So, you’re nearing the end of your lease agreement for your office’s printer/copier and want to know what your options are.
Knowing your end-of-lease options is crucial because consumers who ignore the impending end of their copier lease agreement can open themselves up to automatic lease extensions if they don’t notify their print vendor or provider in a timely fashion.
This means you could be paying for a machine you no longer want for another year, resulting in mass frustration and financial burden to the tune of thousands of dollars.
As a long-time print vendor, we’ve learned how crucial it is to have a plan in place for when you come up on the end of your lease. And since over 90% of our customers choose to lease their machines, we’ve had to assist a number of clients in their post-lease decision.
We’ve found that there are four main options you have when your copier lease is up: Trading in your machine for a newer model, renewing your lease for another term, purchasing the machine or returning it to your vendor.
We will go through each of these options in this blog so you can decide for yourself what option would suit you best.
Because having a plan in place post-lease goes beyond just avoiding the financial consequences that come with ignoring the end of your lease.
You also need to make sure you have the right machine in place for your company once your lease does officially end, so you can keep your daily business operations running smoothly and efficiently.
Before getting into the article, though, do note that print vendors or providers around the country will have different end-of-lease policies, and the vendor you use may have different rules in place to govern its leasing conditions.
However, the four options discussed in this article are very common in the printer/copier industry, so they should be broad enough to apply to your situation no matter which vendor or provider you’re dealing with.
4 Options You Have at the End of Your Copier Lease
Here are the four most common options you have as you come up on the end of your copier lease, starting with the trade-in option:
Trade-In Your Copier
Trading in your office machine for a newer, more updated, model is the most common option among consumers once they get to the end of their lease.
It’s kind of like trading in your old car for a new one; it gives you a chance to trade in your old machine for an upgraded one that is equipped with the latest security and productivity features.
The updated security features are particularly noteworthy because the older your machine is, the more vulnerable it will be to a security breach.
If you printed or copied at a high volume during your lease agreement, you may want to trade in your machine to avoid service issues that can arise as the copier ages, as well.
Trading in your machine for a new one is also a popular option because many vendors will run promotions or trade-in discounts that can save you money on your next copier.
Most of the time when you trade in for another machine, it’ll be for a newer model. But if you find during your current lease term that the machine you have is being underutilized, you can trade it in for a smaller, cheaper, model that may be more suitable for your situation.
Most vendors will handle the removal of the old machine and delivery of the new one if you decide to trade in your copier, which takes the logistical hurdles out of your hands.
Extend Your Current Copier Lease
The next option you can choose from as you come to the end of your copier lease is to extend your current lease agreement.
This can come in varying terms, but the most common is month-to-month lease extensions, although this can vary depending on the vendor. Some leases can extend for three-month terms, and some can extend for a full year.
If you’re happy with your current machine and would like to keep leasing it, then this would likely serve as the best option for you.
You will want to make sure that your machine can effectively handle another leasing term before committing to another lease extension to ensure there are no underlying service problems with the machine.
Ask your vendor to send out a service technician to check on the functionality of the machine before extending your current contract if you have any concerns about the machine lasting for an extended time after your initial lease term date.
Purchase Your Copier
The third option you have is related to the last option in that you keep the same machine you leased but instead of extending your current lease, you can choose to purchase the machine outright and have the ownership title transferred to you.
If you’re satisfied with your current machine, purchasing it for yourself is a viable option. However, you will likely want to get a separate service contract from your vendor to ensure that you still have maintenance coverage for your machine.
Since service technicians can charge upwards of $100 an hour to fix copier service issues, it’s usually recommended to pay a monthly fee of around $12 to ensure that you won’t have to pay in excess for service if your machine breaks down.
You should also note that copiers are depreciating assets, which means they lose value with time. So, if your aim is to eventually sell the machine, you likely won’t get a positive return on investment for it.
Return Your Copier
The final option is to return the copier to the company that you’ve leased it from, which means you are no longer contractually obligated to continue working with that company, and you can choose to switch vendors or source your own machines.
If you are unhappy with your current vendor and want to change companies or want to independently handle your future printing matters, then this would be the best option for you.
Choosing the return option will likely require you to ship the machine back at your own expense to the vendor, although arranging a pickup location can be an option at some print vendors.
Make sure to check the terms and conditions of your lease and notify your vendor in advance (usually around 90 days) if you want to return your device and end your current lease.
As a side note, you will likely be responsible for early termination fees if you want to get out of a printer/copier lease before it expires.
To learn more about different strategies for getting out of leases or switching vendors, check our our article how to get out of a copier lease.
What Happens if I Ignore the End of My Copier Lease?
If no action is taken at the end of your lease, whether intentionally or unintentionally, then you could automatically go into an extension period on your current lease.
As mentioned in the introduction, this is a serious consequence that can damage your organization monetarily. Not notifying your vendor of your intentions before your lease is over can result in you having to pay for up to a year for a machine you no longer need.
Some vendors can work on a month-to-month basis with the customer where you can continue to use the machine on a monthly basis as you decide which option you want to choose.
However, if a vendor has a strict end-of-lease policy stated in the terms and conditions of the lease agreement you signed, there is not much you can do to circumvent the situation.
This is why it’s essential to read the terms and conditions before you sign a lease and to work with your vendor on a solution before your lease is over, so you don’t get stuck paying significant money for an unwanted office machine.
Which Copier Leasing Option Is Right for You?
The four options discussed above are the most common end-of-lease options but figuring out which one is right for you will be entirely based on your situation.
If you would like to lease a new machine, trading in your current printer/copier would likely be your best bet. If you want to keep your current machine, then either choosing to extend your existing lease or purchasing the machine outright would be the best option.
And finally, if you decide that you want to move on, returning your machine to the company you leased it from is the most sensible option in this scenario.
Through our almost four decades in the printer/copier industry, we have assisted clients of all kinds in finding an end-of-lease solution that will meet their current and future needs.
If you need guidance on which option is the most logical for your workplace, we can offer you advice through our team of experts in crafting a plan for your future printing needs.
Even if you’re not a current customer, reach out to us and we can use our industry expertise and honest guidance to help you figure out the solution that is best for your situation.