Walkie Talkie Radios - Buy Or Hire - Which Is Best?

Sometimes, it is obvious whether buying or hiring radio equipment is going to be best.

If you need walkie-talkies for a one-off event for a few days, then hiring radios is clearly the way to go

What considerations should be kept in mind before making a decision on whether to buy or hire a walkie talkie? Is the use limited to a one-off event or do you require the use of walkie talkies on a regular and indefinite basis? The length of use, where they would be used, their quantity and quality are factors which will help in making that choice.

If you need a walkie talkie for a one-off event for a few days only, then hiring of radios is a better option.

It is the cases "in between" that are not so obvious:

The Radios We Hire Out

The radios that we hire are good quality, professional models, with the highest power output available in walkie-talkies (4 or 5 watts).

Use of these radios requires a licence from Ofcom. We have the relevant licence, so that when you hire radios, you are using our licence.

They will work better, and over bigger distances, than any of the cheap, licence-free "consumer" radios that you see for sale in Argos etc.

The walkie-talkie that we hire cost around £149 + VAT each to buy new.

Buy Cheap Radios v. Hire Professional Radios

You may look at the relative cost of paying £7 - £12 + VAT to hire a radio from us for a week, or around £19 + VAT for a month, and then at the purchase price of some little cheap PMR446 radios, and think that it makes more sense to buy the cheap ones.

But be aware that you are not comparing like with like: the little licence-free radios have only 0.5 watts power output, our professional radios have 4 or 5 watts. Also, the general quality of some of the cheaper radios is not so good - that's why they can sell them for £15 each!

Long Term Hire v. Buying Outright

The best deal we can do for a long-ish hire of professional walkie-talkies is around £20 + VAT per radio per month. Our exact quote depends on how many you hire, for how long, and on where they will be used.

This means that if you plan to use radios for more than 3 or 4 months, then you would pretty soon be better off just buying them outright.

Paying hire charges for more than five months definitely means you end up paying out more money, and having nothing to show for it at the end of this time.

If you had bought your walkie-talkies, you would then have them for keeps.


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