Drone Hire and Rental
It is not surprising that the drone industry has grown as fast as it has over the last 5 years. The constant improvements in technology are mirrored closely to another booming technology industry – the smartphone market – and it is fair to say that much of the photography and battery based technologies are similar.
Although the domestic and more casual market has seen lower prices year on year for older tech – the commercial sector and users wanting the most up to date technology will still pay a pretty hefty premium for state of the art technology. The demand for video and photography is not going away, and our digital consumption is pretty much full to the brim with this kind of content. Demand for video and imagery from consumers means that brands need to constantly produce quality content – and drones are playing an ever increasing role in this.
The drone industry is split in to four key sectors right now – the commercial and industrial sector, the casual (hobbyist) sector, training sector and now the drone hire sector. The reality is that the drone rental sector is one of the fastest growing out of the four, and this is in part due to rapidly developing new technologies along with the cost associated with buying these technologies outright along with the cost of having to renew these products on a yearly basis to keep up with latest standards.
We are going to take a look at some of the reasons why it might be advantageous to hire drones for video and still photography whether you are a commercial outfit or an amateur – we will also take a look at the costs of drone rental and finish off with some of the best drone rental companies.
Reasons to rent a drone
There are a number of reasons why you might want to consider drone hire and your own circumstances and needs are going to dictate the level at which drone rental is appropriate for you.
For businesses or commercial drone hire, the notion of a rental system is likely to be one that makes the most financial sense – although that can depend on how often the drone is going to be used. For some businesses it will make more sense to buy a drone outright – for example, agricultural drones that are used on a daily basis are going to be more cost effective when bought outright. However, for commercial uses that might be once a month or perhaps even once per week then drone rental can make more financial sense.
Even dedicated aerial videographers may go weeks without a shoot and will most likely need the highest quality camera drones. The likelihood of needing to renew this technology on a yearly basis (at best) is going to increase the appeal of renting drones for their business.
Personal users may have a different reason for rental than just costs. Most personal users are not going to need such high levels of investment up front and even if opting for something like a Mavic Air they are not going to be spending in excess of £1000. Rental costs of £50 per day are only going to equate to around 18-20 days of use before it becomes cheaper to buy the drone outright. That’s less than once a fortnight and so if it is to become a hobby it is more cost effective to buy outright. However, hiring a drone can be a great way to help choose the right drone for you.
Personal users may also want to hire a drone if it is for a one-off occasion such as a party, short holiday or a wedding. The good news is that with more and more drone hire websites and shops popping up all over the UK, there are more options than ever if you do decide that you want to hire one – and choice usually means lowering costs.
Drone Hire Costs
Drone hire costs will depend on the location you are hiring from, the length of time you need to rent for and the type of quadcopter and/or package you require. You should also look to include some from of damage insurance which can also increase the cost.
Prices in London tend to be a little cheaper than in other parts of the UK and that is because there tends to be more drones available to hire in the capital than in other towns and cities. That being said, you can expect to pay in the region of £25 per day for a Mavic 2 Pro but if you want something that is higher end such as an Inspire 2 then you are going to be looking at closer to £100 per day.
There are some rental companies that will include the pilot/videographer with the higher end drones and these can be anything between £150 and £800 per day. The advantage here is that you don’t have to worry about damage or insurance.
Top UK Drone Rental Companies
There are a number of individuals in classified ads that are willing to loan you their pride and joy, however we recommend using only an approved hire company. There are a number of top UK companies that all have an online presence that we recommend. Here are our favourite drone hire companies – where possible we have managed to secure an offer with them to pass on to you so you can save on your first rental.
Fat Lama approached us around 12 months ago and we actually helped them with a blog post they were writing at the time. Since then, they have undergone a massive re-branding and have grown their user base massively – in fact, they have over 50,000 registered users in London alone.
They don’t just specialise in drones and you can actually hire all manner of things using their peer-to-peer system. Essentially, you are hiring your drone from another individual but you have the search capabilities of their site along with a number of guarantees to make it safe for bother hirer and the owner.
We have used the Fat Lama system and we have to say that it has come a long way from where it was 12 months ago. The system works brilliantly now and there is a lot more availability of different types of drones – even some with pilots! All items that are rented are covered up to £25,000 and they have 24/7 customer service.
To find out more and get £20 credit sign up here.
PIX4D – Agricultural Drone Rental
PIX4D specialise in drone rental for agriculture. This is more of an ongoing rental scheme as opposed to short term rentals and they operate a monthly pricing policy. If you are considering bringing the use of aerial mapping to your agricultural projects then a rental system with all training and hardware included may be of interest. It also means you won’t be paying for everything up front and can spread the costs each month.
Prices start from €163 per month.
Heliguy Drone Rental
Heliguy are well known within the UK for selling drones direct to the public but they also offer a quadcopter hire service. Their prices are somewhat higher than Fat Lama for daily rates but their weekly and monthly rates are pretty competitive. One thing to note is that Heliguy rental does not include insurance and most drone insurance policies have an excess of £250 or more so do ensure you check your policy.
The biggest advantage of hiring from Heliguy is the vast range of drones they have available – and they have many of the high end professional kits too. If you are looking at hiring for a week or more then Heliguy is a great option.
At this time we do not have a promotional offer from Heliguy.
We will continue to add to our list of recommended sites as we test them – and we would love to hear your own experiences with drone hire so please send them in to firstname.lastname@example.org.