They toss the hunk of plastic off the trailer and point you towards the path down to the river. You grab a paddle off the pile and grab one of the kayaks laying there and you are off. Another kayak outing with a rental you hope won't ruin the trip.
We have all used the rental kayaks. They are fine and that is what got us into kayaking in the first place. They are typically all molded plastic, with one or both of the foot braces broken off or just molded into the kayak. We definitely enjoyed the experience in spite of the kayak. With your own you can enjoy the kayak and the experience.
Okay now I have my own kayak. For Christmas the big family purchases were kayaks for the three of us. Before this we were renters, now we are owners.
There is something really special about having a brand new kayak. The ability to truly customize the fit for you is just wonderful. From the way the real seat hugs your body, to the foot braces, a kayak that fits you is huge. The feeling of being more connected to your kayak increases the experience. You feel like you are working with your kayak not against it.
There is the cost thing. If you are trying to prove the cost vs. renting then you probably won't be able justify the purchase. But if you compare renting with the ability to go where you want, the comfort and enjoyment of a perfect fit, and higher quality boat performance then purchasing is the way to go. I truly believe that if you own something you will use it and go much more often.
Most rental places will transport you and your kayak up the river for a small fee so the transportation is covered. This eliminates the need for two vehicles on a river trip with one at the start and one left at the termination point.
If you want a kayak that you can custom fit to your body, have the freedom to go where you want when you want, and take your kayaking to a much more enjoyable level, go out a buy your own; they're wonderful.