Copiers: Deciding When to Buy, Lease, or Rent

Today’s copiers do so much more than just copy, they are computers that perform multiple document management tasks. When deciding which of these powerful technology tools is the right fit for your business, you may be weighing the options of buying, leasing, and printing. Here is a bit of information on each option:


If your business makes fewer than 700 copies a month, it may not make sense to enter a leasing contract for a business-level or multifunction copier. By purchasing outright you will not have to pay fees and interest charges associated with a lease or return the copier to the leasing company at the end of a lease. Many small businesses also prefer to not have any debt. Although a lease is technically not a debt, you are still bound to the lease’s terms, which some consider the same as having a debt. However, many small businesses find that a lump payment of $8,000 to $10,000 up front may not fit with their budget. Another option would be to buy a used copier, preferably from a dealer rather than an individual owner so it will have a warranty.


Businesses often choose to lease their copier(s), allowing them to upgrade or replace their current equipment with flexible payment terms, saving thousands of dollars on an initial purchase. Because technology changes so fast with copier/multifunction devices, leasing allows a business to budget a certain amount of money for the copier and then every 2-3 years upgrade to a new machine with the latest technology. Be certain that your business is able to make a monthly payment for the duration of the lease term, since a copier lease is almost always impossible to break, just like any other leasing contract. New businesses may be drawn to leasing as they are trying to conserve capital for other expenditures. However, just as any other lease, a new business will have to get approval from a bank, which may be difficult. Another benefit to leasing a copier is that usually the lease can be written off entirely each month but a direct copier purchase must be depreciated over time.


Renting a copier is great if you will be using the copier for a short duration such as trade shows, accounting offices during tax season, or an office conversion of paper files to electronic files. When renting you will usually pay for a package which includes a pre-determined number of pages / copies, toner, parts, labor, service etc. at a monthly rate lasting from 1 to 12 months. Renting is usually more expensive per month than leasing but you are only locked into a temporary contract rather than a years long commitment.

Take into account what is most important to your business when it comes to printing and copying. You should base your decision on your business objectives and how the copier will be used when you are deciding whether you should buy, lease, or rent your business’ copier(s). Let Superior Document Solutions help you compare brands, rates, and options so you can make the best choice for your business.

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