AO has taken its first step into the rental market, offering white goods to customers for as little as £2 per week.

The online electricals business has partnered with two housing associations in England and Scotland for the trial.

It said it plans to expand the offer to “reach thousands of families” if the pilot works.

AO is offering an 8kg Candy washing machine to customers for £2 a week, which includes delivery, insurance, repairs and the recycling of any old appliances.

Customers can also cancel the rental at any time and arrange for collection of the washing machine free of charge.

After five years, customers can replace the washing machine with a new one and send the old one back to be refurbished or recycled.

AO founder and boss John Roberts said: “This is yet another example of what we do best – disrupting the market in the AO way. It’s a straightforward £2 per week payment with no up-front charges and no catches so that customers know exactly what they are paying for their washing machine from the start.

“It’s a totally different approach to the current rental offers out there and I believe that we’re doing better.

“Our advantage is that we own most of the supply chain. This keeps our costs low, meaning we can save customers hundreds of pounds a year when it comes to renting electrical essentials.

“Of course, rental has appeal for a broad range of customers, not just those on lower incomes. It’s early days for us but I’m optimistic about the potential.”