The Cost of Drone Hire in 2020

Of course, every operator and drone hire job is different and there’s no way to set a standard price across the board but here at DSR HQ, we have been looking at some trends.

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Overall, we can see from the trends that UK Drone Hire as well as Drone Operator costs are likely to continue to fall in 2019 as the price of the equipment is reduced and the CAA approve more and more Drone Operators.

A drone capable of capturing high resolution photographs and 4K video now costs around £1,500. New models are being released all the time, and this means you can pick up older models at great prices.

Prices can start off from as little as £150 for property stills or basic photography where as a more seasoned pro will charge double this plus some. It’s the old saying, you get what you pay for! Drone operators flying higher end camera systems will, of course, charge more much more .

Aerial suvey and inspection is another interesting area, this will all depend on how big the property is and how the data is supplied.

For TV and film, an elite crew should be charging around £1500+ for a full days filming, this will include the prep work before the shoot day, pilot and camera operator, both working together to produce the shoots the director requires.

It is important to note that commercial drone hire costs need to take account of more than just the equipment involved. As well as the aircraft itself, a pilot requires safety equipment, maintenance tools and multiple spare batteries. The latter alone can be a very expensive necessity. Many commercial operators use highend equipment like the DJI Inspire 2, and these drones do not have cameras built in. A camera and lens kit can add another several thousand pounds to the investment in a drone hire business.

Perhaps the greatest cost for a drone operator to set up is obtaining approval from the Civil Aviation Authority. Contrary to what many people believe, there is no such thing as a drone licence in the UK, but commercial operators must have CAA approval to work commercially. The Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO) from the CAA typically involves a three day course or more, followed by a written exam and a practical flight test.

Insurance is another element of drone hire costs. As well as insuring the drone and equipment, a CAA drone pilot must have Public Liability insurance. This covers against a drone damage to third party property or injury to members of the public. Larger companies may also need Employers Liability and Professional Indemnity insurance.

Drone hire costs vary considerably depending on the type of work required. Aerial property photography in a rural location could be as little as £300. A day’s surveying on a construction site with a drone could cost in excess of £1000. Large companies of course, are likely to have to add VAT as well.

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About the Author: DSR Journalist

Harrison Green