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Last Updated: 01. May 2019

Photocopier rental: all you need to know

Photocopier rental can be preferable to photocopier leasing or photocopier purchase in certain cases. Renting a copy machine: helps you avoid having to make a large upfront payment or tie up a large amount of capital. Some of the main benefits of renting a printer or photocopier are:

  • It gives you great timeframe flexibility: from short-term rental of one week, up to long-term rental lasting several years
  • It provides tax relief: you may be able to deduct the photocopier rental costs from your business’s taxable profits
  • It usually includes service, maintenance, and replenishment of consumables, which can make life easier for you

If you are looking for a photocopier rental solution, our service will help you find the best deal quickly and with minimal effort. Enter your details in the quote request box and we’ll provide you with several non-binding quotes from UK photocopier rental companies operating in your area.

Photocopier rental prices 

So, what are the photocopier rental costs that you should budget for? Photocopier rental can have significant implications for your company finances, and it is important to understand them clearly.

There is a very wide selection of photocopiers available on the market, with prices ranging from just over £100 for the most basic models, up to £10,000 and more for very high volume photocopiers or industrial-purpose machines. Be aware of the market prices of photocopiers – it’s the only way to make sure you are not overpaying for your rental arrangement.

Read more about photocopier prices 

Prices differ depending on volume

Your photocopier rental cost, therefore, will greatly depend on your exact requirements (such as whether you also require service and maintenance – more on that below). However, as a very general guideline, here's what you can expect:

  • Low-volume photocopier
    The rental cost of a low-volume photocopier can be as low as £10 per month. The cost per 1000 copies can approach £20 when using this type of copier, so it is not the right solution for high-volume situations.
  • Medium-volume photocopier
    For a medium-volume photocoper, expect your monthly rental spend to be around £50.
  • High-volume photocopier
    If you wish to rent a high-volume photocopier, be prepared to shell out upwards of £100 monthly. However, as the cost per 1000 copies with such a photocopier can be as low as £1, it may end up being the most cost-effective choice in some cases.

As noted above, in addition to the costs of the actual copy machine, you should also be aware of the cost per page/cost per copy. The average market price of black & white print in the United Kingdom is £0.04. In the educational sector, however, schools tend to significantly overpay – their average price per copy is around £0.008.

This example illustrates the importance doing your research and choosing the right copy machine for the job. If your organisation has high-volume copying and printing needs, such a price difference can be very significant.

Photocopier rental solutions

How to reduce your photocopier rental costs

If your unit or business is part of a larger organisation, find out if there are any existing hire contracts with photocopier suppliers. You may be able to add an extra photocopier for a lower cost than if you were to conclude a whole new agreement.

Moreover, if you already have a good relationship with a supplier who understands your needs and is able to offer service and maintenance at a good price, there might not be any need to look elsewhere.

However, it is always a good idea to be aware of your options. To get a quick overview, scroll back up to the quote request box, enter your information, and we’ll provide you with a few quotes from photocopier rental companies in your area. In some cases, our users have been able reduce their current costs by as much as 40%. The service is free and non-binding, so there’s no harm in trying and seeing for yourself. 

Who can benefit from photocopier rental

For small businesses and start-ups, it might not be feasible to invest in purchasing a high-performance photocopier. However, attempting to handle an excessive workload with a copier that is not designed for high-volume operation will quickly lead to even higher expenses on consumables. In this case, photocopier rental can be the answer. 

In the case of larger businesses and organisations, photocopier rental can be a good solution for:

  • special, one-off events for which you need to produce a large amount of documents (conventions, seminars, trade shows)
  • meeting other kind of short-term demands for intense document production (emergencies)
  • temporary offices, sales offices, short engineering or construction projects

Photocopier rental is also frequently used by charitiesgovernment bodiesschools, and elsewhere in the education sector.

Photocopier service and maintenance as part of a rental agreement

Photocopier maintenance agreement illustration

Not all photocopier rental contracts include service and maintenance. You need to decide whether you want the photocopier rental company to take care of this, or if you’d prefer to separate the rental agreement from the service and maintenance contract. There are pros and cons to each approach.

Some benefits of concluding a photocopier rental/hire contract are: 

  • Your photocopier rental/hire agreement can include delivery and setup, including integration into your network
  • Photocopier training and additional support may be included. It’s not a bad idea to make sure that all staff are familiar with the functions of the photocopier. There’s no point in spending more on a full-featured photocopier if no one knows how to use the more advanced features.
  • The rental agreement can include supplies and consumables. Make sure to check the details of your rental contract to see if paper and toner is included, and what the limits are.

Having theses services bundled in with your rental agreement can certainly simplify things. However, there are also downsides. For instance, the rental company offering the best photocopier for your needs will not necessarily also have the best service and maintenance terms. In that case, it is wiser conclude a contract only for rental, with service and maintenance remaining separate. 

Common questions before renting a photocopier

Photocopier rental FAQBefore entering into any kind of hire agreement, particularly in the case of long-term photocopier rental, it is very important to understand the terms and clarify any doubts you might have. Some typical questions of our users are:

Will long-term photocopier rental end up being more expensive than purchasing outright? 

It is a possibility. Rent for long enough, and you’ll end up having paid more than the full price of a new copier. However, the benefits of rental can have a certain monetary value that you should take into account.

For example, the flexibility of being able to replace your photocopier with a higher or lower volume model if your requirements change can be very valuable for some businesses and organisations.

Particularly if your business is seasonal or you have certain periods of peak demand, it can be better to hire a high-performance photocopier for a few months than to buy a cheaper copy machine that will not serve you as well, will lead to greater expenses on consumables (toner cartridges), and will stand around unused for most of the year. Why invest thousands of pounds in purchasing an asset that you won't be using to its full potential? In this situation, rental/hire is easily the preferable choice.

Will I be able to back out of the photocopier rental agreement? 

This is something you must consider before signing any contract. Regardless of any verbal agreements or promises made by the rental company, be sure to carefully read exactly what you are agreeing to. 

Typically, once you agree to rent a photocopier for a specific time, you are locked in for that period, and backing out may be costly. If you anticipate that your needs might change during the rental period, make sure to stipulate it in the contract. Photocopier rental terms are not set in stone – particularly if you are part of a larger organisation with greater bargaining power.

Also take note of any auto-renewal provisions in the contract. Often, unless you specifically withdraw from the contract by giving notice to the rental company, it will automatically be extended at the end of the current term. 

What’s the difference between photocopier rental and lease? What about photocopier operating lease or financing lease?

“Photocopier rental” is simple enough – you use a copy machine owned by the rental company, and pay a certain amount of money during the rental period, typically on a monthly basis.

“Photocopier finance lease” (also called capital lease) – essentially the same as purchasing an asset (the photocopier) and financing it through taking out a loan.

“Photocopier operating lease” – under this arrangement, ownership of the photocopier remains with the leasing company. At the end of the lease period, you may extend the contract, return the photocopier, replace it with a different model, or choose to purchase it. 

Read more about photocopier lease

What is short-term photocopier rental?

When talking about “photocopier rental”, we normally refer to a short-term rental solution. Short-term rental services span anywhere from one week to one year. Longer-term photocopier rental is also possible; however, consider whether leasing or purchase might be more suitable in that case.

Photocopier rental in 3 easy steps

So, you know you want to rent a photocopier, but the whole process of selecting and obtaining one seems a bit daunting? It doesn’t have to be! All you need is some structure, and we’re here to help. Follow this simple process:

1. Create an outline specification.

Photocopier buttonsSpecify what you need, why (this is important), by when, and for how long. This will not only help you understand what amount of resources you should expect to budget for the photocopier, but also what your best acquisition solution could be.

As part of your planning process, define a technical specification of the photocopier. Note the functionality that your photocopier MUST HAVE, and separate it from the things that would be NICE TO HAVE. This will make it a lot easier to navigate all the different offers.

2. Estimate the total cost of the contract. Make sure the necessary budget is available.

As photocopier rental is an ongoing expense, it is important to consider this also in a longer-term perspective. Also be sure to obtain the necessary approvals from the persons responsible for the budget.

Tip: at this stage, rather than making guesses, it is a good idea to meet with the actual future users of the photocopier and discuss their requirements and desires. This will help you estimate the real needs of your organisation a lot more accurately and avoid potentially overpaying for copier features that sound great on paper, but will not get much use in practice.

3. Research the photocopier suppliers in your area.

Congratulations! By outlining your desired photocopier specifications, photocopier rental terms and your acceptable budget, you’ve laid solid groundwork for finding the best deal, rather than simply going with the first offer that “sounds good”. You now have some concrete parameters for comparison – use them to select a supplier.

Photocopier rental companies come in different shapes and sizes. For example, some specialise in providing copier and printer solutions for the educational sector, while others focus on enterprise solutions or SMEs.

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