There is surge in Australians choosing to rent essential domestic appliances over buying them, Radio Rentals has revealed.

The retailer’s parent company, The Thorn Group, year-end results show that the number of people renting home furnishings including sofas and beds from Radio Rentals has increased by 36 per cent on the previous year and rentals on washing machines and refrigerators increased by 10 per cent.

These increases point to a step-change in consumer behaviour and a move away from traditional debt-financed purchasing methods.

Radio Rentals’ findings support suggestions that the tough economic conditions of recent years are having an impact on consumer spending and people are turning to rental agreements in order to gain flexibility and avoid over-committing themselves in debt.

“Our year end results offer proof that the rental market is in good health and with the added strength of our Rent, Try, $1 Buy offering, customers can see that rental is no longer dead money and a genuine alternative to traditional debt financed hire-purchase agreements,” James Marshall, Radio Rentals and Rentlo general manager, said

Marshall also believes renting is becoming a preference for not only those who are immediately cash or credit constrained, but also those who seek the peace of mind that comes with free service for the life of the rental.

“Faulty appliances can be inconvenient and expensive to repair, the fear of another breakdown and the financial repercussions can be pretty daunting for some people. With Radio Rentals our customers can be assured that if the product has any issues, it will be repaired or replaced promptly at no cost to themselves,” he said.