Is luggage rental useful? We review Cargo, a new suitcase hire service

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We were recently approached by a new luggage rental concept called Cargo to review their offering.  I was a little confused. How on earth does renting luggage work? And why would you hire luggage? But after trialling the service and actually needing to hire some luggage, I’m actually a bit of a convert!

Cargo works like this:

You visit the Cargo website, select the dates you are travelling, choose the luggage you need and book it

The luggage is delivered to your home or a DPD drop point (you are given an approximate delivery time the day before, which is helpful)

You use the luggage as you wish and then it is picked up by DPD when you return from your trip

Cargo luggage rental
Initially, I wasn’t sure how I’d use this service.  This was until I realised I was going to need an extra suitcase to take on a trip to the Catskill Mountains in midwinter three days before departure.

Ski wear is not packing efficient. A couple of ski jackets, trousers and pairs of warm boots can take the majority of a suitcase, so you find you’ve got to take an extra suitcase to fit a week’s worth of non-ski wear, toiletries, books and so on. If you have an extra suitcase lying about, great, but if not, buying a decent suitcase starts at about £200.

By contrast, renting a large suitcase with Cargo for a week is £43 and it’s less if you need smaller carry-on luggage.

Cargo luggage rental

I trialled the service and found everything to go very smoothly and the luggage I was given was in immaculate condition.

We recognise this isn’t going to be a service for a prolific traveller with every shape and size luggage imaginable.  However for anyone that needs an extra suitcase last minute (suitcases can be delivered within 48 hours) it is an option to consider. You can visit the Cargo website here.

Cargo very kindly gave me a free trial of their service.  We have not been paid to promote them and all opinions (as always) are our own.

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  1. Brighton Belle says:

    I used this service. The Gatwick sniffer dogs took exceptionally keen notice in my bag. That machine they use to swab the insides flashed like a Christmas tree . I was interviewed for hours by a nice Policeman. Maybe the last renter filled it with noxious substances on his last trip to Columbia. I missed my flight.

    I also made this story up but I can see it’s not without some risk.

    • At least spell it right if you’re going to have a (fantasy) dig at the place, unless of course you’re referring to the clothing brand or the NY University.

      • Brighton Belle says:

        Fair enough my iPhone does most of my thinking and spelling and decides what to say and spell most of the time. I have delegated trivia to Cupertino. They have $billions , I’m still on luncheon vouchers

      • Lady London says:

        Surely that’s the British spelling of that country?

        • No. It’s not.

          • Lady London says:

            Yes it is. Or was when I did geography at school.

            People who speak Spanish might be prissy or post and write Colombia but that would b a relatively new thing.

          • Lady London says:

            prissy or post-> prissy or posy. d*** text editor.

          • Lady London says:

            If it’s there then custom and practice could have evolved, my spelling was always 100% at school and I know I’m remembering correctly. Plus as above at least one mobile phone dictionary has it that way and would have come from an official source.

          • It’s never been Columbia. If your school taught you that then your school taught you wrong.

            Lots of people spell it wrong, and while that’s how language evolves, I doubt it’s ever been recognised that the English spelling has changed.

            Not that any of this matters of course!

      • The Riddler says:

        One of the worlds most renowned language teachers said that the purpose of language is to communicate your point. If you get your point across, the rest isn’t particularly important. If anyone was stupid enough to fail to realise that the post was referring to the South American country given the context, then spelling is the least of their worries.

    • Lady London says:

      Love it!!

      • Cassandra says:

        You lose on this one. The country has always been Colombia. Their country, their spelling, their choice. North Americans have always preferred Columbia, but NEVER for the South American country. Their South American country, their spelling, their choice.
        A Fawlty (joke!) memory is no shame. Irascible insistence is sad, however.
        Btw, “they” would spell it Londres.
        And finally the de-Empired, Brexited, dis-United Kingdom no longer gets to award names to foreign countries.

  2. Sandgrounder says:

    I wonder what the policy on damage is? A trip through LHR usually results on a few battle scars- I would be concerned about getting an unpleasant charge on my credit card.

  3. I gather that Japanese travellers tend to hire their suitcases. I was in the foyer of an international hotel to see a mass of suitcases that were of a similar make, I enquired to the porter who told me that as many live in smallish homes it seemed sensible to hire them.

  4. You can tell the economic cycle is about to turn badly, when start-ups get funding for business models as desperate as this.

    Only way this can be profitable, is if they stick massive charges on your card, post-rental, for scratches on the returned suitcase.

    Presumably the only way to protect against this would be to photograph the suitcase after it’s delivered by the courier, and then just prior to it being picked up for return.


  5. Not really sure of this. Unless you needed a specific and unusual size case, could you not just buy a cheaper case for when you have a need? In return you can always donate it to charity if you have no need to keep or limited storage.

    Or is this simply for those who wouldn’t want to be seen with a ‘cheap’ case?

    • That’s quite environmentally wasteful though, so if you need a suitcase very rarely it seems a good idea to hire it.

      • We replaced our set of trusty Samsonite last year after 18 years…finally got our first set of wheelspinners, so much easier!

      • Only environmental wasteful if you bin it at the end. The point is by giving it to charity somebody else can benefit.

    • Spurs Debs says:

      I always thought it a better idea to travel with a cheap suitcase less chance of it being robbed. Mine are American Tourista bought in a sale when you used to get Avois points on them, Bright purple/pink ones.

      • Arsenal Fan says:

        Christ, I’ve seen them on a carousel! I just stood tutting and shaking my head, wondering who on earth would genuinely use such luggage in public.

  6. NigelthePensioner says:

    Is it worldwide (I guess not) and if so can one do a one way rental………when the £ picks up vs $, we always need an extra case for bringing “properly priced” stuff back from the USA!

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      On the few occasions when I’ve wanted to bring back shopping, I’ve packed a collapsible duffel bag in my luggage and then filled it with dirty laundry and checked it on the way back. Leaves plenty of space in the proper suitcase for more delicate items.

  7. The Savage Squirrel says:

    £71 for a single bit of luggage for a 3 week trip. Amazon Basics will send me a similar sized suitcase at a lower price to own and will deliver it the next day too – without the worries of damage/drugs or the hassle of pick-up. If I can’t store it I can give it to friend/family/charity or even sell it. This product does seem incredibly niche – someone utterly price/value-indifferent, yet who can’t afford any storage space big enough for a suitcase. However I’m looking at it the wrong way. If you can expense it so somebody else pays, then it all starts to make sense….

    • Czechoslovakia says:

      “someone utterly price/value-indifferent, yet who can’t afford any storage space big enough for a suitcase.” I believe people like this are called “Londoners” 😉 sorry, couldn’t resist…

  8. Paid £110 for a set of three perfectly good American Tourister cases from Costco recently. Will get many years of use from them. Can’t imagine ever renting luggage. Unless it was specialist luggage like a bike case.

  9. £43 to hire once… or £35 in Argos for a decent case that’s doing me very well (gets handled by airlines roughly once or twice a week and is still in as-new condition). I know which I’d pick!

    (But then I guess skiing is see-and-be-seen, so maybe having an unnecessarily expensive suitcase is part of the package, like a Rolex and designer sunglasses. In which case it’s probably an aspirational way in. As you can tell, I far prefer practicality to showiness!)

  10. If you only need a suitcase for one specific trip why would you spend £200 on a decent suitcase. Spend £30 on a case that will last at least one trip then either store it for your next trip or stick it on gumtree or Freecycle to get shot of it. You could even throw it away although that would be wasteful.
    Talk about a business serving an imaginary need! Jeez.

    • I made very nice beds for veg and flowers in my garden from several old suitcases (the idea picked up from Chelsea Flower Show!). Very practical, sustainable and reflect two of my main hobbies perfectly

    • NEVER use Freecycle. There are a group of people who will instantly respond to EVERY listing to take it and then never turn up, when they have failed to eBay your article before the agreed collection date. That’s a real waste of time.

  11. The only time we ever used passport holders we were made to remove them at MAN. Don’t know if this is standard or just typical MAN jobsworth attitude!

    • It’s a pretty standard rule all around the world, though it seems a bit pointless.

      I use a cover regardless as my passport ends up getting battered over time otherwise. My old one won’t shut flat and the printed logo/text on the front has completely rubbed off!

    • Lots of airports say remove passport from the holder (if you use one) before inserting it into the e-gates.

      If only the woman at Amsterdam earlier in the week followed that we wouldn’t have been held up behind her

      I think her husband was called Colin He seemed upset about the wait time.

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