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If it’s been a few years since your last photocopier purchase or you’re obtaining a photocopier for the first time it can be hard to get a handle on prices. Few photocopier suppliers publish price lists online and while that’s an encouraging indication that prices can be negotiable, it does make it difficult to know where to begin. To help you set a realistic budget we’ve complied a rough guide to photocopier prices.
Purchasing a Photocopier
Buying a photocopier outright can be a large expenditure. Your budget will largely be determined by how robust and versatile a copier you need to cope with the demands of your office.
Low resolution, black and white copiers that sit on the desktop can be bought for as little as £100, but don’t expect a copy rate of much more than 20CPM (copies per minute). Suitable only for an office of one or two people, high volume printing or copying will break these machines pretty quickly.
Entry-level free standing photocopiers
These black and white machines will meet the needs of a small office (around 10 people) with a copy speed of 30 to 35CPM. They will usually be multifunctional and can be networked for printing and scanning. Starting prices are around £800 - £1,000.
In general you’re looking at spending upwards of £2,000 for a stand-alone office copier with a high work rate. A popular multifunction copier such as the Konica Bizhub comes in three different models that range from £2,500 to £4,500, with a work rate that ranges from 36CPM to 50CPM and a maximum duty cycle of 150,000 copies per month.
High Performance and Production Copiers
In the £5,000 to £10,000 bracket are the high performance photocopiers boasting 60CPM and additional features including binding and booklet making.
There are also super heavy-duty machines that offer up to 100CPM and a whole range of finishing accessories such as booklet making and page trimming. These are more comprehensive, professional printing hubs than photocopiers that can work round the clock without any down time. More so than other copiers, you will need to consider the amount of space that this sort of machine will take up – they can be 3 or 4 metres long and may require a separate room to be housed in due to the noise. These can be priced at anything from £20,000 to over £100,000.
Leasing a Photocopier
Leasing a photocopier avoids a large initial outlay of capital and can have tax benefits as you’re paying for a service which is deductable from your profits.
Leasing a copier will normally give you the option of purchasing the photocopier at the end of the lease period for a fixed fee, returning the photocopier or upgrading to a new machine on a new lease. You can even upgrade before you reach the end of the lease agreement, giving you the flexibility you might need for an expanding business.
You can lease an office photocopier for as little as £20-£30 per month, but a good guideline for a high performance machine (multifunction, 35CPM+) is about £100-£120 (plus VAT). For very large machines (up to 100CPM) expect to pay around £250-£300.
Minimum terms usually apply to photocopier leasing – these prices are based on a 5 year lease, but may be higher if the contract is shorter.
A standard toner cartridge, colour or B&W, costs about £60-£80. Most suppliers offer a service contract for leased or purchased machines which includes service, repair and consumables supply. These contracts are offered on a sliding scale depending on how much you use the photocopier so it’s worth comparing several options from different suppliers.