The simple question of whether to rent or buy is enough to cause sleepless nights for many business owners. A workplace copier is one of the most expensive investments a startup company can make, not to mention the maintenance involved. Office copier rental provides a more viable short- to medium-term solution for many businesses struggling with cash flow. Whether you decide to rent or buy will largely depend on your current circumstances and business needs. This article will help you decide by explaining the ins and outs of copier rental and answering the “rent or buy” question.

What Is Office Copier Rental?

Businesses that are just starting out or struggling with countless other expenses often baulk at the thought of buying an advanced piece of office equipment like a copier. They’re expensive to buy, maintain, and replace. That’s why office copier rental is a viable alternative to buying.

Copier rental involves the hiring out of a machine for an agreed-upon period. The company doesn’t own the copier, nor can they claim it for equity, but have full use of the machine all the same. The customer will pay a monthly fee (that averages at around $125) to use the machine, which may include extra services, like paper and toner replacement.

Once the period is up, the machine goes back to the contractor. It’s a low-commitment solution for a company’s printing needs.

Renting Isn’t Leasing

Renting and leasing are two terms, often used interchangeably and mistaken for each other. In truth, while they may share some similar points, the two processes are quite different. Here’s why:

  • The time period – Rentals are usually shorter-term agreements, which often don’t extend past a year. On the other hand, five-year copier leases are quite common in the industry.
  • Ownership options – Once the rental period has expired, a copier will be returned to the company. For leased equipment, a company may offer the customer the option to buy the equipment after the term has expired. The cost is typically calculated according to fair market value (FMV).
  • Commitment – Leasing office equipment is fixed over an agreed-upon period. If a copier is no longer in use during the agreement, it can quickly become a liability, sitting idle while incurring monthly costs. Cancelling the lease is possible but comes with additional penalties. Rental, however, works on a low commitment month-to-month agreement with easy cancellation.
  • Upgrades – Equipment upgrades are typically provided at the end of a lease period before a new agreement starts. Those renting can change the models of their copiers at any time. Customers can, therefore, choose new equipment more frequently.

The Pros and Cons of Rental

Office copier rental is a printing solution with a range of benefits. That said, when looking into rental, it helps to be aware of the drawbacks too.


Here are the major benefits of copier rental:

  • Initial Savings – When struggling for cash flow, an initial copier investment can seem astronomical. Rental is the financially viable short-term answer to conserving capital.
  • Ease – Rental is less rigid than signing a lease and easier than applying for a bank loan. Customers who lack time and good credit scores can benefit from the relative simplicity of copier rental.
  • Flexibility – You may need the copier for a month or an entire year. When signing a lease, a business may not always know how long they’ll need the machine. What’s more, circumstances change, and it’s good to have a flexible rental agreement that changes with it.
  • No upgrade or maintenance costs – Copiers are expensive to maintain and upgrade. With rental, these burdens fall to the rental company, rather than the customer, placing less of a financial burden on a business.


Rental isn’t without its problems. Will they become prohibitively so to your company? Here are the major drawbacks:

  • Long-term expenses – While owning is initially more expensive than renting, the price differences narrow over time. With rental, a large portion of your costs is the convenience. Over time, the monthly costs of rental will ultimately start to pile up, making it only a viable short- or medium-term solution for your printing needs.
  • No ownership – Unlike leasing, there’s no option to buy a copier after the term is over. This in itself isn’t a dealbreaker, but can be tough if you’ve grown accustomed (and attached) to a certain copier.
  • Supplier-limited – A well-stocked supplier should have enough copiers for every occasion, but it’s impossible to offer every make and model out there. Some multi-function printers won’t be on offer for those needing a certain machine. What’s more, other renters may snatch up a particular model before you can. Be aware of supplier availability beforehand.

What Are the Costs Involved?

For many looking to rent, cost will be the deciding factor. With the printing rental market set to comprise of over 100 million pieces of equipment by 2028, there are a lot of factors that can determine a monthly rental fee:

  • Copier specs – The more the capabilities, the higher the price tag. Copiers can be color or monochrome and many have print rates, scanners, faxes, and LAN capabilities to differentiate theme. Choose the copier with the features you need.
  • Surplus charges – Some rental companies charge for exceeding a monthly copy total, an excess usage charge, while others may ask for down payment upfront. Be aware of these extra charges before committing to any rental agreement.
  • Brand names – A well-established name can be trusted but also expensive. Not all smaller brands have lower quality. Doing some research can save a lot of money.
  • Insurance – Some companies offer insurance to guard against mishaps. Decide if the coverage is worth the cost.
  • New or refurbished – Older, more used copiers often function just as well as newer models. If cutting-edge isn’t an issue, then you can save with refurbished copiers.

Making the Right Choice

Office copier rental comes with its own benefits and drawbacks. While offering cheaper rates and low commitment, it’s not a viable long-term solution for a business. Still, sometimes only a few months is all you need.

When deciding on a rental, it’s important to consider both your needs and your ideal partner. Our expertise and professionalism have been finely honed over 65 years to give you the best rental deals and more for the best price. If you’re in the Sacramento area, then let our service build your success. Contact us today.