When it comes to office equipment, there are a lot of ongoing costs and specific office requirements that need to be considered before any decision is made. However, the first thing you will need to decide is whether you want to buy the equipment upfront, or opt for a lease agreement. There are a number of benefits to both options – and some downsides to also consider – so here’s a list to help you choose.
Buying vs Leasing a Printer
Pros and cons of leasing a printer
- Lower upfront costs
Having a large amount of start-up capital is not always possible but needing office equipment is a certainty. This is where leasing a printer is a really worthwhile option. Rather than having to part with a substantial amount of cash, business owners are able to pay an affordable monthly fee that should include maintenance and re-fill costs.
- New equipment at a lower cost
At the end of your printer lease, you will have the option of upgrading your equipment to something new on the market without having to spend even more money. Alternatively, you will be able to negotiate a reduced rate on your monthly rental if you retain your existing printer.
- Increased flexibility
When it comes to buying a printer, the price is set in stone and there’s no way to work around it. But when it comes to leasing a printer, you can choose for a flexible payment plan that suits your specific budget.
- Escalation clauses
Some printer suppliers will include an escalation clause in the contract which means the monthly cost will increase during the contract period. If not accounted for, this could push your budget beyond the limit so it’s worth enquiring.
- Automatic renewal
The fine print in a printer contract might also stipulate the automatic renewal of the contract if the client doesn’t specify (often in writing and within a specific timeframe) that they will not be renewing the lease. You could then find yourself locked into another year-long contract.
- Cancellation fee
As with any contract, there will be a cancellation fee worked into the contract if you decide to opt out early. While a cancellation fee can be expected, the amount mustn’t be unreasonable.
Pros and cons of buying a printer
- Cheaper in the long run
While the cost of a new copier is, no doubt, quite daunting, if they can be bought upfront then it certainly works out to be the more cost-effective option as you aren’t paying off the interest.
- Tax advantages
A printer that is bought is a company asset and can, therefore, be written off for tax in terms of wear and tear allowances.
- Flexibility and freedom
The printer is yours which means, if you’re not happy with it or find it isn’t meeting your business printing needs, you can simply sell it, recoup some expenses and buy one that suits your requirements. In addition, you are not locked into a contract and can choose your preferred repair technician.
- Initial expense
The first expense of buying the printer is a large one, and could mean you will have to cut costs somewhere else.
- Maintenance out of budget
With a printer lease, the cost of services and replacements is factored into the monthly instalments. When it comes to buying a printer, in addition to the initial outlay, you will need to budget for the printer’s ongoing maintenance and ink toner which can be quite costly.
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to printer needs, and where buying a multifunction printer might suit one business, a lease might be a much more cost-effective option for others. It’s worth engaging with a reputable printer supplier to find out exactly what will work best for you.