About 8% of Americans have at least a single drone in their household. With the number of benefits they have to bring to the table, there’s no wonder why.

You can use them to take some awesome selfies on a vacation. They’re used to locate trapped individuals during disaster situations, and they can provide backup for law enforcement.

The biggest problem you’ll come across with buying a device of your own is drone prices. How much does a drone cost? With all the technology that goes into them, they can be pretty expensive.

If you’re not worried about having one with a bunch of bells and whistles, you might be able to find an affordable beginner drone, or you can try your hand at making your own.

We’ve got a guide that will help you make the best decision for your wallet. Keep reading to learn more.

Beginner Drones

Drones Cut Costs

Many beginner drones will cost you anywhere between 30 and 50 bucks. Buying one is a great way to dip your toes into the fun hobby that is flying drones without breaking your bank.

Since they’re so cheap, you don’t have to feel bad about breaking them while you’re still learning to fly. After you gain a little more confidence, you can upgrade to a more expensive racing drone.

Racing Drones

Introductory racing drones are a bit more than $100. They may not be able to compete with advanced racing models, but they will allow you to get involved with racing without spending a lot of money.

Most of these intro drones have some basic camera features that will get you used to the more advanced photography drones before buying one. Most models have GPS features that will help you keep track of your device.

Entry-Level Photography Drones

Now that you’ve got your feet wet with a few beginner drones, it’s time to move up to an entry-level photography one. The camera is where these drones shine.

While some of the models we’ve talked about already most likely have a camera pre-installed, it’s not going to be as good as one designed for taking shots.

They also have something known as a camera gimbal. It will keep the drone steady when you take pictures, so you don’t have to worry about your shots coming out blurry. These drones can also record HD quality videos.

You will pay to have all these features. Entry-level photography drones can get as expensive as 500 dollars or more.

Mid-Level Consumer Drones

Mid-level consumer drones come with powerful cameras that are capable of capturing 4K videos. The camera sensors are much more sensitive than in the entry-level models.

On top of having better camera features, they also have a more advanced gimbal that will keep the drone sturdy during your photo sessions.

Mid-level consumer drones also pack some amazing safety features. Most of them have something known as obstacle avoidance. This feature will stop the drone before it flies into something that would harm it.

It’s good that it’s difficult to crash these drones because they can go for $1000.

High-End Consumer Drones

For almost $800 more than the mid-level drones, you’ll get to have more sensitive obstacle avoidance features.

They pack tons of processing power that will help you capture better camera shots. You might be able to find a high-end consumer drone that offers 6k and 8k recording (though it’s less common than 4k).

We’ll warn you that while these devices can carry around larger cameras and other equipment, most of them are a bit clunky. It can be difficult to carry them around.

If you’re looking for a high-end drone that you can take on vacation with you, reach for the DJI Mini 3 Pro. It’s both powerful and portable.

Professional Camera Drones

Do you work for a video company? You’re going to need one of these professional camera drones.

They either have a built-in camera or the ability to carry the weight of a professional camera setup. Either way, they’re quite large and aren’t too portable.

They are also expensive. If you want one of these beauties, you’ll pay almost $2,000.

Commercial Drones

Commercial drones aren’t widely available to the public. Even if they were, the average person wouldn’t be able to afford them. They start at around $2,000.

They have infrared cameras that make them valuable for search and rescue missions. Their ability to carry heavy weight makes them the perfect device to make deliveries and transport medical supplies.

Make Your Own Drones

Make Your Own Drones

If you want to save a bit of money, you can try your hand at building your own device instead of buying a drone. It can be hundreds of dollars cheaper to purchase parts and put a device together.

To get started, you’re going to need a frame, a motor, electronic speed controllers, propellers, batteries, transmitters, and a flight controller.


You can easily spend less than $30 on a drone frame. It might not hold up too well to what you put it through, however.

If you’re going to be using your creation for anything other than a simple recreational toy, you’ll need to pay a bit more money. A frame in the $100 range will offer the durability you need without hurting your wallet too much.


How much you spend on motors is going to depend on how many you need. They can cost anywhere between $10 to $100, and in most cases, you have to have multiple to power your device.

To find out how many you need, think about the number of propellers you intend to have. For example, let’s say that you’re planning to make a standard quadcopter. You’ll need to purchase four motors.

Electronic Speed Controllers

Electronic speed controllers give drones the juice to move at the speed you want. You’re going to need as many of them as you have motors.

The good news is they’re not too expensive. If you’re intended to build a quadcopter, you can get a pack of four ESCs for about $30 or less.


Propellers are one of the most crucial parts of any types of drones. Without them, your device won’t be able to lift itself from the ground.

Make sure that whatever propellers you buy match the drone that you want to build. For example, unless you’re making a mini drone, tiny propellers aren’t going to do the trick. They’re not powerful enough to lift a quadcopter.

Another thing to keep in mind is that even high-quality propellers have the habit of breaking. You’ll need to invest in a few extra to bring on flights with you.


You’ll need some standard batteries to give your drone the power it needs to turn on. That’s not going to hurt your bank too much. You can get what you need for around $20.

Where things get expensive is when you’re picking up spares. You see, most drone batteries only last about 20-45 minutes.

If you want to extend your flying sessions out a bit, you’re going to need to bring a few extra batteries outside with you.

Transmitters and Receivers

If you want your drone to listen to the commands you put into the controller, you’re going to need to invest in a good transmitter and receiver.

The problem is that buying a high-quality one could cost you up to $400. This is probably the most expensive part that will go into your device.

Flight Controller

Without a flight controller, you won’t be able to control your drone from the ground. It sends instructions from your hands to the drone.

Most flight controllers will run you about $100. They can get a little more expensive, but that’s the average.

Drone Repair Costs

Repair Costs

You’re zipping your drone around in your yard when you fly it right into a tree. To your horror, it falls to the ground with a thud. That’s about $500 down the drain unless you can repair it.

Would it even be worth it to take it to a repair shop? Unless you only spent $50 on your drone, the answer is yes.

Depending on how badly you messed up your device, a repair shop will charge you $300 or so to fix it.

Insuring Your Drone

You don’t have to get insurance for your drone, but they are expensive devices. Having insurance will protect you in the event that you crash it into a tree.

If another person without drone insurance sends their device spiraling into yours, you’ll get priority because you have coverage.

Keeping up your insurance can be expensive, however. You can expect to spend about $100 or more every month, depending on the type of device you have.

Registering Your Drone

If your drone is over a certain weight, you’ll be required to register it before you can fly it.

The price to go through the process varies from place to place, but for the most part, you’ll pay around $5 per device.

Drone Accessories

To use your device effectivity, you’re going to need a few accessories. For example, if you want to put your drone on the ground without damaging it, it’s a wise idea to invest in a landing pad.

Having a memory card will allow you to take more pictures, and a carrying case will protect your device during transport. As you can imagine, having these things costs money.


Again, most drones only have enough juice to run for about 45 minutes straight. If you buy a cheaper drone, you’ll be lucky to get twenty minutes out of it.

That’s why when you buy your drone, it’s a good idea to pick up some extra batteries to go with it. You can expect to spend anywhere between $15-$60 on your spares.


A lot of drones come with a few spare propellers. That pretty much tells you everything you need to know. They’re fragile.

If you think about it, they are bits of plastic moving at impossibly fast speeds. If anything on your device is going to chip or break, it’s going to be the propellers. You can expect to spend $10 or so on a set.

Carrying Case

You don’t want something as expensive as your drone banging around in the back seat of your car during transport. You should protect your investment by providing some kind of shield.

For a little over $10, you can buy a hardshell case that will fit the bill.

Memory Card

Most drones have a memory card built-in. The problem is that a lot of these pre-installed cards can only hold about 16GB of data. With all the videos and pictures you’re going to be taking, you’ll cook through that fast.

If you want to be able to store more on your device, grab a 64GB card. It will hold everything you need, and it only costs $15 or so.

Propeller Guard

If you don’t want to have to replace your propellers as often, you can buy a guard. It’s a protective cage that will prevent the most sensitive part of your device from chipping as easily.

Buying one will run you around $30. The problem with them is that they do impact the performance of a drone because they weigh it down.

Landing Pad

Drones sit close to the ground. That leaves them vulnerable to debris build-up and moisture.

There’s the chance that you might place your drone down on a rock and damage it. If you want to avoid that, you should invest in a $12 landing pad.

Why You Need Drone Insurance

So, How Much Does a Drone Cost on Average?

Having a drone will allow you to take some amazing pictures during your family vacation. They can also save lives and deliver packages. The issue is buying one.

How much does a drone cost on average? Depending on your needs, the answer is a lot. If you’re only interested in having one for recreational use, $50 is the maximum.

The price jumps up the more you need the device to do. You also have to account for accessories and registration.

For tips that will help you learn how to use your new device, visit the Technology action of our blog.

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