There are many nice toys on the market ranging from around £100 to near £1000 (plus more when you add accessories). Many like myself started on the cheaper CS700 (now replaced by the more expensive CS750) then moved along as we got more into the mode and added mobile options and hotspots.
Looking from the centre of Manchester, there is a BrandMeister repeater 15 miles to the west and a Northern DMR Repeater (connected to Phoenix UK) 11 miles to the (north) east so starting with a handheld connected to an external antenna (both for home and mobile use) could be a start. When I started I had a CS700 which I connected to a magmount to get into my nearest repeater which was 22 miles away. Using the roam function (not available on all radios) I could do my 16 mile trip to work roaming between 4 repeaters.
A suggestion would be to find out what others in your area are using - maybe join a local DMR FB group such as Northern DMR Cluster, North West DMR (UK) and BrandMeister UK and ask questions. Ideally get a radio that is common so that you can get support if needed especially as there are so many makes and models to choose from.
A cheap common radio now is the TYT MD380 or MD390 (also branded Retevis RT3 & RT8) which comes with some great 3rd part code plug editing software (http://www.hamgoodies.co.uk/md380-dmr
). I have Motorola kit but tried the code plug editor (check the links at the bottom of the ham goodies page) for this radio and was impressed that I might get one myself. The difference between the two is a few quid and that the MD390 is dust/water proof.
Baofeng UV-5R , Motorola DM4600 , TYT MD-9600 , TYT MD-UV380 , Anytone AT-D868UV , Retevis RT8 , DV Mega (Pi-Star) , Inrico T320
Local repeaters GB7CT , GB7WL , GB7HR , GB7NS , GB7GF and GB7BK
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