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Copy Machines: Should You Buy or Lease?

Business.com / Technology Solutions / Last Modified: March 20, 2017

Before you buy or lease, consider these factors.

Whether you are in the market for a copy machine or your current one needs to be replaced, should you buy a new machine or lease one? Both options have many advantages and disadvantages and you should consider all factors before making a final decision.

Here are some things to consider when choosing to purchase or lease a copy machine.


Purchasing a copy machine is no small expense. It is a large upfront cost that can set you back if you are not prepared financially. However, when you lease the machine there is typically no upfront costs or down payments. Each month you will have a fixed payment, to help keep your budget on track. However, you may end up paying more money over time. And if you stop using the copy machine, you must continue paying for the length of your lease.

Options Available

There are dozens of copy machines on the market, and you may find one you think you want. But it may be too expensive to get right away. If you lease, you may be able to get that precise model faster. However, your options for models may be limited, depending on the leasing company and its availability. You may only have a handful of options to choose from for your office.

Upgrades and Maintenance

A leasing company owns the machine, not you. This means you may not have to worry about all the maintenance and technical issues that can arise with these machines. While you may oversee some maintenance and service tasks, depending on your service agreement, many of the responsibilities may fall onto the leasing company. Whereas, when you buy, you may be making numerous service calls and paying to repair technical issues yourself.

Furthermore, leasing terms are usually only a few years. When the lease is over, you can choose to lease a new, more sophisticated machine for very little difference in cost. When you purchase a copy machine, you often have that machine for many years.


Leasing Contracts

When you purchase your own copy machine you don’t have to deal with messy contracts. However, when you lease, carefully evaluating the contract is a must. You need to read all the fine print to ensure the leasing company does not take advantage of you. Look closely at the contract length. Many contracts are for a minimum of two years. If you want a longer contract, ask if you will receive a lower monthly payment.

Some leasing companies may require that you insure the machine, adding additional costs each month. Also, the company may penalize you for terminating your lease early. Carefully read through the contract to ensure there are no hidden fees. Furthermore, when working with a leasing company, consider the service agreement and how much maintenance and service work you must perform and how much the leasing company will take care of. This can also add additional costs that you may not need to pay.

Photo credit: Shutterstock/Chutima Chaochaiya

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