When a young student or an individual gains an interest in playing trumpet or cornet, they are faced with renting or buying. New trumpets and cornets are quite expensive these days, and require quite a commitment from the player. So purchasing (or buying) new can be quite an expensive undertaking, and if you're not sure that your young student (or you) will stick with playing the trumpet, probably not the first choice.
Most usually, the horns see some abuse because they are prone to dents and dings, and require some care. They are not as fragile as a woodwind (such as flute, clarinet or saxophones). With dents, dings, and wear, they horns lose some value, so reselling the instrument will not gain back the initial investment.
With renting, upfront it seems like a better plan, but it has its drawbacks as well. For students that take to playing and enjoy it, you are paying what seems to be a small amount each month, but adds up over time. Most have a "buy out" plan so you can own the instrument, but some are tricky with they way they word their contracts... be sure to read the fine print as you may only be credited "some" of your monthly fees toward the purchase of that instrument or toward a trade up program.
Some retailers have a trade up offer that makes it sound like what you pay for your rental will be put toward a pro level horn... in a few cases, this is not exactly true... again, only a portion of what you pay will go toward your "credit". And at $24.95 per month for 24 months, you'll get a percentage of the $598.80 that you've put in.
A simple solution is to rent for a short term (2 to 4 months) and see how your young student likes playing trumpet or cornet. If they seem to enjoy it, look for a used horn and buy it outright. You can ask questions about purchasing the rental outright... if it's a used horn, you can usually get a better deal... so instead of paying $598 for 2 years, you can buy one for $250 - $350.
If your student doesn't seem to enjoy it or have the tendency to want to stay with it, then you can take the horn back at the end of the semester or school year and not be stuck with a horn in your closet!
If you'd like a FREE beginning trumpet lesson, please visit Brass Player Solution!
Former Maynard Ferguson Trumpeter