In the US a college student teacher should be around $30/hour, a good beginning teacher would be around $50/hour, and a university teacher generally is $70-90/hour (all $US). I don't know how much that varies with location. I suppose it could be higher in a large city. I'm not sure if you live in a location that has plenty of teachers, but you'll have to talk with potential teachers to see who might be the best fit for you now.
My wife (violinist) and daughter both suggested renting an instrument until you have a better sense of the commitment you will have. There's always the chance you just won't like it as much as you think. You can rent reasonably good instruments, but of course you can also get horrible ones. Interestingly the places we know that rent do not charge much different rates for instruments that cost significantly more.
When you are ready to purchase a cello, don't buy an instrument on your own. Your teacher (or someone very knowledgeable) should help you select one. Also the bow is very important. You can get a good cello, but a bow that is inferior will make playing much more difficult.