Billboard rental costs in the UK vary according to the size and location of the billboard. Typically, a standard billboard costs £500-£600 for 2 weeks and smaller advertising panels like bus stop shelter advertisements cost £240-£270 for 2 weeks. All classic posters on Bubble include production and placement of the adverts but not the design.
The easiest and most cost effective way to rent billboard space is through an automated online booking service.
How much does billboard advertising cost?
There are several factors that affect billboard costs, including location, design work, setup costs and rental period. We’ll have a look at some specifics below, but to begin with here’s a breakdown of typical billboard rental costs in the UK.
|Large billboard (96 sheet)||£1453||£1147||£4,448 (Backlight)||£1,450||£1,453|
|Standard billboard (48 sheet)||£542||£590||£542||£542||£542|
|Digital billboard||£2,500 (Digital Super 6)||£144 (Digital Forecourt Screen)||£144 (Digital Forecourt Screen)||N/A||£144 (Digital Forecourt Screen)|
|Cinema (6 sheet)||£265
|Phone box (6-sheet)||£162||£162||£162||£162||£162|
|Bus shelter (6 sheet)||£265||£265||£336||£336||£336|
These billboard costs are taken from Bubble’s online booking portal and are for a 2-week period, including production and placement costs. Prices do not include VAT.
Are Digital billboards more cost effective?
With technological advancements and the reducing costs of digital screen technology, we are beginning to see more and more digital billboards replacing traditional billboards.
In the past, digital billboards have only really been available to the biggest global brands with huge marketing budgets. However, they’re now accessible for those with smaller marketing budgets and can actually be a more cost effective option in many cases.
Digital billboards save on production costs in that no printing is required. Instead, your ad is sent to the billboard electronically. This means shorter lead times and more immediate return-on-investment.
The format of digital billboards also allows for more flexibility. Due to production and placement schedules, outdoor advertising traditionally works in 2-week blocks. Digital adverts can begin and end on whichever day you want, which means you have more control over the length and timing of your campaign.
For example, if you have a special offer every Tuesday, you can choose to show your ad every Sunday-Tuesday only to make more efficient use of your budget. Alternatively, you might benefit from only showing your ad at specific times of the day or week. Advertising your bar or off-license on a Friday afternoon is likely to be far more effective than advertising it on a Monday morning!
Read our article about the benefits of digital billboard advertising for more information about digital billboards.
Factors affecting Billboard Rental Costs
The cost of renting a billboard in the UK varies according to four main factors: the location of the billboard, the size and viewing clarity of the advertising panel and the display period.
Let’s dive into some of the specifics of how each of these factors will affect the cost of a billboard advertising campaign.
Location is the big influencing factor when it comes to billboard rental costs. This is because location is the single biggest influencer when it comes to who sees your ad.
In the outdoor advertising world we measure who sees your ad by looking at footfall, impressions and audience demographic.
Footfall is a measurement term for the amount of pedestrian or vehicle traffic that passes an advertising site.
It is often used as an indication of how successful an advertising site might be as the more people pass-by an advert, the more people are likely to see it. For example, 2 million consumers pass by Piccadilly Circus’ famous billboards each week. That’s why it’s one of the most desirable advertising locations in the UK.
However, footfall alone is not the measure of a desirable advertising space. What advertisers are really after are Impressions. Impressions are the number of times people are likely to notice an advert.
A busy road may get higher footfall when it comes to vehicular traffic, but a congested junction with drivers sitting in stationary traffic is likely to get far more impressions. That’s why it costs £727 +VAT per week to rent a 96-sheet billboard in the UK’s slowest road, Cricklewood Lane, London.
Choosing a really successful advertising site for your campaign involves finding a site that will gain valuable Impressions from a relevant audience demographic. Advertising on a 6-sheet near a busy commuter station in London for example would help you reach young professionals. Billboard sites that gain Impressions from higher-income audience demographics are likely to be more expensive to rent.
The basic rule here is, the larger the space, the more it costs to rent.
A huge 96-sheet billboard holds greater value to advertisers because it is likely to gain more impressions and have greater impact. An ad on a large billboard will also carry higher production and placement costs which are all factored into the cost of rental.
However, advertising on digital panels can be cheaper since they have lower production and placement costs. They often operate on a rotating ad pattern as well, which means the digital billboard rental cost is shared between multiple businesses.
The value of a billboard site can also be quantified by the length of time the eye is on the advertisement. Location plays a huge part in this, but the viewing clarity of a site can also be influenced by the height and any major obstructions blocking the view, as well as whether an advertising panel is illuminated at night.
Display Period refers to the time period during which an advertising campaign is displayed. As you would expect, the cost of renting a billboard increases according to the length of time for which you rent it. So, the longer the display period, the higher the rental cost.
Billboard advertising space is traditionally sold in 2-week cycles. But Bubble’s rate per week reduces the longer you book the panel for. Billboard rental in Birmingham, for example can start at £271 +VAT per week for a 2-week period, reducing to £213 +VAT per week if you book the billboard for a year.
How long should I rent a billboard for?
Deciding upon the length of a billboard campaign really depends on your budget and aims. Whilst 2-week campaigns can be effective in some situations, the most effective billboard campaigns tend to last for a minimum of 6 months.
One of the main strengths of billboard advertising is its ability to build brand recognition and trust amongst consumers. A long-term advertising campaign not only builds legitimacy for your brand, but it also taps in to the psychology of daily routines. Repeat exposure to your brand over a period of time will make your audience familiar with your product and influence their long-term consumer choices.
However, that’s not to say a short campaign can’t be effective too. 2-week placements are a great way to prompt purchasing behaviour, particularly as a lot of outdoor advertising reaches consumers when they are close to point-of-purchase.
Do I need a big budget to advertise on a billboard?
Traditionally, billboard advertising has been a tricky medium for any business or start-up with a small marketing budget to access.
The problem is, it costs agencies virtually the same to plan and book a £100,000 ad campaign as it does a small £500 campaign. That’s why the media owners with billboards to rent have historically favoured those advertisers with big budgets to spend.
However, using an automated booking service to rent billboard space cuts out much of the cost for media owners. Would-be advertisers can search and book their own ad space online. And that means media owners don’t have to turn customers away based on smaller budgets.
Businesses can rent billboard space from as little as £143 +VAT per week, including printing and placement costs. So, in short, no, you don’t need a big budget to advertise on a billboard.
Additional costs of billboard advertising
When renting a billboard site, it’s important to consider additional costs required for the production and placement of your advert.
Bubble’s pricing system includes printing and placement costs, but some agencies may charge extra for this. It’s important to understand exactly what your billboard rental cost covers. Printing a 48 sheet billboard in the UK costs about £150-£200.
The cost of designing your billboard must be a priority when budgeting for a campaign. It doesn’t matter how good a billboard site you hire if the ad your displaying doesn’t communicate effectively. It’s worth hiring a designer with extensive experience in creating billboard ads. This can cost from £150-£800.
Bubble offers a design service for £100 +VAT when you book advertising space through our website. Alternatively, if you’ve already designed your ad you can just upload it as a PDF after you place your order.
I’ve seen a billboard I want to advertise on, how do I rent it?
If you already know which billboard site you want to rent, then you’ve done all the hard work!
You can use our interactive map to locate billboard, phone box, and bus shelter advertising locations along with their costs and availability. Then just select the location you want and the period for which you want to hire it and buy online. Our tutorial guide will take you through the process from logging in to making a booking.
If you can’t find the billboard that you’re looking for on our map then get in touch with us and we’ll help you. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0203 322 1099.