One of the most common questions we are asked is whether it is better to lease or buy a printer. As with every printer or photocopier investment you make, it is down to personal circumstances as to which option best suits. There are pros and cons to each choice, and it is up to companies such as ourselves to lay out the options for you, so that you can make an informed decision.
When it comes to purchasing a printer, there are a number of positives to owning the device outright. One of the most persuasive of these is the ‘free motoring period’ you experience with a machine that is your own. This effectively means that if the hardware lasts longer than the expected lifespan, you are still able to utilise it. With a lease, once the contract has expired, you are required to upgrade.
Another useful thing to remember with a purchased machine is that you can claim it against your annual investment allowance (AIA). This enables you to deduct the full value of the item from your profits before tax. Over a 12-month period, this allowance equates to £200,000, meaning a substantial saving if you time your purchase correctly. There is also the opportunity to use writing down allowances if your printer doesn’t qualify for AIA, or if you have claimed more than the total amount already. There are a number of options available, so it is best to speak to us directly for a full rundown.
Of course, there are also negatives too. The most obvious is that of the upfront cost required to make a machine your own. Yes, you own it, but what else could that money have been used for? If you are a company that generates income gradually over time, then paying a single lump sum could be quite daunting too. Can you guarantee that the money will come in to make the investment worthwhile? There is a lot to take into account.
The obvious pros of leasing are that it enables businesses to have the equipment they want, and need, immediately, without having to worry about an upfront payment. By spreading the cost at an affordable fixed monthly rate, there is little impact to budgets or cash flow, but still the immediate boost of having the machine at your disposal.
The other great benefit to leasing a printer is that you can always stay up to date with technological advances. Printers are constantly improving and evolving to meet the needs of users, whether that it is through added efficiency or exciting new features. When these changes are made, you can either choose to improve your current machine for a reasonable cost, or wait until your lease expires to upgrade to the latest version.
Again, there are issues to leasing as well. When you lease, you will ultimately be paying much more in the long run than you would if you had bought the machine outright. This is, of course, the compromise for manageable and predictable monthly payments. You are also obligated to continue paying a lease, even if the machine becomes obsolete to your business. You have a contract that must be met, which isn’t great if you move to a paper-free environment.
Unfortunately, there is no simple answer as to which option works best. The only sure way to know you are making the right decision is to speak to an experienced, knowledgeable team of industry professionals about your business, your ambitions and your overall printing needs. Luckily, we happen to be a company able to provide this service, so please feel free to call us today for more information and guidance on whether buying or leasing will work best for you.