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How much does it cost to buy/rent a cello in 2023?

The range of cello prices is quite extensive, as many factors affect the price. Some of the key factors include the quality of the instrument, the quality of the materials used, the age of the instrument, the place where the instrument was made, and your current skill level.

How much does a cello cost?

Some basic price frameworks would be from $300 to $2,500 for beginner cellos. A mid-level cello would range from $2,500 to $10,000, and anything over $10,000 falls into the category of high-quality, professional instruments.

Buy vs. rent cellos

Your ambitions play a big role in whether you decide to buy a new instrument or choose to rent an instrument. If you want to play the cello as a hobby and you are not sure how much money you want to invest at the beginning, renting is a much better option rather than buying one of the very cheap outfits. Although tempting, these instruments are generally not known for having great quality.

how much does a cello cost

It would be a much better option to wait a while and buy an instrument that is over $1,000 later. Such an instrument will provide you with a much better quality of tone, and also enable easier potential sales in the future, unlike cello outfits, which will often require a larger investment after some time of use than the initial price.

If you have been playing the cello for some time and plan to continue playing in the future, as a hobbyist or through further education, buying an instrument is a great option. Having your instrument and building a special connection with the instrument is a wonderful thing and one of the charms of playing.

Most luthiers who rent instruments offer the option of a reduced price of the instrument after some time of renting, while sometimes it will be possible to even completely redeem the instrument through the option of renting after some time. This offers you the opportunity to get to know the instrument and decide if it is the right option for you.

Renting a cello

Linda West Cellos

This is the place where you can buy or rent high-quality instruments if you live in an area within 60 miles of Santa Barbara. Besides cellos, you can also rent violins and violas here. Standard cello rental is $45 per month, and it includes bow, cello case, and rosin. This price includes insurance in case something happens to the instrument while you are using it.

The best option is to schedule an appointment in the shop where the professional staff will help you choose the right size of the instrument. This is also when they can give you the basic rules of maintenance for the instrument and bow.

Premium Cello Rentals are a great option if you’re interested in renting higher quality cellos. They typically cost about $75 per month. For this option, you should check the availability first. Another great option is accruing credit – 70% of the rental fee is accrued towards the eventual purchase.

Antonio Strad Violin

Here you can rent handmade Antonio Strad cello, with a starting price of $69 per month. Those instruments are made of well-aged spruce and maple with a hand-carved French Aubert bridge. They are located in San Antonio, but they have free nationwide shipping of the instruments.

Renting from Antonio Strad is a great option. They’ll let you build credit towards purchasing your instrument. This program also offers a great option of changing size at any moment.


StringWorks is another company that offers nationwide shipping with a flat rate. The contract doesn’t have a minimal rental period, and you can even get a discount if you are paying for a few months upfront. There is an optional maintenance fee of $5 per month and their instruments have a lifetime warranty against damage due to faulty workmanship or materials.

StringWorks Crescendo cellos are rented for $34/mo for smaller cellos, $45/mo for used 4/4 cellos, and $60/mo for renting new cellos. You can put 2/3 of all rental fees paid in one year toward any instrument purchase. StringWorks also offers customized packages at the request and guidance of school orchestra teachers.

Baroque Violin Shop

Based in Cincinnati, but renting in all 50 states, Baroque Violin Shop has one of the biggest rental programs for string instruments. What they offer is rental credit and that can be used towards up to 50% of the cost of a new instrument (approximately three years of renting).

The rental rate for the cello is $35/mo. If you opt for a yearly subscription, you get two months for free. Available instruments are their Academy 200 series, which retails for $1600 and $2800.

Besides their rental kit (the instrument, bow, and case) you are getting a free starter package with rosin, music stand, method book, polish cloth, music folder, and end-pin stopper for cello.


They are focused on renting instruments to customers in South Florida. Starting price for cellos is $45 per month, and that is Fiddlershop’s Standard Cello Outfit, but there are a few more options. You may want to consider the Fiddlershop Student Cello Outfit for $55/mo, the Fiddlershop Advancing Cello Outfit $65, or the Fiddlershop Master Cello Outfit for $89 per month.

Within this price range, everyone can find the right fit, and if you need more info you can contact them via email or visit their showroom.

Final thoughts

Renting a cello has many advantages, such as trying out an instrument and a much easier replacement for a larger or better instrument, rental credit that makes purchasing a bit more affordable. You’ll also get security from possible damage and help that only a luthier who rents a cello can provide. However, if you are veteran and consider yourself to play at a high level, renting may be less profitable than buying your instrument.

Given that buying a new instrument is a considerable expense, it is best to patiently consider and study all options. Be sure to consult with someone who has more knowledge and experience. Having a mentor can really help make the best decision.