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Last updated: 04 August 2021

Rent or Lease a Photocopier - 2021 Guide

Everything You Need to Know before Hiring a Photocopier

A photocopier is an essential piece of office equipment when you need to make copies of documentation, brochures, data sheets, etc.  It can be an expensive investment to startups and small firms, in which case renting or leasing one makes better business sense, especially when photocopier rental and leasing in the UK can start from as low as £20 a month for a basic hardware. You can find more photocopier rental prices in the table below.

Here's a guide on the photocopier rental and leasing possibilities in the UK, along with various options best suited to your business needs. Most photocopier suppliers on the market can cater to all kinds of copying needs and leasing or hire agreements, and you can find all the information about renting and leasing costs, the difference between renting and leasing, and the factors to consider when you need to rent a copier or lease a copier.

If you are interested in finding more information on renting and leasing photocopiers, just fill in the form at the top of the page and we’ll make sure to provide you with up to four, free, non-binding quotes to help you make a well-informed decision.

What Is the Cost of Hiring a Photocopier?

Depending on the size and the needs of your business, you can end up spending anywhere in the range of £100 to over £4,000. High print speed, larger paper trays, huge LCD display and high RAM are just some of the features that are usually found in high-end photocopiers.

However, all features will come at a premium and it is also possible that an office photocopier with very high print speed may be limited by other features. It's important to assess your copying needs, and maybe even consider if your copier needs additional features, such as a colour photocopier, an A3 printer integration, or if you want to even get an all in one printer that has copying features.

Photocopier Print Volume and Cost
Print Volume Functionality Monthly Rental Cost Monthly Leasing Cost
Low Volume Basic hardware £20 - £40 £20 - £35
Mid Volume Advanced hardware, faxing, colour, scanner/printer etc. £40 - £100 £40 - £50
High Volume State-of-the-art hardware, Faxing, Stapling, Binding, Larger paper trays, Network capability, Automatic document management etc. £100 - £300 £100 - £250

Typically, any business will have specific needs and may not even use all the features they pay for. Further, with ownership, it is also essential to factor in the maintenance and supply costs. If purchasing is not your cup of tea, then take a look at the table below to find how much a photocopier hire will cost you. You can also see how much leasing printer costs based on your monthly print volume.

If we consider a mid-volume photocopier, we find that the photocopier rental costs (at £100 per month) can be close to £3,500 at the end of 3 years. Leasing, on the other hand, will be much cheaper - £1,800 (at £50 per month).

Printer Renting Vs Printer Leasing

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What's the Difference between Renting & Leasing Contracts?

When it comes to choosing between renting and leasing a photocopier, there are certain aspects you need to think of such as the binding time, ownership, maintenance, etc.

Rental of photocopier machine is a short term contract which is more flexible as compared to photocopier leasing. It is best suited for businesses that have regular but short term copier needs.

Photocopier lease, on the other hand, is a relatively long term contract that usually runs for 3 years or more and is best suited for established small businesses who do not want to make big investments in the short term. There are numerous other differences that must be taken into consideration before deciding whether to rent or lease:

Rental Contract
  • Short-term contracts (up to 3 years)
  • More flexible contract terms
  • Suitable for special events and high volume periods
  • No ownership of equipment
  • Depending on configuration, monthly cost can range from £20 to £300
  • Costlier in the long run
Leasing Contract
  • Long-term contracts (3 to 5 years)
  • Less flexible contract terms
  • Suitable if you can’t outright buy but have predictable print volumes
  • Ownership option at the end of contract
  • Based on configuration, monthly cost can range from £20 to £250
  • Cheaper in the long run

Should You Rent a Photocopier?

Renting a photocopier is suitable for companies that are looking for a mid-term agreement, ranging from a few months to a few years. Typically, photocopier rentals are associated with projects with high volume print periods such as tax season, auditing etc., and are flexible agreements that are also easily terminated with 30 days notice to the supplier.

Rent a photocopier

Another reason is that the monthly hiring fee is based on a predetermined number of pages or a general copy volume. Renting a photocopier often involves an agreement on maintenance and repairs (parts, labour etc.) and sometimes also the replenishment of consumables such as toner and ink (paper, however, is almost never included).

For new businesses, renting may be the only option. With limited capital, startups may need to invest elsewhere to survive and grow, therefore buying a photocopier would be terribly taxing on the budget. Renting a photocopier, however, would allow them to acquire a better and more sophisticated machine than what they can afford, as you can easily upgrade to a newer model within your rental agreement. That way the company can enjoy the benefits of owning a top-shelf model with all its advantages at a minimum risk and expense.

However, renting a photocopier isn’t a viable option long-term if you print high volume for many years, as the monthly fees are typically higher than if you were to lease or buy a photocopier.

Pros and Cons of Renting a Photocopier

Pros of Renting
  • Flexibility in rental time
  • Flexibility in upgrading/downsizing
  • Lower risk with 30 days notice period
  • Up to date technology
Cons of Renting
  • Higher payment than leasing
  • Higher total ownership
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Should You Lease a Photocopier?

Photocopier lease periods typically span anywhere from three to five years. It usually involves paying a fixed monthly fee. Since you do not own the photocopier machine, the leasing fee paid to the supplier could be as much as 100% tax deductible.

Lease a photocopier

One of the advantages of leasing is that it doesn’t tie up capital and is cheaper than renting in the long run. If you are confident about covering the monthly lease fee on time for the entire duration of the contract, then photocopier leasing is the way to go. However, if you decide to terminate the contract before the agreement is up, you will be required to pay the full contract fee.

There are two different types of leasing contracts to be aware of:

  1. Lease Rental. With this type of lease, the ownership of the machine remains with the leasing company at the end of the contract. This lease involves a monthly fee, which usually includes maintenance services and free upgrading opportunities.
  2. Lease Purchase. When the established agreement period expires, you are entitled to the ownership of the machine. It’s important to note that the terms of these contracts vary considerably, and you need to thoroughly check your agreement before signing anything to be sure about the procedure at the end of the lease.

Before leasing a photocopier, you must be familiar with the different options and conditions of the leasing agreements. Normally, those options are provided by the photocopier supplier or a third-party company, which eases the process of leasing.

Another thing to be aware of is that the payment of the service contract goes together with the lease agreement. The service contract covers services such as regular maintenance, repairs, and toner replacements. Ensure the service contract covers not only the mentioned services but also includes parts and labour as well.

Unlike the monthly fixed lease, the service contract payments can either be fixed or be based on monthly usage. Some contracts even include elements of both. Therefore, getting to know the different options, suppliers, and agreements is a necessity, and careful consideration is highly recommended

When the agreement period comes to an end, you will have several choices:

  • Purchase the machine
  • Return it to the supplier
  • Sign a new lease (for the same copier or upgrade to a new machine)

This of course does not mean that upgrading of the machine cannot happen during the leasing period. However, you will be charged an additional fee for doing so.

Pros and Cons of Leasing a Photocopier

Pros of Leasing
  • Lower fees and total ownership cost
  • Possibility of ownership of equipment at the end of the contract
  • Tax deductions
  • Flexibility in managing cashflow
Cons of Leasing
  • Longer contracts than renting (approx. 3-5 years)
  • Upon mid-way termination, full contract fee has to be paid
  • Fee when upgrading/downsizing
  • Inflexible contract terms with high risk

3 Factors to Consider When Renting a Photocopier

Photocopiers can be hired for either short-term or long-term. Typically, short-term hiring is associated with renting, while long-term hiring is associated with leasing. Renting and leasing are two different mechanisms that allow businesses to meet their office needs. You need to consider the following factors before choosing to hire:

  1. Photocopier Usage
    How often do you use a photocopier in your daily business operations? When you know the intensity and your photocopier needs, it is easy to work out how much hiring will cost over time. If after the calculation it is clear that purchasing a photocopier is cheaper in the long run, then you have the answer you are looking for.
  2. Equipment Upgrades
    Even though purchasing might seem like the better option in some circumstances, you should keep in mind that the price for renting a photocopier has a specific advantage that photocopier lease prices do not provide. For example, in the case of purchasing a photocopier (during leasing), you need to pay a fee when upgrading the equipment, whereas renting a photocopier secures you free access to the best equipment every time you need it.
  3. Access and Installation
    Time and effort should be taken into consideration when making the choice between renting or leasing a photocopier. Consider if you are ready to sacrifice the time and energy you need to put into installing a photocopier every time you hire one.

Nowadays, it’s really easy to hire photocopiers. Irrespective of the price range one can expect to find certain functionalities such as copying, scanning and faxing to be present.

Yet, with price range some features do change. The following table gives an approximation of what features to expect at different price points.

Photocopier Features and Business Type
Photocopier Features Small Scale Business Medium Scale Business Large Scale Business
RAM Up to 1GB RAM Up to 2GB RAM Up to 4GB RAM
Monthly Duty Cycle Up to 150,000 Pages Up to 200,000 Pages Up to 300,000 Pages
Paper Capacity 250 - 550 Sheets 550 Sheets Multiple 550 Sheets
Print Speed Up to 60 ppm Up to 75 ppm Up to 100 ppm
LCD Display Up to 5” touchscreen Up to 7” touchscreen Up to 10” touchscreen

The purchase price here refers to the outright expenditure and full ownership of the product –excluding the supplies, and maintenance costs. However, it is possible to find many of these features on the photocopiers that are widely available for hire. Keep in mind that this table represents data for A4 photocopiers. A3 printers and Industrial printers are a separate category.

FAQs about Photocopier Leases

1. How Does Photocopier Leasing Work? 
Photocopier lease is a long-term agreement between two parties: the owner of the copier (lessor) and the company that leases it (the lessee). The lessee pays the photocopier lessor for the use of the equipment and has the possibility of owning the asset at the end of the contract. However, the leasing contract allows less flexibility as terms cannot be altered until the end of the contract.
2. What Does Photocopier Rental Mean?
Photocopier rental is an agreement between the copier’s owner and the company who is renting it, whereby the company pays the owner of the copier for the use of the asset. The procedure involves a short-term agreement between the two parties, where terms can be altered depending on the company who is renting the equipment.
3. How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Photocopier
Copier rentals can cost between £20 to £300 a month, depending on the print volume and the photocopier’s functionality. Low volume copiers (up to 5,000 copies) can cost between £20 to £40, whereas high volume business photocopiers (over 40,000 copies) can cost between £100 to £300 a month.
4. Is it Better to Buy or Lease a Copier
Majority of businesses tend to lease photocopiers because of the low upfront costs. Opting to lease a photocopier lets you protect your company’s cash flow and allows you not to worry about the copier’s depreciation in value. However, if you are highly interested in purchasing a photocopier and using it for a long time, and you have the cash flow available, you should buy.
5. How is Copier Equipment Lease Rate Calculated?
The monthly equipment lease payment depends on your equipment’s lease rate. It is calculated by dividing the annual interest rate with the number of monthly payments. For example, if the annual interest rate is 6% and you are required to make 48 monthly payments, the lease rate is (0.06/48), or 0.00125.

Finally, if you are convinced that hiring a photocopier is the right decision for your business needs, you can fill a quick form to get free quotes from various suppliers in your region. Market Inspector can provide you with up to four free quotes. This service is free and there are no hidden charges. Click the button below to hire photocopiers today!

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Aris Vourvoulias
Written by Aris Vourvoulias, Head of Content

Aris Vourvoulias is the Head of Content at Market Inspector. Aris is a passionate author and marketer with a background in journalism. He continuously writes, reviews, and educates himself in the areas of business, finance, and renewable energy. He has managerial experience in many European markets, including UK, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland. He and his content team have been featured on reputable sites like Business Insider, Entrepreneur, Guardian, Forbes, HubSpot, and more.