In many offices, a copier is a necessary piece of equipment. If your office doesn’t have a copy machine, and you keep making trips to the office supply store or print shop, you might just be wondering if it is time to get one. Copiers come in a wide variety of styles with lots of features to choose from, but buying one is a big investment. Many businesses find that renting or leasing a copier is the ideal solution for them.
Leasing a copier can cost anywhere from $100 to well over $900, but a good estimate is around $400. You should keep in mind that there are many different factors that may impact the overall cost of leasing a copier such as the type of copier that you lease and the amount of copies your office generally needs to make.
- How Much is it to Lease a Copier Machine?
- Type of Lease Contract
- Lease Period
- Lease Buyout Option
- Should I Buy or Lease a Copier?
- What Kind of Copier Should My Office Lease?
- What Should I Look For in a Copier Lease?
- Does it Make Sense to Lease a Printer?
How Much is it to Lease a Copier Machine?
If you need a copier for your home office or a single-person office, it is easy to find low-volume, desktop copiers that can be leased for as little as $49 per month. These can often even be leased for as short of a period as one to three months.
Smaller offices, such as those with a staff of a dozen or fewer people can usually expect to spend about $100 to $400 to lease a printer, assuming that they print less than around 5,000 copies per month.
When your printing needs fall between 5,000 and 15,000 copies or you have an office of more than a dozen people, leasing a copier is going to cost between $400 to $700.
- A 35ppm Ricoh Aficio3035 copier with a document feeder and fax capabilities will cost you about $224/month to lease.
- A 40GB HD capacity Sharp MX-M450N copier with a volume of 45ppm and a paper capacity of 2,500 will be leased for about $208/month, with a 39-month contract.
- Sharp MX-3501N colored copier will definitely be costlier, with most of them going for about $309/month with a 60-month lease contract.
- The AR-M277 by Sharp is the more affordable option, with most providers leasing it for an average of $177/month. In most cases, lease contracts for this printer are inclusive of the toner, repair and maintainable costs.
Type of Lease Contract
Again, the much you will end up spending in a copier lease will also depend on the type of lease agreement you get into. Basically, there are two options available when leasing copiers: A capital lease or an operating lease.
With a capital lease, the transaction will be treated much like a loan, with the leased equipment accounted as an asset on your balance sheet. This means that you benefit from such things as tax depreciation and the like.
The main downside to this type of lease is the time length of the contract, which can extend up to five years. This being the case, you may find yourself still paying for an out-of-date machine long before your contract ends.
This is the preferred lease contract type for most small businesses that have leased copiers in the past two years.
One of the key benefits associated with this lease contract is that it does not tie up your funds as such. Again, such contracts are comparatively shorter-term leases, with a lease period of three years or less.
With this type of arrangement, the company leasing the copier maintains ownership of the machine. For the business leasing the equipment, it is considered a monthly operating expense and not a depreciable asset.
If you are after affordable monthly installments, you will have to settle for longer lease periods.
If you would like to clear the payment in a shorter period, the provider may require you to pay higher amounts in monthly installments. The lease period is also determined by the type of lease you will sign up for.
Under normal circumstances, copier lease cost can be cleared in 24, 36 or 48 months. As with most leases, or loans, the longer the term, the lower the monthly payments will be.
And – as with most lease agreements – you will end up paying far more, over time, on a longer lease for a machine you may already want to upgrade.
While deciding on the appropriate lease period, you need to consider your business needs. Currently, you may only need a limited number of features and a machine with lower capacities.
Lease Buyout Option
Would you just want to lease for the time being and end up buying a copier eventually? If so, you need to choose the right lease to own contract for your preferred copier make ad model.
Basically, copier lease cost is mainly determined by the rate factor and what will happen to the unit after the lease period.
Depending on your future plans, regarding copier ownership, here are the two main lease options you should consider:
Fair Market Value (FMV)
This essentially means that the equipment can be purchased at the end of the lease for fair market value.
The buyout out in this case will depend on the prevailing market conditions as well as what you agreed on with the provider.
The buyout copier cost with the FMV option is often a couple of hundreds. Some providers will offer you the FMV lease type without the option to own the equipment at the end of the lease contract.
In either case, the FMV lease option features the lowest rate factor, hence often attracts affordable monthly payments.
This option is commonly referred to as the $1 Buyout lease. It allows you to purchase the copier for just solar at the end of the lease contract.
While this is the most preferred option for business owners who intend to own the copier, it comes with higher monthly installments.
The downside to this lease option is that you will probably want to upgrade to new technology by the time the lease expires. Therefore, it can make sense to opt for an FMV lease.
Should I Buy or Lease a Copier?
Whether it is better to buy or lease a copier is likely to depend on your office’s specific needs and the amount of money that your company has to invest in the equipment. One of the main reasons that a company may opt for leasing a copier is that they can afford to lease a state-of-the-art machine with all of the features that they want but do not have the capital on hand to make the upfront investment in the equipment.
Buying a commercial copier is very expensive (check out canon copier prices). Many businesses find it much easier to pay a small monthly fee than to shell out the full price upfront.
Another issue is the service contract. Copiers need to be serviced regularly and are notorious for breaking down. If you own your machine you can choose to pay as you go at time of service.
If you lease a machine then you will likely be required to purchase a service agreement if it is not already included in the lease. In many cases, owners choose to purchase this type of service agreement anyway because it is more convenient for them.
When you purchase a copy machine, it will likely save you a little bit of money over the amount you would spend leasing the machine for its expected lifespan.
When purchasing, you also own the machine. You can keep it or sell it, later on, to help finance an upgraded piece of equipment. Because you own the machine, you would also be free to make any type of alterations to it that you would like.
Early Termination Fees
Similar to some creditors and financial institutions, some copier lease agreements may require you to pay a certain amount of money as a penalty, if you terminate the contract prematurely.
It may not be your initial intent, but different factors may force you to terminate your copier lease agreement.
Since not all vendors charge early termination fees, it pays to first ask whether your preferred provider does before committing yourself.
If the providers charge a penalty for early termination, the fees you pay in such an eventuality will drive the overall copier to cost up.
Insurance on the Equipment
Though not standard, some vendors will require you to ensure the equipment before leading it to you.
In such a case, you will also need to factor in the insurance premium into the copier lease cost. Then there are those vendors that will just charge you additional fees to cater to the insurance.
If you were to pay for equipment insurance separately month after month, you will probably find it expensive to insure the copier throughout the lease period.
This being the case, it is advisable to research the market for the best rates before committing to any vendor.
Whether you buy your own insurance or pay extra on the lease for it, it is advisable to know what the limits are beforehand.
In this case, you need to check whether the vendor will apply any deductibles to your monthly copier installment payments.
With some copier models priced above $1,000, many you do not want to find yourself on the wrong side of the insurance limitations, should something happen to your leased unit.
What Kind of Copier Should My Office Lease?
There are two main types of copiers, analog and digital. Which machine will work better for you is dependent on your office’s needs, however, most offices do choose digital copiers these days.
Analog copiers are preferred in some situations because digital copiers are often used to store and recall copies which can make them a security concern.
Digital copiers can be significantly more convenient, though, because they can store and recall copies, whereas an analog copier must have an original to make a copy of. Many machines these days can make both kinds of copies.
Another thing to consider is whether you only need black and white copies or if you want to be able to have color copies.
As with analog and digital, many copy machines now have the capability of doing both black and white as well as color prints.
When choosing a copier, whether to lease or buy, you will also want to consider all of the available features and which ones might be really helpful or convenient in your office.
Many copy machines are now wifi ready. This can be super convenient and is an option that more and more people want to see on their machine. Most machines come with the ability to fax and scan as well.
Something else you may want to think about is the connections needed. You may have a much easier time with USB, Ethernet, or a wireless connection, in particular, depending on how your specific office is set up.
The speed of the copier, or how many pages that it can print per minute can really become an important factor if you have a lot of larger printing jobs.
Some printers average about 10 to 20 pages per minute, while more high-speed copiers can print as fast as 44 pages per minute.
The quality of your copies can make a big difference too. Will you be okay having average copies or do you need to be able to print images and photos? If you need a higher resolution, that is something to look out for when you lease a copier.
What Should I Look For in a Copier Lease?
There is a trend towards businesses looking for very short-term leases on copiers, sometimes as short as one to three months. However, this is not at all the standard.
The standard length of the lease when renting a copier is usually three to five years. Considering the length and expense of this type of contract, you will want to make sure that you are very diligent in reading and fully understanding its terms.
Also, do not be afraid to negotiate when leasing a copier. When you lease a copier, you will want to make sure that there is a performance guarantee.
If there is not, you should add one or look for a different company. As most leases are multi-year, you will want to avoid any annual increase that may be written into the lease.
Make sure that installation, setup, delivery, and training are all included with your lease.
Maintenance or service agreements can be a real sticking point. If you want to have the freedom when you are leasing for choosing your own maintenance plan or service agreement then you need to make sure that option is included in your lease.
You will also want to see a thirty-day renewal at the end of your lease. Avoid language that is similar to an evergreen clause and automatically renews your service unless you specifically choose to opt-out within a specified time period.
Used Copy Machines
You may consider a used or refurbished copy machine. The reason people consider this option is because of the reduced price, however, in this case, it may be that you get what you pay for.
While it is possible to buy a very good copy machine that may work well for you for a long time, it is also possible that by going the “used” route, it will lead to you having a machine that is often broken or doesn’t last nearly as long as you would have hoped.
If the right option for you is purchasing a copier, then you really should go ahead and purchase a new one rather than taking the risk of investing in a machine that won’t last or won’t meet your office’s needs.
Does it Make Sense to Lease a Printer?
Outsourcing your printing and copying needs to an office supply store or print shop can get expensive. It is also time-consuming and a drain on your office’s resources for someone to have to make continual trips to facilitate this type of outsourcing.
Because there are so many options in leasing copiers, as well as copy machines that have a ton of functions and can therefore perform as a fax machine, scanner and printer as well, leasing a copier makes a lot of sense for many companies.
With high-speed commercial copiers costing as much as $40,000 or more, purchasing isn’t even an option for some companies. A start-up company for example needs to divert the majority of their costs to branding and advertising efforts while reducing operational costs.
Leasing a copier becomes a perfect option for a start-up like this because they can have the use of the copier while managing a minimal monthly payment within their operating costs.
What makes sense for your business may not be what makes sense for the next business. If it is important to you to own the equipment and have the option of when and how to pay for service as well as the option to make alterations and you have the capital available then buying is a better option.
For most businesses not looking to deal with the hassle of owning a copier but still need regular use of one, leasing is the best choice.