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Should you buy or lease your printer?

Should you buy or lease your printer?

Of course, there are arguments on both sides, but when you add up all the pros and cons, for most printers leasing your equipment offers some substantial benefits over buying it outright.

If this is a question you’re wrestling with, we think we know the answer. Of course, there are arguments on both sides, but when you add up all the pros and cons, for most printers leasing your equipment offers some substantial benefits over buying it outright.

Buying a printer

For some people buying outright has a certain appeal. You set your budget, you pick the printer that best suits your needs, you pay the price and you own your kit. No debt, no interest and a new asset on the books. But remember, just like a car, that printer will start to lose value the moment you take it out of the showroom, so you need to factor depreciation into your calculations when you’re comparing buying with leasing.

Leasing a printer

When it comes to leasing, on the other hand, you pay out month after month and don’t even own the machine. Where’s the benefit in that? Surprisingly, however, there are so many benefits to leasing your printer that, for us, it wins out over buying every time. Perfect Colours Sales Director Jon Telling puts the advantage of leasing very succinctly when he’s talking to his clients: “Basically, leasing allows you to buy the equipment you need rather than the equipment you can afford.”

But not only does leasing allow you to take a serious step up on the kit you can choose, it’s also the most tax efficient way of furnishing yourself with the right equipment. Of course, you could take out a loan to buy a bigger printer than you can afford, but only the interest on your loan is tax deductible. If you lease your printer, you’ll find that the whole of each monthly payment is tax deductible.

Furthermore, leasing means that you know exactly how much you’ll be paying each month for how long. It allows you to plan the lifespan of your printers and when you’ll replace and upgrade them. At the same time, you’ll be keeping cash within the business that you can use for other things. These represent substantial benefits over buying your kit outright.

Fixed term lease

The buyer’s counter argument is usually to point out that you’ll only be leasing your printer for a fixed term, usually three years. What happens then? At the end of your leasing term, you have a range of options. The most usual thing to do is to send the printer back and start leasing another one – which gives you the perfect opportunity for an upgrade to some more advanced technology or a bigger size. However, you could also keep the printer you have for a peppercorn rent and carry on using it.

“The way in which people finance printers has completely changed in the last seven to eight years,” says Jon Telling. “A decade ago, we sold 90% of printers and leased 10%. Now that figure has completely flipped – about 10% of printers are bought outright, while 90% are leased.” The reasons? “Money’s tight at the moment and there are a lot of good leasing schemes around, both standard schemes and residual value schemes – which in particular can offer substantial savings to the client. Subscription is also becoming a popular way to acquire a printer as it includes servicing and warranties in the rental payment, making it especially tax efficient.”

So, if it’s time for you to decide whether to lease or buy, sit down and take another look at the figures. In our book, leasing wins hands down!

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