Rooftop carriers do a great job of storing your suitcases and different types of equipment on your next trip to the fishing camp or yearly vacation. If you think that these carriers are too expensive to purchase, think again.
If you are on a limited budget and have a trip planned, you might consider renting a rooftop carrier instead of purchasing one. But is that really the most efficient thing to do?
The answer, of course, will depend on several factors so it is recommended that you take the following aspects into consideration when making this decision.
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How Many Trips Per Year Do You Take?
If you take trips many times a year, it may be more cost-effective to go ahead and purchase your rooftop carrier instead of leasing one. Rooftop carriers range in price from around $50 to several hundred dollars but considering that one three-day rental for an average-sized cartop carrier can run around the same amount, it might cost you less in the long run to own your cargo carrier.
Of course, if you’re looking just at price, it behooves you to do your research and get exact amounts for leasing versus purchasing your rooftop carrier. The size capacity, the method used to attach the carrier to your vehicle, and the materials the carrier is made of should all be taken into consideration. If you only travel once a year or less often, leasing may be your best option. Otherwise, it is likely that buying the carrier is your smartest bet.
How Is the Carrier Attached to the Vehicle?
The method used to attach the carrier to the vehicle is also something to look at. Many carriers require you to have a roof rack while others simply use a rope or strap to tie the carrier to the top of your car.
If the cargo carrier that you’ve just fallen in love with requires a permanently attached roof rack and you’re not interested in installing one of these on your vehicle, you might as well go ahead and rent a carrier instead. That way, no permanent revisions will need to be made to your vehicle.
If you already have a roof rack or you’re willing to install one, you can either purchase or lease the carrier. In this instance, you can consider other factors before making your final decision. Just keep in mind that you should always check with the carrier’s manufacturer to determine whether a roof rack is required. This way, you’ll know for sure and there won’t be any surprises once you get the carrier itself in your possession.
Naturally, you can find cargo carriers that do not require you to have a roof rack; if this is the case, you can either lease or purchase the carrier that you want. Carriers that require no roof rack are common with companies that lease this product so you’ll have lots of carriers to choose from if you decide to lease one for your roof rack-free vehicle.
How Much Stuff Will You Be Bringing with You?
Yet another consideration is to determine beforehand how many items you’ll be packing into the carrier. Carriers come in sizes that are determined by cubic feet and they range from less than ten cubic feet to carriers that can hold 30 cubic feet and more worth of items.
Extra-large cargo carriers can be very expensive but leasing them isn’t always on the pricey side. The carriers that hold 20 to 30 cubic feet of items are usually the soft bag type of carrier, although there are some hard-shell carriers that hold a lot of stuff. If you need a huge cargo carrier and intend to use it even a few times a year, it is likely best to go ahead and purchase one instead of leasing it.
A nice large carrier is expensive but can usually be purchased for under $100 while you may indeed be paying close to this amount to rent it. When you rent a cargo carrier, you’ll pay more for the larger ones and the most well-made ones so it often behooves you to simply buy your carrier in the end if a large size is what you want.
How Will You Store the Carrier When it Isn’t Being Used?
Regardless of the cost of the carrier or how long you’ll be using it each year, you also have to consider what you’re planning to do with it when it isn’t being used. Having a cargo carrier on top of your vehicle can weaken your gas mileage and cost you more money to fill up your tank so most people remove their carriers when they aren’t being used. But what are you supposed to do after removing the carrier?
If you choose a soft carrier made out of polyester or some type of plastic, it will likely come with a storage bag that you can use to easily store it. On the other hand, hard-shell carriers are a little more challenging because you have to have some place to hang it when it isn’t on your vehicle. In most cases, users install racks on walls of their garages or sheds that allow them to hang the carriers there.
If you choose a soft type of cargo carrier, it won’t matter if you lease it or buy it. On the other hand, if you don’t want the hassles of finding a place to store your hard-shell carrier, you should just go ahead and lease it instead. This way, you never have to worry about storing your carrier properly, which is especially important if there is limited space in your home, your outdoor shed, or your garage.