Last Updated: February 09, 2023

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Summary: Cost to Buy vs Lease a Copier

Purchasing an office copier outright will cost $1,500 for a low end copier (20 PPM) up to $50,000 for a very high end copier (60 PPM). Leasing a $10,000 copier may cost you $12,500 for a 60 month lease. Some leasing companies will offer a $1 buyout option.

Buying a Copier

Every business needs a copier. The question is - should you buy or lease one?

Purchasing a copier appeals to those who want full control over the machine and its maintenance. You decide when to have the machine serviced and how long to keep it. There is no contract detailing how the machine should be used because it is your property.

Cost to Buy a Copy Machine

Copier prices vary widely based upon the type of machine you select. The machine’s printing capacity has the largest impact on price.

  • Low-end copiers capable of printing about 20 pages per minute (ppm) and 10,000 copies per month start at about $1,500.
  • Mid-volume copiers capable of handling up to 35 ppm can cost as much as $10,000.
  • High-end copiers that can handle 60 ppm or more can run up to $50,000. Only very large business require this kind of speed.

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Pros of Buying a Copier Outright

  • Cheaper in the long run - Buying is always cheaper than leasing in the long term because you avoid finance charges. Think of it much like buying a car: You can save thousands of dollars by paying cash upfront and avoiding interest.
  • Less paperwork - Buying a copier is relatively straightforward. Just hand over the cash and the deal is done. Leasing involves an application process and providing the leasing company with detailed financial information. Your company will also be subject to a credit check.
  • Tax deductible - The entire cost of a new equipment purchase is tax deductible. With a lease, you can only deduct the total amount of the monthly payments for that year.

Copier Buy vs Lease Comparison

Cons of Buying a Copier Outright

  • Depreciation - Much like computers, copiers lose most of their value in just a few short years. An expensive, high-end copier won’t garner much profit when it comes time to resell it.
  • Obsolescence - Technology changes rapidly. Five years from now, your state-of-the-art copier will be out of date. But if you’ve invested a lot of money in the copier, you may not be able to replace it as often as you’d like. Older copiers also tend to have higher per-page printing costs.

Leasing a Copier

The vast majority of businesses opt to lease copiers, rather than buy them outright. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean a lease is the best way to go. The decision should be based on your individual needs and preferences.

Copier leases generally span one to five years. You’ll make monthly payments until the lease term expires. Then, you can opt to return the copier, purchase it or trade it in for a newer model.

Cost of Leasing a Copier

The cost of a lease varies based on the type of copier you choose, your credit history and the length of the lease. A $10,000 copier might cost $10,500 if you spread the payments over 12 months and $12,500 if you spread the payments over 60 months, or five years.

Most leasing companies also offer a $1 buyout option. For a few extra dollars per month, you have the option to purchase the equipment at the end of the lease term for just $1, rather than fair market value.

Pros of Leasing a Copier

  • Lower upfront costs - Leases rarely require a downpayment, so you can acquire the latest technology without shelling out a lot of cash. This is especially useful for small business that do not have a lot of cash flow.
  • Predictable monthly payments - Knowing exactly how much you’ll pay each month for the copier is helpful for budgeting purposes.
  • Option to upgrade - When the lease term expires, you can trade-in your old copier for a newer model with better technology.

Cons of Leasing a Copier

  • Higher long-term costs - A $5,500 copier could end up costing around $7,000 if you spread the payments over five years. You’ll pay more in the long run when you lease a copier instead of buying it outright.
  • Strict terms - It’s difficult to get out of a lease, even if your needs change. Once you sign the agreement, you’re stuck making the payments for the remainder of the term, even if the equipment is not being used. You’ll also be required to adhere to the leasing company’s maintenance requirements, which can get expensive.

Summary: Should I Buy or Lease a Copier?

Most businesses opt to lease a copier because the upfront expense is minimal. However, leasing is more expensive than purchasing a copier outright so it may make more financial sense to buy your copier if you have the cash flow available.

There are many online equipment lease vs buy calculators available to help you with your decision. You should get price quotes for both leasing and buying a copier and then use these calculators to weigh your options. Here are a few popular calculators:


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