Should you buy, rent, or lease?

When deciding whether to buy, rent, or lease office equipment, try to figure out the cost. Factor in tax breaks, resale value, and obsolescence. If you are buying, consider when the equipment will become obsolete. If you are leasing be sure to include intangibles such as buyout cost or cost to return the equipment. In all cases choose your provider carefully!


  • Longest useful equipment life if no obsolescence.
  • Lowest cost in the long run.
  • Tax advantages. Ask your CPA!
  • Initial cash outlay may be too high for you.


  • Short term commitment of cash or utility.
  • You have flexibility to upgrade, downgrade or cancel.
  • You may get rebuilt, new, or used equipment.
  • Cost is comparable to leasing.


  • You can acquire equipment with no down payment.
  • Lease payments can be deducted as business expenses.
  • You can choose your lease length to fit your cash flow.
  • You have a decision to make when your lease expires.
  • Higher overall cost than buying.
  • You are obligated to pay for the entire lease period. ... more about lease