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  • Writer's pictureKieran Harris

How Much Is a Stretch Tent to Hire? - And what will affect the cost?

Updated: Oct 27, 2023

How much does a Stretch Tent cost to hire, and what factors affect the price?

Hello! I'm Kieran Harris, and I am the founder and creative director of Great British Tents. If you are reading this blog, you are probably in the early stages of planning your wedding, and if you are, welcome. You've had the great idea that you don't want a white marquee and want to do something a little different by hiring a Stretch. One of the first questions you have asked yourself is, how much does a Stretch Tent cost, and what might affect the price? I am here to answer that question for you.

Head shot of Kieran

I have been setting up marquees, Bell Tents, Tipis, and Stretch Tents for over 13 years and started Great British Tents six years ago. So, the following factors are based on my time and experience within the outdoor event industry.

1. The Bigger the Tent, the Bigger the Bill

For me, the biggest factor that will affect the price is the size of your Stretch Tent you are hiring. When we have done our own competitor research, we have found that most companies charge between £10-£13 per square meter of tent. Our most popular size Stretch Tent is our medium, which is 10.5m x 15m = £157.5m². This would mean that our medium Stretch Tent would cost around £1575-£2,047.5.

I personally find it odd that companies quote per square meter because you can't add on a square meter to a tent. You couldn't add on 1, 2, 5, 10 square meters to a tent, as you buy them per tent. The smallest size you could add on with us would be our small, which is 7.5m x 10.5m, equaling 78.75 square meters.

A Stretch Tent in the grounds of a school

However, what you should find is that the bigger tents will cost you more money as a total, but if you break it down into square meters, they should work out cheaper per square meter. An example of this would be if a small Stretch Tent is 7.5m x 10.5m and costs £1000, and a medium is £1900, then the bigger tent is more expensive but cheaper per square meter.

Small = £1000 / 78.75m² = £12.6

Medium = £1900 / 157.5m² = £12.06

Why does it cost more money to hire a bigger tent?

The biggest factor affecting the cost of hiring a bigger tent is that it takes longer to set them up. As it takes longer, it costs us more money in labor. Also, there are other factors, including the increased cost of fuel because it's heavy. They take up more room in our unit, thus costing us more money to store. Also, larger tents cost us more money to buy, so we need to charge more for them to recoup our investment quicker before they become unusable due to wear and tear and general cleanliness.

2. The More Extras, the More Money

The more extra items you add to the quote, the more it's going to cost you. We have created packages for all our Stretch Tents, meaning that the quote you receive will include matting and lighting. When we do our competitor research, I am always surprised at the number of companies that add this on as a line item. I have been doing this for about 13 years and could count on one hand the number of jobs I have set up without matting or lighting. You're having a wedding, of course, it's going to go on late; you need lighting. Do you want to walk about in a field covered in mud and cow manure, getting your dress dirty? No, so you will need matting. From a personal point of view, I believe our festoon lighting and matting help pull the tent together and bring it to life. Otherwise, it's just a tent in a field.

A Stretch Tent in the school grounds at dusk

Why does it cost more money to hire extra items?

It's pretty much for the same reasons as why it costs more money to hire a bigger tent. Our labor costs are higher when setting up tables and chairs, stages, and dance floors. We need to store these items at our warehouse, which costs us money. Also, there's the maintenance and upkeep of our extra items.

3. Additional Days of Hire

This might not be true for all Stretch Tent companies, but our quotes are based on a 24-hour hire period. How we operate is that we set up our Bell Tents, Stretch Tents, and Tipis on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, with the wedding (usually) on a Saturday. We then take the jobs down on Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays. We will let you know 28 days before your wedding the setup dates and times. This could potentially mean that your tent would be going up on a Friday and being taken down on Sunday. This is perfect for some clients or venues, but if you require a longer hire period, perhaps you would like longer to dress the tent or plan on using it on the Sunday as an after-party. You are welcome to extend the hire period, but there is an additional surcharge for this.

Why do you charge for adding additional days?

Group of friends inside a Stretch Tent

We could potentially be setting up six jobs in the week, and to help keep our costs down and reduce our carbon footprint, we batch these jobs together. For example, we would set up all the jobs in and around the Kent area on Thursday and all the jobs in Hampshire on a Friday. If one of the Hampshire jobs requested a setup day on Thursday, we can do this, but it would mean we then have to travel from Kent to Hampshire on Thursday to set up that job. This means it costs us more in fuel and labor, hence an additional charge.

4. Being VAT Registered

If a company is VAT registered, then this is going to add an additional 20% to your quote. We set up over 100 jobs last season and are over the VAT threshold, so we have to add this to your quote. I like to think that potential clients would consider this a reassurance tax, knowing that we have set up many weddings over many seasons and that we know what we are doing. So you can rest assured that we will deliver a first-class service for your wedding.

I have had a quote from a company that isn't VAT registered Would you do a deal for cash?

Absolutely not! Firstly, we don't offer discounts, so please don't be offended when we say no. But we can work with you to help get your quote more in line with your budget. For example, removing some of the items. Or are there other incentives that might encourage us to reduce the price? A cross-promotion, for example. Secondly, if this company isn't VAT registered, this could be because they are a relatively new company that does not have much experience in setting up tents. Would you want to risk an inexperienced company setting up your Stretch Tent on your wedding day?

A shirtless person jumping into a river

5. Delivery Cost

Unfortunately, we are not Amazon Prime and usually have to include a delivery cost in our quotes. This isn't always true; if it's a big job that is local, we usually deliver it for free. But for small jobs further away, we will charge for delivery. This is to help cover the cost of fuel and labor for the crew sitting in the van looking at their phone.

How much do you charge for delivery?

This is based on a per mile bases. What you need to remember is that we could be going to the site three time. A site visit, the set up and take downs. This would be 6 trips total.

A Stretch Tent at night, lit up up with festoons.

To summarise, if you are looking to reduce the size of your quote, order a small tent, with fewer guests, for one day, who are not VAT registered with a local company!

Fancy something a bit different. Get in contact for your bespoke quote HERE

All Stretch Tent images are from Rory Lindsay Photography

Head shot images is from Anna Rainbow Photography


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