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Save Your Christmas: Hummingbird UAV Drone Buyers’ Guide

Are you thinking about buying a drone this Christmas? Avoid paying a £9/year registration fee, flight restrictions and online theory tests with our top Drone pick.

We all know the frustration of waking up on Christmas morning to play with our new shiny tech only to not have the right set of batteries. Well that minor inconvenience pales in comparison to the trouble purchasing a drone 1g over our recommended pick could land you in.

This Christmas we are recommending the DJI Mavic Mini for those looking to have fun flying a drone without needing to pass exams and pay to join an online register of drone pilots. The drone comes in under 250g (the new holy grail for drones) which means it is classed as a ‘toy’ and as such doesn’t fall under the heavy regulations of traditional drones..

If you buy any other drone (over 249g) you will be required to participate in a number of new legal requirements that the government introduced in November 2019.

These include:

pass an online theory test
Register for a Flyer ID and/or Operator ID
pay £9/year to carry on flying.

There is a loophole in the new laws which specify that “Anyone responsible for a drone or unmanned aircraft weighing between 250g and 20kg needs to register as an operator. The cost for this is £9 renewable annually.” DJI have capitalised on this by making an impossibly light 249g (which is about the same as your smartphone) drone to get the ‘toy’ classification but in a feature rich top-of-the-line specification.

The 249g drone could fit in a large coat pocket.

According to DJI’s website the Mavic Mini is “the lowest and safest weight class of drones, which in many countries may exempt it from certain regulations.” This is definitely true here in the UK where drones over 249g need to be registered.

From what we can tell the DJI Mavic Mini is an exceptional drone with the quality we’ve come to expect from DJI. It’s the lightest drone the company has ever produced and yet it handles very well, is a joy to fly and boast 30mins of flight time per battery charge.

With prices starting from £369 we think this would be a must buy for any hobbyist drone users wanting to take aerial photos and videos, however with the new drone regulations we couldn’t be happier with the Mavic Mini.

If you want to avoid paying £9 per year in drone registration fees and avoid all the training, online theory tests and ID codes then this is your drone of choice.

If you have any questions or opinions about drones or the new fees, fines and registration please feel free to let us know in the comments.

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