Hiring v buying a Marquee – Making the Best Decision for your Event

Hiring v Buying a Marquee

The reason why you’re here is because you have a small party coming up and are wondering after looking at hire prices is it cheaper to BUY a small marquee rather than HIRING it?

Un unbiased article designed to help you make the right decision for your party – we touch on the pros and cons of Hiring v Buying a Marquee.

Short answer?


No typo it is in theory!  However you’re comparing buying something that is essentially a supermarket plastic bag, on very thin plastic framework comparing to hiring a commercial grade structure with a trained & experienced team to set it all up.

Hiring v Buying a Marquee – The explained answer.

This is aimed primarily more at the small garden marquee hire market who are looking to give your house some more space for a party they’re planning.  Most likely to extend your home by “attaching” the marquee over a set of doors in their garden.  If this is you great, there’s another blog post about butting up a marquee to your house here!

Butting a marquee to your house is a little more complicated than you think.  Ensuring its a watertight and airtight seal isn’t easy and thats where hiring one that’s designed to be attached over a set of doors (the ones you buy on Amazon etc aren’t tall enough to reach over open doors!)

I’ve made an impartial pro’s & cons chart below to give you an honest opinion of both options you have.

Hiring v Buying a Marquee

How long will a domestic marquee last?

I have lots of conversations with people in the same boat as you who want to know the difference between hiring v hiring a marquee.  They’re sitting on the fence because they have 3 summer parties coming up so it makes sense to buy a gazebo online and use it three times.  I get you.  That does make sense!

However due to the thinness of the poles you find on domestic structures you will be lucky to take your new tent down without breaking anything before it goes back up again.  You’ll struggle to order singular spare parts for it as well as usually they come all boxed up straight from China.  I’m telling you this first hand as this is how I got into hiring commercial marquees in the first place.

So, let’s compare the two.  Let’s say you need a 3m x 6m Marquee.  If you wanted to hire a commercial grade marquee after paying for a trained installation team, who arrive in a taxed, fuelled and insured van then yes buying a 3m x 6m gazebo will be cheaper.

Talking by rough ballpark figures – a domestic gazebo will probably cost around £250-£350.  Hiring a commercial quality marquee of the same size after installation costs will be around £500-£650 (this price will likely also include some flooring and set up costs too.)

If you are lucky with the weather you might get 2-3 uses out of something you can buy online.  If it’s particularly windy during your event your gazebo may get damaged, or the weight of rainwater on the roofs may crush some of the poles.  


Bear in mind that the hired will come with a decent floor system, a carpet and probably some heating and lighting – your new eBay purchase will not!

But it’s the value a marquee hire company brings to the table that makes hiring so much more worthwhile.   Commercial grade marquees come with all of the extras you need to make your even work.

Hiring v Buying a Marquee –  The value in hiring a marquee

When you hire a marquee – you’re also getting with that an experienced team (in our case award-winning too!) making sure your structure is set up completely safe and ready to use.  Remember you could be having 20-100 people that you know under this big metal structure – it’s got to be watertight and secure in case it gets windy. I don’t think your auntie would appreciate your Amazon gazebo falling apart on her…

Domestic gazebo’s are also only shower proof due to the thinness of the material.  So if you get any form of typical UK rain coming during your event you’re still going to need umbrella’s….so what’s the point?  They are stitched together with cotton stitching which absorbs water and leaks around the perimeter letting water in inside.

That also means it’s not very good at keeping the warmth in.  So the summer nights with no cloud cover, or if your birthday party happens to fall in mid-January you may night to ask your guests to bring their bobble hat.

The best equivalent is comparing it to cars.  You can buy a “Nissan Micra” or you can rent a “Rolls Royce”.

Want a party like no other?


Fancy Hosting The Best Celebration Ever?

Use our super simply request a quote process to have Mark get back to you in 30 minutes to get you the perfect event that you have always dreamed of!