How Much Does it Cost to Buy a Billboard?

If you can get one person to look at your ad, that would mean that there is one more person in the world that has heard of your company. With a billboard, why turn one head when you can get the attention of hundreds? Thousands? Tens of thousands? More? If you place an advertisement in a populated area, then one hundred impressions can quickly turn into a million. But of course, you’re already aware of how useful billboards are. Would businesses still be using them if they weren’t? All you want to know at this point is, how much does it cost to buy a billboard? This post will determine billboard pricing, the different type of billboards, and how much they cost.

Downtown billboard ads are realized by circulation, demographics, and impressions


How are Billboard Costs Determined?

Before jumping into the grand scheme of things, it’s best to learn about the factors that can determine how much a billboard can cost. By understanding the market more, you’ll learn how the prices of ad spaces are made, and how appealing these factors will be in helping your campaign run smoothly. 

Three Major Factors that Determine a Billboard’s Worth:

Circulation: Circulation is not the same as impression count. This term describes the total amount of traffic that passes by an advertisement. The circulation count looks at why it’s more expensive to market at the heart of the city than in residential neighborhoods. Afterall, businesses want to advertise where people are presently. They want to see where people are driving business. 

Demographics: Say hello to your three friends in marketing; Age, gender, and annual income. The average demographic of a billboard can determine the price. For example, you can expect to pay more for an advertisement if you’re marketing towards a high-income audience, and vice versa.

Impressions: Impressions is a smaller number taken out of the circulation count. The impression number tallies the total amount of people who see your ad. This number is a more accurate rate of knowing how appealing and attractive your ad is to the public.

Other Factors that Determine a Billboard’s Worth:

Traffic speed: It is essential to think about how fast a person is travelling when they come across a billboard. People walking or driving are more likely to see your ad on a congested highway compared to travellers on a train who move as fast as 40 mph. How many seconds a person gets to read an ad determines its effectiveness and can be a factor in the cost. Why pay for an ad space when no one has time to read it? This is why people pay more to get an ad in an area with lower traffic speed.

The proximity of the billboard to the road: The distance of a sign from the road affects how visible it is to passing drivers. The closer the advertisement, the easier it is for others to see. Take in mind that the proximity also applies to the height of the billboard. Some billboards can be placed 10 ft above the ground while others place billboards lower or further away from the ground.

Time of year: Yes, the time of year affects the billboard price too. The summer months from June- August typically have lower rates compared to winter months like November-December. It costs more to have a billboard in November and December because it’s close to Christmas. Christmas is time for shopping, whether it’s for yourself or others, and advertisers become more competitive to buy a billboard around that time of year. Special holidays are huge billboard business drivers. 

Billboard Types and Costs

A billboard can range from $250-$50,000 within four weeks. The billboard price range is wide because there are many different types of advertisements. There are the conventional traditional billboards the world has been using since the late 1860s, and there are digital billboards used in today’s day and age. With different types of advertisements, price isn’t a standard number but a set of ranges. With the world coming up with new ways to spice up advertising, it’s essential to know the many billboard types and how much they cost.

8 Sheet Poster (Small Bulletin Boards)


Small bulletins are ideal for more rural areas that aren't clustered with other ads

Starting this list from simple to extravagant, let’s talks about these 8 sheet posters. These small bulletin boards are the cheapest billboards money can buy. Usually, the standard size of an 8 sheet bulletin is 6 by 12 feet long. Companies typically place these little ones in smaller cities. They aren’t good at targeting high-speed drivers but can be noticed by people walking on the sidewalks and heavy vehicles. You can expect smaller companies or local business to buy these types of billboards. 

  • Typical Billboard Size: 6’ high x 12’ wide (ft)
  • Range of $300 – $750 per location per 4-week period

30 Sheet Poster (Medium Billboard)


30 sheet posters are great starting points for newer businesses

This medium billboard is a standard pick by steady companies. They stand out amongst the crowd but are not the biggest in the group. The size for 30 sheet posters are 12 by 25 feet. They can be seen by incoming cars and pedestrian traffic. This billboard style is usually located in heavily traveled areas and some local spots in any sized city. They are pretty perfect at attracting attention without being too monstrous. 

  • Typical Billboard Size: 12’ high x 25’ wide (ft)
  • Range of $750 – $2,000 per location per 4-week period

Bulletin (Large Billboard)


Large bulletins are mostly found in high traffic zones, and are great for promotional material

Bulletins are a classic when it comes to advertising. These traditional billboards are generally the largest ones in range. You can usually locate these ads on the side of highways and dense traffic streets. Bulletins are an excellent way of getting the attention of in-car audience and pedestrians. The price depends on the bulletin size and the circulation count. You can expect large chains like McDonald’s and banks to have a billboard this size.

  • Typical Billboard Sizes:
    • 14′ high x 48′ wide (ft)
    • 10.5′ high x 36′ wide (ft)
  • Billboard Price Range: $1,500 – $30,000 per location per 4-week period



Spectaculars alert crowds in interesting, 3D ways


Spectaculars are usually spotted in big cities, their prime location. They are the biggest billboard in the area. These billboards are unique since they break free from the typical rectangular billboard shape. Spectaculars have a custom shape and can include 3D shapes if requested. There is also the possibility of having this ad digitized.

  • Typical Billboard Size:
    • Custom sizing
    • Usually larger than 14’ high x 48’ (ft)
  • Billboard Price Range: $13,000 – 40,000 per location per 4-week period



Wallscapes add colorful pop to communities


Wallscapes are an intricate outdoor advertisement. These types of ads can be painted on the side of buildings or directly attached to exterior surfaces of the building. This billboard can get very creative since designers can play with different sized surfaces and angles if designed elaborately. These types of ads can be a tourist attraction or an area people love to take pictures of and post online.

  • Typical Billboard Size: Depends on the size of the building and how much area you want to cover
  • Billboard Price Range: $10,000 – $50,000 per location per 4-week period


Static Billboards


Static ads are bright enough to attract the attention of many crowds


Static ads have a brighter appearance and tend to be more eye-catching to the crowd. What makes them different from other billboards is the paint job. Static billboards use vinyl paints which contain UV shielding paint. The special color makes the sign effective against weathering and could last for a long time. Small and big companies use these types of billboards. These billboards can be considered inexpensive, depending on where it is located. It is common to find static billboards in local and downtown areas of a city. There is even a possibility of seeing a static advertisement in a rural area.

  • Typical Billboard Sizes:
    • 14′ high x 48’ wide
    • 10.5′ high x 36′ wide
  • Billboard Price Range: $250- $14,000 per location per 4-week period

Trivision Boards


Trivision boards have the ability to shift dramatically, keeping people interested

Trivision boards, which also go by the name three-message signs, make multiple advertisements available in one space. By using triangular prisms hidden in the frame, the billboard image will change into a different ad every eight seconds. The action of the advertisements changing can interest people and make them look at the upcoming announcement. You can find trivision boards in medium-traffic areas within a city. They are useful in local areas and places with more traditional ads.

  • Typical Billboard Sizes:
    • 2′ high x 8′ wide (ft)
    • 4′ high x 8′ wide (ft)
    • 40′ high x 90′ wide (ft)
    •  14′ high x 48′ wide (ft)
  • Billboard Price Range: $3,500 – $25,000 per location per 4-week period for an 8-second spot in a loop of 64 seconds

Mobile Billboards

Mobile billboards entice consumers on the roads with their side and rear displays


Instead of having a standstill billboard, why not have one on wheels? This category has to do with covering trucks, buses, and cars in plastered ads. The billboard price range can vary depending on how much you want the ad to cover your vehicle. Some companies wrap their entire fleets in an advertisement while others do a partial ad cover on the sides of the car. There is also the opportunity of moving announcements to be digitized. Digital mobile billboards are a small industry, but they do exist and are efficient attention seekers. You can find these type of ads anywhere because they can travel to any location.

  • Typical Billboard Size: Depends on the vehicle size and how much area of the vehicle you want to cover
  • Billboard Price Range: $250- $1500 per location per 4-week period

Extra Expenses to Consider

There are other outdoor billboard costs to consider outside of renting. When making a billboard, there is a design fee, production fee, and maintenance fee. The production fees cover the price it would take to build an advertisement. This expense typically ranges from $300-500. Not all ads have a production fee. This production fee only applies to those who want to build a physical billboard.

For digital ads, the production fee is not a factor in pricing because there’s no need to build a podium. Digital ads readily display themselves on a pre-existing monitor. Although there is no production fee, digital ads aren’t necessarily cheaper than physical ads. Digital ads are electronic, so they have more features than traditional billboards. Because of these automated features, these LED ads are more prone to getting maintenance checks. There are risks of blackouts which will turn off the monitor and potential fire hazards that can occur when owning a digital ad.

On the other hand, maintenance for traditional billboards is more straightforward. These billboards can get tarnished due to weathering, which is why you have to repaint them. The support is cheaper, but the cool digital features are what drives a crowd in the first place. After all, digital ads are six times more effective compared to classic billboards. Both billboard types are effective in their own ways. 

Lastly, there is a design fee. This fee applies to both a digital and a physical ad. This expense can range from around $150-$1,000. It’s best to splurge on this expense because having a great design makes or breaks whether or not people are interested in the campaign.

You Are Now Prepared to Buy a Billboard

There will never be a perfect guide in knowing the exact costs for billboards. I’m sure you’re aware of that fact now since you know that the price of billboarding can fluctuate according to a lot of factors. Also, each billboard market is unique and can continuously change, so there can never be a perfect outline of pricing. I want you to take away the main elements that affect a billboard’s expense and the price points for different types of advertisements. This blog may be a general guide, but it’s useful to further your understanding of billboards.

Keywords: Billboard ad buying, Costs to purchase a billboard, OOH advertising, OOH billboards



Talk to a Mobile Billboard specialist today

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

x [contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]