I am about to start taking my scuba classes to be a registered diver, but i have been hearing that most scuba enthusiasts rent and do not own their tanks and equipment. I was really excited to own my own equipment, so i was wondering how expensive it is and how hard it is to maintain. Also, if new equipment is out of my price range, is it a good idea to buy used?

Most scuba enthusiasts will own their equipment. If I am diving 400-600 times per year, I want to have faith in my gear not some random rental gear. I know what use/abuse my gear has seen, and I know the maintenance record of my gear. I also know that if my gear is acting "funny", I know something is wrong instead of a random trait of a piece of rental gear.

You can usually get a full set of gear (including tanks and weights) for around $2000 to $3000. Most of the gear only has maintenance requirements of rinsing the items off in fresh water and hang to dry.

Regulators will need to be serviced annually. Tank are required to be inspected yearly and tested every five years.

I own all of my gear so I can go scuba diving with little to no notice. Many people will own everything except the tanks and weights. For recreational diving, traveling with tank and weights is prohibitive due to the airline regulations and costs. If I am going to the Carribbean, I will take a set of gear and the boat will provide the tanks and weights. If I am diving locally, the boats expect me to bring tanks and weights.