Hiring expensive equipment makes a lot more sense than buying it outright: it’s on my list of how to cut the cost of filmmaking gear. I’ve recently sold a semi-pro camcorder because I wasn’t using it enough to justify it, and some of my other gear only gets used a few times a year.
In the US, there’s a well-established system of peer-to-peer hires. The idea is that freelances hire out their gear to other professionals, so your gear brings in income when you’re not using it yourself. And you can rent from local professionals rather than a big hire company. I can see myself using it both to hire out gear, and to rent in stuff I only need occasionally. So it’s good news that someone’s planning to do it in the UK.