You’re ready for a new office copier. Perhaps you’ve given some thought to the features and options you need. Maybe you’ve even settled on a particular model. Now it’s time to decide: lease or buy?
Leasing a piece of office equipment is similar to leasing a car. Essentially, you’re renting the machine for a period of years – usually three to five. If the copier breaks during that time, the leasing company picks up the tab for repairs. When the lease term expires, you can return the copier, exchange it for a new one or purchase it outright.
Buying a copy machine is, well, pretty self explanatory. You purchase the machine outright for a lump sum. Once the warranty expires, you’re on the hook for any repairs that need to be made. The machine is yours to keep for as long as it functions properly and meets your needs.
Leasing Pros and Cons
Leasing requires little or no money upfront, so it’s a great option for companies that are short on cash or those that need to conserve capital for other expenses. Many times, leasing allows companies to purchase a higher-end model than they would have been able to afford otherwise.
Leasing also means that you’re never stuck with out-of-date equipment. Technology changes rapidly; a copier that is state-of-the-art today might be obsolete in five years. With a lease, you can upgrade to the latest and greatest technology every few years.
The greatest downside to leasing is that you’ll end up paying more for the machine in the long run, due to interest charges. If you have poor, even average credit, those interest charges could be high. And be warned that some leasing companies charge on a per-copy basis. Exceeding your monthly minimums could result in a shockingly high bill
Buying Pros and Cons
Buying outright appeals to some companies simply because they have full control of the machine. You decide when to have it serviced and when to have it replaced. If the machine breaks down, you don’t have to follow the leasing company’s procedures or wait for their technician to show up. Simply call your repair company of choice.
As mentioned, buying is also significantly less expensive over the long term than leasing. The total cost savings varies based on the price of the copier, the length of the lease and your company’s credit history.
Again, by purchasing a copier, you assume the risk that it might be outdated within a couple years. In that case, you’ll either have to live with old technology or pay to replace it. Buying also requires a significant cash contribution upfront.
Written by Tammy Kelly who frequently writes about office copier options.