A photocopier is an important piece of equipment that can be found in the majority of offices across the globe. Some businesses choose to buy a photocopier while many others choose to rent or lease. The best route to go is completely dependent on the needs of the individual business. Buying a photocopier can be very expensive and some businesses do not realize that they can actually rent or lease a copier instead of buying if it will work better for their needs or budget. This can bring a lot of freedom and flexibility, especially for small and start up businesses and businesses in need of more expensive, high volume copiers.
The 3 main options available are to
In this article we will look at why renting may be the best option for you, the differences between renting and leasing and the advantages and disadvantages of the 3 options. If you are searching for something in particular use the contents below to jump forwards:
There are many reasons a business may decide to rent instead of buy a copier for the office. One of the main reasons is that renting a photocopier gives businesses an opportunity to utilize a top of the range model with all the required features without having to dig deep to cover the large upfront costs and ongoing maintenance fees.
Photocopier rental provides flexibility, short term contracts and you don’t actually own the machine meaning you can easily upgrade or downgrade the model you are using if it becomes necessary and the photocopier supplier has a responsibility to service and repair the machine.
There are many situations in which a business may decide to rent a copier rather than buy, these include short term needs for high volume copying such as:
- Annual paperwork
- Legal and contract paperwork
- Temporary locations
- Start-up businesses
- Large scale business meetings
The last thing a business wants to do is spend important funds on buying a photocopier when in reality they only require it for a short amount of time meaning once the event has passed or the influx of paperwork has been dealt with the photocopier is not needed again for a long period of time meaning the business has to continue to ensure it is services and maintained when it is not being utilized. This is where renting comes in as an excellent option.
Other times renting in a great option:
- You require inconsistent or unpredictable copy volumes so it is not worthwhile to invest in buying a machine that may not meet required standards
- You want to avoid long term and binding commitments
- You want to utilize a reliable photocopier without spending large amounts
Another benefit of renting is the flexibility and ability to upgrade. For example, when a company is growing they may require more from the photocopier down the line as this can mean upgrading from a low volume to a mid volume or from a mid volume to a high volume model. When you own the machine and your needs outgrow your model you cannot simply upgrade, you’ll need to sell or get rid of your old machine and invest in a whole new model – a longer and far costlier process than when you are renting.
When you are thinking about the available options (hiring/ leasing/ buying a photocopier) there are a few key considerations you need to take into account before choosing a model. These will help you ensure the photocopier and agreement you invest in is one that best suits your needs.
- Photocopier volume
How often will you use the photocopier and what are the copying volumes each day? Once you consider your daily needs you can easily figure out which category of photocopier you require and the overall cost you can expect to pay. This is an essential starting point regardless of whether you are deciding to rent, lease or buy a photocopier. Without having an accurate idea of the photocopier volume required you can easily invest in a photocopier that is not the best suited or most efficient model for your requirements.
When you are deciding on the best route for your business it is important to think ahead and consider the possibility of requiring an upgrade in the future. It is considerably easier to upgrade the machine you are using when renting vs leasing.
- Installation and maintenance
When you buy a photocopier the maintenance and repair costs will fall to you whereas when you rent a machine you will receive benefits including installation, servicing and maintenance support. If this is the first photocopier you are working with, it may be beneficial to have this kind of support should anything breakdown or require repairing.
Photocopiers are split into three categories depending on the number of copies and the features required. The cost of the photocopier is entirely dependent on the size and needs of the business. To help you determine the category of photocopier you need, we have put together a rough guide indicating the number of copies, key functions and the approximate monthly cost you can expect to pay below:
|Photocopier category||Number of copies per month||Key Functions||Monthly rental cost|
|Low volume||Up to 5,000||· Basic hardware||£20 – £40|
|Mid volume||5,000 – 40,000||· Advanced hardware
· Colour capability
|£40 – £150|
|High volume||40,000 +||· State of the art hardware
· High speeds
· Automated features such as document management, stapling and binding
· Large capacity paper trays
· Network connectivity
As you can see, photocopier rental prices are very reasonable, especially when you consider the cost of buying a machine outright (a high volume model can cost thousands of pounds to buy). Looking at the above table, if you require only black and white copies and prints the price you can expect to pay will likely be on the lower end of the scales and vice versa if you require a colour capable copier you will be looking at the higher end of the scales. Also remember the running costs that are associated with the copier – a colour copying will not only be more expensive to buy/ rent but it will also require more ink cartridges compared to a mono copier which will in turn increase the ongoing costs.
When you buy a copier, you have a high initial expenditure followed by relatively consistent running costs whereas when you rent there are no high costs but consistent low monthly costs. Of course, this is considering a photocopier that does not require repairs or breakdown as if you own a copier and it requires repairs this will increase your expenditure considerably too. Maintenance and repairs are often included within rental contracts meaning problems will be quickly fixed at no additional cost to you.
As we mentioned earlier, there is a difference between renting a photocopier and leasing one. Many think the terms are interchangeable but there are important distinctions to be aware of. We have outlined them below so you can avoid getting involved in long term contracts without realizing it.
- Leasing is a way of spreading the cost of the copier over a set period of time, it’s a great option for businesses who want the option to own the photocopier at the end of the lease contract. Leasing is a longer contract and requires a higher level of commitment.
- Renting is paying to use the machine, often for a short amount of time and with no strict contractual agreements in place. When you rent you do have the option to own the machine at the end of the contract, this means the costs are less and you are not paying towards purchasing you are just paying to use the machine. This is a perfect option for businesses who are not looking to buy the photocopier and for businesses who only need the use of a photocopier for short-term periods.
Now you can make a more informed decision to the frequently asked question: “Is it better for my business to rent or lease a photocopier?”
|Rental vs Leasing comparison|
|Short-term contract||Long term contract (up to 5 years)|
|Flexible contract||More rigid contract terms|
|Great for short term use in situations such as events or times of high-volume||Great for businesses who has predictable copier volumes and want to buy a copier but are unable to pay the cost outright|
|You do not own the equipment||You have the option to own the equipment at the end of the contract|
|Costlier than leasing in the long run||Cheaper than rental in the long run|
Now we know the key differences between leasing and rental we can take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of each. Both are great, low cost options but they come with pros and cons depending on what your business is looking for.
|Lower long term cost when compared to renting||Longer contract term than renting||Rental period is flexible||Higher long term cost when compared to leasing||You own the photocopier||Photocopier will depreciate in value over time|
|Opportunity to own machine at end of contract||If contract is terminated before end fees will apply||Low risk||No opportunities to own the machine||Tax deductions||Reduces cash flow|
|Tax deductions||Upgrading or downgrading model will cost||Upgrading or downgrading is easy||No contracts||Maintenance requires a separate contract|
|Contract terms are not flexible||Utilize up to date technology with little cost||You are in control of how you maintain your copier|
There are several important benefits that a business can experience when they decide to rent rather than buy a photocopier. Below are the key benefits you can expect when you choose to rent:
No large initial expenses
You don’t need to have the considerable funds needed for buying a copier when you rent or lease it instead, this means less stress and strain on budgeting while still experiencing the benefits of a photocopier in the office. Renting instead of buying allows you to improve cash flow and keep money in your business for the areas and times you need it most.
When you rent or lease a photocopier you will be able to experience tax benefits as the fees can be deducted as a business cost. The fee could be 100% tax deductible when renting or leasing, whereas if you buy a photocopier you can claim up to 40% of the purchase price against tax on the first year and 25% of the remaining balance after that.
Renting a photocopier gives you a lot of flexibility, you can rent the copier for as long or as short of a time that you need it, you can end your contract with ease and return the copier with no hassle and you can effortlessly upgrade or downgrade the model if it becomes necessary. This flexibility is a huge plus as it is something rarely experienced when it comes to kitting out your office.
Copier rental contracts are low risk with no locked in contracts and none of your businesses money locked into any commitments. Unlike leasing if you decide to end your photocopier rental agreement early you aren’t required to pay the amount for the remaining contract period.
High tech low cost
When renting you can choose the newest, most up to date models at a price that suits you. Then if you want to upgrade at any point, you can do that too! With affordable prices, you can get exactly what you need from a copier without breaking the bank.
The right photocopier for you is going to be completely different from the right copier for the business across the road. It depends entirely on the features you require, your copying volume and your budget so don’t worry about what everyone else is doing, focus on your needs to experience the most benefits. Below is a checklist to help you narrow down the selection and help you identify what is important to you.
- Do you require black and white copies or colour?
- Do you need a low, mid or high volume copier?
- Does the copier need to be able to handle A3 size paper as well as the standard A4?
- Do you want the machine to be small enough to sit on a desk or does it need to be standalone?
- Is very high print quality essential? (Architects, photographers, engineers generally look for the highest available resolution for their prints)
- Is the printing speed important?
- Is your copying volume likely to increase or decrease considerably in the coming years?
- Is scanning essential?
- Is faxing necessary?
- Do you need double sided printing?
- Are automatic features such as a document feeder, stapler or sorter important?
To help in your search we’ve outlines some of the top photocopiers available on the market along with their key features to give you a better idea of what’s currently on offer:
|Photocopier Model||Print Speed||Colour/ Black & White||Paper Capacity||Key Functions||Connectivity||Volume|
|Canon i-SENSYS MF3010||18ppm||Black & white||150 sheets||Printing, copying & scanning||USB||Low|
|Dell Colour MFP E525w||18ppm||Colour||150 sheets||Printing, copying, scanning & faxing||USB
|Xerox WorkCentre 6025||12ppm||Colour||160 sheets||Printing, copying, scanning and e-mail||USB
|Canon imageRUNNER 2520||20ppm||Colour||250 sheets||Printing, copying & scanning.||USB
|Ricoh SP 5200s||45ppm||Black & white||2,300 sheets||Printing, copying, scanning and e-mail.||Wired connectivity||Mid|
|Xerox WorkCentre 7855||55ppm||Colour||2,180 sheets||Printing, copying & scanning||USB
|Sharp MX-M950||95ppm||Black & white||8,050 sheets||Printing, copying, scanning and faxing||USB||High|
A photocopier is an essential piece of kit for any office and investing in a machine that’s not right for you is going to cause a snowball effect of problems. That is why we’ve put together this guide to help you decide the best route for your business and to identify the most important features you require from a copier. As you have seen there are many photocopiers on the market but luckily you can immediately narrow the selection down based on the factors discussed above. If you would like a helping hand with finding the right photocopier for your business, request a quote from us and we will find the best suited photocopiers for competitive prices.