Precalculus generally uses algebraic concepts taught in college-level algebra, but if there is a strong understanding of algebraic problems, precalculus may not be difficult. Both forms of mathematics courses involve a significant number of new concepts and whether a person finds one course more difficult than the other depends on the person's strengths as a mathematician.
If the student plans on taking calculus courses later on in their academic career, then precalculus may be a good route to take. However, it may be useful to review some algebra equations so that they do not struggle with understanding calculus concepts. However, if they do not intend on taking any math classes afterward, then college algebra is sufficient.