Buying VS Leasing Your UAV

Over the last decade, it’s safe to say that we truly live in an era of technological innovation. The computers, software, and technology we used back in 2010, for example, are not even comparable to the phones, data processes, and learning programs used in business today. Unfortunately, for many mid-sized businesses, that can be a double-edged sword.

On one hand, it’s easier than ever to streamline costly procedures and information systems with new and disruptive technology. On the other hand, within a few years that technology will be obsolete as newer technology enters the market. 

The same conundrum can be found in the UAV service industry. With technology that’s still so new (and constantly improving), drone services are constantly being updated with the latest software, cameras, and UAVs to ensure that inspection and data collection services can advance at an even faster rate. And while this is good for a company’s services, it can be a hefty investment — particularly if entire drone fleets are purchased just before newer, better drones are announced.

Luckily, we at Suntuity AirWorks offer drone leasing to help mitigate cash flow and ownership problems that come with investing into new technology. But that begs the question … which option is best for your business? Leasing, or buying?

Let’s find out!

The Advantages of Leasing Drones

First and foremost, the primary advantage of leasing business equipment is that it allows you access to the assets you need at a minimal initial expense. With this option, your cash flow can remain relatively unaffected as you add $20,000 worth of UAVs to your fleet. In addition to the initial monetary advantage, lease payments are also tax-deductible as a business expense, which reduces the net cost of your lease by a significant margin.

Beyond expenditures, however, is the fact that leasing drones allows for more flexible terms of ownership than you’ll find with loans for buying equipment. If you lease a drone and find out 6 months later that newer drones have entered the market, we allow easy lease upgrades to ensure you’re not stuck with an outdated drone in your back pocket.

Of course, the disadvantage of leasing is that you’re paying a higher overall cost proportional to the amount of time you would have spent owning the drone. Smaller payments, flexible terms, and tax deductions vs higher overall cost.

The Advantages of Buying Drones

The largest and most obvious advantage of buying business equipment is that you own it. This is especially true when your equipment has a long lifespan and is not likely to be outdated, such as with office furniture or large machinery, but how does owning a drone compare? Before we answer that question, let’s consider some additional buying advantages.

Since you’ll own the drone, you will only be paying the price of the equipment itself rather than a higher price over a set amount of time. You can also deduct your fleet and equipment as an asset of ownership on your taxes, as well as the depreciation of that equipment as time goes by. On top of that, owning the equipment means that you can eventually sell it to regain value before purchasing newer upgrades.

But let’s consider the major disadvantage of owning your drone fleet. The Expected Useful Life (EUL) for UAVs and their payloads is between 3 – 5 years. That’s a far cry from the EUL of office furniture.If you maintain your equipment, you can reach the latter end of that timeframe, but as software and systems evolve, so too do the necessary quality requirements required of your drone. However, there’s also a greater initial expense when buying drone equipment, and if your equipment becomes obsolete, you’re stuck with it. 

What’s Best For My Business?

When considering the major advantages of leasing vs buying, your first step is knowing your organization’s needs compared to the advantages and disadvantages of leasing vs buying.

If you only need a few entry-level drones to provide basic volumetric measurements, surveying, or on-scene monitoring, then you’re less at risk of functional obsolescence than a company using high-level enterprise drones and software to detect gas leaks with thermal imagery. That means buying might be the best option for your business. But if your company requires the higher-level drone operations (like in the latter example), then leasing is most likely better for your business.

With these factors in mind and more, your best option is get a comprehensive breakdown of drone needs vs price to determine exactly how you can best save money while improving your processes with the power of drone technology. That’s where we come in.

Contact us today, and one of our drone representatives will provide a price breakdown that’ll determine which drone buying or leasing packages will work best for your business.

Upgrading your industry with UAV expertise has never been as easy and necessary as it is today, and as we prepare for the changes of tomorrow, Suntuity AirWorks is here to help you save time, money, and lives every step of the way. 

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