Drone Rental: How to Hire a Drone

Last updated January 21st, 2020
A drone flying into the sunset

As drones become ever more popular, several sectors are cropping up to fill the needs of the industry that has been created. One of these sectors is the drone rental sector, dedicated to putting drones at the service of those who wish to try out the potential of drone tech for themselves.

Our purpose in this guide is to help you know what options you have as far as drone hire is concerned, with specific rental companies mentioned for if you are based in the US, UK, Australia, or Canada.

Please note: none of these listings should be considered as endorsements. We’ve collated information but have not tested their services. Research accordingly.

Let’s take off.

Why Rent a Drone?

First things first, you may be surprised to find that you actually can rent a drone. Why would anybody want to do that in the first place?

Well, one reason would be that they are expensive and can be considered a significant investment. Even if you still consider them as toys somewhat, you want to “try before you buy”—at the very least to decide which is good for you.

Knowing which drone you love may require taking some hours to test different models built for the purpose which you have in mind.

You may also want to consider drone rental when you need them for a one-off. Imagine needing drones for one particular photoshoot only. It would be hard to justify spending thousands of dollars to buy some, when you could simply hire drones which you could return once you are done.

Besides, drone rental allows you to try your hand at many more drones than you would if you chose to simply stick with the one you buy. Whether you are an enthusiast or a casual user looking to get something done, why stick with one when you can have you fill like a kid in a candy store?

If you are ready to rent a drone, here are a few options you could turn to:

Drone Rental in the USA

Fat Lama

Fat Lama is unique in that it is the only drone rental service with offices in the UK and US—for now. So, it appears twice on our list. Drone pilots in the US can also take advantage of Fat Lama’s peer-to-peer lending system and its guarantees as do their counterparts in the UK.

The peer-to-peer system works by allowing borrowers to rent drones and their accessories from other members registered on their network. Rates can be as low as $30 a day for short term hires and even lower for longer term contracts. Fat Lama provides insurance coverage for their lenders up to $30,000 against theft and damages to their drones.

Meaning that apart from renting drones at affordable rates, drone pilots looking to lend could make some nice passive income by signing up.

Blue Skies Drone Rental

Blue Skies offers drone hire for many sorts of drones for fliers who need them for short term purposes. If you have a project in the US in need of drones, you may just find what you are looking for with Blue Skies.

You can get the latest and greatest drones with their service because Blue Skies makes it a goal to stay abreast of trends for the sake of their customers. They also sell new and used drones, so coupled with their rental service they present a great opportunity to get used to whatever drone you need before making a purchase.

Blue Skies users can also sign up as drone operators for hire, making their website a suitable resource for peer-to-peer networking in the community.

Blue Skies ships to any area in the US, and also has many offices in various states across the country. They provide training for pilots, as well as repair, and maintenance. No matter what industry you are in—building inspections, energy, land surveying, security—you name it, Blue Skies is likely to have something for you.

International shipping is also available on request.

Lens Rental

Lens Rental is a company that has extended its services to drone rental in order to fill a need among its core customer base. The company’s focus is actually cameras and photography equipment. But with drones taking that industry by storm and becoming hugely popular in recent times, Lens Rental services now includes drone hire.

In addition to being the largest photography rental service provider online in the US, they also rent the Phantom 4 Pro, DJI Inspire 2 Plus, and DJI Mavic Pro, along with the support equipment needed for great footage.

They deliver the goods to your residence and you send it back once you are done. All orders are inspected and cleaned to ensure they arrive when scheduled, are compatible, and in perfect working conditions.

Lens Depot

Lens Depot is based in Florida and, like Lens Rental, are mainly concerned with photography equipment. However, the changing times have caused them to invest in drone rentals for pilots and companies that are in need. They rent out DJI products and accessories for now.

They have been operating as a rental company for over a decade and offer local retrievals at their Tampa and Orlando offices, as well as ship to other parts of the US via UPS.

They offer customer support, ready to answer any queries through phone or email.

American Drone Rental

American Drone Rental has been in the drone rental business since 2013, when they were renting out the original DJI Phantom, though they were running under their sister company’s name of Camera Lens Rentals.

Since then they have gone on to rent out all the Phantom series, Mavic series, Spark series, and also the Inspire series. They carry out their own repairs and servicing on their drones and are also a DJI dealership with access to official equipment manufacturer parts.

According to their founder, Barry Jackson, there were the first company in the US to offer online drone rentals and ship to all the 50 states.

With all their expertise in the field, they are great resource for people who are trying to make up their minds about what sort of drone to get for whatever reason. This takes out the guesswork that usually comes with first time rentals or purchases.

They even offer accessory-only rentals for pilots who already have a drone handy. To help you make the most of your time with your rented drone, they also created video tutorials to walk you through each step of the way from unboxing to closing the box for return.

All Camera Lens drones are FAA registered, and their customers include the gamut from major news networks to casual users hiring drones for a vacation.

Drone Rental in the UK

Fat Lama

With over 50,000 users across the UK, Fat Lama rentals is a major player in the drone hire sector in the UK.

You can consider them as a community somewhat, wherein members can hire all manner of things using a peer-to-peer system. Basically, you will be renting a drone from another individual registered with Fat Lama. To make things safe for the owner and the hirer, both can use search capabilities of the Fat Lama website along with a host of guarantees.

The system works well and there are lots of drone types available for hire over the website—along with pilots too, if you feel you need one. Items rented are covered up to £25,000 and they offer 24/7 customer service.

PIX4D—Agricultural Drone Rental

PIX4D caters to those who wish to leverage drones for agricultural purposes. Their service leans away from the one-off transaction to provide an ongoing scheme which would benefit those farmers who cannot see themselves purchasing drone technology foreseeable future. So, if you intend to do aerial mapping for you agricultural projects, for example, and would need aerial equipment and training, this is for you. You can spread your costs over many months rather than having to buy the costly equipment yourself.

Heliguy Drone Rental

Heliguy has created a name for itself as a reputable drone dealer in the UK. But apart from retailing drones directly to customers, Heliguy also offers drone rental services to professionals who would rather rent a drone than buy one.

Heliguy doesn’t rent out drones to the random Joe on the street. You would have to present a copy of your Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO) from the UK’s CAA to take advantage of their drone rental services.

You would find their rental service particularly valuable if you were a professional who needed a specific drone tool to accomplish a particular task, or a commercial pilot who just fancied flying a drone for fun.

Drone Rentals in Australia

Camzilla

Camzilla is one of the premier drone rental services in Australia, and have been providing drones and drone accessories to enthusiasts since 2009. Their experienced staff also provides repair and offer face-to-face advice on drone related matters.

Their rentals are geared towards professionals looking for short-terms drone hires, but if you desire weekly rates, they would be happy to comply. You could pick up your rental in-store or have them delivered to your doorstep anywhere in Australia. And you can expect everything to be in working condition due to the team of factory-trained drone technicians in their employ.

Their customers include Australian TV networks, national and international government bodies, and media companies.

Drone Hive

Drone Hive could be a one-stop shop for those looking to buy or rent a drone, as well as those looking for skilled pilots to execute tasks or projects.

They offer drones for pretty much any industry or project ranging from thermal imaging to promotional videos and advertisements.

Their drone rental service is geared mainly towards short-term rentals ranging from a few hours to a day, and you can check for availability and quotes on their website.

Drone Rentals in Canada

SkySnap

SkySnap was reportedly the first drone rental company in Canada, established in 2014. Their customers include dedicated hobbyists, film makers, corporations, and public organizations.

They have a comprehensive range of rental drones which is constantly maintained and updated to offer the very latest to customers who need a short-term fix.

They operate out of Toronto and their services include equipment rental, maintenance packages, and also training, which they provide throughout Canada.

Pilots who need drones for projects like aerial photography, videography, mapping, and surveying in Canada would really find value with SkySnap

Because the drone hire services on our list have been around from the early days, you can expect them to stay around going forward. However, expect this list to change fast as more companies join the drone rental sector to meet the growing demand for drones.

If you are a drone rental company and you’d like to be featured on this list, please get in touch with us via our contact page.

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