As office equipment goes, photocopiers are important staples. But as with many things, what works for one business might not be right for another.
In fact, lots of businesses make the mistake of buying a large and expensive copier, when in fact their needs are very low or short-term. For many, renting a photocopier, either temporarily or long-term, makes far more sense.
With monthly payments starting at only £25, we’ve weighed up the cost of buying versus renting a photocopier. We’ve also explained how to choose the right model.
If you’re short on time, go ahead and fill in this short form to receive tailored quotes from industry-leading photocopier suppliers.
What type of copies do you need?
Why rent a photocopier?
The most common reason that businesses choose to rent a photocopier is flexibility.
What’s more, by renting a photocopier you can avoid large upfront costs and ongoing maintenance fees.
Rental contracts can range from a few days to three years, so you’ll be able to get hold of a machine for as long as you need it.
Now Read: Costs of hiring an A3 laser printer
Here are some situations where businesses would do better to rent rather than buy a photocopier:
- Trade Shows & Expos
- Large business meetings
- Annual reports
- Large projects
What type of photocopier should I rent, and how much will it cost?
The type of photocopier your business needs will depend on the volume of copies required, and any extra features.
Rental photocopiers are usually classed as low, medium, or high volume.
In order to get the best deal, you should first work out how many pages you’ll need to copy each month. This table will help:
|Copies Per Month||Monthly Cost||Functionality|
|Mid Volume||8,000 – 40,000||~£50||Advanced hardware
|High Volume||40,000+||~£200||State-of-the-art hardware
Larger paper trays
Hi-def colour printing
Automatic document management
Pay close attention to the features. It may be more cost effective to rent a photocopier that can also simultaneously function as a fax machine, scanner and printer.
Cost of renting vs buying a photocopier
It would be reasonable to assume that buying a photocopier would work out cheaper in the long run. As it happens, that isn’t strictly true. Let’s take a look:
The Director of Charterhouse Claims explains his company's experiences with photocopier hire costs.
You can buy a cheap photocopier for around £200, but such a basic model is only really suitable for home offices or individuals.
More powerful photocopiers that can handle high volumes (40,000+ pages per month) start at around £1,000 but can cost in excess of £20,000 for truly top-end models.
Let’s compare that to the cost of leasing:
A standard, black and white photocopier will cost around £25 per month to rent. This includes maintenance and toner costs.
With a five year contract, that amounts to:
£25 x 60 = £1,500 total investment.
To buy this machine outright, you’d pay around £800, which seems a lot cheaper. However when you take into account the extra costs:
£800 + (£210 of cartridges per year x 5 years) + £200 likely repair costs = £2,050 total investment.
The graph below shows the expenditure for each option over five years:
This investment analysis over a five year period is proof that buying isn’t always best.
In order to make buying a machine worthwhile in this time frame, you’d have to use half the expected amount of toner (ie. one to two cartridges), and hope the machine didn’t have any faults. Sure, it’s possible – but renting is a more cost-effective and less stressful option. Read on for more benefits.
5 Benefits of renting a photocopier
Renting a photocopier is not only a cheap option (as demonstrated above), but it has a host of other benefits:
✓ Flexible contracts
Big project coming up? Only need a copier for a few months? A few weeks? No problem. The main advantage of renting a photocopier is the flexibility to choose how long you have it for.
✓ Freedom to change models
Business booming and need an upgrade? Get in touch with your supplier. New paperless processes mean you need to downgrade? Get in touch with your supplier. Renting a photocopier gives you the flexibility to change models as your business changes. We can put you in touch with trusted suppliers that will help your business stay flexible. Fill in this short form to get quotes tailored to you.
✓ Fast and free delivery, installation and training
Most suppliers will offer complementary installation and training as standard, so you can get up and running quickly and stress-free.
✓ Service, maintenance and supplies are included
Your monthly service fee should include both maintenance and toner costs, and if your machine breaks, it’s the supplier’s responsibility to fix.
Now Read: Cost of a copier service agreement
✓ Tailored payment plans
When you rent a photocopier, it’s easy to budget for the cost. There shouldn’t be any unexpected charges, which is the risk with buying a machine outright.
Renting vs. leasing a photocopier: what’s the difference?
The words renting and leasing are often used interchangeably, but in fact they mean slightly different things.
Renting generally involves a short term, month-to-month rolling contract. Leasing generally involves paying less each month, but committing to a longer contract (one to five years).
Photocopier rental contracts: things to keep in mind
Photocopier leasing and tax efficiency
By leasing a photocopier, you’ll reduce your tax bill. Payments are 100% tax deductible as a business expense.
Buying a photocopier is also tax deductible, but at 40% in the first year and 25% the year after.
Double check unusually low photocopier rental costs
Everyone loves finding a good deal, but be wary of quotes that seem too good to be true. Always read the small print. Often a much larger deposit is required to achieve the stated rate.
Photocopier rental maintenance charges
Maintenance charges are separate from rental agreements as it’s normally paid on a ‘cost per copy’ basis, which starts from as little as 0.005p per copy.
When looking at maintenance charges, check whether there is a minimum billing amount that you need to pay regardless of how many copies you’ve made that month.
Top 5 cheapest office photocopiers to rent
These photocopiers are reliable, no-frills options for businesses with low printing needs:
Top 5 high-volume office photocopiers to rent
These are much more sophisticated photocopiers, and will be able to cope with the most demanding office environments:
Next steps: how to get your photocopier
If you’re interested in buying or leasing a photocopier for your business, fill in this short form. A member of the Expert Market team will get in touch to discuss the best options for you, and will then get you tailored quotes from up to four trusted suppliers.
Do you need to rent a printer rather than a photocopier? If your business is unlikely to need to make many (or any) copies, you’ll be best off looking at leasing an A3 laser printer instead. Some of these models can photocopy as well, but it makes sense to make a choice based on its printing capabilities first and foremost.