How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Drone

How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Drone?

You all know how big a fan I am of drones, right? However, did you know that most drones in my collection are on “rent?” 

Although this may surprise you, renting a drone has become extremely common nowadays. In my friend circles, many people have never owned a drone.

Instead, they find renting the same a much better option. And it’s true as well! 

But how much does it cost to rent a drone? Where can I rent a drone from? What are the benefits of renting a drone instead of buying it? 

Continue reading as I answer all your queries and help you find the best deal.

How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Drone?

The average cost to rent a drone varies from $25 to $75 a day, up to $250 in cities like Florida.

This cost depends on several factors, like the type of drone, rental duration, accessories and add-ons, and other additional charges.

5 Factors Influencing Drone Rental Costs 

5 Factors Influencing Drone Rental Costs 

It’s essential to know what factors you should consider when budgeting for a drone rental. And here are they: 

Type of Drone

The cost of renting a drone primarily depends on its type or model. While renting consumer-grade drones like DJI Spark is cheaper, the professional drone rental rates for models like DJI Mavic 2 Pro are much higher. 

Below is the tabular representation of the average daily rental cost for different DJI drones per Fat Llama

Drone ModelRental Cost/Day
DJI Phantom 4 Drone$39
DJI Mini 2$50
DJI FPV Racing/Acrobat Stunt Drone$100
DJI Mavic 2 Pro$100
DJI Inspire 1 4K Gimbal Drone$150

Your Location

Next comes your location. Generally, prices are higher in regions with a high demand for drone rentals and vice-versa.

For example, go to ShareGrid and search for drones at different locations. Say, Florida and Michigan. 

You’ll notice that the same drone’s daily rental cost is higher in Florida (average $250) due to more demand than in Michigan (average $46.) 

Rental Duration

Longer rental periods (like weekly or monthly) are more economical compared to shorter durations (like hourly or daily), thus bringing down your total bill considerably. 

Hence, it’s better to rent a drone for a longer duration than on an hourly or daily basis to save a significant sum of money. 

Accessories and Add-ons

Are you renting the drone for a specific purpose, like photography, videography, surveying, drone light show, wedding shoot, or aerial inspection? 

If so, you’ll require different accessories and add-ons in addition to the drone. Right? This may include an extra set of batteries, ND filters, memory card, gimbal, mapping software, drone case, night vision camera, etc. 

Sourcing all this stuff from the rental company will add to your bill, thus inflating it. 

Hidden or Additional Costs 

Hidden or additional costs, whatever you call them, are something you must be aware of before renting any drone.

I’m saying this because these costs can significantly impact your overall budget and potentially outweigh the benefits of renting. 

I recently backed out from renting a drone from a company due to their inflated hidden costs! 

Some examples of hidden costs in the drone rental business include: 

  • Equipment add-ons
  • Permits and licenses
  • Insurance for rented drones
  • Logistics and transportation 
  • Overage fees
  • Damage and repair costs

Wait, the list isn’t over! You’ll have to check with your service provider for other costs they may charge you. 

Are Insurance and Security Deposits Common Requirements for Drone Rentals?

Yes, insurance and security deposits are standard requirements for drone rentals. 

  • From the rental company’s perspective: Insurance and security deposits help to protect their investment in the drone. 
  • From your (or the renter’s) perspective: Insurance provides you with the peace of mind of knowing that you’re financially protected in case of an accident involving the drone. On the other hand, a security deposit incentivizes you to take care of the drone.

7 Popular Rental Platforms and Providers in 2024

7 Popular Rental Platforms and Providers in 2024

Below is the list of the top seven rental platforms and providers from which you can rent a drone and other accessories:

What Are the Benefits of Renting a Drone Instead of Buying?

What Are the Benefits of Renting a Drone Instead of Buying

If you think cost-effectiveness is the main benefit of renting a drone instead of buying it, you’re wrong. Besides this, there are tons of other benefits, like: 

Find the Best Drone For Yourself

Let’s be honest. Buying a drone is never easy. The market is flooded with various drone models, each with a unique set of capabilities. 

Hence, renting a drone is a feasible option before committing to it for the long term. It lets you try different options from multiple brands and find the perfect drone that meets your needs. 

Try New Features

With drone technology evolving at a fast pace, new features are being introduced frequently.

Take the example of the Headless mode. But you don’t need to invest in a new drone immediately to access these features. 

Instead, you can rent your preferred model and analyze if it’s really worth upgrading to. 

Zero or Minimum Maintenance Hassles

Owning a drone is nothing less than a task. You’re responsible for its upkeep, regular maintenance, repairs, etc. Not just time consuming, all this stuff is costly as well! 

Renting a drone eliminates this concern, as the rental companies take the burden of these aspects off your shoulders. 

Regulatory Compliance

Drone rental companies help you steer through the maze of regulations associated with flying a drone, ensuring you stay compliant with local, state, and federal laws.

Ideal For Short Time

If you need a drone for the short term, say, for a specific project or event, it’s sensible to rent a drone rather than buy it. Isn’t it? 

What Should I Do in Case of Damage or Issues During the Rental Period?

What Should I Do in Case of Damage or Issues During the Rental Period

In case of damage or issues during your drone rental period, which is expected, I recommend the following steps: 

  • If you’ve damaged the drone mid-air by striking it against something, immediately land it safely on a landing pad to prevent further damage. 
  • Once landed, check the UAV for the extent of the damage. If it has an attached camera, examine it as well. 
  • Next, inform the rental company about the whole incident, providing details like the date and time of the incident, location, description of the damage, etc. 

In most cases, the company will likely ask you to return the damaged drone to its warehouse for repair. In that case, don’t try to fix the drone. 

Conclusion 

Here you go, peeps. I hope you’ve now got complete clarity about drone rentals. 

I’ve tried my best to cover every detail, be it the factors determining the renting cost of a drone, popular rental companies, and most importantly, the benefits of renting a drone instead of buying it. 

So, which side are you up to? Renting a drone or buying it? Let me know your opinion in the comments below! 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: How Is Drone Rental Cost Determined?

A: Well, a lot of factors come into play in determining a drone’s rental cost. Here’s the summary of the top drone rental cost factors:

  • Type of drone
  • Your location
  • Rental platform/provider where you plan to rent it from 
  • Rental duration
  • Insurance  
  • Liability 
  • Hidden/additional costs

Q: Are There Different Rental Rates for Professional and Consumer-Grade Drones?

A: Yes, they are! Both professional and consumer-grade drones have different rental rates. It varies with the type of drone (entry-level or high-end) and audience (targeted or broad). 

Note that other parameters play their part, too. 

Q: Can I Rent a Drone for Specific Events or Projects?

A: Yes, why not? After all, it’s entirely up to you how you plan to use the drone.

You can use it for just fun or any specific event or project. Just make sure it’s registered with the FAA, and you can fly it in your area. 

You must have a valid license, too, to fly the drone. 

Q: How Does the Rental Duration Affect the Overall Cost?

A: As a thumb rule, always remember that longer rental durations offer discounts compared to shorter durations. 

Q: Are There Any Hidden Fees Associated With Drone Rentals?

A: Well, this depends on the rental platform. But still, I can say that almost all platforms I’ve come across charge some sort of hidden fees.

It may be associated with the delivery, pickup, battery charges, maintenance, etc.

Author
Diptesh Das

Diptesh Das is your friendly ‘content maniac’ and drone enthusiastic! Being passionate about content writing. He is a firm believer of the power of words and thereby ended up leveraging them to create an impact by sharing his drone knowledge and experiences.

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