How Much Is A GVC Drone Licence UK

How much is gvc drone Licence UK?

As a professional drone pilot running the UK’s largest nationwide drone service, I know firsthand how confusing and opaque the path to getting a drone licence can be, especially when I was just starting out.

When I began exploring training options a few years ago, there were no clear comparisons of the main providers and what they each cost all-in.

Back in the stone age when I first got licensed, it was still the PfCO – ever heard of that relic?

Now we’ve got the GVC licence, but the hassle of figuring out the real costs hasn’t changed!

drone training price

Now, having helped dozens of new pilots get licenced up, I want to share the knowledge on what to actually budget for the full GVC journey.

In this post, I’ll break down the real total costs – from training fees to hidden CAA charges and equipment.

Summary – How much does a GVC drone licence cost in the UK?

The total cost to obtain a GVC drone licence ranges from £1,000-£3,000+ in the UK when factoring in training fees, CAA exam and application charges, equipment, and other expenses. Major costs include training courses (£500-£2,000), initial CAA application (£290), annual renewal fees (£217), plus travel, insurance and gear expenses. The licence allows legal commercial drone operations in the UK for 5 years.

I’ll compare the main training providers in the UK so you can choose the best value for your specific needs.

My goal is to help fellow pilots avoid nasty surprises I encountered early on and map out the most affordable route to gain this essential commercial licence.

As an experienced operator, I want to make things clearer for the next generation of drone pros here in the UK.

So read on for the inside scoop on the full cost of gaining your GVC!

drone licence test being conducted

What Is A GVC Drone Licence?

The GVC is an essential UK drone licence that legally qualifies drone pilots to operate unmanned aircraft weighing up to 25kg for most types of visual line of sight flying.

This means that as the drone operator, you have to keep your eyes locked on the drone at all times when it’s up in the air to maintain control.

The GVC is also mandatory these days in the UK if you want approval from the Civil Aviation Authority to fly drones over 10kg in urban areas or congested airspace for commercial reasons.

So for anyone doing professional drone work in the UK, having this drone licence is crucial.

It shows that you, as the pilot, have the proper training and knowledge needed to safely operate drones in populated areas without causing issues. The CAA only grants Operational Authorisations to pilots who hold a GVC.

So it’s become an essential qualification that serious drone pilots get to prove their skills meet official standards.

GVC Drone Licence UK

How Much Does A GVC Drone Licence Cost?

When it comes to getting your GVC drone licence, one thing’s for sure – the cost isn’t set in stone. There are actually a ton of factors that make the price vary.

GVC Cost ComponentTypical Price Range
Training Course Fees£500 – £2000
CAA Initial Application Fee£290 (fixed fee)
CAA Annual Renewal Fee£217 (fixed fee)
CAA Rejection Fee (If Rejected)£124
Travel Expenses£100 – £200+
Drone Equipment£500 – £2000+
InsuranceVaries by provider
Total Estimate£1000 – £3000+

Training Provider Costs

First up, the training provider makes a big difference. The UK has hundreds of Recognized Assessment Entities, or RAEs, that are authorized to provide GVC drone training and testing you need for the licence.

The 3 main UK drone GVC training players are:
  • UAV Hub
  • Heliguy
  • Coptrz

But costs between these RAEs can be totally different!

  1. UAV Hub GVC Drone Course
    5.0
    £499

    My top pick as the best drone GVC course in the UK. Providing the most affordable and flexible option covering the essential theory and knowledge you need to get GVC licensed. The unlimited practice tests ensure you ace the exam, a knowledgeable teacher breaks down key concepts, and transparency about supplemental CAA fees helps avoid surprises.


    Pros:
    • Low £499 GVC Course fee
    • Highest Rated Trustpilot Score
    • Unlimited mock exams
    • No hidden costs
    • Experienced instructor
    • Insurance Included
    Cons:
    • Only 1 Scottish Training Location
    View Course
  2. Heliguy - GVC Drone Training
    4.9
    £999

    The core GVC package from Heliguy is priced at £999 and covers the key elements you need – online learning materials, instructor support, mock exams, the CAA test, flight assessment and your operations manual.

    Pros:
    • Bundles online learning, exams, assessment for £999 cost
    • Provides insurance for practical exam
    • No hidden fees if sticking to core package
    • Unlimited exam retakes included
    • Training locations across UK
    • 4.9 Rating on Trustpilot
    Cons:
    • Higher cost than other providers
    View Course
  3. Coptrz | GVC Training Course
    3.6
    £599 (Online) | £999 (In-Person Classroom)

    If you're a self-motivated learner, Coptrz has an online-only course for £599 plus VAT. This gets you access to all the online materials, mock tests, and instructor support to ace the CAA exam.

    Pros:
    • Multiple Test Locations
    • Flexibility of online components
    Cons:
    • 3.6 Trustpilot Score
    • Lowest Rated Provider
    • Insurance Is Additional Cost
    View Course
Lasso Brag
drone training price 1 1

Course Length

For example, one provider may offer a short 2-day crash course for £500 while another does a comprehensive 5-day program for £1,500. It all depends on the length of the course, depth of training, extras like manuals and gear they provide, and so on.

Factors that influence the training costs include:

  • Length of course – More days generally means higher cost
  • Classroom learning vs online – In-person instruction costs more
  • Access to drones & equipment – Provision of drones and tools adds cost
  • Flight training time – More hands-on flying time increases price
  • Supplemental materials – Printed manuals, online modules etc raise the cost
  • Testing & exams – Some providers bundle the CAA testing fees
  • Class size – Smaller instructor to student ratio costs more
  • Location – Courses in and around London are often pricier

More extensive programs cost more upfront but get you better prepared.

Hidden GVC Costs

Additional CAA GVC Fees

When going through the process of getting your GVC licence, there are some fees you’ll need to pay directly to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on top of the training costs.

GVC Drone Application Costs

First up is the initial application fee for your Operational Authorisation which is required along with the GVC licence. This runs £290 payable to the CAA.

Basically it covers their time reviewing your application and all the documentation like your operations manual.

Now once you get your Operational Authorisation, there’s also an annual renewal fee of £217 to keep it active. You need to keep this up to date to legally operate drones commercially in the UK.

Beware Of Rejection Fees

Here’s a heads up – if your initial application gets rejected by the CAA for any reason, you get hit with a £124 penalty charge on top of the £290 you already paid.

Ouch!

This can happen if your paperwork isn’t 100% accurate and compliant. So double check it thoroughly first.

The main reasons applications get rejected include mistakes between your manual and forms, or not being up to date on the latest drone regulations.

Taking the time to get it right avoids extra charges.

caa drone licence

So why does the CAA charge all these fees in the first place? Well, the Operational Authorisation process takes staff time and resources on their end to properly evaluate the risks and limitations for each commercial drone operation.

The fees also encourage operators like yourself to take the application seriously, conduct thorough risk assessments, and ensure you have appropriate permissions and limitations defined by the CAA before taking on jobs.

Overall, these CAA costs are just one more factor that contributes to the total price tag of gaining your GVC licence privileges.

But they’re a necessary part of the process to maintain safety and regulatory compliance.

GVC Drone Training Cost By Provider UK

When selecting a Recognised Assessment Entity (RAE) for your GVC drone training, cost is often a primary factor to consider. Prices can vary widely for the required instruction and testing depending on where you complete your course.

Let’s compare the main GVC training providers in the UK

Our Top Pick
UAV Hub GVC Drone Course
5.0
£499

My top pick as the best drone GVC course in the UK. Providing the most affordable and flexible option covering the essential theory and knowledge you need to get GVC licensed. The unlimited practice tests ensure you ace the exam, a knowledgeable teacher breaks down key concepts, and transparency about supplemental CAA fees helps avoid surprises.


Pros:
  • Low £499 GVC Course fee
  • Highest Rated Trustpilot Score
  • Unlimited mock exams
  • No hidden costs
  • Experienced instructor
  • Insurance Included
Cons:
  • Only 1 Scottish Training Location
View Course

UAV Hub

When it comes to getting your GVC licence through UAV Hub, one of the top drone training providers in the UK, there are a few key factors that make the overall cost flexible.

The main GVC training product UAV Hub offers is an online course priced at £499. This covers the required theory and practical testing, plus helps you create a solid operations manual.

It’s taught by UAV Hub’s knowledgeable CEO Matt Williams.

Screenshot 2023 11 17 at 16.02.24

Now here’s what makes the cost vary…

First, you get unlimited mock theory exams as part of that £499 package. This is clutch because if you fail the real 40 question CAA exam, you don’t pay a re-take fee – just hop back into mocks!

This avoids added costs down the road.

Another thing that changes the price is custom add-ons.

UAV Hub offers supplemental in-person flight training sessions across the UK for an additional fee if you want more hands-on practice.

You can also add things like printed training manuals and other useful materials.

One fixed cost is the CAA exam fee which UAV Hub doesn’t include in the £499.

You’ll pay this separately to the CAA when you schedule it. So expect the full costs to be £789 to complete the licence.

The practical test is also done in-person at different sites, so travel costs need consideration too.

UAV Hub

UAV Hub Provides GVC Exams in:

  • Glasgow
  • Nettlesworth
  • Chorley
  • Wolverhampton
  • Woodbridge
  • Basingstoke
  • Exeter

While the online course keeps the base cost low, you have options to personalize your training. Forking out a bit more for extras like flight time and materials can be worth it to feel fully prepped.

But the unlimited mocks help avoid any nasty surprises!

Heliguy - GVC Drone Training
4.9
£999

The core GVC package from Heliguy is priced at £999 and covers the key elements you need – online learning materials, instructor support, mock exams, the CAA test, flight assessment and your operations manual.

Pros:
  • Bundles online learning, exams, assessment for £999 cost
  • Provides insurance for practical exam
  • No hidden fees if sticking to core package
  • Unlimited exam retakes included
  • Training locations across UK
  • 4.9 Rating on Trustpilot
Cons:
  • Higher cost than other providers

Heliguy – £999

The core GVC package from Heliguy is priced at £999 and covers the key elements you need – online learning materials, instructor support, mock exams, the CAA test, flight assessment and your operations manual.

This bundles a lot together to avoid hidden costs down the road.

Heliguy GVC Drone Test

The price can change depending on your needs…

First, Heliguy offers tailored on-site training if your organization wants specialized group instruction. This can raise costs but is great for company-wide training programs.

You also have options like adding extra individual flight training time beyond the assessment, additional online learning modules, printed training guides and bonus materials.

These supplemental extras can tack on a few hundred pounds.

A handy perk is that Heliguy provides insurance for your practical exam through Coverdrone at no charge.

Heliguy drone training

Travel to one of Heliguy’s flight centers also factors in. Heliguy has training locations in:

  • Newcastle
  • Manchester
  • Farnborough

So in summary, while Heliguy bundles a ton upfront, costs ultimately come down to add-ons like extra training, materials, travel expenses and any retake fees. But their all-inclusive core package keeps main costs predictable.

Coptrz | GVC Training Course
3.6
£599 (Online) | £999 (In-Person Classroom)

If you're a self-motivated learner, Coptrz has an online-only course for £599 plus VAT. This gets you access to all the online materials, mock tests, and instructor support to ace the CAA exam.

Pros:
  • Multiple Test Locations
  • Flexibility of online components
Cons:
  • 3.6 Trustpilot Score
  • Lowest Rated Provider
  • Insurance Is Additional Cost
View Course

Coptrz | £599 – £990

When it comes to getting your GVC licence, Coptrz offers a couple different training options to fit different budgets and learning styles. Let’s break it down:

If you’re a self-motivated learner, Coptrz has an online-only course for £599 plus VAT. This gets you access to all the online materials, mock tests, and instructor support to ace the CAA exam. It’s great for independent studiers on a budget.

But if you prefer in-person instruction, Coptrz offers classroom training for £999 plus VAT. For that extra £400, you get face-to-face teaching over 2 days at one of their training centers across the UK. This is perfect if you learn better with hands-on guidance.

Coptrz Trust Pilot Score

You also need to budget for travel if the training facility isn’t local, which could add £100 or more in expenses.

Coptrz has training locations in:

  • Rugby
  • Edinburgh
  • Cardiff
  • Kent
  • Hampshire
  • Leeds

And don’t forget insurance for the practical test too – that’s an extra cost with Coptrz unlike the other providers on this list.

So while the base training costs seem straightforward at first glance, factor in all the extras when budgeting the total to get licenced up. The hands-on classroom experience is worth the extra investment for many, but the online course keeps it affordable if you’re on a tighter budget.

Conclusion

Getting your GVC drone licence in the UK can be a complex and costly process when you factor in all the expenses. While base training course fees range from £499 to £999, additional costs like CAA charges, travel, materials, and insurance can tack on hundreds or thousands more.

The total price tag stretches from around £1000 on the low end for a basic online course, up to £3000+ for extras like printed manuals, unlimited flight training and classroom instruction. Comparing leading providers like UAV Hub, Heliguy and Coptrz shows the cost differences in course length, locations, and supplemental add-ons.

The key is weighing your personal budget and learning preferences to choose the right training fit. An intensive 5-day in-person course might seem expensive but prepare you thoroughly for the CAA exams. Or for self-guided learners, a budget online package allows more flexibility. Understanding these factors lets you map out the most affordable route to gain essential commercial drone credentials.

1 thought on “How much is gvc drone Licence UK?”

  1. Matthew Delahoussaye

    This is all great information. I feel like it’s still a struggle to get a straightforward answer whenever I ask questions like “What certs do I need to fly a 249g drone around a building in a small town”. I just keep getting met with paragraphs from the legislation, rather than a concise “You need X, Y and Z”

    Is there anywhere that gives a more frank description of what you can do and where, for instance if I were to just hold an A2CofC and a small drone??

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