If you’re looking into a copier lease for your business, one of the first questions on your list might be, “How much does it cost to lease a copier?”
The short answer: It depends.
A copier lease is similar to leasing a fleet of cars or an office space for your business. With a variety of options available to choose from, the cost of leasing a copier can range significantly, based on your team’s needs.
You won’t know the final cost until you work with a copier dealer. Still, we’ll provide some general pricing guidelines here based on factors that can influence the cost of a copier lease.
What is a Copier Lease?
First off, it’s essential to understand what a copier lease is to understand the factors that impact it.
Copier Lease Definition
A copier lease is a long-term finance arrangement where a business pays a leasing company for the use of a copier or printer. In a copier lease agreement, the business leasing the equipment agrees to pay a monthly fee for a pre-determined amount of time (usually between one to five years). The business leasing the equipment has the option to renew the lease or purchase the copier at the end of the lease term.
Leasing is a good option if you don’t have the cash to purchase a copier outright. Keep in mind that while leasing will help spread out your payments, leasing will cost more in the long run than buying the copier or printer upfront.
What Affects the Cost of a Copier Lease?
There are many factors to consider when determining how much a copier lease will cost your business. In most cases, the amount your company pays will be affected by nine key factors.
1. Dollar Value of the Equipment
When you opt to lease equipment, your needs—from a simple desktop printer to a multifunction model—will guide your equipment and hardware selections. The type of equipment you opt for, in turn, heavily dictates your leasing cost:
- Business desktop printers that meet the basic needs for teams with a low print volume, such as home offices, cost between $1,000 – $3,500.
- Multifunction printers (MFPs) with print, copy, and scanning capabilities for teams that need a variety of options and higher print volumes cost between $3,000 – $30,000.
- High-volume printers that are designed to turn-out a large number of prints at a faster rate cost between $8,000 – $100,000.
- Production printers for teams that need to produce high-quality prints, including print shops and advertising teams, cost between $30,000 – $500,000.
The specs of the copier or printer will impact the value, too:
- Manufacturer. As with any product, certain brands will be more expensive due to their quality and reputation.
- Age. Newer technology will be priced higher than older copiers and printers.
- Speed. Devices that have a higher speed, and therefore a faster print output, will be more expensive.
- Black-and-White vs. Color. The cost of printing in black and white is cheaper than the cost of printing in color in general. Devices that support color prints will be more expensive than those that solely offer black and white.
- Inkjet vs. Laser. Laser printers that use toner are typically more expensive than inkjet printers. While inkjet printers are generally cheaper upfront, they are more costly to operate.
More sophisticated and more extensive equipment will increase the overall price of the copier lease.
The device’s features will also influence the dollar value of the equipment. In some cases, these features may come standard on the equipment. If the function is not standard but is necessary for your team, then you’ll want to purchase add-ons. Add-on features can include:
- Document finishing options to automate manual tasks, such as hole-punchers, booklet makers, staplers, paper folding units, and more.
- Multipurpose trays to increase the paper capacity of a printer or copier for businesses that need more paper storage.
- USB and card readers to increase print security in an organization by denying access to print, scan, copy, and email features by requiring a form of authentication to access business data.
- Print applications to create more robust capabilities and security. This includes software such as Fiery, PrintAudit, and more.
2. Dollar Value of Soft Costs
“Soft costs” is a catch-all category for copier related expenses that you can bundle into the lease agreement. Soft costs associated with copier leases include:
- Product delivery
- Service and maintenance
Do you have any existing lease obligations with your current equipment leasing company or a competitor that you want to get out of early? If so, you'll need to pay off any remaining lease obligations.
A common way to do this is via a copier lease buyout option, which is a soft cost. The buyout can include the cost of paying off the lease early, in addition to other expenses such as the freight cost for returning the equipment.
The more soft costs bundled into the lease agreement, the higher the lease.
3. Type of Equipment Lease
The type of copier lease contract your company chooses will influence monthly payments. The most common options are:
- Fair Market Value (FMV). Option to buy the equipment at fair value when the lease ends. This has the lowest monthly payments among the lease options because the cost to buy the equipment at the end of the lease is not factored in.
- $1 Buyout. If you plan to buy the copier at the end of the lease, the $1 buyout lease option is the better lease option. Option to buy the equipment at the end of the lease for a $1. This has the highest monthly payments because the cost of purchasing the equipment at the end of the lease from the leasing company is spread out over equal amounts in the lease.
A $1 buyout lease will be more expensive than a Fair Market Value (FMV) lease because the cost of owning the equipment at the end of the lease is factored in.
4. Length of Lease
Copier lease terms are typically set for 24, 36, 48, or 60 months. If your company’s budget is tight, you can opt for the lower monthly payments that come with longer leases. It’s important to remember, though, that longer leases come with higher interest rates, so you’ll be spending more money in the long run.
Longer copier leases will have more interest applied than shorter copier leases.
5. Expected Equipment Life
How long will your copier last? This is especially important if you’re signing a longer lease. It is also crucial if you’re considering a lease that gives you the option to purchase your copier.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you sign a lease:
- What will your copier be worth at the end of the lease term?
- Will it still be in good condition?
- Will it be obsolete or in need of costly repairs?
- Will you need to upgrade to a newer, more efficient model?
6. Effective Interest Rate
Not only do the two lease types described above impact monthly payments, they also come with different interest rates.
Several online resources are available to help companies see how effective interest rates and other factors can impact monthly payments.
7. Down Payment
A copier lease typically does not require a down payment. However, if you choose to put down a small percentage upfront, you can lower your monthly payment. Down payments will also reduce the cost to purchase the copier.
8. Credit Score
Your business credit score will be one of the primary factors potential lenders consider when choosing to approve or deny your lease application. The interest rates on your copier lease will also be impacted by your credit score.
A higher credit score will typically help you find a lower interest rate. Exact requirements will vary by lender.
9. Time in Business
If your business plans to lease, leasing companies will also look at your company’s stability. Company stability is usually measured by the length of time in business.
Leasing companies also consider your company’s annual revenues and the amount you’re asking to borrow.
Leasing copiers is an excellent option for many companies, but budgeting for copier lease prices requires preparation and research.
The cost to lease copiers will vary. It’ll be affected by the type of equipment being rented, the type of lease the company seeks, and other factors, such as the length of the lease and the company’s credit worthiness.