Is buying a franking machine the best solution for your business?

By Dan Barraclough | Updated: 19 December 2018

The temptation to rent is real but don’t be don’t be blinded by the low upfront cost — here’s why your business should buy a franking machine outright

Franking machine going through mail

Advantages of buying a franking machine

Franking your mail will reduce costs and improving productivity. It’s a no brainer! But what’s the best way to get started?

As a business, you have two options:

  • Rent a franking machine
  • Buy a franking machine outright

Option one is often the more tempting, especially for small businesses, as you avoid having to pay a large upfront sum. But in the long run this can prove a false economy as contracts drag on and hidden charges crop up further down the line.

The fact is that, on balance, the advantages of buying a franking machine far outweigh the perceived disadvantages for most businesses. Here’s why…

No contracts

When you enter into a rental agreement you never can be entirely sure of the costs. You know what you’re going to be paying on a monthly basis, but this rarely tells the whole story.

Many franking machine suppliers will draw you in with a juicy looking low monthly rental charge, then slap a big fat add on to your bill after you’ve signed a contract. Hidden charges can include a sign up or ‘documentation fee’, maintenance costs, and delivery and installation fees.

When you buy a franking machine outright, you can have peace of mind that there won’t be any additional charges from your supplier further down the line.

 No restrictions on supplies

The second reason is to do with the day-to-day running of your franking machine. Let’s say that you run out of ink. You go onto Amazon and you find a Quadient ink cartridge priced at £34.10. The trouble is, it’s written into your rental contract that you can only use Pitney Bowes cartridges, and those cost twice as much!

Using a Quadient cartridge would void your warranty, so you have no choice but to fork out the extra money and go with Pitney Boews.

That’s the reality with some franking machine suppliers when it comes to renting. The answer? Buy your franking machine outright.

 It’s cheaper in the long run

As with most things, the deciding factor for businesses choosing between renting and buying a franking machine is often cost. And in this respect, buying is again the better option.

A basic franking machine will set you back in the region of £1,000, or around £25 a month to rent. So, after three and a half years renting you will have paid for the cost of the machine. Everything after that is pure profit for the supplier.

This may not seem like such a bad deal, but if you’ve seen a franking machine up close you’ll know they’re built like a tank. After the nuclear apocalypse it will just be the cockroaches and franking machines — and you’ll still be paying off rental on yours. In the long run, it pays to buy.

But if you’re struggling to justify the upfront cost of buying a franking machine new, there are plenty of suppliers that offer used franking machines for as little as half their original price.

Save by Comparing Franking Quotes from Leading Suppliers
Do you already have a Franking Machine? YES NO

Why buy a franking machine?

Do you want to keep postage costs to a minimum? Do you want to save time and avoid the drudgery of manually processing mail? Of course you do! And, in a nutshell, that’s why you should buy a franking machine.

But the extent to which your business stands to benefit from buying a franking machine will depend largely on the volume of mail sent. As savings are cumulative, a large business that posts 100 letters a day will save more money than a small business that only sends 50.

But there are big advantages to buying a franking machine for both large and small businesses…

Should my small business buy a franking machine?

Small businesses essentially have two considerations when buying a franking machine: the price of the machine and the return on investment in terms of productivity.

The price of franking machines for sale in the UK varies enormously. While some machines can cost a small fortune, there are plenty of low volume machines designed for small businesses.

If you’re sending less than 100 letters per day, as most small businesses are, you should pay no more than £3,000 for a franking machine. Any more than this and it will take a lifetime to make up the cost in savings.

In terms of productivity, the benefits of buying a franking machine can be big, especially when looked at over a period of a few years. Small businesses rarely have a dedicated post room, which often leaves one or two unlucky staff members with the job of preparing and sending mail in addition to their day-to-day responsibilities.

A franking machine saves your staff time, freeing them up to get on with what they do best.

Should my large business buy a franking machine?

There’s no two ways about it, franking mail saves large businesses thousands of pounds, in both reduced costs and man-hours. If you’re sending out more than 100 pieces of mail a day you’d be crazy to do it manually. So it’s not so much a question of “Should my large company buy a franking machine?”, but rather “Which franking machine should my large company buy.”

How much does a franking machine cost?

At this point you may well be wondering: “How much is a franking machine?”

Here’s a rough idea of pricing:

Franking machine prices
Volume of mailoutsPrice
Low (around 100 items per day)£1,000 to £3,000
Mid (100 to 500 items per day)£3,000 to £5,000
High (500+ items per day)£5,000 +

It’s important to be realistic about the volume of mail you’ll be sending and choose your franking machine accordingly. A cheap franking machine designed to process low volumes of mail won’t last long if overworked — and repairs are pricey.

▶ Find out more: Franking Machine Prices

Save by Comparing Franking Quotes from Leading Suppliers
Do you already have a Franking Machine? YES NO

Ways to buy a franking machine

There are two ways to buy a franking machine: you can either pay a lump sum upfront, or pay in installments. There are advantages to both…

Buying outright

If you can afford to purchase your machine outright then you should. As we’ve already touched upon, buying a franking machine outright is by far the most cost effective option, and it only takes a year or two to recoup the initial outlay in savings.


Leasing a franking machine allows you to pay off the cost in monthly installments, typically over a one to two year contract. This is an excellent option for small businesses that want to keep their overheads low without entering into a lengthy rental agreement.

You will of course end up paying a little more in the long run than if you were to purchase outright, but at the end of the contract the machine is yours to keep. Prices start from as little as £16.99 per month.

Next Steps: How to get a franking machine

Save yourself the time, money and frustration of searching out the best franking machine deals by using Expert Market’s free quotes service.

Simply fill out our form and we’ll match you with leading franking machine suppliers, who will provide quotes tailored to your specific business needs.

It only takes a minute, and you could make a tidy saving by comparing prices.

Dan Barraclough

Dan’s a Senior Writer at Expert Market, specialising in digital marketing, web design, and photocopiers, amongst other topics.

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