This depends on whether your child stays in band. If your child stays in band, buying an instrument outright would be the least expensive option. You would pay more upfront, but you would avoid the future lease fees that would occur on a rental plan. One benefit of renting is if your child does not continue in band, then you are only responsible for the money spent during the rental period. Tarpley Music has an outstanding rental/purchase plan that allows for return of an instrument at any time. Of course, if you pay through the entire rental term you will then own the instrument.