Why Buy A Franking Machine?

Why Buy A Franking Machine?

The UK is a bit of a rarity in the world as it allows you to buy franking machines outright rather than being forced into renting them. Yet, just because you can purchase one, does not necessarily make it the right decision.

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Reasons Why You Should Buy Rather Than Rent

The main reason why you would choose to buy a franking machine over renting is that you know the full cost upfront. Often this can turn out to be significantly lower over the lifetime of ownership. That said, the full upfront cost for a new basic low volume machine will be at least £1,000.

Used machines are also an option and can cost as little as £395.00. However, be aware that older models can be mandated to be retired from service by Royal Mail, even if they are still working. This means that your canny money saving move, might not turn out to be so smart.

Click Here To Compare Franking Machine PricesNewer models generally don’t have this issue, but still may break down.

A second important reason why people choose to buy over rent has to do with control over how they use their machine. If you rent a machine your contract may stipulate what kind of supplies you must buy such as labels, ink and possibly even postage supplies. These may be more expensive than you can find elsewhere, especially for ink.

However, if you own the machine yourself you can choose from whom you purchase your supplies. This can reduce the total cost of ownership even farther compared to a rental contract. Thus, the main reason to buy a franking machine is that it can offer substantially lower lifetime cost – both in terms of the machine itself and daily operational supplies.

Important Caveats About Buying

While lower lifetime running and operating costs are a compelling reason to choose to buy rather than rent, there are some important caveats you’re aware of before you do so.

High Initial Price: Prices for franking machines start at around £1,000 and can go up to £20,000 for high-end models. So you need to have that cash available. You can reduce this by getting a quote to compare prices.

Franking Machine License: Just because you own your franking machine does not mean you don’t still need to get a Royal Mail franking machine license. Now the only way to get a license is from one of the Royal Mail approved manufacturers, independent inspectors, or maintainers. This will cost money each year.

Service Contract: To get a franking machine license you will most likely need a service contract from one of the suppliers listed above. These are a good thing to have as franking machines are prone to breaking down from time to time, but are an extra monthly or annual cost. Generally service contracts are included when renting.

Model Becoming Obsolete: Royal Mail often retires older models when their technology becomes obsolete. The Royal Mail have made it clear that they want all models to be SMART enabled, which means automatic product selection and paying VAT on certain products.

All new franking machine models from each of the 4 manufacturers are now SMART enabled, but older used models may not be. So if you are thinking about buying a used franking machine, just make sure that it is.

Why buy a franking machine? Well simply put because it’s cheaper when looking at lifetime cost of ownership. However, carefully consider the caveats above, as you may find it’s a case of being penny wise and pound foolish. If possible buy from a manufacturer rather than a reseller for maximum peace of mind.

Summary of Pros And Cons of Buying A Franking Machine

Pros of Buying:

  • You own the machine.
  • Complete control over supplies, usage, etc.
  • Often lower total lifetime cost.

Cons of Buying:

  • High initial cost (at least £1,000 for a new machine).
  • Potentially expensive repair bill if something breaks and you don’t have a service contract.
  • Risk your model may become obsolete, which can make finding supplies more difficult.
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Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • I have been offered a used franking machine, it was bought outright a couple of years ago by its previous owner . can I just plug it in and start using it and top up when I need to . do I need a license? and how much are they,? do I have to have a maintenance contract,? if I use it for a while and it brakes down can I just dispose of it.
    I don’t send that much on postage, so It would mean I would be paying over the odds if I had to pay a license and service contract. I would like it just for the convenience . anyone got any thoughts please ?

    • You do need a license and will have to pay for a service contract. Disposal is the same as any other electronic device.

    • Hi I am in the same position as you,did you manage to sort it out and was it expensive to have the service contract.


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