A good time to buy a drone...?

I don’t own a drone and have joined the forum to gather as much insight about the hobby as I can before deciding what (or if) I should buy.

With the new regulations coming out and certification of new drones uncertain, is now (or when Lockdown 2.0 is over) a good time to buy a drone. Or wait until the regs become clear and the drone manufacturers can produce compliant drones…?

Hi @couplands and welcome to GADC.

There are quite a few threads on the upcoming (maybe) EASA regulations


Have a read, its very much swings and roundabouts at the moment as to when exactly the new regs will appear, but we sort of know what they will look like.

In a nut shell anythigng you buy now will still be able to be flown as a ‘legacy’ aircraft.

For the hobbyist not a great deal will change.

Best bet Mavic Mini, as it looks like its going to be the thing you can fly nearest to people and buildings without further qualification

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I’d say go for it as you might wait forever until the rules become clear. Stay within the drone code as it is now as much as you can but above all be sensible and assess what the worst case scenario could be e.g. if the drone develops a problem. Get some third-part insurance - there’s 2 or 3 options available at reasonable prices - just Google it. This should cover you if your drone does some damage to some thing or someone.

In terms of busy-bodies having a go whilst you’re flying my advice is something I hear someone say on a YouTube channel… “Fly it like you stole it”. This means, don’t make your flight like having a picnic. I’ve seen people on YouTube getting a table and chair out, laying everything out with tools, spare props, batteries etc. If you want to minimise any confrontation then get everything ready to fly but keep everything else packed away ready for a quick getaway. As soon as you land and have got the footage you’re after then get the hell out of there!. If someone does approach you looking for an argument just say “sorry, ok I’m going” and leave - there is never any point engaging with such individuals as they always think they know the rules and you will never convince them otherwise (and let’s face it who cares?). Of course if you do fly perhaps outside the strict letter of the rules, then don’t post the footage on YouTube. There are hundreds of busy-bodies willing to have an argument and threatening to report you. You only have to look at some of the posts on this forum to realise there’s a fair few on here as well.


Whatever you buy will be superseded by a later model six to twelve months down the line. It’s the same with ,any consumer goods. A medium price drone that you buy now will be perfectly capable of manual or autonomous flight and will take perfectly good stills and video. When the new model comes out it will have a couple of new features - it’s up to myou thewn whether you buy into needing the latest shiny or if you stay with a tried, tested and familiar aircraft.

As for lockdown 2.0 my understanding, gleaned from a radio $ discussion, is that you can go outdoors both for exercise and for recreation, meeting one other person not of your household. So you can go and fly solo or in the company of someone else who is interested in fligfht.

Buy now and enjoy while you can!


Any time is a good time. The problem is there’s never enough time.

And yes, I do have a problem. One which has been well documented on here :crazy_face:

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I think given my lack of experience, a Mavic Mini (used) would be a good place to start. It’ll let me do what my skill level is suited to and won’t be a disaster if I a) lose interest, b) can’t fly c) decide I really like it and want to buy something better…:crazy_face:

You and me both.

My name is Robert and I’m a droneaholic :frowning:

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Hi Simon,

As has already been said, there will always be rule tinkering and model updates and like all tech, prices of older models fall as new stuff emerges.

I suppose it always depends on what you want to do, what features you need (or fancy) and how much you want to pay.

There are many great drones available with superb tech providing a hugely enjoyable flying experience and brilliant video and photo recoding. I went for a second hand Mavic 2 Pro though I must admit the camera can record at high def resolutions our telly can’t even handle - so I could have saved cash by buying something with less tech that would have been perfectly fine (though I’m glad I didn’t as I love the kit).

If you do decide to take the plunge, try to get the best you can afford which meets all your needs and remember that a battery charge will only give you 25mins flight (or so), so add-ons (like the fly more sets) with extra batteries are really essential. Likewise add in the cost of a decent case and make sure you have a phone or ipad which is suitable for use with the drone.

There is loads of advice available on here so just ask if there’s anything else you need clarified.

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Hi all. I’ve just joined this forum after watching Ian from London in his YouTube site put a link here.
My story… I bought a Magic Mini last November 2019. I had a flight near a church away from anyone and flew about for 10-20 minutes, and landed and again a short flight, all OK.
A few days later I took off from my back garden and thought it would be good too see what it looks like from above, but the wind took it as it got above the roof level and it blew away! I did just about manage to get it near me but it blew into a tree and was smashed. I didn’t get it mended and never flew again.
I enjoy watch Ian from Londons YouTube channel, and I though I might try again, this time with a Magic Air 2 as I’m sure this drone would give me more confidence based on that it is a all round better drone. I did my online test yesterday and passed and have my Id’s now.
But the thing that seems to me to be putting me off is the new laws that are coming in in January 2021. Is it worth getting a drone as a hobbyist as I am thinking that the new rules are a lot more strict, or have I misconstrued this, and that it is not much different than it is now? Obviously fly out the way of people etc etc.
Also are there even more stricter rules in two years time? Are they eventually trying to kill drones as a hobby in a couple of years or so?
So again my question is, Will I get fun out of a Magic Air 2 if I buy one now?
Many thanks for reading, Ben.

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Welcome to GADC, @Benus

Moved your post over to this previous thread that’s asking pretty much the same question(s).

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Yes, from Day 1 if ownership

The new rules are significantly less strict than is currently the case. If your drone is <250g you can fly much closer to people than before, and in urban areas. If you get the A2 CofC qualification you can fly larger drones in urban areas, which previously needed a PfCO. And all drones can be flown closer to structures than before.

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@kvetner How long do you think it will be before CE stamped drones go on sale in the UK? And do you think its worth @Benus waiting for them to be released before purchasing? (I know you don’t have a crystal ball lol but best guess)

Pure guess Christmas 2021. For <250g drones, there’s no benefit waiting. For bigger drones, the main benefit will be only needing an A2 CofC to fly in built-up areas post-2022 (and close to people in low-speed mode); for legacy drones after 2022 that will require the more expensive GVC qualification and an Operational Authorisation.

Totally agree, I also think the new rules are a lot less strict. Buy your new drone, you won’t regret it :+1:

If you’ve only had a couple of flights you wont notice the rule changes.

Buy yourself a Mini or Mini 2 and enjoy


A lot will depend on what you want to do with your drone. The hobby has many facets beyond flying and taking pictures and each individual’s circumstances and goals are different.

In my case since I started flying (2012) the changes in legislation have had little to no impact, other than the recent requirement for registration. The changes due to come in very soon will again have very little, if any, impact on my activities. What change there will be will most likely have some benefit for me as a hobbyist.



Agreed, I think if it was me I would go for the mini 2 as the mini was good but the mini 2 with all the improvements they have done seems to tick nearly all the boxes , also lower priced

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Many thanks for the information. I changed my mind from the air2 to the mini 2 and it is arriving tomorrow.


Wise choice well done now we all need a change in the weather