- 1 Deciding which route is best suited to you
- 2 Important information
- 3 Types of photocopier available
- 4 Why lease a copier?
- 5 Disadvantages
- 6 Is leasing the best option for you?
- 7 Who leases photocopiers?
- 8 Contract Considerations
- 9 How is renting different?
- 10 Key differences
- 11 Leaving a lease contract
- 12 Cost comparison
A photocopier is an essential piece of office equipment that businesses of all sizes utilize to allow day to day office jobs such a copying important documents to be completed with ease. Having a photocopier in the office is very convenient and often imperative but many businesses express concerns regarding the high initial expense of actually purchasing a photocopier. To combat this, businesses search for alternative options and a large number decide to lease or rent a copier instead of buying one.
The best route for your business depends on your needs and budget, below we take a look at some considerations to keep in mind when making this important decision and we uncover why many businesses choose to lease a copier. You can use the below list to skip ahead to find key information you are looking for:
When you are looking at photocopiers and deciding whether to lease, rent or buy it is important to know and understand the key differences and what sways businesses to choose one option over another.
A photocopier lease is a long-term agreement (often three to five years) where a monthly fee is paid, generally they are inflexible with the risk of significant charges being incurred if you wish to change equipment or terminate the contract. A lease photocopier is sometimes used as a stepping stone to purchasing the equipment as at the end of a lease agreement you are often given the option of buying the model.
Photocopier rental is often a short term, flexible agreement that works on a month to month basis. This makes it easy to upgrade or downgrade the equipment and cancel the agreement. Renting is a great option for businesses needing short term photocopier use and businesses who’s photocopying needs are likely to change.
Buying a photocopier means paying the full cost in order to own the equipment. Overall, this is the cheapest option for long term photocopier usage however it takes a large initial investment which is what deters many business owners. The cost of a photocopier can vary greatly from £1,000 for the more basic, lower volume models up to over £15,000 for larger, high volume models.
When deciding on a photocopier the below questions can help you determine your needs and the answers to these questions will also indicate your business’s core requirements and in term will assist you in getting an accurate lease quote.
- What is our business’s printing volume of a daily/ monthly basis?
- Is speed essential in the photocopier you choose?
- Do we require colour printing?
- Do we need extra features such as stapling or hole punching?
- What paper capacity to we require?
- Do we need a photocopier for a short term or long term period?
- If long term, do we want to buy or lease a copier?
There are several types of photocopier available ranging from small desktop models to stand alone high volume models. Use the questions above to help you decide which time of photocopier you require.
Desktop photocopier – these are the most basic models, they are compact and can generally handle only A4 size paper. They are ideal for small businesses with low volume requirements.
Office photocopiers – these are stand-alone photocopiers that can handle larger volumes of copying at higher speeds than desktop copiers. Generally office photocopiers are multifunctional and are often available with colour capabilities as well as more advanced features such as stapling.
A3 copiers – if your business required regular copying and printing onto A3 paper, ensure the model you choose is capable of handling this size paper as not all copiers can. A3 capable copiers are ideal for creating posters and marketing material, they tend to be more functional and in turn, cost more which is why it is important to consider your businesses needs before investing.
High volume photocopiers – photocopier models in this category are capable of printing more than 50 pages per minute making them perfect for busy offices with a high copy and print demand. High volume copiers will often take a large amount of space as they often have considerable paper capacities and have many features.
Leasing is a popular route for many businesses as when leasing a photocopier, the business spreads out the cost of the equipment over a set period of time. This comes with several benefits including:
Up to date technology – to lease a photocopier allows businesses to remain up to date with the latest technologies at affordable prices with the opportunity to upgrade the model at the end of the lease contract.
Fixed payments – the monthly payments are fixed allowing effective budgeting and predictable invoicing.
No large initial fees – buying a photocopier is out of reach for many businesses due to the substantial initial costs, photocopier lease prices are not only considerably less but also mean it’s a viable option even if the business is low on money at first.
Options are kept open – when the lease agreement comes to an end you have a couple of different options; you can pay the difference to own the equipment, upgrade it for a newer model or simply return the photocopier.
There are very few drawbacks to leasing a photocopier which is what makes this route such a popular option. However, some businesses are put off by the fact that you do not actually own the equipment which means you need to go through or work in alignment with the supplier’s policies in terms of servicing, repairs and consumables such as ink. Another disadvantage is the fact that you are in a long term contract that is difficult and costly to leave, this is a particular disadvantage if you have not fully understood (or read the small print) of the contract leaving you with extra costs such as insurance and administration fees that have not been budgeted for.
Ultimately, if you:
- Expect to be using a photocopier for a long period of time
- Believe it is unlikely for your photocopying needs to suddenly lessen or increase drastically
- Want a monthly low payment option vs a high initial expenditure
- Want to utilize the most up to date technology at affordable rates
Then leasing might just be the perfect option for you.
Leasing is a great choice for businesses who are copying over 800 copies each month, anything less than this and your business will likely benefit from buying a low volume photocopier. However, it is important for you to compare the options and apply them to your situation in order to determine if leasing is the right choice. We say 800 copies per month as a guideline because generally low volume models can handle less than that amount with ease and leasing tends to be a recommended route for businesses who have medium to high volume requirements.
If you are searching for a photocopier lease company, with the increasing popularity of leasing it is becoming a very competitive market so we recommended you request quotes (why not start here?) and compare the results in order to determine the general leasing price but do not forget to take a look at the details of the leasing contract as sometimes the best price is not the best service. Remember you will be in the contract for on average 3 – 5 years so it pays to make sure you know the details of what you’re signing your business into.
Before signing any contracts be sure you know the answers to all of the below questions:
Is the leasing company authorized with a good reputation? As a lease agreement tends to last at least a couple of years you want to make sure the company you are doing business with is fair, have good customer service and a great track record. It is often very quick and easy to check the reputation of a company and a basic online search can save you a lot of unwanted hassle.
What is the lease term? Lease terms can vary in length from months to years, the average tends to be between 3 and 5 years but it is always worth checking the lease term as this impacts the amount you are paying each month and the interest rate. Also keep an eye out for the pesky auto-renewal clauses!
How much interest will you be paying? Find out the amount of interest you will be paying – this will be the amount over the price of the photocopier you will have paid by the end of your lease agreement.
Can you save money by slightly extending the lease period? Sometimes you can reduce the amount you are paying each month quite considerably just by extended the lease time by a couple of months. Just ask your supplier what the price would be if you leased the same copier for 3 extra months, you may be surprised at the savings you stand to make.
What if you want to buy the photocopier at the end of the lease? How much will it cost? This is very important, find out if you will own the copier at the end of the lease or if there is an option to buy it and if so how much it would cost you. This will help you in determining long term plans and budgeting.
Special considerations – ask questions related to early upgrading or downgrading to find out if the supplier is fair and if they have any extra options they can offer to you in order to sway your decision to lease with them.
We previously touched on the core difference between leasing and renting but let’s take a closer look and compare the advantages and disadvantages of renting with those of leasing that were outlined earlier.
Rental agreements are more flexible than leasing, this is because they are short term and generally operate on a month to month payment. This also means the rental costs are subject to change whereas lease costs are fixed for the duration of the contract.
One of the benefits of a short term rental is it allows businesses to easily upgrade and downgrade the equipment they are using. This gives the advantages of changing equipment as your business changes so you are always using the most beneficial and efficient model for your needs.
The rental cost covers the use of the machine as well as maintenance and repairs meaning if there are any problems an engineer will come out within a few hours to get the machine up and running again.
Renting is a great option for new businesses as it’s a low risk and low expense option. However, if a business requires a photocopier long term then renting will be the most expensive option as the payment options are designed for short term agreements.
|Long term commitment||Short term|
|Cost effective||Costlier over a long period of time|
|Rigid contract||Flexible contract (month to month in most cases)|
|Offered the option to own the equipment at the end of the agreement||No ownership|
|Perfect for situations where the company is stable with consistent copier volume requirements||Perfect for short periods of time where there are increased or high volumes of copying is required|
If your business is new or you are concerned about long term survival then renting may be a better option as leasing requires long term commitment and if you wish to terminate the contact you will be subject to charges, something you will want to avoid especially if your business is financially struggling.
Before signing a contract, make sure you are aware of the contract length and the fees associated with leaving the contract early. Another thing to keep an eye out for is automatic renewals, this limits your opportunity to leave the lease and can mean you enter into a new lease without realizing it.
Now that we have looked at your options and the advantages and disadvantages of leasing, there is one very important question left to answer… How much does it cost to lease a photocopier? This question is quite broad as the lease cost depends on the model of photocopier you have chosen, there are so many variables which ultimately means the best way to get accurate pricing is to request a quote. Quotes are quick, accurate and gives you up to date pricing based specifically on your business’s needs.
Below we have outlined the approximate costs of each option so you can at least have an idea of the kind of price you can expect to pay. We have separated the costing into the three main categories that photocopiers are split into, alongside this we have included the approximate number of copies per month as a rough guideline so you can determine which category your business’s needs will fall into.
|Leasing (monthly)||Rental (monthly)||Buying|
|Low volume (approx. 800 copies per month)||£10 – £40||£10||£150 – £1,000|
|Mid volume (Between 8,000 – 40,000 copies per month)||£50 – £150||£80 – £100||£1,000 – £4,500|
|High volume (40,000 + copies per month)||£200 +||£300 +||£5,000 – £10,000|
As we have mentioned, there are many factors that will impact the cost of the photocopier, these relate largely to the colour capabilities, speed and functions of the copier you choose.
Now that you have all the information on photocopiers and lease agreements as well as some important comparisons between leasing and the other available routes you should be able to make a positive and informed start on your photocopier journey. Although prices are what might initially draw you in there are many other considerations to make to ensure your business invests in a photocopier that will be time effective, cost effective and meet your business’s needs.