Rent-to-own drones/lease-to-own drones are available from several retailers. Rent-to-own contracts allow you to use a drone while making regular payments toward the purchase price. There are no interest charges; rental fees are included in each payment. Retailers that offer rent-to-own or lease-to-own drones include Lensrentals, Maverick Drone Systems, and RentDelite.
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What to Know Before Renting-to-Own a Drone
Rent-to-own is a process that allows you to make monthly payments on an expensive item like a drone until you have paid off the purchase price, plus fees. It is different from many other finance options, such as paying with a credit card or taking out a short-term loan, because you will not be charged interest on top of the purchase price.
“No interest” doesn’t mean there aren’t other fees, however. Rent-to-own payment plans almost always end up costing more than purchasing an item outright — the fees are built into the rental price instead of being added on top as interest. Rent-to-own can cost two to four times more than a regular retail purchase. It’s also important to note that if you a miss payment, some companies may be willing to work with you, but the leasing company can cancel the rental agreement, repossess the item, and charge high penalties.
There are, however, several reasons to consider renting-to-own a drone:
- You can try out a drone to see how much you like it and/or how necessary it is for your business.
- If you don’t end up using the drone much, you can return it. This can save you money because you essentially got to rent a drone instead of purchasing one outright.
- If you do end up using it long enough, the cost of renting the drone goes toward the cost of buying it.
Keep in mind that while you can return the drone at any time during the rental period, if the drone is damaged, it may not be eligible for return and you may be required to pay a restocking or replacement fee. And, in some cases, you may be required to pay for the cost of the drone.
Typical rent-to-own agreements are for 12 months with bimonthly or monthly payments. And most companies will require a credit check. If you have poor credit or no credit history, you may not be approved for a rent-to-own program.
Note: To own and operate a drone, you will need to follow regulations set out by the Federal Aviation Administration. As of December 2017, all drone owners are required to register their drones under the Federal Drone Registration program.
The Best Rent-to-Own, Lease-to-Own Drone Options
The easiest way to rent-to-own or lease-to-own a drone is through one of the following online retailers. However, if you would rather purchase the drone in person, you can contact a local electronics or photography equipment retailer to learn about more purchase options. Big-box stores like Walmart, Target, and Best Buy do not offer rent-to-own options for drones, as confirmed by customer service representatives from all three stores.
Lensrentals is an online company that rents photography and videography equipment, including drones. Through its Keeper program, you can purchase a drone at the end of the rental period. This setup is a little different from a true rent-to-own agreement in that you can decide if you want to buy the drone after you rent it (and pay the rental fees), instead of signing a contract to purchase upfront. But, similar to rent-to-own programs, the amount you paid to rent the drone will count toward the purchase price; Lensrentals will credit your first seven days of rental fees (plus 30% of fees after that). Prices vary based on the condition of the rental item.
Maverick Drone Systems
Maverick Drone Systems is a drone retailer that offers multiple leasing options, many of which include the option to buy the drone at the end of the rental period. For details, see Maverick Drone Systems’ Financing page, which also includes information on how business owners can report each type of rental for tax savings. Lease agreements are backed by Kinetic Leasing. To apply, fill out Maverick Drone Systems’ online application.
RentDelite is an online rent-to-own and lease-to-own retailer. It has a variety of drones and drone accessories available for one-year rent-to-own agreements. And RentDelite will let you return or upgrade the device at any time. To be approved, you must be at least 18, have a job with a proven income of at least $1,500 a month, and have a bank account that’s at least three months old. Approval is based on a credit check, as well as your bank account history, housing history, and other non-financial factors. Payments depend on the purchase price. Apply online with RentDelite.
With a rent-to-own drone program, you’ll make a regular payment for a set amount of time (typically a year) and, at the end of the term, will own the drone. Keep in mind that your total purchase price in rent-to-own programs includes fees and will be higher than buying a drone outright. Lensrentals, Maverick Drone Systems, and RentDelite offer online rent-to-own/lease-to-own options, but if you’re looking for a local option, try an independently-owned electronics or photography equipment retailer; most big-box stores don’t offer rent-to-own options for drones.
For more on drone purchase options, see our articles: DJI Drone Financing Explained, Where to Go for Buy Now, Pay Later Drones and Here Are Your No Credit Check Options If You Want a Drone.