The UK – unlike most other countries – allows people to either buy or rent their franking machine. Most other countries only allow rental agreements. So just what are the advantages and disadvantages of renting compared to buying?
Benefits of Renting Over Buying
Franking machines are expensive. Initial purchase prices for new machines start at £1,000 or you can buy used machines for as little as £400. If you’re just starting a small business this may be one expense too far.
However, with a rental agreement you can pay as little as £14.99 a month for a basic machine and better yet get a free 30 day trial. This means you can test the machine in a real world office environment to see if the machine you pick is right for your business.
If it turns out you need a higher volume franking machine, you’ll be able to upgrade or if you want a more basic model you’ll be able to downgrade, before locking in any contract. So not only do you pay less upfront you have lower risk as well.Click Here To Compare Franking Machine Rental Prices!
Service & Maintenance Contract
Royal Mail requires franking machines to undergo period service checks to make sure they haven’t been tampered with and are operating the way they are supposed to. This applies to both purchased and rented franking machines. So if you buy a franking machine you’ll still have to pay for a separate service contract.
On the other hand, if you rent your franking machine your rental agreement will often also include mandatory servicing as well. This means you know exactly what you’ll be paying each month and you won’t be surprised by any hidden charges down the road.
Similarly most rental contracts will come with an optional maintenance agreement. Basically, this just means if something goes wrong with your machine someone will come fix it for you at no extra charge. This prevents too much downtime.
The only downside to this is that usually costs a bit extra but depending on how much you rely on your machine it may be a price worth paying. Those that buy their machines usually aren’t given this option and so must find their own repair person if something breaks down.
The final reason why it may be better to rent than buy is that renting gives you the best option in terms of growing your franking needs along with your business. If you buy a machine you’re locked into using it.
A basic model than can frank 20 pieces of mail a minute may work fine for a small 3 person office, but you may find it can’t handle the volume in a year or two when you’ve grown to a 30 person office.
Also while franking machines don’t change as quickly as mobile phones, Royal Mail and manufacturers do come out with new models from time to time and more importantly retire old ones. If you model is retired, it means it will no longer be legal to use.
Renting avoids both of these problems, as you can often upgrade your machine during the renewal period and should you be renting a model that will be retired you can move to another similar model that can still send mail. So renting keeps you update and insures you’re never left holding the bag with an older machine.
Drawbacks to Renting Compared to Buying
While overall there are many reasons why it makes sense to rent rather than buy. There are some important things to know about before you make your final decision. Here a few things to consider:
If you rent your machine, you may also have to buy supplies from your supplier. While you’ll certainly need ink and labels you may find that the prices they charge are higher than what you can find elsewhere. This is because suppliers only supply manufacturer approved ink and labels whereas other retailers sell off brand supplies.
While these supplies are certainly cheaper, they may also damage your machine. If you rent you aren’t really given a choice if you want to risk using them to save money, whereas if you own you are free to use whatever supplies you wish.
Cost of Ownership
There is no comparison, renting is definitely cheaper from the word go. However, over the lifetime of ownership the comparison is not always so clear. The cheapest possible rental contracts available are around £15 a month.
This means it would take you around 67 months (Or well over 5 years) to break even on a new machine that costs £1,000 to buy. However, a £400 used machine would break even in just 27 months (just over 2 years).
However, if you do buy your machine you have to be aware of the pitfalls listed above. You will likely save money if your machine works properly and doesn’t break down, but may end up out of pocket if your machine does have technical issues.
So renting is initially cheaper, includes service (and sometimes maintenance) contracts and makes sure you always have the machine need and are never left with one that’s no longer legal.
Buying does give you more control over supplies and may provide a lower cost of ownership. However this comes at an increased risk of things breaking down and you not being able to use your machine when you need it most.Click Here Fully Compare Franking Machine Costs
Summary of Pros and Cons of Renting vs. Buying
Pros of Renting/Leasing:
Cons of Renting/Leasing:
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