Can I Rent to Own a Drone to Save Money?

Drones marvelous inventions which have revolutionized the way the world carries its small activities. They are used to shoot awesome aerial videos and photos, race, record weather and do a lot of cumbersome stuff the human being was not able to carry out. Owning a drone is an achievement as they cost somewhere between $50 and $3000. However, not everyone would like to own one due to the maintenance costs associated with owning one. That is where drone rentals come into the picture.

Drone rentals work in the same way as car rentals. You rent the drone for a certain amount of time, and when you are done with it, you return it to the owner. I know some people will ask why rent a drone when you can just buy a new one given the costs. There are several reasons why a person can choose to rent a drone rather than buy it;

•         For people who want to test the features of each drone and compare them, this is the best option. Renting a drone will give you firsthand knowledge of how a drone performs without actually buying.

•         Professionals can rent a drone to finish up a project. If your work does not involve the daily use of drone, but you are required to ire the services of a drone, then renting is the best idea. You will not have to keep a drone for which you have no use.

•         A drone hobbyist would like to rent the latest trend in the drone world without buying each of them as drone technology evolves rapidly.

These are the reasons why renting a drone is wiser than actually buying one. If you are new to drones, I suggest that you do not rent a drone but rather buy a new one. This is because having your own drone will not put you in liability if you crash your drone, something which beginners do a lot. Buy a cheap and easy to maintain drone which can be cheaply maintained and replaced.

Rent to Own a Drone

The best way to rent a drone is by acquiring it through a rent to own agreement. Rent to own a contract simply means that you are allowed to use a drone while making regular payments to fill the purchase price of the drone. Rent to own contracts do not invite for interest, but you have to pay the rental fee alongside. There are several websites that offer this service;

•         RentDelite

•         Maverick Drone Systems

•         Lensrentals

•         Blue Skies Drone Rentals

•         The Lens Depot

•         Fat Lama

•         American Drone Rentals

•         Heliguy

The cost of renting a drone for a week depends on the renting company, and the average cost is $200 for a well-functioning drone.

Rent to own contracts are good plans, but you end up paying more than the one-time price of the drone. This is because the company charges rental fees on top of the regular payments. Rent to own is very different from renting a drone. There are several reasons why one would prefer rent to own contract over renting a drone.

•         In a rent to own contract, the cost of renting a drone goes towards paying for the purchase price of the drone rather than just paying rental fees which are not recoupable

•         You have a longer time to test out the drone compared to renting the drone.

•         You can easily decide to return the drone or own it if it pleases you

Drone Crashes

Drones crash every now and then. Every drone owner has crashed their drone at least once, and this is one way in which drone pilots get better. A drone crash can, unfortunately, harm a third party or damage property. Before getting too much into drone crashes, here are some reasons why a drone crash happens.

•         Unchecked calibrations and parts before takeoff. A drone owner who skips a checkup before flying their drone is bound for a crash. This may be due to a loose battery or wrong control calibrations.

•         Failed GPS locking. A drone should be given enough time before a GPS lock is complete. Remember that the GPS is the drones map and any errors in this can eventually cause a crash.

•         Lack of attention on the drone when flying. Most drone pilots get caught in the moment when taking aerial footage or photos. Keep a constant lookout on the drones surrounding, and you can save your drone from crashing by hitting that obvious obstacle.

•         Flying out of range. Flying out of the given range of your drone will definitely cause a crash. Drones have limits which should not be exceeded to avoid crashes.

•         Strong winds. A strong wind can affect the rotors and require the drone to use more power in order to keep the drone in flight. Unexpected battery drain, therefore, causes the crash.

•         Dead batteries. A drone has a rechargeable battery which dies out in around 5 to 15 minutes depending on the capacity. A drone pilot should, therefore, make a landing before the battery dies out to prevent crashing. 

What Happens When You Crash Your Drone?

Crashing a drone happens more often than you think. Even professional drone pilots crash their drones. Crashes can happen due to many reasons some of which are not related to flying experience. A drone crash can have very serious implications. World over, there have been several drone accidents which escalated to minor tragedies. A falling drone a hurt a person and rack up thousands of dollars in medical expenses.

Recently in the USA, a drone bumped into a Virginia Bull Run and injured a few people most of who were spectators of the event. The event organizers had hired a drone pilot to take footage and photos of the event, and unfortunately, the drone crashed.

Currently, legislation concerning accidents and compensation is not very clear on what course should be taken in case of a drone crash. In the case of the Virginia Bull Run accident, the case was settled out of court.

However, you should always avoid flying your drone in populated areas to avoid accidents involving people and property. Remember that although the law is very shady on drone accidents, lawyers can turn the tide against you.

 Drone Insurance

Now that we have seen how catastrophic drone crashes can be, it is clear that drones should be insured. Drone insurance is not compulsory for recreational drones, but it might be useful in case your drone crashes and does significant damage. Take the example of two incidences;

•         A drone crashes into your neighbor’s car, and you are liable to replace the damaged parts. You do not have the whole amount to pay for the damage, and your neighbor might sue you for property damage. What do you do?

•         You were flying your drone over the street, and your drone accidentally crashes hitting a person and causing harm, i.e. it slashes the person’s eye and you are liable for any liability for any medical costs that person will incur. How do you go about paying for this?

This is where drone insurance becomes important. Drone insurance will help you pay for large liabilities that arise when your drone causes damage. I know you might be saying that crashing a drone is not intentional, but you will still be held liable for such an accident.

So how do you go about getting drone insurance for your drone? Well, there are several companies that have drone insurance policies. Drone insurance does not require you to register your drone. Some insurance policies such as home insurance policies might cover the use of drones in their policies, but it is better to inquire first instead of making a wide guess.

Some insurance companies view drones as aircraft and will therefore not be willing to cover them in home insurance policies. Other insurance companies view drones as hobby aircraft and will, therefore, cover them.

Costs

The costs of insurance for your drone might vary, but I guarantee you that it’s not that expensive. We have seen how a drone can cause extensive damage which can be hard to pay for from cash. That is why you should shop for a good drone insurance policy.

After doing some research, I figured out that a drone insurance policy might cost you anywhere between $80 and $100 per year. Drone insurance policies cover you when you are liable for the following;

•         Personal injury

•         Invasion of privacy

•         Damage to public or private property

•         Medical expenses

You should note that drone insurance does not cover any damage to the drone itself unless the policy states so. However, this should not be a problem compared to liability that comes due to a drone crash. Take that bold step and ensure your drone from any costs that come from liability whenever your drone crashes.

Drone companies have transformed the concept of drones into their application. Within the past few years, technology advancement being fueled by the industry of smartphone electronics has strongly influenced drone technology in the sector of multi-rotors and their accelerated application in the commercial industry. This has resulted in the development of many drone manufacturers all over the world.

YUNEEC

This is an aircraft manufacturer that is based in Jiangsu town, China and was founded in 1999. The owner of this company is known as Tian Yu. This drone company produces and markets its aircraft in the US through another American based aircraft manufacturer known as Greenwing International. This company produced its 1st electric aircraft (YUNEEC InternationalE440) that was designed for commercial purposes in 2009, although they only built prototypes of this model.

This company is considered by most people as an important player in the electric aviation sector and only specializes in the easy to use UAVs, which is not that astonishing since it initially manufactured model aircraft that were radio controlled. One of their models, Typhoon Q500 drone, was the first quadcopter drone in the world that was packaged ready for flight on purchasing it. This model was later advanced with dynamic panning and 4K camera so as to focus on its functionality.  This resulted in this model is the real completion of the Phantom by DJI in regards to the market share.

This company offers diverse options for the UAV models that can be utilized in various applications. They even have the models for entry-level to introduce and enhance safe drone flights through useful security features and different flight modes. They also have commercial drones that have thermal cameras to assist you to extinguish and identify the fire hotspots quickly. This makes it very easy for different people to get their desired drone models for different purposes in this company.

Parrot Drone

This is an unmanned aerial vehicle manufacturer that is based in France. This company was initially a manufacturer of a certain wireless product in France that specialized in signal processing and voice recognition. It then begun to steadily advance to the UAV market and its impact in the drone technology is currently being felt. Although the DJI drone company is responsible for notable innovations, Parrot drone manufacturer has exceeded it in worldwide awareness on drone technology according to most reports. This company offers direct competition to other drone companies especially in the markets of aerial video and aerial photography.

One of its popular cameras UAV is the Bebop series model which is highly affordable which is probably why its demand in the market is currently high. Another popular model from this company is the AR drone which is the discontinued RC flying quadcopter helicopter. The design of this drone enables it to be operated and controlled through tablet or mobile operating systems that are either Android or iOS supported, in their respective applications or through particular unofficial software that is available for other devices such as Symbian, Samsung BADA and Windows Phone.

3D Robotics

This is a drone company that is based in the US with its headquarters in the city of Berkley, California. This company makes the drone software that is used for mining, engineering and construction companies, along with the government agencies. The 3D robotics was co-founded in the year 2009 by Jordi Munoz (Mexican engineer) and Chris Anderson (entrepreneur and author).

Before 2016, this company marketed and designed recreational and commercial drones. It currently specializes in manufacturing various kinds of UAVs such as the consumer UAVs, ready for flight quadcopters that are used for mapping and aerial photography, the fixed-wing drones.

This company mainly focuses on autonomous drones with GPS points planning (smart drone). Additionally, this firm has concerns in the technology of UAVs for business applications, aerial photography and daily exploration. Despite the fact that this company has recently experienced some setbacks, competing with various drone manufacturers in the market of consumer drones has resulted in staff layoffs and organizational reshuffling.

INSITU

This is a drone company based in the United States that develops, manufactures and designs the UAVs. This is a subsidiary that is wholly owned by Boeing Defense, Security and Space and has many offices in America, Australia, and the UK. It was founded for development of Aerosonde concept in the early 1990s for the long-range climate and weather reconnaissance. Its name is derived from the procedure of measuring the weather in place (in situ) instead of doing remotely, using satellites.

This company initially partnered with the Boeing Aircraft Company, before they officially acquired it to become their subsidiary. Prior to its acquisition, his company had inside tracks on the projects by Pentagon since permanent adoption from the image reconnaissance of the naval for the fishing boats of commercial purposes after the onset of war in Iraq. Their most recent and visible military model is Boeing ScanEagle, which is a drone that does not require a runway when being launched through the pneumatic catapult. This firm has served the military of the United States since 2004. Recently, the Marine Corps and US Navy bought the integrated unmanned aerial vehicle by INSITU for application in reconnaissance and combat.

Aeryon labs

This is a company based in Canada that deals in the manufacturing and development of the UAVs. This drone company was established in 2007 and has its headquarters in Waterloo city, Ontario. There is another subsidiary of this company that is wholly owned, based in the city of Denver, Colorado and is known as Aeryon Defense. It focuses on support and sales for the government of the United States. In 2009, FLIR Systems purchased Aeryon Labs for $200 million.

This Canadian company specializes in VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) scout UAVs that don’t need the lunch equipment.  This Aeryon scout mini-drone has the capability of thermal imaging, stills of high resolution and is controlled by the tablet computer interface instead of the traditional joysticks thus reducing the needed training amount for its operation. You simply need to point on the interface of Google Map that is linked to the GPS unit system. One of the models of this company, SkyRanger Unmanned Aircraft Systems are being deployed in more than twenty militaries and also used with the industrial operators and public safety in more than thirty countries.

Precision Hawk

This is a data and commercial drones American company that was established in2010 and has its headquarters in Raleigh, which is North Carolina’s capital. It also has another worldwide office located in Canada in the city of Toronto and various satellite offices in various regions of the world.  This company manufactures UANs and is currently heavily focusing on developing the software for analysis of aerial data (DataMapper) and the LATAS (UAV safety systems).  This company is one of the members in the Pathfinder initiative of the FAA in the USA and the UTM program by NASA. In 2016, this company received the first exemption from the FAA allowing it to fly commercial UAVs beyond the visual sight line of the operator.

It specializes in manufacturing fully autonomous drones for data management, analysis, and collection at low altitudes. This company can be considered to be of a company that deals with information delivery as opposed to manufacturing UAVs. This company employs drones as part of the technological tools series that are meant for improving the business operations by giving them information gathered from the serial data. One of their popular models is the Lancaster Mark 3 which a small aircraft which collects remote and extremely high sensing information for business and happen to be powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) instead of human operators.

CybAero

This is a company in the industry of Aerospace and is located in Sweden. This company manufactures and develops helicopters that are remotely piloted.  This public company is traded on the Stock exchange of Stockholm. This company has been manufacturing helicopters that are remotely piloted since 2003, although it has currently transitioned in the manufacture of drones. Since this transition, they’ve made some contributions in the drone industry including the manufacture of the 1st public flight demonstration on UAVs in Sweden. Additionally, this company signed a partnering agreement with another company known as Indra.

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