AIMS: To compare the treatment time and cost of prostate cancer fiducial marker image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) using orthogonal kilovoltage imaging (KVI) and automated couch shifts and orthogonal electronic portal imaging (EPI) and manual couch shifts. MATERIALS AND METHODS: IGRT treatment delivery times were recorded automatically on either unit. Costing was calculated from real costs derived from the implementation of a new radiotherapy centre. To derive cost per minute for EPI and KVI units the total annual setting up and running costs were divided by the total annual working time. The cost per IGRT fraction was calculated by multiplying the cost per minute by the duration of treatment. A sensitivity analysis was conducted to test the robustness of our analysis. Treatment times without couch shift were compared. RESULTS: Time data were analysed for 8648 fractions, 6057 from KVI treatment and 2591 from EPI treatment from a total of 294 patients. The median time for KVI treatment was 6.0 min (interquartile range 5.1-7.4 min) and for EPI treatment it was 10.0 min (interquartile range 8.3-11.8 min) (P value < 0.0001). The cost per fraction for KVI was A$258.79 and for EPI was A$345.50. The cost saving per fraction for KVI varied between A$66.09 and A$101.64 by sensitivity analysis. In patients where no couch shift was made, the median treatment delivery time for EPI was 8.8 min and for KVI was 5.1 min. CONCLUSIONS: Treatment time is less on KVI units compared with EPI units. This is probably due to automation of couch shift and faster evaluation of imaging on KVI units. Annual running costs greatly outweigh initial setting up costs and therefore the cost per fraction was less with KVI, despite higher initial costs. The selection of appropriate IGRT equipment can make IGRT practical within radiotherapy departments.