Two-way radios continue to be considered one of the most reliable forms of communication technology, many decades after its invention. These radios often outperform the communication ability of cell phones and computers due to two-way radios’ purposeful designs. Two-way radios are manufactured to maintain clear and consistent lines of communication, even in the harshest of conditions.

Although not every two-way radio user will experience challenging environments, it is always smart to be prepared. Because these radios are such a popular communications resource, consumers have the choice to rent or buy them. Either way can be a great investment, but it is important to consider the benefits of either choice.

Renting is often considered the optimal decision because it is a cheaper initial cost, whereas, other may consider buying the two-way radios a worthy investment. When making this choice it is important to understand where the radios are being used and for what reason. Below we have laid out the benefits of renting or buying two-way radios and the situations that would benefit.

Benefits of Renting:

Renting two-way radios sounds like a great opportunity for something so useful. This option is a go to for some two-way radio users because it is a cheaper initial purchase compared to buying—especially if you are only planning to use the radios one or two times in a year (Commenco). Two-way radios do come with additional costs like maintenance and storage of the radios.

When purchasing a radio rather than renting, the owner will have to also purchase a charger, possibly extra batteries, and occasionally replacement parts upon damage. When renting the two-way radios, these additional costs are covered by those who are providing the radios.

Another benefit of renting two-way radios over buying is the demand. Most often, rented radios can be checked out on the spot or with short notice because rentals have the merchandise on hand. Whereas stores and manufacturers or vendors may need more notice to be able to provide the radios on time, for they do not always have all products in stock.

As noted, there are great benefits to renting radios but only select groups and individuals will reap those benefits.

Who Will Renting Benefit?

The best people to appreciate the benefits of renting two-way radios are those using the communications technology for temporary events. For instance, community events like fairs, firework shows, 5Ks, and more are all very temporary.

Reliable communications is necessary to make sure these occasions are fun and safe, but it probably is not worth buying radios specifically for the event. Many community events are framed as fundraisers for different non-profits, so it is never recommended to have large expenditures in the planning and execution of the event. Therefore, it would be wise if the organizers saved some money and simply rented the two-way radios that are necessary for the event.

Likewise, situations like road work crews and short-term construction projects could benefit from rented radios (RCS Communications). Because they are not using them for a long time and they are often away from offices, they will not want a lot of unnecessary equipment.

Bearded man wearing an orange vest talking on a two-way radio speaker microphone

Another situation that could benefit from renting radios and buying them is emergency response teams like volunteer search committees. Most emergency services like police officers have purchased radios but they rarely have enough to also supply these devices to volunteers during search missions. In this situation, those who are organizing the volunteers can rent out any extra radios that are needed.

Some two-way radio rental options include:

There are many situations where renting is the most reasonable option but buying can also be the optimal decision depending on who you are and where the radio is being used.

Benefits of Buying:

When purchasing a two-way radio, it can often seem like a large purchase. However, it is important the purchaser understands that buying a two-way radio is a long-term investment. Two-way radios, unlike the average cell phone, are built to last.

Once a two-way radio is purchased, the buyer will not have to worry about future rental fees or insurances. These radios are built to last in the harshest conditions; therefore, a simple drop on the ground or an accidental fall in a pond etc. will not break the radio.

Those who plan on using their radios daily or even once a week will want the perfect technology for their situation. Two-way radios come with a long list of features that can benefit a variety of users. From built-in GPS to hands-free Bluetooth connection, it can take some time to learn the ins and outs of your radio.

If you need a two-way radio and plan on utilizing all the features, it would be best to buy because you will have all the time in the world to sit down and learn all about your specific radio. Moreover, when using a two-way radio every day, that radio will quickly become a main communication resource. Therefore, you will want the right radio for your situation.

When purchasing a radio, you can take your time choosing the exact radio for you or your team. If you choose to rent, you run the risk of the rental company not carrying enough or any of the radio you prefer. Lastly, when buying a radio rather than renting, there is a guarantee your radio is brand new and can be secured.

Two-way radios, like any other computer-like technology can be secured with programming and digital keys, but they can also be hacked. In the case of renting a two-way radio, users run the risk of using an unsecured source of communication. For those who are using a radio for sensitive situations like policework, they want to ensure their correspondences remain private.  

Top two-way radio purchase options from First Source Wireless:

Who Will Benefit From Buying?

There are many different types of professionals and individuals who would benefit from purchasing radios rather than renting. Public safety groups like police officers, firefighters, and EMTs would absolutely benefit from buying two-way radios.

Those professionals tend to use two-way radios every day; therefore, renting would end up being much more expensive in the long run than an initial large purchase. Moreover, two-way radios are considered a form of lifeline to police officers and firefighters because communication is of utmost importance.

Many public organizations of any kind operate the best with two-way radios as a source of communication. For instance, hospitals, grade schools, colleges, and more all use two-way radios for reliable communication.

Hospitals and schools are places that both have high population densities and vulnerabilities; therefore, they need to have ease of communication in the event of an emergency. It is safest for these environments to purchase their two-way radios, so they always have them on hand because emergencies are unpredictable.

Natural disaster shelter with cots

Another group that would benefit from purchasing radios rather than renting is emergency volunteer organizations like the Red Cross. They always need to be prepared for emergencies and two-way radio rent providers may not have enough radios in stock when the Red Cross needs them.


Two-way radios are a necessary form of communication for a variety of situations and professions. Purchasing or renting a two-way radio is always a great decision for places like hospitals, schools, community events, officers, and more. But the choice between renting and buying is not always easy.

A good rule to follow is if you expect to use a radio more than 5 times a year for multiple days, it may be best to purchase at that point. You will be able to get the exact technology you want, it will always be available, and it will be guaranteed secure.

On the other hand, if you only estimate using a radio 3 times a year or less for temporary events, rentals may be your best option. In this situation, you will not have a large initial investment, your team will not have to worry about the radios’ maintenance, and more.

Overall, either way two-way radios are great source for reliable communication. To decide between renting or buying the technology, it is best to sit back and analyze how often the radios will be used and in what situation they will be needed. We hope this article gave some useful advice on how to choose between renting or buying your two-way radios.


Works Cited

MacGillivray, Lisa. “Should You Rent or Own Your Two-Way Radios?” Chicago Communications, 15 Oct. 2015,

“Should You Buy or Rent Radios?” Commenco, 5 June 2019,

“Should Your Business Buy or Rent Two-Way Radios?” RCS Communications, 5 Aug. 2018,


DEANNA PARENTI is a Marketing Copywriter at Waveband Communications. With her experience in critical communications, she helps public safety clients enhance their team communications during everyday work and emergencies.

Two-way radio

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