This article deals with the advantages and...

Buy, lease or finance a drone?

This article looks at the pros and cons of buying, financing and leasing a drone.


    This article deals with the advantages and disadvantages of buying, financing and leasing a drone, as well as contingencies such as the use of protection services.

    Buying, financing or leasing drone systems?

    What is the cheapest way to get a suitable and up-to-date drone system? Should you buy, finance or lease?

    Alternative 1: Purchase
    If you buy, you don't enter into any further financial obligations and may even be able to benefit from discounts. With high-quality drones, you usually have to write off the depreciation of the drone. The device belongs to you.

    Alternative 2: Financing
    Financing allows you to spread the cost of the drone intelligently over the period of use. You benefit from the fact that you can earn the payments to be made with the drone. This means that the drone pays for itself, so to speak. This means you can easily accept the interest incurred. The drone only belongs to you once the financing has expired.

    Alternative 3: Leasing
    Leasing has the great advantage that you can account for the leasing instalments directly as operating expenses. This means you don't have to worry about the loss in value of the drone, as the drone belongs to the leasing company and not to you. At the end of the leasing period, you either return the device or buy it outright for the residual value. Most people will be familiar with this process from leasing a company car.

    Interim conclusion:
    You must definitely pay the purchase price of the drone in full when buying and financing. When leasing, you only pay for the loss in value during the period of use. However, due to the relatively rapid depreciation of electronic products, including drones, the leasing period should generally not be longer than two years in order to gain an advantage. The interest and fees for leasing and financing are usually worthwhile because the drone works for your own financing.

    Je nach Wert der Drohne und gewünschten Anwendungszweck können unterschiedliche Finanzierungsmodelle sinnvoll sein.

    Figure 1: Leasing and financing drones

    Protection against repair costs

    What happens if repairs are necessary and who pays for them? For such cases, there is a corresponding protection package when leasing drone systems, which covers the following circumstances:

    • Operator error

    • Clumsiness / negligence

    • Theft / burglary / robbery / looting

    • Sabotage / vandalism

    • Design, material or workmanship defects

    • Water and moisture damage

    • overvoltage / induction / short circuit

    • Fire / lightning / explosion / implosion

    • Natural disasters

    • assumption of the costs of restoration or procurement of a replacement object

    These protective services are included in drone leasing and would otherwise cost around 150 euros.

    Our recommendation: leasing

    The leasing option opens up completely new possibilities. For example, you can first explore the potential uses of the drone system in question. In addition, you don't have to commit yourself permanently to a fixed system configuration, which may not cover all the required tasks. Depending on the fixed leasing period, you have the opportunity to benefit from the latest technology every few years. This can give you a clear competitive advantage. In addition, the drone pays for itself over a certain period of time with the orders it fulfils. You can also benefit from tax advantages. In addition to all these points, you should also consider the increased liquidity provided by leasing. You tie up less capital and therefore reduce your risk of getting into financial difficulties. This is especially true if you need to make use of pre-financing for larger orders.