hire film and video equipment

Where To Hire Film & Video Equipment in the UK

Reading Time: 11 minutes

Need to hire film and video equipment for a shoot? no problem!

Filmmaking is expensive. If you’re here reading this, you probably don’t need to be told that.

With so much film and video equipment out there to buy and all of it costing so much, you just can’t have it all.

As a result, sometimes you might just be caught short. But that’s okay. You don’t NEED everything.

For example, I was called on last minute for a property shoot. I said yes, but I didn’t have the right wide-angle lens to really capture and showcase as much space in the rooms as possible. If I knew that I was going to be regularly shooting property like this, it may have made sense to invest and buy this lens outright.

However, this shoot was a one off. Therefore I didn’t really fancy spending £600+ on a lens I was very rarely going to use.

This is where kit rental comes in really useful. At some point in your filmmaking life you’ll need to call the cavalry.

This article will help you navigate through some of the best options available for film and video equipment hire – right here in the UK.

Support your local

local camera hire shop

Firstly, consider using your local rental house.

By building up a relationship with the people who work there, you could potentially get a better price, as well as access to really useful advice and expertise.

Perhaps they’ll be giving you a heads up to let you know before anyone else that the latest Arri Alexa is now on the shelf ready to go.

You get first dibs. Plus, it’s just nice to support your local, right?

For example, if you’re in London, you could look at somewhere like The Kit Room.

→ The Kit Room

The Kit Room film & video Hire

A quick glance at the home page tells you all you need to know.

These guys have everything from cameras and lenses to data storage and even consumables.

Stuff like tape and sharpies! Obviously, you’d be buying that tape outright as you can’t really give it back after use.

In terms of pricing, we thought we’d do a good ol’ comparison – similar to the ‘Big Mac Index’.

The Big Mac Index essential compares how much a Big Mac costs around the world. Because a Big Mac in New York, USA is going to cost a lot more than a Big Mac in Saigon, Vietnam.

Except, this is a question of how much does a specific lens cost in one rental house, compared to another?

We’re going to look specifically at the Canon 50mm 1.2 Prime lens. It’s a firm favourite amongst many… this is the ‘Nifty Fifty Index’.

Canon 50mm Prime Lens

The Nifty Fifty Index

  • 1 day hire: £35
  • 3 day hire: £105.00 (based off of 1 day price)
  • Weekly hire: £245.00 (based off of 1 day price)

Website ease of use

The Kit Room Video Camera Hire

The website is pretty standard and follows a pattern and layout that you’ll become familiar with throughout your research.

There’s the main homepage along with a search option and a grid menu below showcasing the different gear you can get your hands on. Very easy on the eye and simple to navigate.

Booking requirements

Unfortunately, you can’t immediately check if the piece of gear you’re after is available for the dates you need. Instead, you have to click ‘add to kit’ which basically prompts you to sign up with your email.

Therefore, it also wasn’t easy to calculate whether there were actually any discounts in price the longer your hired for, so we calculated the Nifty Fifty Index position with the only information given to us – £35 to hire per day.

Browsing to quickly find out if you can get what you need is not really an option here.

Equipment available

On closer inspection, the gear they have on offer is not quite as extensive as we’d hoped.

The Kit Room only stock certain brands and certain lines of cameras. If you’re after that specific camera then great!

But we found several times, they didn’t have what we were looking for. Hit and miss.

Things we like

They’re open long hours from 8:30am to 7pm – very handy if you are in the area and need to swing by or just need to call up.

They’re also utilised often by the BBC and ITV. If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for us.

National hire companies

National film & video hire companies

On the other hand, going for a local film & video equipment hire could be a terrible idea. Not every local rental house is going to be as good as The Kit Room. Some might have really bad service and end up being really expensive so, you’ll have to weigh it up.

This is where the option to use a national brand may be best. National’s come with guaranteed quality service, a fair price, reliability and general ease of mind.

Let’s have a look at a few of the top dogs for hiring film & video equipment across the country.

→ Hireacamera

Hire a camera

Firstly, Hireacamera.

If you Google search just about anything to do with hiring film and video equipment in the UK, I can guarantee Hireacamera is coming up top, or very close to the top of those search results.

It might be that they’re paying for some really good SEO. Or, are they just really, really good?

The Nifty Fifty Index

  • 1 day hire: £33.00
  • 3 day hire: £39.00
  • Weekly hire: £55.00

Website ease of use

Hireacamera Film Equipment Rental

Hireacamera have split their equipment into two sections – ‘stills’ (for all photography equipment) and ‘motion’ (everything film and video equipment).

Everything here is built with the user in mind. Using their easy, simple search bar at the top, you’ll quickly find just about anything you’re after. Big thumbs up.

Booking requirements

Whatever you’re after there’s a brief product description, along with a price breakdown and the ability to check live availability.

It’s all very simple and very useful. Within one minute I had found what I wanted, checked the dates it was free (all clear) and added it to checkout ready to pay.

Equipment available

We’re really impressed with Hireacamera’s stock. They have it all.

Seemingly, whatever you need, it’s here.

Apart from drones. In general, drones don’t seem to have taken off in the rental world yet. But everything else from GoPros to lighting rigs and mic booms is here.

Things we like

Hireacamera do some great deals with fair pricing that gets better the longer you hire.

In addition to the really easy navigation and user interface, we also enjoyed scanning through their latest news section. Every good filmmaking website needs a news/blog section.

→ Vid4hire

Moving on, Vid4hire. They won’t appear right at the top of your Google search results but they’re a solid option.

It’s worth having a look around their website when doing your research on where to hire your filmmaking gear from because there are some really good deals available here.

The Nifty Fifty Index

  • 1 day hire: £26.00
  • 3 day hire: £38.00
  • Weekly hire: £66.00

Website ease of use

vid4hire lense rental

It’s not the best website we’ve ever seen. Sometimes when you go through to a new page an obnoxious YouTube video will start playing in the header which can be quite intrusive and annoying.

But otherwise, it’s pretty standard and easy to get around with big panels and buttons to click, taking you to where you need to be.

Booking requirements

Very easy and straightforward.

With a few clicks you can see the price of an item or kit, how much it’s going to cost, how long you’re renting for, as well as an up-front declaration about the deposit you’ll need to put down.

Some other website hide the deposit until the very last moment so it’s great to see it here and be able to build it in to your budget.

Equipment available

With a little bit of searching, Vid4hire has most things covered. Impressively, it even rents out drones which neither Hireacamera or The Kit Room offer!

Unsurprisingly, they come with big deposits and high prices but it’s great to have the option and places them ahead of some key competitors.

Things we like

Above all, what we particularly like about Vid4hire is the packages they can put together for specific types of jobs.

They seemingly do the legwork in gear prep, offering the full ‘wedding video package’ or the ‘conference video package’ where you’ll receive everything you need to shoot that specific job.

You can even go as far as renting the gear needed to edit and produce the whole thing from start to finish.

This either sounds amazing or absolutely horrifying, depending on who you are and what control you like to have over the gear you operate with. We think it’s a cool idea and works well for the right person.

→ Procam

Procam Hire film & video equipment uk

Next up, Procam. With locations across the country, a wide choice of video equipment and a few intriguing options that go beyond gear, they’re worth a look!

The Nifty Fifty Index

Procam projects have really missed out here. You have to specifically request a quotation via email regarding the piece of kit you want to hire. Therefore, they couldn’t be included on the Nifty Fifty Index.

Website ease of use

Procam film & video equipment hire

Navigating the website is very straightforward. On the homepage you’ll find all the contact details for each of their locations, along with a place to search and a breakdown of all the film & video equipment available. Ready for you to scroll and browse to your heart’s content. However…

Booking requirements

The inability to see pricing structures easily is a little frustrating.

In order to book anything or even find out about price and availability, you have to submit a quotation request, signing up with your email and all your details. You then have to wait for a reply and go from there.

Equipment available

Procam has a really good selection of filmmaking gear for hire. Similarly to Hireacamera, if you want it, they’ve most likely got it.

Things we like

Along with a great variety of options, Procam offers access to a vast network of freelancers and experts that can be called upon as crew for hire. Not every film & video equipment rental house has this and it’s a very useful proposition.

You just never know when you might need that extra pair of hands.

They’re also very much a national service with several locations throughout the UK from London to Manchester and Edinburgh.

→ Wex Rental

Wex video equipment rental

Rental is in the name and Wex certainly deliver. We’re really impressed with their clean-cut, easy-to-use website, wide range of gear and accessibility. A key player in the rental sphere – one that can’t be overlooked

The Nifty Fifty Index

  • 1 day hire: £32.00
  • 3 day hire: £96.00
  • Weekly hire: £128.00

Website ease of use

Wex camera kit rental

The Wex Rental website is top-notch. The home page follows the classic format of a large search bar with filters, as well as film and video equipment broken down into different sections such as lenses, camera bodies, accessories.

All of the usual stuff that you’ve come to expect whilst researching these different competitors.

Booking requirements

Again, very simple and easy. With a few clicks you’ll be able to find out all the information you need, crunch some numbers and make a decision. Click that big ‘add to basket’ button and you’re away.

Equipment available

Much like some of the main competitors already mentioned here, Wex seems to have just about everything.

When conducting your search you’ll notice all of the filters on the left-hand side that give a real indication of how much gear they have. Well stocked and ready to roll.

Things we like

Everything seems so clean-cut. This might make it seem simple, but that’s the mark of real expertise.

Wex has gone the extra mile with search filters that go a long way in helping you narrow everything down to the item you’re looking for.

They’ve also taken the time to give each item a lot of product info, the key features and specs. Not every film & video rental house website is offering this. It stands out.

→ Fat Llama

Fat Llama video rental

This is a really interesting one.

You know how Air BnB has changed the accommodation game? How Uber has changed the taxi game?

Fat Llama may just well be the Air BnB/Uber of the film and video equipment rental world.

They’re shaking things up in a similar way, challenging traditional approaches with something fresh, new and exciting. Pay attention.

How does it work? If you head to that section on their website, you’ll find the process broken down into four easy steps.

  1. Find what you’re looking for
  2. Book the item for your chosen dates and let them verify you
  3. Arrange collection from the lender and enjoy
  4. Return the item to the lender (and be a good person by leaving them a review!)

Simple, right? Fat Llama is actually dealing in everything from pogo sticks to projectors but of course, all your film and video equipment is up for rental here.

The Nifty Fifty Index

We found our lovely little Canon 50mm 1.2 up for grabs here from just £8 a day! That’s outstanding when compared with the others mentioned above.

Of course, there are logistics to be worked out such as finding the right gear available in your area and then organising the collection and drop off with the lender, but you could argue that’s the same for any other rental house.

Website ease of use

Fat Llama video & film equipment hire

The website is very simple and very easy to use.

You simply type in what you’re looking for and it’ll give you the results.

You can then narrow these down with lots of different filters such as location, price and availability.

It reminded me a lot of Air BnB and it’s likely this approach was taken on purpose.

Booking requirements

Again, in line with the ease of the website usability, booking is simple. A few clicks and you’re sorted.

Equipment available

The world is your oyster. Whatever you want, there’s a chance someone’s got it for rental on Fat Llama. Just search away. It is entirely down to other users posting their available gear so you may not be able to find some things.

Things we like

Everything, to be honest! What’s not to love? If we had to choose just one thing that Fat Llama has above its competitors, it’s the price.

It’s a lot, lot cheaper than some of standard, more traditional film and video rental houses. Worth a punt!

Now get £20 worth of FREE credit with our Fat Llama discount code 😉

Consider the niche

Lastly, with the example I mentioned in the introduction, I actually ended up using a film & video equipment hire company that specialised specifically in lenses.

This is a route that could potentially save you money and also ensures that the people you’re dealing with are particular experts on one given field.

Whether it’s lighting, microphones or underwater housing, finding an expert could help you figure out exactly what you need to hire.

For the record, I used lens pimp. I’m not sure about the name (sometimes I like it, other times, not so sure), but the service was fantastic with a very, very reasonable price!

Wrapping up

As you can see, there are a lot of good options available when hiring film & video equipment.

In summary, it’s a combination of a number of different factors such as pricing, location, reliability, availability and quality that determine who you hire and rent with.

Here’s a quick comparison table below to make it easier.

Rental houseWebsite & booking easeEquipment availablePricing
The Kit Room★★★★★★★
Hireacamera★★★★★★★★★★★★★★
Vid4hire★★★★★★★★★★
Procam★★★★★★★Unknown
Wex Rental★★★★★★★★★★★★
Fat Llama★★★★★★★★★★★★★★

Through reading this article you’re hopefully much more prepped and ready to head out into the rental world to hire the right film equipment for you. Good luck!

We now have a camera hire page on our site (powered by Fat Llama’s database). Check it out.

Are there any film & video hire companies which you’d recommend? Did we neglect to mention your favourite? Post a comment and let us know.

Film Production, Filmmaking Tips, Gear, Video Production

Get involved! Post a comment..