How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Cherry Picker in the UK?

If you want to know how much it costs to hire a cherry picker and what licence/training you’ll need, you’ve come to the right place.

Cherry picker is a catch-all term that’s used to describe several different types of elevated platform lifts.

Scissor lifts, zero tail swing and telescopic boon versions are the most popular. You then choose between a vehicle-mounted, trailer towed or self-propelled version.

Licence Requirements for Self-Operated Cherry Pickers


Fun fact: Cherry pickers were originally invented so fruit could be picked more easily.

Most cherry pickers will contain safety devices that prevent the equipment from toppling over. This is usually a cut-off device that stops the machinery from working on uneven ground or if the arm is over-extended.

For this reason, you can hire cherry pickers up to 3.5tons in weight with a standard full UK/EU driving licence. You don’t need any specialised training other than a demonstration from the hire firm.

If your licence was issued before 1994, you can legally operate cherry pickers up to 7.5tons without the need for further training.

For larger equipment including HGV mounted cherry pickers, you’ll need to hire a trained operative.

Further Training

If you would like to hire a heavy cherry picker but don’t want to hire an operative, you can complete a training course.

More details can be found on the IPAF website.

Things to Consider

Looking beyond the licence requirements, there are several points to consider:

  • If it’s to be used indoors, an electric version would be preferable to a diesel-powered cherry picker due to the lack of ventilation.
  • If the ground is soft, consider a tracked all-terrain cherry picker.
  • For narrow spaces, explore the zero tail swing cherry picker.
  • If you’re working in just one area, a towed or self-propelled variant is best.
  • If you’re working at several different locations, such as changing street light bulbs, hire a vehicle-mounted cherry picker.

Cost to Hire a Cherry Picker (self-operated)

Item:Price inc VAT:
Scissor lift 10m£250+VAT per day
Scissor lift 10m£365+VAT per week
12m boon lift£375+VAT per day
12m boon lift£550+VAT per week

We’ve found that on average, the cost to hire a large boon type cherry picker with an operative is between £400 and £550 per day. The price difference is due to the location and size of the cherry picker.

Where Did These Prices Come From?

We sourced the prices above from twelve cherry picker hire firms in the UK during early 2022 and calculated an average price.

The prices were sourced from different sized firms; both national, regional and small local firms gave us prices.

You can use our research as a guide. Hopefully, you can steer clear of firms that overcharge.

Other Options

There are other options for you to consider, but their appropriateness will depend on the circumstances of the project:


Cherry picker scissor lift

Scissor lift, photo sourced from Nationwide Hire

Cherry picker on van

Vehicle mounted picker from Oakey Cherry Pickers

Tracked cherry picker

Tracked cherry picker from Dragon Access


Cherry pickers are used in a wide range of situations, including:

  • Gutter and roof repairs
  • Chimney repairs and maintenance
  • Wall repairs and painting
  • Tree felling and reducing
  • Lighting
  • Bridge repairs
  • +Much more

Tips to Save Money

We discovered a huge variation in the prices we were given by hire firms in the UK.

For this reason, we suggest you shop around and don’t just compare large national firms but also contact small local businesses too.

Most of the cheaper prices we were given were from small businesses that didn’t list their prices on their website, we had to contact them by email to get a quote.

Maybe this was just a quirk in our research or perhaps there’s another reason; either way, cherry picker hire is expensive and shopping around is the only way to get a good deal.

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