Rental FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of renting an instrument versus purchasing outright?

For first-time players, we typically recommend renting an instrument as opposed to purchasing. This will enable you or your student to get a feel for the instrument and decide if you or they would like to continue, without making such a large financial commitment up front. In regards to orchestra instruments, younger students will start on smaller instruments, and our rental program allows for size exchanges at any time - eliminating the need to purchase new instruments as you or your student grows. Furthermore, our Theft and Repair policy covers the cost of repairs due to normal wear and tear – benefits not available for outright purchases of instruments. This gives you peace of mind as well as saving money on routine maintenance. Additionally, our rental plan allows your rental credit to be used toward the purchase of your rental instrument, and in many cases, that credit may apply toward a step-up or intermediate instrument.

How do I go about renting an instrument?

We encourage you to come to our store and have one of our friendly and knowledgeable staff members help you start out on the right foot. The simple and easy steps for renting are

  • Instrument sizing (orchestra instruments only - violin, viola, or cello)
  • Play-testing (if you’ve played before and want to try out different instruments)
  • Filling out the contract.
You'll need a driver's license or passport and a valid debit or credit card or voided check, and the whole thing usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes. Teachers are always welcome to help with the rental process! All of our rental instruments are top brands, and are personally set up and selected by our professional service shop. For complete information on rental rates and instruments, check out our rental brochure here.


This is my first time renting, is there a minimum term?

When you rent an instrument at Windsmith Music, your initial two months of rent is non-refundable*. For rent only contracts, the first three months are required up front, and is non-refundable. This is to accommodate the costs involved with getting our instruments ready to be rented. If you’ve chosen a payment longer than three months however, you are eligible for a refund if you return the rental to us early. Step-up instruments usually require a minimum term of 6 months.

Do I need a credit card?

We require all of our rental customers to have a valid debit or credit card on file while an instrument is being rented. The credit card holder becomes the responsible party for the account, and should be the person who registers for the rental.

When will my credit or debit card be charged?

Rental fees will be automatically charged to your card each month during the rental period, starting after the initial deposit term. The payment date for each auto-payment defaults to the day that the instrument is rented (i.e. if you come in and rent an instrument on the 17th, your auto-payments will come out the 17th of every month). However, this can be changed to whatever day makes more sense for you.

Does the cost of renting go towards purchasing an instrument?

Yes! Monthly interest-free rental payments will go towards purchase over the rental period. All of your rental payment applies, with the exception of the $5/month theft and repair coverage charge. Early-payoff options and discounts are available.

Is insurance included?

Our “Peace of Mind” Maintenance and Theft & Repair Coverage is $5/month and is required on all rentals. This $5 charge is included in the listed rental prices. Coverage includes free routine maintenance and repair coverage from our on-site professional repair department. Please see rental contract for details.

What equipment comes with a rental?

Every rental comes with an instrument and a case, and then a mouthpiece, bow, or neck strap appropriate for the instrument.

What do I do over the summer?

We encourage you to keep your rental throughout the summer as your student will likely keep playing in the following year. If your student is going to be playing next school year, it is in your best interest to hang on to it. Once you return your instrument, your equity towards the purchase will be classified as rent for the time that you had it, and will not roll over to a new contract. Unfortunately, we cannot put contracts "on hold" over the summer months. If your student is not continuing, you can return your instrument at any time and end the agreement. Everything that you paid in will be classified as rent for the time you had the instrument.

What happens if I need to get a larger size instrument?

For string instruments, fractional size orchestra string instruments may be exchanged for a larger size instrument of the same type during your rental contract, and for 6 months after your contract is paid off. Instruments must be in good condition as determined by Windsmith Music. A $35 exchange fee will be applied for all string instrument exchanges. Details apply.

What happens if I decide on a different instrument?

We understand that sometimes new students change their minds or need to switch to another instrument for fit or other reasons, so we offer some flexibility. For both band and orchestra instruments, you can exchange to a different instrument within the first 2 months of your first student model rental at no charge while keeping your rental credit.

Can I upgrade to a better instrument?

We offer a very popular step-up program, giving you the option to upgrade your student quality instrument for a select step-up instrument. Up to 12 months of your rental credit applies to a step-up instrument if continuing to rent, and up to 6 months rental credit applies if you wish to purchase a step-up instrument outright, along with a purchase discount. Step up rentals are based on a fixed term, and accompanies a higher monthly payment. See us for details.

Click here to download our 2018-2019 PDF Rental Brochure

*Some contracts carry a higher minimum number of months.
For more comprehensive information regarding your rental, please refer to your contract. In the event of a question or dispute, the information listed in your contract takes precedence over anything listed on our website or other written materials.