Owning a printer or a photocopier can be quite a big investment for many Australian businesses. Purchasing a proper multifunction device for the office can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $50,000, depending on the features you need. Besides the upfront purchase price, the subsequent supply and maintenance costs can negatively affect operational budgets and bottom lines too.

Because of this, some organisations may choose to consider leasing a copier instead.

Which option is right for your office?

To decide on whether you should lease or buy a photocopier, you need to understand the pros and cons of each option, as well as your company’s requirements and processes. In this article, we will look at the advantages and disadvantages of leasing and buying a copier, to help you make the best choice for your organisation.

What are the differences between buying and leasing an office copier?

The main differences between purchasing and leasing a photocopier is the financial investment and ownership.

When you buy a copier, you need to pay a significant amount of money upfront, but the machine belongs to you. On the other hand, leasing a copier basically means you need to keep paying to be able to use the device through the duration of your agreement.

Leasing a copier also makes it easier to stay up to date with technology, as you get to update your device at the end of your lease. If you buy a copier, however, it would make more financial sense for you to keep the machine for an extended period of time.

Let us compare each option more comprehensively.

The advantages of buying a copier

  • Owning your copier machines outright allows you to have complete control over what you do with them.
  • There is no need to go through any paperwork or any leasing process. You simply buy them and use them how you wish.
  • You also have complete freedom to sell them if you choose to, and possibly get some reimbursement for the expense.
  • Businesses that do not need to keep up with the latest technology and are not fussed about advanced features can go for fairly affordable options.


The disadvantages of buying a copier

  • The initial expense of buying a copier can be a major challenge for some businesses, especially if they need a machine with fairly high capabilities.
  • Repair and replacement costs can get pretty expensive, and you’ll need to come up with the money to fix it when it breaks down.
  • When your copier gets outdated, you are stuck with it until you are able to sell it off and purchase a newer model.
  • Speaking of selling the machine, photocopiers, like most technical devices, depreciate quickly, so there may not be much of a secondhand value.


The benefits of leasing a copier

  • Leasing your printer gives you the financial ease of paying a far more affordable monthly fee instead of having to deal with a big upfront payment. This makes it easier to budget effectively, without causing any cash flow problems.
  • You’ll get to trade the model you’re using for better ones once your lease expires, allowing you to stay up to date with the technology, instead of being stuck with an obsolete machine.
  • If you are uncertain about which copier you want or need, you can try them out with short-term contracts to see if they suit your needs.
  • When you no longer need the machine, you don’t need to stress about having to dispose or sell it off.


The challenges of leasing a copier

  • You don’t own the copier, which means there are limitations on what you can do with it, and you cannot sell the machine.
  • Sometimes the cost of monthly payments over a set period of time can add up, and you are obligated to complete the entire term of the lease agreement.


So should I buy or lease a photocopier/printer?

Knowing which option is the right one for you depends on many factors. If your business relies on keeping up with new technology, leasing may be the better option. It will save you from needing to buy new printers too soon and you won’t need to make large purchases repeatedly.

However, if your needs are simple and older models are sufficient for the job, purchasing may be the better option as your overall costs will not exceed the price of the machines. The duration you plan to keep your copiers is what matters. When making this decision, it’s always best to speak with an expert that you can trust. Discussing your needs and expectations with a copier dealer will give you insight into what the different models are like and their average lifespans.


Other points to consider

Besides the initial costs, there are other factors to consider when it comes to deciding on leasing or purchasing a copier. For example, your business may benefit more from leasing a copier if:

  • Your organisation uses more than 1 copier or printer
  • Your employees use the printers frequently
  • Your organisation requires additional features, security and the latest technology


Questions you need to ask before buying or leasing

If you are currently leaning towards leasing a copier for your business, it is important for you to find a good leasing company that offers the best lease agreement for you.

Before signing that contract, here are some questions you should ask:

  • How long is the lease for? Lease terms usually run for 36, 48 or 60 months. Find out which is being offered and which would work best for you.
  • Are you allowed to extend the lease period or add equipment to an existing lease? Will the lease terms change or can they remain the same?
  • Can you terminate the lease early? Check if you are allowed to end the lease early in the event you no longer need the machine or if you want to upgrade to a better model. Also, are you allowed to pay off your lease early?
  • Is there a buyout option? If yes, is it a fair-market value option or a $1 buyout option?
  • What about insurance? Do you need to insure the copier on your own, or are there separate charges to the monthly payment for insurance?

It is also worth noting that Managed Print Services may provide you more savings and advantages compared to a standard lease agreement. With our Managed Print Services, you will be given one single monthly invoice, and this covers the leasing cost of the machine as well as the maintenance and a specified amount of prints.


Still unsure if you should lease or buy a copier? Get in touch with our team today, and let our experts conduct a quick analysis on your print usage and requirements to help you choose the best print solution for your business.