand, owning an RV is an excellent investment if you’re considering full-time RVing. It’s convenient, and frequent RVers will save more money compared with renting long-term.
Plus, it might mean you won’t have a mortgage or other rental payments if you use it as your primary residence. It’s certainly better than renting an apartment or home. And at the end of your payments, you’ll own the RV instead of putting your money in a landlord’s pocket. While you won’t get all of your money back when you sell it, you’ll get some!
While most long-term RVers see the value in owning an RV, there’s no shame in renting if you’re an occasional traveler. You just need to make the best decision for you.
Here are a few helpful tips for renting an RV!
Benefits of Renting an RV for Long-Term
There are many benefits of renting an RV for an extended period. First, you’ll save money as compared to a shorter rental. As we mentioned before, a nightly RV rental can cost $200 or more, but longer rentals usually have much lower nightly costs.
Another benefit to renting an RV long-term is savings compared to buying an RV. Even though you can’t lease an RV, you can get something similar. You don’t have to pay for all the ongoing expenses. Instead, you’ll pay only when you want to use it.
Besides the financial side, there’s another enormous benefit to renting long term: You get more time to explore the country! There are so many unique places to visit. Most RVers find that a few nights or even a week doesn’t satisfy their wanderlust. If you rent an RV for a month or longer, you can get much more out of your trip.
How to Find Long-Term RV Rentals
There are companies like Cruise America that rent stock RVs, but long-term rentals aren’t an option. That’s why many renters choose peer-to-peer rental services.
Peer-to-peer rentals let you rent out someone’s RV, giving you more choices for the type of rig you want. You’ll also have more ability to negotiate the price, plus the option to rent for a longer time.
Companies like Outdoorsy and RVShare are also great tools to connect with individuals renting their RVs. Many jump at the chance to rent out their rigs long-term because it’s guaranteed income. You’ll probably save money too, so it’s a win for everyone.
While you can’t lease an RV in the traditional sense, you can get pretty close with long-term rental services. Sometimes long-term rentals make the most sense for the casual RVer. You get all the perks with none of the responsibility. Best of all, you’ll enjoy some amazing travels!
If you end up falling in love with the RV lifestyle and want to get your own RV, we highly recommend reading our blog on How To Buy An RV: Tips To Be Prepared.