The Difference Between a Copier Rental and Lease

Submitted by Bernie Schom on Mon, 05/ 11/ 20 - 11: 36 AM

Difference Between Copier Rental and Lease


There isn't a difference between a copier rental and a copier lease, right?


As a copier dealer in the Atlanta-area who has been around for over five decades, we often find ourselves explaining the differences between rentals and leases.

Although the terminology can be a little confusing, copier rentals and copier leases are not the same. This blog will explain the subtle differences between the two, and getting those differences correct will help you find what you are looking for when you turn to search engines for information and eventually speak to a copier dealer.

RELATED: How Much Does a Copier Cost?

What is a Copier Rental?

Copier rentals are much like car rentals. When you contact a dealer for a copier rental, you are charged a fee that lasts for the period of time that you use the machine. Also like a car rental, they are not intended to be long-term rentals.

The fee could be a per month fee, a cost-per-click fee, or a combination of the two. To no surprise, at the end of your rental agreement you will not own your machine(s).

Organizations who choose to go the copier rental route are doing so primarily because they are in need of a copier that is off-site or away from their headquarters and only need it for a short period of time. In this case, it would be cost prohibitive or too cumbersome to enter into a lease agreement or outright purchase of a copier for their short term needs.

What is a Copier Lease?

Copier lease agreements are similar to car leases but not identical.

When a business wishes to (more or less) own their copier equipment, they enter into a copier lease agreement. Here, a business can own a new or used copier by agreeing to set payments and a service agreement (more on that later).

This allows a business to more easily afford a single copier or multiple machines. Like most leases, it will ultimately cost more than an outright purchase, should the purchaser keep the copier throughout the lifetime of the lease.

Unlike a car lease, there isn't an option to give up the copier an stop making payments (unless you go out of business), so once you pick a copier and sign a contract, it's yours!

Many businesses, however, choose to upgrade after three or four years. This is often because machines become increasingly more expensive to maintain over time and purchasing a newer machine offers more cost savings. Additionally, a piece of technology that is five years old is very obsolete and newer models offer better security and additional features that make machines more helpful with specific tasks.

It is important to emphasize that a copier lease is a purchase over time. Even if you choose to stop using your machine or decide you no longer want it, you will still be required to pay off the balance of the equipment purchased. 

Businesses have solved this in the past by working out a "copier buyout" with their new (or current) copier dealer, but the desire to cancel a copier lease has been a source of confusion for consumers for years.

RELATED: How to Negotiate a Copier Lease

What to Look for in Your Agreement

Whether you choose to rent or own your copier, it is still wise to get a Service Agreement. Service Agreements lock you into a fixed monthly maintenance fee that often includes toner replenishment and regular maintenance. In most cases, this fee saves organizations money over the course of the lifetime of the machine.

Dealers are able to receive significantly discounted prices on their toner supplies and regular maintenance ensures efficiency and avoids costly one-off repair jobs that would be normal for machines that are not covered by a Service Agreement.

If you want to learn more about Service Agreements you should read our article:

What is a Service Level Agreement?

More on Working with a Copier Dealer

You don't have to contract service through the copier dealer that you purchase from - or at all - but you would be wise to do so. In addition to the points listed above, keep in mind:

We wrote an article about the differences between copier dealer and manufacturers that aims to highlight the differences between the two. You may be surprised to learn that service directly from the manufacturer is not always the best option for your business, and sometimes they are the middle-men. After all, why have dealers if they can truly do it better?

Just remember, a great machine with poor service is just a poor machine, but a dealer with exceptional service can make an average machine, exceptional.

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Posted by Bernie Schom


office copier